“I never understood the relationship between my breathing and athletic performance until I started using the BreatherFit. After including RMT in my daily warm-up, I have noticed significant improvements in my power, endurance, sleep and recovery after only a few weeks. The device is so simple and quick to use that it should be a no-brainer for all individuals who take their training seriously.”
1) Do you personally use The Breather? If yes, tell us about your experience and the changes and improvements that you’ve noticed.
“I do not personally use The Breather, however through my work as a Speech-Language Pathologist and involvement with The Breather in my private practice, I have provided education, training, and a device to my husband, who is using it near-daily to reduce chronic back pain. With his history of back pain, he has become accustomed to breathing shallowly to avoid straining muscles in his back. This reduced movement, while initially easing his pain, leads to further reduced movement and decreased respiratory capacity. He is fairly new to The Breather, but has already stated he is noting improvements. By using The Breather, he is observing an increased ease in breathing deeply, with no increase in pain levels, which is positively impacting his energy. We hope continued use brings a reduction in his level of back pain.”
2) Think of a patient whose life was transformed through treatment and use of The Breather. Please tell us their story.
“I use The Breather with many patients in my private practice, which specializes in Parkinson’s Disease. My primary uses are to address respiratory deficiencies that negatively impact voice and speech production, improve musculature used for voicing, and improve musculature used in swallowing and airway protection. I frequently hear statements of positive impact as a result of using The Breather.In one case, a gentleman came for treatment of Parkinson’s Disease with low vocal intensity and frequent coughing during meals. He was educated for use of The Breather for 3 sets of 10 breaths (in-out) before each meal. Within two weeks of implementing this regimen, he came to me and said, “I don’t begin eating until I’ve done The Breather. It makes a huge difference. If I use it before I eat, I don’t cough on anything; everything seems to go down right. If I forget, I start coughing. It’s worth my time to do the exercises before I eat.” This was corroborated by his wife, who stated delight in having a useful exercise that created functional improvements in their daily living.”
3) Think about your approach to therapy as a whole. Has it changed since you have started using The Breather? Are you noticing improved results in certain patient groups, or across the board? What are some of the most noticeable differences?
I began using The Breather in 2011 when I was leading a Multidisciplinary Parkinson’s Team for outpatients. I initially targeted individuals with voice deficits, but as research was released for the benefit to dysphagia, I implemented it with those populations as well. I now own my own multidisciplinary private practice specializing in Parkinson’s Disease, and widely implement the use of The Breather in this setting.The patients who use The Breather demonstrate improvements to respiratory capacity, vocal intensity, airway protection/cough, and swallow safety and ease, regardless of the originating deficits (respiratory, voice, or swallow). For this reason, it is wonderful to have one tool that provides intervention for several aspects of a patient’s need. Occasionally someone is “willing” to use it for one purpose and then is pleasantly surprised by the unexpected benefit to other areas of health, such as exercise endurance, reduction of use of COPD medications, or stronger cough. Additionally, using The Breather is one of the more consistently completed aspects of each patient’s Home Exercise Program (HEP), as it can be accomplished with little set-up and can be trained behaviorally.
4) Think of a new patient to your practice. You would like to use The Breather in their treatment. How will you verbally introduce the Breather to them?
“I would like for you to use this device. It’s called The Breather. It’s used for a great number of purposes, but in your case, I would like to use it to address swallowing/voice/respiratory support. It is an evidence-based tool, meaning we have research that backs it up. As you know, I will never give you anything to do that isn’t evidence-based, or “prove-able”. Using The Breather helps to strengthen the muscles you use in swallowing/making a voice/breathing/coughing/protecting your airway. That is very important when you have Parkinson’s Disease because ongoing exercise will help you to feel better. Also, this is something that I’d like for you to start now and work on in therapy, and then continue until the end of time. And if, in the midst of all the exercises I give you, you decide you can only do ONE thing, let that one thing be The Breather. I want you to do ALL of it, but if you can’t, please do The Breather. That’s how important I think it is.”
This Breather helped our daughter with her Vocal Cord Disorder when nothing else worked! Our daughter was diagnosed with vocal cord disorder...``
“This Breather helped our daughter with her Vocal Cord Disorder when nothing else worked! Our daughter was diagnosed with vocal cord disorder last year and has been struggling with running in cross country. Because vocal cord disorder ( VCD ) mimics asthma, it took well over a year to get a correct diagnosis. A speech pathologist gave our daughter exercises to do, but 6 months later at 4 times a day and they just did not work for her. This breather did! It focuses on strengthening your vocal cords and it is amazing. Our daughter went from struggling to breathe while running, to being able to control her vocal cords. Many times before this breather, she would run with the open mouth (fish out of water look 😢) and come in sometimes collapsing. This breather has given her control back and the confidence that she can run and not struggle to breathe. She does use the breather twice daily for 10-20 breaths and has worked up level 3. Levels range from 1-6, so you can start out at 1 and move up as needed. Highly Recommend!!!! 😊”
“I have cystic fibrosis and—at the recommendation of a couple of my care providers—switched about a year ago to using The Breather as my primary method of stimulating airway clearance. It works better than anything else I’ve ever done, and I’ve experienced unexpected improvements in my lung function as a result.
I thus bought one for a friend of mine in the CF community who struggles with airway clearance and she said it got her coughing productively on the very first try. I recommend the device to others in the community as well, as well as for people I know with related airway obstruction issues like pulmonary fibrosis and COPD. And of course, I tell my students and colleagues about it.
I couldn’t be happier with my Breather devices. I bought a couple of extra ones so that I could always have one on each of the main floors of my house, one in my office on campus, and one for travel. Having more devices also lets me clean each one more frequently and allow time for drying.
The Breather is one of the most important elements of my daily self-care and has made it so easy for me to stay independent with airway clearance each day and when I travel.
If it hadn’t been for this I’d have wound up with a bulky AffloVest and had to lug it around on planes frequently. My friends with those vests don’t find them very effective, so that would’ve been a lot of hassle for little reward. The Breather couldn’t be easier to travel with, by contrast, and I now come back from conference trips breathing just as well as when I left.
Thanks so much for working to make this device available for people like me and to make sure that we have a good experience.”
“On March 1, 2014 I was sitting at my desk doing income taxes when I had a stroke, losing movement on my right side lost movement and ability to speak. My grandson came in, saw what was happening and called 911. I spent several weeks in the Hospital and two months in rehab, where the speech therapist showed me The Breather to teach me how to use my diaphragm to fill my lungs completely.
All other equipment FAILED to do the job and to this day, I continue using my BREATHER to improve my lung function at 5,000 FT elevation.
I can now walk a mile around a running track and workout for 1 to 2 hours at a gym daily.”
“I’m end stage emphysema, 23% lung capacity. I began using the Breather about a month ago and have seen tremendous results. My endurance is much better, I don’t use my oxygen as much (hardly at all during the day) and my over all breathing is better. I would highly recommend the Breather to anyone with respiratory problems, it’s been a game changer for me! Thanks”
“Most of the other devices like a Flutter or Butterfly are either for Inspiratory or Expiratory use. The breather helps with both! I love using it more than any other device!”
“Excellent tool.. Use with many of my patients.. They actually use this! Strongly recommend the Breather. I use everyday in my practice for facilitation of speech-swallow function.”
Leah Lawson is a Speech-LanguagePathologist at The Culpeper and Independent School. “Love this product. I was using the older version with my patients but just bought 3 of the new models and I think the new shape and settings are great.”
Dylan Edwards is a sports performance coach, personal trainer, martial arts expert, boxer and health coach who has worked across the spectrum of health and fitness.
“Priming for workouts is crucial. I use and combine a variety of “breadcrumbs” to integrate and prime breathing, cognition, and Pliability.
Here I am focusing on DNS “cylindrical breathing” with feedback from a yoga block and the ground on my torso. Additionally, I am using @thebreather fit for RMT (respiratory muscle training) to prime IAP. (intra abdominal pressure)
Odalis Abreu is a Medical speech-language pathologist in Florida. “In my years working as an SLP I have bought over 80 breathers. I give them to my patients because physiologically the body needs air before anything else. Once, respiratory is on track, swallowing and speech flow. I have used the breather with COPD patients and I have seen an increase in inspiratory capacity, better endurance for physical activity, a reduction in the use of Prednisone, and inhaled corticosteroids.”
“I am a respiratory therapist who frequently uses this for my patients. With steady use, I have witnessed great increases in the inability to perform ADL’s with decreased shortness of breath with exertion. I also use for swallowing. I just had a 52-year-old tell me it changed her life. This was after 1 week.”
“I have been using the Breather and I must say it has made a big difference in my breathing, I have COPD and I can definitely tell the difference.” I started at number 1 and now I am on number 2 I would recommend the Breather!”
“Team, watch their videos. I am a true believer in this… It has really helped me. My nurse at my pulmonary rehab, when she listened to my lungs the other day and then she had this strange look on her face and listened to my lungs again. She said, John, I am hearing some air moving in your lungs. she heard more air than usual moving in my lungs. I am that patient that has stage 4 COPD and only 17% FEV1. I had another PFT test done on 05/14.. My FEV1 is now 29%. in March my FEV1 was 17%. I think that is enough said. Stick with it a couple of times a day, you will feel better.”
“I haven’t posted about FSHD in a while so today I want to talk about breathing, something most of us take for granted. For those affected by FSHD, breathing often is not an easy task. As the breathing, mouth and swallowing muscles weaken, it becomes progressively harder to get air into the lungs, to swallow and to eat without choking.
At the beginning of this journey, when the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with me, I was asked to take a pulmonary function test. The test showed only 80% volume in my left lung. When I was finally officially diagnosed, the doctors associated my lung deficiency with FSHD.
Although I don’t experience breathing difficulties in my everyday life, those test results are always in the back of my mind. I try to give my breathing muscles a workout by attending short weekly Waterdance treatments. Since swimming is no longer physically possible, Waterdance allows me to stay underwater in a supervised manner and work on my breathing.
The thing in my hand in the picture is “the breather” or as I call it my lung gym. It adds some resistance both to inhaling and exhaling, a daily exercise for my breathing muscles.Some doctors, even experienced neurologists, to this day, don’t associate FSHD with respiratory problems. If you have FSHD and experience shortness of breath while laying on your back or while asleep, daytime fatigue and sleepiness or morning headaches, please go and evaluate your respiratory muscle function and pulmonary function! So many techniques are available these days such as non-invasive ventilation aids, cough aids, swallow therapy, etc. Listen to your body, you know it best!”