Treatment for Hyperventilation syndrome or breathing pattern disorders

Hyperventilation is over-breathing, i.e. breathing more than is necessary to meet the body's requirements.

When we over-breathe we eliminate large quantities of carbon dioxide on every outbreath. This causes a chemical imbalance affecting many of the body’s systems.

The results can be very unpleasant and sometimes frightening, causing us to become anxious. This can further upset our breathing pattern and a vicious circle develops.

Over-breathing is a perfectly normal reaction to any stressful situation. Generally, when this event has passed, breathing will return to a normal rate.

Sometimes, as a result of prolonged stress or a physical trigger, a continual pattern of over-breathing can occur, whereby the breathing pattern does not return to a normal level.

Watch: Butekyo Breathing

Butekyo Breathing aims to reduce symptoms, including shortness of breath, coughing and asthma attacks.

Julie Moore, a physiotherapist at The London Clinic, explains more in this video.

Read more about Butekyo Breathing

Assessment and Treatment

Initially, the physiotherapist will want to assess you to establish if Hyperventilation Syndrome is your problem before starting your treatment programme.

This will probably include questions about:

  • Your symptoms and how they started
  • Any triggers you may have
  • How your symptoms affect you
  • Underlying breathing problems such as asthma
  • Any other health conditions
  • Your lifestyle
  • Observing your breathing and looking for abnormalities.

If a hyperventilation problem or breathing pattern disorder is diagnosed, treatment is likely to include:

  • Self-awareness of your breathing pattern
  • Giving advice on how to breathe when at rest and exercising
  • Teaching breathing exercises for you to practice
  • Relaxation techniques if stress is a large factor in disrupting your breathing
  • Manual techniques to enable correct movement of the rib cage.

After your session

After your initial assessment and treatment session it is hoped that you will follow the advice given and you will probably be invited to return for a follow-up session.

A few further appointments may be required depending on your response to treatment. Most ptients will make a full recovery.

You may also be referred for acupuncture or osteopathy to complement your treatment programme