Breathing therapy has an ancient tradition. In China, breathing therapy was used as a technique to treat illnesses long before acupuncture. Advice for breathing therapies was found inside pyramids and in the Old Testament.
In our health system, breathing therapy is offered with two different emphases. Physiotherapists mainly focus on treating illnesses around breathing therapy. Most physical breathing therapy is carried out in hospitals and physiotherapist practices. The idea is to strengthen lung function and to train the muscles. This is particularly important for patients with asthma, chronic bronchitis and cystic fibrosis.
Another approach considers breathing therapy as a process in which the patient becomes more aware of their breathing habits. Here the focus is on the breath for prevention and rehabilitation purposes. It is usually a long-term process and should become part of the patient’s personal development. This form of breathing therapy belongs to the alternative healing methods. Supporters believe that breathing is the most intense process in the body on every level.
Specific breathing exercises also heighten sensitivity. Breathing movements are experienced consciously and deeper muscles are trained to relax. In general the therapist aims to strengthen self-reliance and to help the patient deal better with stress. The therapist can also help with any psychological difficulties that may arise during the session.
Related topics: The parasympathetic nervous system , Autogenic training