In our modern life we tend to focus a lot on optimising our diet and exercise to improve our health and wellbeing, but rarely do we ever pay particular attention to the one thing that we have conscious control over and that we’re literally doing all the time - BREATHING.
Optimising the breath is an incredibly accessible tool for everyone and can have very profound positive effects on one’s life such as supporting improved energy, focus, relaxation, movement, immunity, sleep, and mood. For those with respiratory issues like asthma, hay fever, sinus congestion, snoring and sleep apnoea, more functional breathing can go a long way in managing these problems. While other conditions like chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety can also benefit greatly by incorporating better breathing strategies into everyday life.
We have put together this resource page of educational videos for our clients and anyone else interested in learning how to improve their breathing. The content has been broken up into phases for ease of flow but realistically many of these exercises could be practised simultaneously.
If you were interested in working with us, you can get an idea of what to expect when you come in for treatment at Village Remedies at one of our Sydney clinic locations.
In these introductory videos we cover what "functional breathing" actually means for us, how to check whether your breathing is supporting you optimally, why this work is important for your health, and when to be cautious if you venture into any of the heavy breathing and breath hold exercises out there (though all the exercises we teach are very safe).
PHASE 1: UNBLOCK YOUR NOSE
If you can't comfortably breathe through your nose most of the time, you need to start here. Nasal breathing is the first and most important aspect of healthy functional breathing. In these videos we cover a variety of strategies and ideas to help you out. Some may work better than others for you so try them out and see what helps.
The more consistently you breathe through your nose, the clearer your nose will become, so once you've got your foot in the door of nasal breathing, you can start to employ strategies from the next phase to strengthen your nasal breathing habit and improve the quality of respiration.
PHASE 2: NASAL & DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING
Once you can comfortably breathe through your nose, you want to work at maintaining nasal breathing as consistently as possible and start engaging the diaphragm. Your diaphragm is part of the "core" muscle group so working on good diaphragmatic abdominal breathing can also help with pain, injuries and sports performance. Both nasal breathing and deeper relaxed diaphragmatic breathing will stimulate your parasympathetic rest and digest nervous system to help reduce your bodily stress response. This can help with better quality sleep, energy, mood and concentration.
PHASE 3: BREATHING MOBILITY
This phase can realistically be done in conjunction with the previous phase as both will support progress in the other. In these videos we show you some simple ideas to start working on tight muscles and stiffness that may be impairing the depth and quality of your breathing.