Breath Matters



Healthy breathing is one of the foundations of human health and well-being. Overbreathing, one of the most common breathing dysregulations, affects 10-25% of US population and is associated with conditions such as asthma, panic disorder, anxiety, chest pain, GI distress, and chronic pain. Oftentimes, our clients come to us reporting that the “deep breathing exercises” they’ve learned previously do not work for them, make them feel lightheaded or short of breath, or make them feel worse. These symptoms are often a sign of overbreathing, a behavior of breathing out too much carbon dioxide, resulting in hypocapnia, or low levels of carbon dioxide. Hypocapnia, in turn, leads to significant emotional, cognitive, behavioral and physiological changes that may seriously impact health and performance.

During psychotherapy and hypnotherapy, clients may unintentionally overbreathe by taking overly deep breaths, creating discomfort and reluctance to engage in future sessions. The purpose of this session is to discuss the physiology of breathing and provide the audience with practical strategies for breathing assessment and teaching healthy breathing, including guidance for explaining healthy breathing to clients, and tips for practice and training.

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