Wellness dictionary

Little ABC for your spa-break questions ...

In their treatment discriptions, wellness hotels often use technical terms, which are hard to understand for potential guests. We have therefore collected and defined the most relevant terms in our small wellness ABC. A tip: Our wellness dictionary also supports word requests. You don't need to know the exact wording.

Breathing therapy

Why breathing therapy makes sense

Breathing is something taken for granted - and at the same time vital for survival. Today, however, many people have the wrong breathing technique. For example, many people breathe shallowly into their chest instead of breathing deeply into their stomach.

Breathing therapy is about becoming aware of the process of breathing and thus making breathing easier in the long term. It is not only about the depth of breathing, but also about other aspects. The breath influences all functions of the body. Breathing is never constant. It varies - depending on whether a person is asleep or awake, whether he or she is cold or sweating, or whether he or she is in pain or under stress.

Breathing therapy - what is it?

Breath work is offered in our health system with two different focuses: Breathing therapy and respiratory therapy. On the one hand, physiotherapists provide treatment in the field of respiratory therapy. They mainly deal with the therapy of diseases. This respiratory therapy is carried out in hospitals and the practices of physiotherapists. The aim here is to strengthen lung function and train the auxiliary muscles. This applies, for example, to patients with asthma, chronic bronchitis or cystic fibrosis.

On the other hand, there are different approaches to breathing work that see breathing work as a process of becoming aware of one's own breathing patterns. Here the focus of breathing work is on prevention and rehabilitation. The work is usually long-term and is intended to accompany the patient in his or her personal development. This form of breathing therapy belongs to the alternative healing methods. The users assume that of all human bodily functions, the breath is most intensively linked to all other levels of the human being.

How does a breath therapy work?

In breath work, the sensitivity is trained through certain exercises. The own breathing movement is consciously perceived and the relaxation of the deeper lying muscles is trained. Basically, the breathing therapist wants to strengthen the patient's personal responsibility and help them to learn to deal with stressful situations better. The mental processes that can be triggered by the breathing work are also accompanied by the breathing therapist.

Breath training, in which the lung capacity is to be improved, is also part of the breath therapy. Here the focus is on strengthening the chest muscles and techniques for abdominal breathing.

The consequences of incorrect breathing

If incorrect breathing takes place over a longer period of time, this can have some consequences. Examples of these are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Weakening of the immune system
  • Heart Diseases
  • Deterioration in the ability to concentrate

Who carries out breathing therapy?

Breath therapy is considered a sub-area of physiotherapy, which is why physiotherapists trained as respiratory therapists mainly carry out this form of treatment. As a recognised remedy, it is part of the services provided by private and statutory health insurance companies.

Breath therapy - how long does an exercise last?

If respiratory therapy is prescribed by a doctor, it usually consists of six units of about twenty minutes each. Ideally, the patients continue to practice at home.

When is respiratory therapy useful?

Respiratory therapies are suitable as an accompanying measure for various diseases and complaints. After an individual assessment, a decision is made as to which therapy is most effective for the individual person. Typical disease symptoms for which respiratory therapy is used are

  • General complaints when breathing
  • Tensions
  • Disorders of the circulatory system
  • Back and joint pain
  • Voice and speech disorders
  • Fears and nervousness
  • Moods
  • Sleep problems
  • Headaches

Forms and methods of breath therapy

Whether from a health perspective or to improve performance: today there are numerous variations and methods of respiratory therapy, all of which aim to improve well-being.

Tinnitus respiratory therapy according to Maria Holl

Breathing therapy according to Maria Holl is a method recognised by the health insurance companies. About 80 percent of all patients achieve an improvement after a six-month treatment. Apart from the respiratory therapy itself, they only have to change little in their lives. Often it is the affected persons who overburden themselves. A combination of gymnastics, light massages and breathing exercises ensures relaxing moments even in everyday life. In most cases, it is sufficient to plan a quarter of an hour every day for exercise. The reason for this is that the cause of tinnitus is not to be found in the physical, but in the psychological area. With the help of Maria Holl's breathing therapy, it is possible to reduce the noise in the ears, dizziness and general sensitivity to noise.

Reflective breathing therapy according to Schmitt and Brüne

Reflective breathing therapy has its origins in the first half of the 20th century. Dr. Johann Ludwig Schmitt recognised the effect of the breath on the whole body and its connection to the physical and mental condition. After his death in 1963 Liselotte Brüne, a close colleague, continued his work. It was she who finally established a physiotherapeutic concept for Reflective Breath Therapy in the 1970s. Reflective Breathing Therapy is used for various complaints such as disorders of the respiratory system, in pain therapy and in neurological diseases.

Breathing therapy according to Middendorf: The experiential breath

Originally this form of respiratory therapy for singers and actors was developed by Ilse Middendorf in the 1960s. The basis of the therapy is the understanding that the breath connects the different body functions and influences the harmony of body, mind and soul. For this purpose, Middendorf's respiratory therapy distinguishes between three different ways of breathing: unconscious, intentional and experiential. The former is the natural breathing that begins after birth and ends with death. Willful breathing stands for the control of breathing by the mind. The illumination of unconscious breathing and its coming and going characterise the term Experiential Breathing. Here, breathing is perceived but not influenced. In this way, participants get to know their entire body better and even areas that are actually only perceived unconsciously can now be felt.

Aims of the breathing therapy

The different forms of respiratory therapy are used for different purposes. These include, among others:

  • The reduction of breathing inhibitions
  • Avoidance of incorrect breathing
  • Strengthening of the respiratory musculature
  • A general increase in performance through improved breathing

History of respiratory therapy

Respiratory therapy has a long tradition. In China, the art of treating illnesses with respiratory therapy was known even before acupuncture, and respiratory therapy advice has been handed down in the pyramids and the Old Testament.

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