Menstruation and PMT
There is a growing research base into the relationship between respiration and hormones. Progesterone is well known to act as a respiratory stimulant. Furthermore, during peri-menopause and menopause itself, fluctuating hormone levels cause varying degrees of unpleasant symptoms. Research supports breathing techniques to help, in particular with hot flushes. Many patients also comment that when they have learnt to breathe correctly they notice a reduction in their PMT symptoms.
Breathing retraining in conjunction with exercise and lifestyle changes can make a noticeable improvement in symptoms for many patients.
Stress or Urge Incontinence and Pelvic Pain
Poor breathing patterns are often seen in people who suffer from incontinence, and pelvic pain. We can assist with learning how to let go of tension and to restore normal breathing and pelvic floor biomechanics. Learning to breathe well is an important step in managing incontinence and pelvic pain, as the diaphragm plays a key role in core stability. All of the core muscles (the diaphragm, pelvic floor, transversus abdominis and lumbar multifidus), need to be working together for optimal function of the bladder and pelvic floor.
We strongly advocate working together with women's health physiotherapists who specialise in treating incontinence and pelvic pain.
Pregnancy & Childbirth
During pregnancy, breathing can be compromised due to the abdomen changing shape and the upwards pressure on the diaphragm. The level of progesterone (a respiratory stimulant) is raised, which may cause breathing-related symptoms, such as breathlessness in some women. Learning to breathe well will conserve energy and may help ease the symptoms of shortness of breath. It is also believed that good breathing may help to position the baby for birth.