About My Approach
As a functional breathing coach, I want my clients to find their optimal wellness and performance in life, through developing a deep understanding of their current breathing habits and how these may be impacting their mental and physical health and their performance in sport and/or work. As breathing affects every system in the body, it cannot be ignored. 1-2-1 sessions or workshops involve assessing peoples' current breathing patterns, teaching them about the science behind efficient breathing and what poor breathing does to our body and mind, and then practicing relevant breathing exercises to incorporate into their life/sports training.
My clients include:
swimmers, triathletes and runners wanting to optimise their performance through better breathing (including nose breathing during running/cycling)
people with health conditions, i.e. respiratory conditions (asthma/post-Covid/breathlessness), stress/anxiety/panic disorder, poor sleep (insomnia, snoring/sleep apnea), high blood pressure, people who mouth breathe at rest or during sport, etc. wanting to reduce symptoms through better breathing
midlife women wanting guidance to make the necessary lifestyle changes (including how they breathe!) to make their menopause transition a positive experience.
I originally trained as an Occupational Therapist, but had to give that up after three years due to a worsening congenital knee condition. I then spent about 10 years in academia, ending up with a PhD in the School of Nursing at Manchester University, during which time I discovered and fell in love with open water swimming. I subsequently trained as a swim coach and open water swim coach and then discovered winter swimming! Over the years I've discovered that cold water is like a magic remedy for my aching legs and back ache, can really help my migraines, but also for stress reduction and bringing you into the present moment. I wanted to help others experience this, so trained as a Cold Water Therapy Practitioner. I now use cold water immersion in conjunction with breathing to build resilience to stress during face-to-face workshops or 1-2-1 sessions, but can also provide guidance remotely on how to get started with cold water immersion safely.
During the COVID lockdowns when I was unable to coach swimming, I started researching breathing, having practiced the Wim Hof method for a while, but felt my daily breathing, my sleep and breathlessness during exercise could be improved. I discovered the Oxygen Advantage, attended a workshop and was blown away by the science behind breathing! We take about 25,000 breaths a day without thinking about it. However, the way we breathe impacts how calm or stressed we feel, how breathless we get during physical exercise, how deep we sleep, our energy levels, focus and concentration and recovery after sport. I then trained to be an Advanced Oxygen Advantage Instructor and Buteyko Instructor to help people regain balance in their nervous system and optimise their physical and/or mental state through better breathing.
Women's hormonal health was one of the areas covered in the breathing instructor training. Did you realise your breathing changes at certain times during your monthly cycle, and then again during the menopause transition years? I realised I knew nothing about the menopause but had learnt how improving your functional daily breathing patterns can ease this transition by regulating your nervous system and therefore your resilience to stress.
Obviously I needed to know more, especially as I realised I must be in the peri-menopause phase of this midlife transition myself, so I trained as a Menopause Wellbeing Practitioner. I now understand this natural process all women undergo, but also how our modern lifestyles can make this transition more challenging. I can offer many solutions to ease your transition, whether that be looking in depth at positive lifestyle changes (i.e. breathing, diet, exercise, sleep, down-regulating, cold water/heat therapy, etc.) and/or advising about HRT options. The menopause should be an exciting new phase of our lives where we embrace our new selves, not something to suffer through with no support, wishing we were a different person or had a different life!