Dr. Arianne Missimer is a good friend of and speaker for Fit EDU. Last year we successfully and collaboratively rolled out our Breathing and Postural Control Seminar which was created by Dr. Missimer. We recently sat down with Dr. Misser and decided to address FAQs related to breathing, posture, postural control and how a fitness professional should address these topics. Here’s what she had to say:
1. Why can’t you “fix” posture without addressing breathing?
Breathing and posture are interdependent. If you focus on correcting postural imbalances through stretching and strengthening and continue to have faulty breathing mechanics, increased tension in the neck and shoulders, poor rib cage and thoracic mobility may exist, and if the diaphragm is “stuck ” or facilitated, then the other deep stabilizers can not work efficiently to perform their role. Therefore, it will always be an uphill battle. You will continue to face postural issues, pain or injury when you don’t address a primary component. Without addressing breathing you will never fix the root of the issue for the majority of the population.
2. Why do people end up with dysfunctional breathing patterns?
Many kids at the average age of 7 start to lose their breathing pattern . They are sitting in school all day with typically poor posture and they often play sports with high specificity .compensation can start very early in life . Another huge factor is the amount of sitting Americans do which contributes to poor posture , breathing , and movement . Types of training , like in bodybuilding can often contribute to high threshold strategies and poor breathing . Another common reason is stress and anxiety which elicits the fight or flight response .
3. At what point do you recommend fitness professional assess and correct (when needed) breathing?
I think this should be done in the very first assessment or screening and then should be ongoing. Because it is a foundation movement, it it a journey that you are going on with the client. There are constantly progressions and variations to explore.
4. Can’t everyone just do crocodile breathing to fix their breathing patterns?
Although I like crocodile breathing patterns as one variation, unfortunately it is not the best position for everyone. If someone has pain with extension or lacks the proper mobility for example, this position would not be appropriate as it could cause a “fight or flight” response thereby negating the desired result. Although the client may get good feedback from the ground in this position, it is also a position where they can “cheat ” with a more apical pattern that can’t always be seen by the practitioner.
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The next Breathing and Postural Control Seminar will be held on 2-25-17 in West Chester, PA.