Using The Breather - One SLP's View
Hello, everyone! So, I’ve become more and more involved in researching and using The Breather and now The Breather Fit from PN Medical. I’ve benefited from its use personally and for those patients that I have recommended it to, they have benefitted as well. Because of this I decided to write about the devices briefly along with my experience of using and recommending these devices to others.
What is it?
It is a device that has been clinically proven to improve inspiratory and expiratory muscle function using a specific training routine.
How does it work?
The Breather trains both inspiratory and expiratory muscles independently. Diaphragms within the device cause varying degrees of resistance based on the number selected on each respective dial on the device. These dials are operated independently, so that you can increase or decrease level of difficulty with either inspiration or expiration separately and work on both aspects of breathing at your own pace. As you improve in your breathing capability, you may increase resistance as needed by turning up the dial. You can do this until you reach the max level for each dial respectively. When using the device, you may determine if a present dial level is appropriate for you by noting how much effort is required to complete a set of 10 repetitions. You should notice some strain/effort as you go through a set; however, you should not feel wholly exhausted following the completion of the breathing exercises. The Breather Fit functions similarly; however, the resistance can be set to even greater levels to enhance benefit.
Who is it for?
Anyone can use The Breather and experience benefit from it. However, to be more specific, The Breather has been proven to help with healthy aging, COPD, dysphagia, congestive heart failure, and neuromuscular diseases. Although comparative to The Breather, The Breather Fit is geared towards athletes to help improve cardio, breathing during exercise and prolong performance during exercise.
Why use it?
PN Medical reports that potential benefits from using The Breather may include improved speech, swallowing, quality of life, laryngeal function, and overall breathing. The Breather Fit reportedly can help to improve recovery time, improve oxygenation, and reduce time to fatigue during cardiovascular exercise.
My own story…
I first heard of the device from my current supervisor when he stated that he recommended it for some patients to improve breath support for speech. Upon hearing this I was intrigued and decided to do some of my own research. From what I could tell, it seemed like people liked the device and generally got benefit from its use if they stuck to the recommended exercise routine. So, I decided to pull the trigger on the purchase of my own Breather and began using it myself. The device was as expected; it was simple and effective. I found it easy to develop habitual use of the device and found that it helped to improve my lung function for running. I also noticed that I could hold a note longer and/or voice longer than I could previously without additional strain. Fast forward to present day and I have recommended the device to multiple patients. All patients who stuck to the recommended routine benefitted from its use both per my observation, statistical analyses and their report. Now, I have begun using The Breather Fit and although it is slightly more challenging, I feel I am already noticing benefit from its use as well.
Overall, The Breather and The Breather Fit are tools to assist in improving breathing and breathing for speech. They have been proven effective by research and I have seen their benefit firsthand for both myself as well as with others. If this tool seems appropriate for you, I encourage you to do your own research and if you decide to go forward with a device, commit to its use and keep pushing for better breathing.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed my review of these resources. You can check out PN Medical, The Breather, or The Breather Fit by clicking here. If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy other posts at sfstx.com/blog. Additionally, all SLPs at SFS Therapies are trained to use The Breather with patients to assist them in achieving their goals.