Breathing Should Feel Easy

Breathing Should Feel Easy

How is breathing affected by chronic conditions?

Breathing is the essence of life. Chronic conditions that may affect breathing include: asthma, long-haul COVID, COPD, infection (pneumonia), bronchitis, and sinusitis. 

The lymphatic system is essential in protecting you from infection and keeping a healthy balance of fluids throughout your body. If your lymphatic system isn’t draining, you are accumulating toxins and waste products, from cellular metabolism. 

The more you accumulate toxins/waste products, the more inflammation you are also going to have. The more inflammation you have the more likely chronic disease will set in. 

How can manual therapy help? 

Manual therapy is a tool to boost your immunity; encouraging lymphatic drainage in order to change how your body functions and self-heals. Although the lymphatic system is spread throughout your entire body, some areas are more dense in these tissues than others. Your manual therapist will target these anatomical structures to achieve this: 


The rib cage is the structural shield of the lungs with the flexibility to make space for each inhale and elastic ability to recoil during each exhale. Surrounding the rib cage is an abundant network of lymph nodes, specifically in the axillary area. The manual therapist will ensure the ribs are in their proper position in relation to the spine and sternum. Secondly, the mobility of each rib articulation will be restored. Finally, the vitality of each structure will be harmonized, synchronizing each rhythmic breath. When the ribs move, lymphatic fluid moves. 


The cranium is the protective structure of the brain and autonomic nervous system. These contents govern the automatic function of breathing (ANS – Autonomic Nervous System) . Joint compression, muscle tension, and rigid cranial bones can impact this function. A manual therapist will ensure the cranial bones are in their optimal position, adaptable in mobility to absorb forces, and optimal motility to pump cerebrospinal fluid throughout the body. When the ANS is free, breathing is easy. 

Facial bones 

The facial bones are the structures that cover the sinuses. Once again, the position and mobility of each of the facial bones must be assessed and treated to encourage health in the sinuses. Available at Integrated Bodywork, gua sha facial is an excellent therapy to reduce facial muscle, move stagnant fluids in the sinuses, and promote blood flow for healing. In turn, you will feel more liberated to breathe through your nose. Nasal breathing can help filter out dust and allergens, boost your oxygen uptake, and humidify the air you breathe in. Osteopathically, nasal breathing is also connected to “cleaning” the brain by stimulating the glymphathic system (the lymphatic system in the cranium). When your sinuses are open, air flow is easy. 

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Allowing the body to self-heal without medicine


The aim of a Osteopathic Manual Practitioner is to optimize the self-healing mechanisms of the body.

The frequency of treatments is based on the initial assessment and treatment. The decision on how often you will need treatment is based on allowing enough time between visits to allow your body to integrate the changes that occur from one treatment to the next.

While very often being used to treat back pain, osteopathic treatment is effective in a wide variety of health complaints. Osteopathy has been successful in treating the following:

  • Acute or Chronic Pain
  • Digestive Problems
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Respiratory Difficulties
  • Postural Problems

It can also successfully treat migraines, dysmenorrheal, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, tinnitus, vertigo, pain and diseases.

Osteopathy is an established recognized system of healthcare which relies on manual contact for assessment and treatment. It integrates the whole body, including the mind with emphasis on allowing the body’s intrinsic tendency for self-healing without pharmacological use.

Osteopathy views a person as a single unit comprised of body, mind, and spirit. In the osteopathic perspective, one needs to treat the whole person. Instead of viewing the body as a machine, osteopathy looks at pain as the result of complex interactions between physical factors as well as psychological and social factors, also referred to as the “biopsychosocial” approach. The perception of pain is not merely a response to physical injury, but is also related to the patient’s own emotional framework as well as their physical and social environments.

An Osteopathic Manual Practitioner works to build a trusting relationship with their patient to help understand if there are other non-physical factors that could be contributing to their chronic pain condition. This allows the practitioner to develop a more comprehensive pain management and reduction plan to help their patient find relief.