B R E A T H I N G WORKS clinics have made a significant impact on the New Zealand health and well-being culture over the last two decades. Diagnosis and recognition of functional breathing pattern disorders has entered the diagnostic repertoires of clinicians in all areas of health care, from neurology to women’s health, psychiatry to respiratory medicine, cardiology to sports medicine and more. The topic is included in current undergraduate physiotherapy training.
At Breathing Works, we receive patient enquiries on a daily basis from all over New Zealand, requesting information about services in their region. This patient demand has identified the need for a nationwide network. There is a huge potential for growth in this area of healthcare and if physiotherapists fail to provide it, we’ll lose yet another unique physiotherapy skill to other professions.
Certified BradCliff® Method practitioners will enjoy a niche market. As opposed to traditional physiotherapy services, clinics are very simple to set up. It’s a low-tech operation with very little expensive or bulky equipment needed, and it is highly portable. Such a service fits well into busy generalist practices and enlarges its range of therapies. One BradCliff® practitioner working as little as eight hours a week on Breathing Pattern Disorders would add considerably to non ACC income.
One of our primary goals is to maintain high clinical standards as this ensures the backing of medical insurance companies, corporations, PHO’s but above all, providing the best physiotherapy has to offer. A strong association between BradCliff® practitioners will grow, as once certified, professional development is ongoing.
Tania Clifton-Smith and Dinah Bradley met in 1991. Tania had not long returned from the UK after working at an eminent London cardiologist’s clinic treating the literati, glitterati and high achievers at the top of their professions. These clients had all been diagnosed with exhaustion and chronic hyperventilation syndrome (CHVS). Another wing of this cardiologist’s practice was the treatment of survivors of torture. This group was suffering exhaustion and CHVS as well, with added severe psychological trauma and pain. Tania worked with both groups and gained priceless experience and unique therapeutic skills from this exposure. Tania had also done two years of Physical Education before choosing physiotherapy, and completed the postgraduate Manual Therapy and Manipulations course giving her strong musculo-skeletal background.
Dinah had just published her book Hyperventilation Syndrome – a Handbook for Bad Breathers. (Her original title, The Hazards of Heavy Breathing, had been rejected by the publisher days before going to print!). When in 1989 she was appointed to run an outpatient respiratory physiotherapy service at Green Lane Hospital, New Zealand’s major cardiothoracic hospital, she spotted many a chronic hyperventilator, especially in the asthma clinics. The book evolved from the highly successful drug-free treatment techniques developed ‘on the job’. It remained on the NZ bestseller lists for nine weeks and is still in print 18 years later.
In 1999 they joined forces and established B R E A T H I N G WORKS Ltd, the first independent breathing pattern disorders clinic in Australasia. The BradCliff Method ® has evolved from their combined vision and clinical skills. These methods are recognised internationally.
While hospitals and institutions support this work, shrinking budgets meant few could justify running clinics for this very common (sometimes crippling) disorder. But the need for expert treatment has been recognized and our service has flourished, supported by hospital and private specialists, as well as PHOs GPs. and allied health professionals. Patients self refer, and do so in droves.
Tania and Dinah have co-written two group specific books. The first, for people with asthma – Dynamic Breathing – managing your asthma. (Random NZ 2008)
And in response to employer’s requests for programmes to manage work place stress and injury prevention – Breathe Stretch & Move. (Random NZ 2002)
Tania’s book Breathe to Succeed (Penguin NZ 1999) is still in print, as is Dinah’s Hyperventilation Syndrome book (Random NZ 3rd edit. 2007).
Tania has also co-written with ENT surgeon Dr Jim Bartley – Breathing Matters (Random NZ 2006). This is the book for the nasally challenged.
Dinah’s co-authored textbook Multidisciplinary Approaches to Breathing Pattern Disorders (Churchill Livingstone) was written for practicing clinicians.
People are hungry for drug-free options to help live well in today’s stress laden fast paced society. This includes people who have co- existing health problems.
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