My thoughts on breathing...
A bit more information as it occurs to me about how breathing impacts your health and well-being. If you have questions or want me to address a particular topic, please don't hesitate to contact me!
How can inspiratory muscle training help with symptoms of reflux? It has to do with the mechanisms behind gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD). GERD is caused by the upward movement of gastric contents from the stomach into the esophagus. This happens when the sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus (meant to be a one-way door) loses some of it's strength and function. The result is that stomach contents end up flowing backwards into the esophagus (the pipe that food travels down into the stomach after we swallow). Symptoms of GERD can be:
GERD can be difficult to treat and should include a an approach that includes lifestyle changes (diet, weight loss) and may include medications. But more recent evidence has shown that strengthening the diaphragm can help. A few studies have shown that participants with GERD who performed inspiratory muscle training for 4-8 weeks, had reduced symptoms of GERD. Researchers theorize that IMT helps to improve the function of the lower esophageal sphincter. For the more recent study abstract click here.
I'm a physiotherapist who is passionate about educating anyone and everyone about the impact breathing has on our health.