One in 10 people have hyperventilation syndrome, and many more people have breathing dysfunction. A breathing pattern disorder is an altered rhythm, rate or pace of breathing that has existed for a period of time causing you to breathe beyond what your body requires. You may breathe too fast, too often, through your mouth, use your back-up breathing muscles when you are stressed (scalene and pectorals), or a combination of all of the above.
Often, breathing pattern disorders go undiagnosed. Up to 30% of emergency admissions are diagnosed with a primary diagnosis of breathing dysfunction or hyperventilation syndrome. Breathing pattern disorders have multiple triggers or causes, and it is important to figure out what your triggers are. Even a major illness like cancer can cause a secondary stress reaction that alters breathing resulting in poor sleep, fatigue or nausea (on top of other symptoms). As part of The Big Exhale
breathing course, we help identify what your triggers may be. Discovering calm breathing and learning to reduce tension on the body are vital steps in reducing the impact of breathing pattern disorder.