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  • Nikki Robinson 1:45 pm on May 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: asthma, breathing, fascia, , , , , , research, restrictions, shortness of breath, , wheezing   

    Breathe In 

    breathingWorld Asthma Day is an annual event organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma to improve awareness and care for sufferers. This year it is on Tuesday 2nd May so this week is an ideal opportunity to tell you that Myofascial Release Treatment could be of benefit if you are affected by asthma.

    Fascia is a tissue throughout the body in a three dimensional web from head to toe. It holds your cells in their place, including muscles, bones, nerves, organs and vessels. It guards against overextension and absorbs tensile and compressive forces. If our fascia is restricted these forces cannot be dispersed. Myofascial release aims to relieve soft tissue and fascial restriction to enable patients to achieve a more normal range of movement.

    What has this got to do with asthma?

    In 1999 a post-graduate student at Oklahoma State University carried out a study on “Physical Therapy Intervention in Childhood Asthma: Myofascial Release Techniques and Massage”, using the gentle, non-invasive John Barnes technique that we use at Holisticare, for her Master of Science Degree.

    Data was gathered from parents about the frequency of their children’s asthmatic episodes and their prescribed medication in the 2 years prior to MFR treatment and in the year post-treatment. A control group received ordinary massage. The Myofascial techniques used were temporal, mandibular, maxillary, hyoid, thoracic inlet and respiratory diaphragm releases.

    The control group did show some improvement after treatment but the Myofascial Release group showed marked improvement. In the year post-treatment 75% of the MFR group showed a reduction in asthmatic episodes and the remaining 25% stayed the same, and most subjects reported a reduction in required medication in either frequency of dose or number of different medications. Although it was quite a small study the results are positive.

    It is thought that by releasing the tightened fascial system the pressure on the lungs, autonomic nervous system, or the cranial nerves supplying the pulmonary system is reduced, thereby reducing the symptoms of asthma.

    While Myofascial Release is not a cure for asthma it may help you breathe more easily. Call us for an appointment on 01279 718331.


    Our Helping Hands Competition in aid of St Clare Hospice is up and running and is open to all age groups from pre-school upwards.
    We are now taking booking for teams (of up to 8 people) for our Quiz Night on Friday 30 June and raffle tickets are also now on sale.
    If you would like to enter the competition, book a team, buy raffle tickets or donate a raffle prize please get in touch on 01279 718331 or talk to any of the Holisticare Team who will be happy to help.

  • Nikki Robinson 6:33 pm on April 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: breathing, diaphragm, , ,   

    Are you breathing properly? 

    How are you breathing?

    Strange as it sounds, there is a right and wrong way of breathing. Many people breathe in the wrong way for whole lives, and don’t get any major problems. But if you already have an underlying condition or are in pain a lot of the time, the way that you breathe can have a big effect on the rest of your body.

    What happens when you don’t breathe properly?

    If you are not breathing in as much oxygen as you need, and not breathing out enough carbon dioxide, your brain will make you breathe faster until the levels are back to where they should be.

    This can happen when you are exercising, too cold, stressed or in pain. But if you aren’t breathing in the right way, it will occur more often. This can lead to you feeling very tired and achy in your upper back and across your shoulders. It also makes pain, tension or anxiety worse and harder to cope with.

    So how do you breathe properly?

    The diaphragm is the main muscle that should be working when you breathe in – when you are using it properly, your belly will be pushed out and your shoulders will stay relaxed.

    Breathing out shouldn’t take any effort at all – give yourself time to empty your lungs, so that they are not full of stale air when you try to take the next breath in. One of the problems when people hyperventilate is that they are trying so hard to take the next breathe, they don’t allow themselves to breathe out first.

    Please watch this video on how to breathe properly and try it out for yourself. You won’t get it right all the time, as it takes practice to form the right habits and to retrain your muscles so you don’t have to think about what you are doing. Just give yourself a few minutes every day to focus on it, and your breathing will improve.

    How to help yourself

    As soon as you feel that you are breathing faster or using your shoulders more than your diaphragm for breathing in, focus on your breathing until it settles down again.

    If you are in pain whenever you move, the natural response is to tense up and hold your breath. This makes the pain worse, and you probably end up feeling very tense and stressed.

    Please watch this video on how to move when you are in pain – it will make a difference straight away.

    For more information on how Myofascial Release can help you to listen to your body, visit our website or call us on 01279 718331.

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