Most teachers, and some parents, will have witnessed a child under-performing at school when there seems to be no obvious reason why. Radical as it may sound, it could be a consequence, entirely or partially, of poor breathing patterns.
Many aspects of modern life are at odds with our physiology which hasn't had time to adapt to
The food we eat
The pace and stress of modern life
Add to this list anatomical challenges, some of which may have been initiated by compromised breathing, illness and even unhelpful role models and there are plenty of reasons why a young person may be breathing dysfunctionally.
The consequences of dysfunctional breathing for a child, or indeed anyone, are various. It can affect sleep quality, it can cause anxiety and an agitated mind, and it can reduce an individual's ability to focus and concentrate.
It is possible, and arguably essential, to retrain disordered breathing patterns. If a child's health, education and / ability to fully engage with life is challenged by sub-optimal breathing, then can there be any justification for failing to act once we know something can be done?
Our answer to that question is 'no', and this is why we are determined to make this information as widely available as possible. We know that teaching staff are particularly well-placed to consistently encourage and reinforce new patterns of behaviour in their pupils and students, so presenting to teachers is the starting point for this pilot project:
Phase One of the project will be to present the concepts of functional breathing and its relevance to health and performance to school staff. Staff will also be shown a simple screening test for measuring breathing efficiency and will be introduced to a range of exercises, with the intention being that these can be incorporated regularly into their day. This will enable participants to experience the benefits for themselves.
Phase Two will be to get feedback, and if this is positive, to explore how best to incorporate breathing re-education into the school environment as a regular activity and the opportunity for this to become part of the school's offering as a means of increasing resilience and improving performance. A discussion of how to get parents or guardians involved is also recommended as well as funding for the project.
We invite interested schools to take up our offer of a no-obligation free presentation for staff at a mutually convenient time. Any potential follow-on will be arranged on a school-by-school basis but could involve programs for small groups or individuals.
There is more information about our motivation for approaching schools in a blog post written by Annette, a former teacher herself. Information about our standard breathing re-education programs can be found here. You can contact us directly via the button at the top of this page or by clicking here.