As the year-end approaches, we can all put in more effort into better breathing practices and perhaps wind down for the year~
Do you or your baby breathe better? Do you find yourself sucking your tummy in?
What is learned behaviour vs natural when it comes to breathing? How does stress affect your breathing?
Find out the tips and methods on down-regulation and how we can help our patients on this episode~
@thatcrossfitdad now @gareth_aus listen to this episode; as we answer one of your questions!
Yep, yeah, again, of course in the situation I am saying a normal healthy child. Because as I said, it will change. Of course if the child was born with some difficulty breathing in any way, shape or form, whether it’s a lung issue, whether it’s an asthmatic allergic issue, whether it’s a nasal sinus issue, of course, all of these will change. But we’re talking about for the normal healthy child. It is very visible so you can see it all the way from newborn to toddler years, you’ll definitely see it. I myself always used to think initially, my first few years of practice, I saw, I always thought it would start changing when the children became sort of on the tween ages. So before, yeah, before they hit more or less high school, it was more like that.
I know I mentioned the self-conscious imaging thing with regards to where a lot of the altered breathing patterns change in the same with the seating in the sustain posture. So, when it comes to sitting, I mentioned the scores for the kids. But clearly, this also continues on into adult life, especially if you’ve got a desk job
Yep. Or you can go the other way around because you can they feed each other in both senses because stress can alter breathing patterns. But then breathing can alter stress patterns as well. Yes, you can use one you can either go in the sense that one poor breathing ends up causing further stress or stress ends up causing poor breathing. Yeah, but you also have the ability to correct your breathing to start decreasing your stress levels, which is a lot which is very commonly used as a breathing technique so commonly used for people with anxiety, people with panic attacks, and stuff like that. Breath is a very key feature.
Dr Jacqueline Swiatlowski is a qualified chiropractor with over 6 years of experience. She has worked in a range of different environments including roles within the allied health industry, professional sporting clubs as well as in her own private practice. With a Master of Clinical Chiropractic from RMIT University as well as a number of additional qualifications, including Active Release Technique (ART), Animal Flow and a Certificate III & IV in Fitness from the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers, Jacqueline is an expert in movement restoration and chiropractic care. In the past she has worked alongside local athletes, including players from the Western Eagles Soccer Club, Melbourne City Soccer Club and the Coburg Lions Football Club. In her role at Jurmaine Health, Jacqueline’s main focus is treating patients and looking after their health.
Jacqueline is also a TRE provider now and can offer TRE treatments to patients.
Episode 049 : How does stress affect your breathing
Podcast brought to you by Jurmaine Health
This is Jurmaine Health, the center to help you achieve wellness in both your brain and body. We endeavor to encourage cross communication between health professionals for your health and well being. We will bring you topics on functional neurological health such as neuro psychology, neuro behavior, neuromusculoskeletal, neurogastro, the embodied project, metabolism and microbiome, which are also some of the services that we provide. So guys, today's episode, we're looking at something that's pretty important to all of us, and something that I'd like to think we do on a daily basis. And when I say that I am talking about breathing. So hence the reason I said I'd like to think we do this on a daily basis. I have our beloved physio Cera with us today. So say hello, Cera.
So as I was saying, I'd like to think we do this on a daily basis. And clearly we all do. Because if you're listening to these podcasts, we are still alive. That's pretty much it. So it also means that you are breathing. The thing with most of us is we tend to not breathe properly. Hmm. It tends to be not a born thing because most of us unless we have a physical condition, a physical issue, that has breathing problems to begin with, yeah, that we're born with it, so can get that to leak in this case. Most of us actually have the correct breathing patterns. But as we get older, our breathing patterns change and what ends up happening is what we call paroxysmal breathing. So where we end up breathing incorrectly, so usually it ends up us breathing up through the chest up very shallow shoulders, chest, high chest, though should say, rather than testing in general, as opposed to using our diaphragms for breathing. So to give you an idea of what I mean by the correct breathing and how it's a learned versus in born trait is if you have any little babies or toddlers and stuff. If you've seen them at any point in time, you will notice that their tummies are relatively round. They're not fat. That's pretty much it. It's not fat. It's not baby fat. It's not any of that sort. If we're talking about the roundness of the tummy, you'll always see it going up and down. That is actually them breathing correctly. So that's them using their full diaphragm, getting in as much air as they can using their full lung capacity.
Using a diaphragm to create negative pressure to fill up their lungs.
Yep, yeah, again, of course in the situation I am saying a normal healthy child. Because as I said, it will change. Of course if the child was born with some difficulty breathing in any way, shape or form, whether it's a lung issue, whether it's an asthmatic allergic issue, whether it's a nasal sinus issue, of course, all of these will change. But we're talking about for the normal healthy child. It is very visible so you can see it all the way from newborn to toddler years, you'll definitely see it. I myself always used to think initially, my first few years of practice, I saw, I always thought it would start changing when the children became sort of on the tween ages. So before, yeah, before they hit more or less high school, it was more like that. A 10-12 age group plus that I always thought was more much more visible. And that's usually when I thought that it was much more prominent where it started occurring. But as Cera just said, more so about the image issue, or occasionally if you're from some specific cultures, and I'm definitely from one of them, where your parents tell you or your grandparents to tell you to suck your stomach in. So that you will look slim that one that will also predispose it. And this is also where it's exactly, it's a learned behavior, all of it is learned, as opposed to sudden change. But I have started noticing it, that it's much more prevalent in the younger years these days than what it used to be. So as I said, I used to say it a lot more on, when I was first practicing and stuff like that. But these days, you start seeing it a lot more frequently in the younger years. So we have also had a discussion about this and there is an element of posture to it as well. So when the kids go from being pretty much in fairly active, whether it's an instill at home preschool sort of thing, to then being at from prep onwards being at a desk a lot of the time, they're in a fairly seated posture in a fairly lockdown posture. So there's not much capacity to expand, unless you've got a child that continuously keep getting up, which again, in even in schooling, that wouldn't be plausible because that would be a disruptive child and the child would still get told to sit down. So you do we have started seeing it much more frequently in the younger years.
I've also learned a fun fact that we haven't got there yet. I was gonna mention about nose versus mouth breathing. It's harder to take a deeper breath I find using your mouth.
You reckon? I just went really high pitch there. Sorry, God. Yeah,
We're just testing it now.
I reckon I'm pretty much all equal on both doesn't help asking someone that's had lung surgery. Yeah.
and then see which one works for you?
Well, in either case, if that's you, breathing through the mouth is a learnt behavior as well.
Yeah, that's what I just read. So unless you grew up as a kid constantly having a cold or runny nose or allergies,
Or have sinus issues, or septum deviation or anything of the sort. Yep.
So from young because of all those blockages you converted to be mouth breathing, and that's your default. Yeah, otherwise, most kids will breathe through their nose naturally,
just, it's interesting. It's also good. And they breathe all the way down until their diaphragm.
I know I mentioned the self-conscious imaging thing with regards to where a lot of the altered breathing patterns change in the same with the seating in the sustain posture. So, when it comes to sitting, I mentioned the scores for the kids. But clearly, this also continues on into adult life, especially if you've got a desk job
or really tight pants.
Okay, that would be I'd like to think that would be more for the body image in that case,
rather than together�
That's a killer tight pants and sitting down.
Don't do that guys. I can find a whole bunch of I can list a few other complaints that you may have. If you've got difficulty breathing, and wearing tight pants and then trying to sit down. It's not just going to be the breathing patterns that are going to be the problem for you. But the other issue that we seem to see a lot more of again with regards to the incorrect breathing patterns is the way that it's taught a lot of the time whether it's in pilates or yoga, not trying to take a dig at any instructors or anything of the sort, as I know, Cera is also very big on I think yoga, pilates. Oh my bad. I knew it was one of them 50-50 split, which one I was gonna get, right. So I'm not taking a dig at any of these because as I said, it's not that necessarily that's being, it's just not being delivered correctly some of the time because either this person's not understanding it correctly. Or it's just not being explained properly, but a lot of the time trying to tell someone bring your navel to the spine, or when you're talking about muscle engagement. In this case, a lot of people instead of doing through muscle engagement, they tend to suck their stomach in as a result. That's how they understand it. It's a difficult concept to try and grasp of the navel to spine in a muscular sense. It's a fine movement, and it's a difficult one to grasp for a lot of people. So a lot of people, to try and get around or as their understanding of it is invited to action that is a suction yet. So that's where a lot of the problems also stem from where they've been given the instruction so they think they're doing it correctly. But what they're actually doing is pretty much holding the bottom of their stomach in, which means that they're also not going to end up getting much diaphragm expansion because they're not breathing down once they're breathing pretty much up into their shoulders. And then of course, what happens when you breathe all the way up into your shoulders, predominantly tension. Yep, everywhere up in the shoulders, so a lot of tension through the neck, tight shoulders, inability, as we've discussed in previous podcasts, whether it's being CrossFit, weightlifting, where you're trying to go overhead, you don't have the lead, you don't have the extension upwards, because you're limited through that anterior chain because your breathing is locked down. So that will be one thing. So you either end up compensating by trying to arch through your low back. So low back pain ends up flaring up. And I don't know why I'm repeating. You should be listening to those other podcasts. But I'll reiterate just quickly, or you end up destabilizing your shoulders making it unstable because you're literally trying to fling in through the joint itself. Because that expansion through the front is not happening because it's locked down. Tightness through the neck is the other big thing because instead of your say, your scalenes your upper traps, being assistant muscles when it comes to breathing, they end up more or less being the primary movers and your diaphragm, believe it or not, ends up being an accessory muscle, so the helper muscle rather than the primary muscle. So the whole pattern gets rejigged. So again, leading to tightness up through the shoulders, headaches a lot of the times, especially when you're constantly tired, we've got constantly tense traps because traps also have a tendency to have referral patterns all the way up into the head. Yeah, so headaches are often very common through there as well. And then as well, you can have nerve tension all the way down into the fingers and you may actually end up thinking you've got carpal tunnel syndrome because the scalenes end up pressing up onto the brachial plexus cords and stuff. Now, the nerve supply down into your hands. So it starts mimicking carpal tunnel symptoms. So you might have tingling into the hands, you might have tingling into the fingers and stuff.
Unable to weight bear.
Yep. For all of these can be stemming from poor breathing patterns.
Cera is looking at me,
You want to mention about breathing or up to breathing now, what did you want to mention? Oh, you know, you do find a fun fact. They did say
Yeah I did say my fun fact and I thought we're down to stress now.
Yeah, we are down to it. I started that part anyway. So we're continuing now down to the effects of stress on breathing or breathing on stress. A bit of both because they go hand in hand
They feed each other. Yeah.
Yep. Or you can go the other way around because you can they feed each other in both senses because stress can alter breathing patterns. But then breathing can alter stress patterns as well. Yes, you can use one you can either go in the sense that one poor breathing ends up causing further stress or stress ends up causing poor breathing. Yeah, but you also have the ability to correct your breathing to start decreasing your stress levels, which is a lot which is very commonly used as a breathing technique so commonly used for people with anxiety, people with panic attacks, and stuff like that. Breath is a very key feature. In the sense of hyperventilation. So that one is sometimes used. And Wim Hof is one of the methods that uses hyperventilation as a part of their breathing techniques. And that one also helps build endurance. But then you've got the calming ones of the timed breathing, to try and relax the breathing and taken do the complete opposite effect of bringing it down to a much slower pace. And that's where we use a fair bit of our box breathing, whether it's the four by fours or the six by sixes. We can invest plenty of other breathing methods, of course, more but at this point in time, I think they're the ones that we most commonly use with our patients here in the clinic
And the modern ones that are quite noticeable on the internet and being used by people.
I just wanted to make a comment on stress. It's not just breathing itself alone. When you're stressed. You know your heart rate increases your blood pressure increases. So it's like this three big components
Inflammation in your body. Yes. That's why you may sometimes see us when you come in with say, who has just say hip issue for that matter. And we say that you're looking like you're completely stressed out. And there's a lot of anxiety or there's a lot of stress in this. There's a lot of tension everywhere else in the body, or there's a lot of tightness elsewhere because you're holding on to you stress. You look visibly high-strung. Yeah, we may completely change the session and go we need to down regulate your nervous system, we need to start getting you into a more relaxed state before we go anywhere near the hip because you'll be truly feeding your inflammation through there. So no matter what we're going to do on the hip. If the general inflammation through the body isn't decreased in any way, shape, or form to begin with, that's gonna keep feeding it we can work on the hip as much as we like. But it's not gonna resolve. And it's just gonna keep pretty much staying relatively similar to what you came in with.
You feel better. But you keep coming back.
Yeah. If we don't address the whole inflammatory cycle first, for the lot of the times, so you may see any of us pretty much alter your sessions based on whether this how much inflammation we're seeing how aggravated your nervous system appears to us versus your original complaint, if that makes sense.
So I guess how we go about with dealing with a stressed out patient like you said, we calm them down and basically find ways to allow their bodies to rest. And that would be our primary objective
to the rest and potentially give them tools to help them along with their regulating the nervous system so trying to calm their nervous system down. So we've mentioned this plenty of times in multiple episodes where we've got patients of ours that
their stress reliever is a physical activity
so if they say this stressful life is that with when they've got stressors at work and so they hit the gym to try and burn their stresses off when an injury presents itself when they say they've got a shoulder injury that also renders on a lot of the time out. So from the gym, they're not able to do the activities that they want. So not only now do they have an injury, they've also got this main stress reliever taken out. So they pretty much feeding their stress cycle now to pretty much so this is where we've I've mentioned that time and time again, I very much try to encourage my patients to have more than one stress reliever. And ideally, I tried to encourage them not to have a physical activity as their main stress reliever as their main. Well, I've had patients that have actually bought coloring books for that as part of their training for that very reason, because I've gone, I can be working on these on a weekly basis. And unless we've got something else that's helping this along, we're going to be keep coming back here on a weekly basis, or your body's going to crash, you're going to end up very, very sick very, very soon, because your body just can't handle it anymore. So we've had that a few times before as well. So recently, the other thing that we've been doing is TRE so trauma release exercises. So I've had a few patients that I've had to take the sessions back down to trauma release exercises rather than going alright, we need to start with anything physical, whether it's ART, whether it's bio currents, whether it's dry needling, whether it's manually adjusting it, whether it's anything of the sort, it's not, your body's not going to be able to tolerate this, we need to take it down, start the body in the get a bit more relaxed, a little bit less of the hyper vigilant state. And then we can start potentially introducing physical treatments, once the body is able to accept them because you have moments where that you introduce anything physical for the person, their body goes into an automatic, maybe shocked maybe not the right word, but it goes into, I'd say, more distress. It goes into a much more distressed state. And then you'll see like we're just talking about you may see the hyperventilation you may see the increased heart rates, you'll see the panic kick in. They'll start presenting with
more or less panic, panic attack symptoms, which is clearly not what you want because you're not going to be getting any results from that. Again, you're just going to be feeding the inflammatory cycle. So we do our best to try and take the stressors down before we can continue any other treatments with regards to that. And of course breathing is also a heavy feature when it comes to TRE trauma release exercises.
Oxygen feeds life full stop.
This is clearly true. This is why we're all still listening to the podcast guys.
So we've mentioned quite a few avid or techniques or tools that we use or we teach our patients to help with down regulation and calming their body and their nervous system down.
preventing them from burning out in other words.
Yeah, preventing your body from crashing and we do run workshops called the Embodied Recovery. So we're happy to visit gyms, offices, whatnot, feel free to reach out to us through our social media channels.
We recently went as far as Warrnambool. So
Yeah, we're dedicated if even if you're about 300 ks out or 250 ks out, we're clearly still willing to go there, guys, because we truly think it's very important and that it's something that everyone can do for themselves at home. So we just wanted to spread the message
Unduly, we want everyone to be able to leave a relatively burnt out phrase life. I can't say probably stress free because there's always going to be stressors in everyone's life, but you want to be able to control probably is not the right word, but you want to be able to have a coping mechanism for your stressors. To try and keep yourself as lessened from a burnout state, so you don't want yourself pretty much running in a fight or flight situation nonstop. You don't want to be walking around hyper vigilant the whole time. You want to be a respond accordingly. If a stressful situation presents itself, but you don't want to react over zealously because your body's too wound up from a previous situation that it hasn't entirely dealt with yet. So we want to try and help everyone decrease the stressors as much as we can without them having to pump 12 hours of iron at the gym. I'm predisposed to� or medicate Okay, in this case, medication can also be alcohol so
I'm shooting daggers at some someone that's not myself. Okay.
I don't self medicate with alcohol.
For anxiety issues. I celebrate with alcohol there's a difference.
I also do plenty of TRE guys. So the trauma release exercises, both for myself and everyone else. So Cera can just be teasing but it's a social thing rather than anything else.
Yeah, I am teasing. I am teasing just so Jackie has no problem
mentioning TRE, let's all congratulate Jackie on completing her certification. I think it's been a long year or two a long year. So it's quite an extensive course that it demands a lot of self reflection and all that from Jackie so when you see her next when you do see her giving out high five or send us a emoji or something on Instagram,
okay, just congratulate me guys.
Yes, anything else you'd like to share? Or we are good?
We didn�t particular address, burnt out maybe that could be a standalone or� , burnt out, I guess is the last stage where we mentioned that your body absolutely cannot cope. For most people. I think you would have heard around town things like adrenal fatigue, immuno,
or you end up pretty much in a relatively immune compromised stage.
Yeah, so that's when your body's just not able. The easiest tell is your body's not able to heal itself, you might find yourself constantly injured, and then that feeds into the whole stress cycle all over again.
If you may accidentally induce these chemically, so
Yeah, so look after yourself people. It takes a lot more time to dig yourself out of the hole that you've dug for yourself than to you know constantly make sure your pavement is nice and smooth. Just little things go a long way. Don't wait till the absolute last minute.
You don't want to be at the burnt out phase because unfortunately with the burnt out phase, not trying to be the most morbid as I can be, but when your adrenals crash out and adrenal fatigue adrenal insufficiency, unfortunately yes, it can be deadly. You can end up in a coma and it can cause death. So if we go to the extreme, Yes, I said we're going to the extreme end of course, but my point and the very reason I said it is I'm trying to emphasize the point of catching, if you start feeling yourself burning out, you don't want to get yourself anyway near that point your adrenals can recover but you ideally don't want them to be getting to that point where they either need to be chemically helped out or you had an issue or when you end up having to have to pretty much in the on corticosteroids could be for the rest of your life to try and balance out that inactivity of your adrenals.
Yeah. What about some red flags?
So I guess physiological tests, we might have high blood pressure.
High blood. Yeah, high blood pressure. Yes. But that one's also independent. Yes.
Yeah, you've got a few different things that you've got to be we can be looking at
Yep, waking up. feeling completely tired still. So not getting rest, not getting any rest during the night despite the fact that you've pretty much slept the whole night. So waking up exhausted. You've got, like I said, that hyper vigilant state where you're continuously on the run, and you are continuously ready to act in any way shape or form to respond to something
so reacting, short temper. And then you can swing to the other side where you are just low mood.
Yep, yep. As Cera said before poor healing so you have a cut that's not healing continuously that again, it's another sign it can be another sign
what can we have? What else have we got
just a random inflammatory response? Yes,
You're fit fairly. You can have fair amount of inflammation through the body. That would be another thing that can present itself.
Well, the main ones, I think without having to go for a blood test and check your cortisols and markers. Yeah,
yeah. That would be my �
If you have any questions, seek medical professional medical help, of course.
Anything else you'd like to cover?
I think we've covered most of the things that we wanted to talk about.
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Hello, everyone. This is Cera recording a special episode. I'm just answering a question from our fellow listeners. So we want to give Garreth a shout out aka @crossfitdad for this question and Gareth asks, What is glute amnesia? So, glute amnesia is also known as dead butt syndrome. It primarily affects the muscles, the gluteus muscle, specifically the glute medius muscle. What happens is the muscle becomes inflamed and then therefore impacts its ability to function properly. Normally we see it in desk jockeys who sit majority of the day with little movement throughout the day. And then it only becomes an issue when after work, they want to go to a gym, do some running or �, a strenuous workout, etc. So, how does dead butt syndrome work or how does it come about? So basically, it's got to do with reciprocal inhibition. Basically, when one muscle is actively working the opposing muscle is at rest. One very easy example I can give you is everyone that's listening. If you just straighten your arm, keep it locked out, keep your elbow locked out, your tricep is actively working to lock your elbow out. If you have a feel of your biceps, it's nice and soft. So it's at rest. So the tricep is the muscle that's actively working, the bicep is the muscle at rest. That is basically reciprocal inhibition. What happens when this happens for a long time, we're basically training our glutes to be weak and this is specific to dead butt syndrome. When the hip flexors are always short and active. We're training our glutes the opposing muscles to be weak. However, this same type of muscle imbalance can also happen in highly active people who have very strong quads or hamstrings, people who fit into this group are your runners, their hamstring group, and quads, cyclists as well because they need to get hamstrings pull up the pedals if they're clipped in. Yeah, and you get my drift. So dead butt syndrome does not only apply to desk jockeys it also applies to people with muscle imbalances that can be easily addressed if accessory works are applied or they work specifically outside of their primary sport to strengthen the muscles that they need to. So symptoms that you commonly see with dead butt syndrome is the anterior pelvic tilt. So visually, it looks like a person with increased arch in your lower back or their tummy is hanging out.
So if a person holds their pelvis in a anterior position for a long time. It puts stress and fatigue down into the hamstrings because if you draw aligned muscles around the pelvis when the pelvis is tilted forward, their hamstrings are put on stretch. And this might lead to a sciatic like presentation, with pain down the leg to the knee. If left untreated, it can also predispose to knee issues such as ACL ruptures. Vice versa, it can also affect structures up the chain, much like structures in the back foot under increased stress from being held in that hyper arch position. So that's just a quick explanation of glute amnesia. I hope that suffice Gareth. Otherwise, if not, please let us know. So that's it for me everyone. Leave a comment feedback. Greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your time. Cheers.
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