By holding our breath, we isolate ourselves from our surroundings

Warning signs of irregular breathing in an otherwise healthy child are sensitivity to respiratory infections, the disappearance of a clear sonorous child’s voice and speech errors. Voice and breathing are inseparable, and a change in voice is always associated with a change in breathing. Sometimes the solution to this problem is simply to release the pressure on the child; however, this is usually much more complicated, but still possible. Solving these conditions is also the basic purpose of AEQ breathing.

As a result, many children develop a dangerous pattern of holding their breath. When under tension, they raise their shoulders and tighten their chest muscles to compress their shoulders and neck and hold in air. Their inhalation is stronger and more pronounced than exhalation. They are afraid to relax, because it makes them unable to keep their expression under control, which is necessary to maintain the balance in the family. If we do not notice and remedy this, we make it impossible for the child to breathe properly, which will gradually become chronic and the new norm, despite being irregular and harmful to the child.

Without the necessary corrections in breathing and the relationship between the parents, the problem will most likely remain unsolved, developing into more serious forms of respiratory illness, speech impediments or inefficient emotional expression. Even if children are flexible, resilient and can quickly recover, stress and irregular breathing can seriously harm them.

The best help for a child with respiratory issues is to remove them from the pressure that is causing him stress and irregular breathing. The constant drive for achievements can cause serious damage to their respiratory functions. The early warning signs are changes in their voice and a weaker immune system. The habits which will create a pattern of irregular breathing and weaken their respiratory muscles are holding their breath, pushing their shoulders upward instead of leaving them in a relaxed, lowered state. Mouth breathing, sleeping with their mouth open, an elongated face, incorrect teeth growth and hearing problems are closely related with irregular breathing. If we notice the child’s belly inflate while exhaling, it means their diaphragm is too weak to support the air pressure, which can cause problems.

We must be aware that the diaphragm is too weak to perform its primary function, because it has to hold back the strong pressure in the abdominal cavity, which is the result of imbalances in the child’s environment. Due to the child’s muscular resistance and high capacity for regeneration, the symptoms of weaker respiratory muscles will very often disappear with the release of external pressures. It is important to regulate the relationship between the parents. By raising their emotional maturity, the child can release their tension through communication that will not be met with an exaggerated response. Emotionally mature parents will create a more stable environment for the child’s natural development.

Children with problems grow up to become adults with even bigger problems. When teaching AEQ breathing I realize the prevalence of these problems in the majority of my patients, and the reasons for them are almost always in their childhood.

Aleš Ernst, author of the AEQ method and AEQ breathing