Sleep and Breathing Solutions


Sleep is the most powerful restorative antidote in the world.

Sleep is how our body heals.

Quality sleep allows the cells of our physical body to regenerate while our brain detoxifies and clears space for new thoughts, ideas and unique neural pathways.

There are multiple stages of sleep and REM Sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) is the most important of them. 

During REM phase of sleep, our body produces the greatest amount of growth hormone. This sleep cycle allows for healthy growth and development in children, while providing restorative cellular turnover for healthy bones and tissues in adults.  When we’re deprived of REM Sleep we wake up feeling physically exhausted and mentally fatigued.

How do I know if I’m getting enough REM Sleep?

If you can relate to one or more of the following statements you are most likely in need more REM Sleep:
  • I sleep for 8 hours and still wake up exhausted.
  • I don't snore, I fall asleep fine, so why am I tired throughout the day?
  • My neck and back are always sore and I have really low energy.
  • I can't seem to beat the common cold.  I always seem to be battling something.
  • My whole body is achy and I constantly feel I can't seem to catch up on sleep.
  • My partner says I snore constantly, but I think I sleep just fine.
  • I can’t get rid of the puffiness in my face and the bags under my eyes. I’ve tried everything.
  • It takes me so long to heal from even a simple injury.
  • I’m constantly clenching my jaw and I can’t get rid of the constant headaches.


What can I do to improve my REM Sleep?

There are many factors preventing humans from achieving the high quality REM sleep that is required to function as a healthy and active individual.

One of the biggest factors affecting your sleep quality is what occurs throughout the course of your day.  At the very top of the list is daytime breathing disorders.  If you don’t breathe properly during the day, there is no chance you will breathe well at night.  Not breathing well severely restricts your ability to access, and progress through, the appropriate sleep stages.

The Solution

During a comprehensive evaluation, Elite physical therapists identify dysfunctional breathing patterns and potential problems which may be preventing you from achieving health and restorative sleep.

When a faulty breathing pattern is identified, a multifaceted treatment program is created for you utilizing one or more of the following components:

Posture and Body Mechanics

The ability to maintain proper postural alignment is the primary prerequisite for proper breathing and sleeping.

When your respiratory system struggles to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, your body will compensate in any way possible to move air at the expense of the rest of your body.

Faulty breathing patterns due to poor posture lead to chronic headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, back pain and shoulder problems, just to name a few.

As physical therapists we work to eliminate these symptoms; getting to the root of the problem and improving your posture during all activities to make sure your breathing is optimal.


The Autonomic nervous system governs many of the unconscious activities of the body that keep us alive; including the beating of our heart and the release of hormones based on various activities.

There are two parts to the autonomic nervous system.  The sympathetic “fight or flight” and the parasympathetic “rest and digest”.

The delicate balance of these two systems allows us to function in a healthy state.  When the sympathetic nervous system dominates due to high stress levels and poor breathing mechanics, it opens the door for potential disease.

The quickest way to balance the autonomic nervous system is by restoring proper breathing mechanics.

Your Elite physical therapist evaluates your autonomic nervous system using the latest technologies and physiological equipment including:

Your Elite physical therapist evaluates your autonomic nervous system using the latest technologies and physiological equipment including:

Heart Rate Variability (HRV)Heart Rate Variability (HRV)

Higher heart rate variability ensures adaptability of the autonomic nervous system to stress.  We utilize this measure as biofeedback while re-establishing proper breathing mechanics.

Pulmonary Function Testing

Pulmonary Function Testing

Pulmonary Function Testing

The body utilizes 15% of its energy toward respiration.  If your respiratory system is not functioning properly, this percentage can increase greatly, sapping your body’s energy for important tasks such as healing, moving, cognition and proper sleep.

With Pulmonary Function Testing we measure the strength of your inspiratory and expiratory muscles through ventilation in order to develop a customized program to strengthen and increase endurance of your respiratory system.




Normal breathing mechanics allow us to have a rate of 10-12 breathes per minute, or 17,000 breaths per day.  When poor breathing patterns are present breathing rates can double or triple. If you are breathing up to 51,000 times per day, or 1,800,000 times per year, you are being dominated by your sympathetic nervous system. Great stress is being placed on your muscles and skeletal system and your potential for developing illness increases significantly.

Capnometry technology is a tool that allows your Elite therapist to measure diaphragm function, breathing rates, End Tidal CO2, and how well you are exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Electromyogram Testing of the TMJ

Electromyogram Testing of the TMJ

TMJ diagram

Many breathing pattern disorders lead to pain and tightness of the jaw, ears, neck and skull.  Your Elite physical therapist uses wireless EMG technology to evaluate your bite with and without an appliance given to you by your dentist.

This information helps determine which jaw muscles are overworking so we are able to design a treatment program to improve your occlusion (bite) in a way that will take stress off the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ).  Elite therapists work very closely with your dentist to insure a collaborative experience leading to excellent outcomes.


Epigenetics is the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression by environmental factors rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.  Epigenetics takes into account various allergies in the environment and food that may be causing or contributing airway problems and delayed healing.  It is vitally important to understand how allergies may be affecting your ability to heal.  Elite physical therapists collaborate with allergists, naturopaths, and functional medicine practitioners to ensure you are receiving a complete solution to your breathing related problems.

Myofunctional Therapy

Myofunctional Therapy works to retrain and restore proper chewing, swallowing, breathing, tongue and lip mobility and strength to open the airway, improve your bite and allow for proper growth and development of the head and jaw.  It is not uncommon for people with breathing pattern disorders to also experience these types of Orofacial Myofunctional issues.

With advanced training and experience working in the field of myofunctional therapy, Elite physical therapists have had great success in helping patients overcome these breathing and airway disorders.