Friday, September 7, 2018

More on Breathing

Breathing is an important tool that SLPs can employ in a variety of client populations. For our students with self-regulation difficulties, having tools they can use anywhere without disruption of the current situation they are in can be very important (see Zones). For us, too-- our jobs can be stressful, whether it is a difficult treatment situation, a contentious IEP meeting, or just going back to work after the summer (I AM STILL NOT REALLY READY)...we need tools.

I've always found any kind of mindful breathing to be useful, but this summer I stumbled upon a link from VICE News that led to some interesting science. One study sited here documents the effects of "coherent breathing" at a rate that balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, leading to increased calm for people with varied conditions: "In subjects with MDD (major depressive disorder) treated with resonant breathing (coherent breathing with pursed lips resistive exhalation) at 4.5–6.5 breaths per minute (bpm), HRV (heart rate variability) increased and mood improved." Part of the technique is that one should avoid counting, say to 6, as that engages the sympathetic side too much.

I was easily able to find an app that therefore provided other cues so that breaths could be timed to correspond with the BPM guideline: The Breathing App (free for iOS). I have used this as a warm up for groups and also frequently for myself. The app provides different modes: in one, a ball enlarges as a visual for inhalation timing, and decreases in size for exhalation. I have found especially useful another mode which uses audio tones of different notes to time the same--great to use in the car when feeling just a tad anxious on the way to some work task. Check it out and try the technique!

1 comment:


  1. Good information share I need it i am looking for it thanks Buddy Sms Poetry

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