Leading Integrated Healthcare


Stefan Chmelik on Breathing Pattern Disorder

posted on 6th September 2012 by Stefan Chmelik

Although BPD is not the cause of all chronic health problems, it certainly appears to be a complicating factor in a significant proportion of them. Rehabilitating the breathing pattern is a straight forward, if not always easy process, and is likely to be an essential step for many people in recovering from long term complex and hard to diagnose health problems. I use breathing retraining, Mindfulness and relaxation exercises often combined with acupuncture, bodywork or talking based therapy to guide people through the recovery process. We are one of the very few clinics that can offer both the Nijmegen and the Capnometer to assess breathing function.

At New Medicine Group, we believe BPD is one of the most prevalent unrecognised epidemics of modern medicine. Based on our collective experience over many years, as many as 30% of people suffering with chronic health problems have BPD as the main or complicating factor involved in their health problems. People BPD frequently present with one or several other diagnoses, including with panic attacks, asthma, chronic pain or Fibromyalgia (FMS), and MUPS, as well as PTSD.

What is Breathing Pattern Disorder?

Essentially a syndrome defined by having several of a collection of symptoms at the same time, each of which could have a separate explanation when taken individually. It is the number and severity of these symptoms appearing in the same person that define how marked the BPD is. This is worked out through physical assessment and testing, a special questionnaire (the Nijmegen) and using a Capnometer (a special machine that measures Co2 levels).

What does this mean?

Someone with BPD, HVS or hypocapnia is “over breathing”. This usually means that they are breathing too fast, shallowly and from the upper chest. Co2 (carbon dioxide) levels drop, and mental and physical symptoms arise as an immediate and direct physiological response (the Bohr Effect).


  • Chaitow, Bradley and Gilbert. Multidisciplinary Approaches to Breathing Pattern Disorders. Churchill Livingstone
  • Humphriss, Baguley, Andersson and Wagstaff. Hyperventilation in the vestibular clinic: use of the Nijmegen Questionnaire. Clinical otolaryngology and allied sciences, 2004, vol. 29, no3, pp. 232-237
 Stefan Chmelik on Breathing Pattern Disorder

About Stefan Chmelik

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