What is this course about?
The connection between acute hyperventilation and anxiety states and symptoms is well known. Not so well known is that ‘overbreathing’ is often present in a chronic and hidden form, creating on a day-to-day basis, a fundamental derangement in physiology. This ‘baseline’ dysfunctional breathing pattern drives a sympathetic-dominant state, depleting energy, priming a person for acute stress response, and producing many of the classic physical and mental symptoms seen with anxiety disorders. It may be behind a loss of resilience and a failure to respond to a therapeutic intervention, or underlie an experience of anxiety, dizziness or discomfort during therapies involving breath work.
Breathing retraining helps restore a physiologically normal breathing pattern during rest, sleep and exercise, and when under stress. With it, comes balanced blood and brain chemistry, optimal oxygenation, facilitation of the parasympathetic state and relief from symptoms related to chronic overbreathing, including anxiety, agitation, brain fog, panic attacks, insomnia and sleep-disordered breathing. Breathing retraining offers both acute relief and long-term prevention. Breathing retraining changes physiology. The level of calmness, control and vitality achieved when you get your breathing right, has its source at a deep level of the nervous system. Better breathing skills can augment the practice of many health and wellness techniques.
This training teaches you how to identify and assess dysfunctional breathing. We will explore relevant physiology to explain physical and mental effects of dysfunctional breathing, and how breathing retraining works to restore physiologic normal breathing. We will focus on and practice, posture adjustment, breathing exercises, techniques and strategies to improve and stabilise breathing for long-term benefits. Three cases will be presented, illustrating the application and results of breathing retraining in anxiety disorders.
This is above all a practical training. There will be information provided through lecture as well as experiential exercises, discussions, and question and answer periods. There will be one session in the afternoon where physiologically normal breathing is applied into breath work in psychological therapy, and a later session with application into yoga practices. You may attend one or the other session, or both.
You will learn
- To identify and assess dysfunctional breathing habits
- Relevant physiology of breathing
- Mechanical, physiological, psychological and biochemical effects of dysfunctional breathing
- The breathing/anxiety /insomnia/sleep disorders connection
- Myths and misunderstandings about breathing
- The importance of nose-diaphragm-breathing at the correct rate, rhythm and volume and the optimal O2/CO2 balance during rest, sleep and exercise.
- Techniques to help restore regular, comfortable, nose-diaphragm breathing with good posture
- Strategies to relieve and prevent the stress response, breathlessness, panic attacks and insomnia
- Strategies for specific conditions, personality types and scenarios you see in practice
- How to teach clients to integrate better breathing into everyday life
- Application of physiologically normal breathing into breath work in psychological therapy and/or
- Application of physiologically normal breathing into breath work in yoga
Who should attend?
Psychologists, counsellors, social workers, physiotherapists, yoga teachers, and other allied health professionals.
About the presenter - Tess Graham
Tess Graham is a physiotherapist and breathing educator. She is an experienced clinician and internationally recognised authority on breathing pattern dysfunction in children and adults. Tess established Australia's first dedicated breathing retraining clinic in 1993 in Canberra and has since worked with over 6000 people. Tess has considerable experience working with patients with anxiety disorders, this category making up approximately one third of her patient base. Tess is the author of Relief from Snoring and Sleep Apnoea (Penguin Aus, 2012) and a forthcoming book on breathing retraining for people with anxiety and panic disorders.
Tess Graham is the founder of BreatheAbility International and has developed the BreatheAbility for Health programs. She is a frequent speaker at international conferences on her topic of Breathing Health and presents workshops nationally and internationally for health professionals who wish to acquire skills in breathing retraining. Tess is a registered trainer in the Buteyko breathing technique for the Buteyko Institute of Breathing and Health (Australia) and the Buteyko Breathing Educators Association (North America).