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Don't hold your breath...

May 2022

Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life. (Giovanni Papini)

Think of all the ways we use the word breath to describe our behavior and our environment… out of breath... catch your breath... save your breath... hold your breath... a breath of fresh air... take your breath away... Clearly, breathing is important, and our breath responds to what is happening around us. But can we respond and intervene with our breathing to improve our reactions and our well-being?

Although the focus of my practice is pelvic health, I routinely start my assessment and care outside of the pelvis. I start with the breath. Breathing is such a foundational component that if it is not maximized and efficient, every other system is limited. Breathing affects your respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, muscular, and psychic systems, and also has a general effect on your sleep, memory, ability to concentrate, and your energy levels. (Donna Farhi)

Breathing impacts us not only from a cardiovascular standpoint (in terms of getting enough oxygen into the blood stream) but from a biomechanical and neurological standpoint as well. Proper inhalation and exhalation activates many core muscles and provides support for the spine and pelvis. Awareness and control of breath impacts the parasympathetic nervous system and helps to manage stress responses and blood pressure. (It also doesn’t hurt that a good inhalation can help eliminate bladder leakage with coughing, sneezing and laughing!) Conscious breathing heightens awareness and deepens relaxation. (Dan Brule)

Do you pay attention to your breath? Are you a shallow or deep breather? How long is your inhale? Your exhale? Do your ribs expand? Or your belly? Can you coordinate your breath with other activities to protect your spine and control your bladder? These are all things that we address in pelvic therapy. Setting a solid foundation with good breathing patterns is key to successful pelvic function. If you are not sure that you are breathing well, give me a call. We can learn to breathe together! Your breath is your anchor. (Author Unknown) Proper breathing is Fundamental.

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