Breathing to the rescue: Increase health and reduce discomfort such as pain, IBS, acid reflux, dysmenorrhea, epilepsy, anxiety.

Dr. Erik Peper
1-day Workshop
April 12

Breathing and posture impact health, illness and communicates to others about ourselves. Breathing is a whole body process and is more than heart rate variability training. It also is a hydraulic pump to circulate lymph and venous blood in the abdomen, an activator of spinal movement, and affects the acid-base balance of the blood through hyper and hypoventilation. Through the use of case examples and experiential practices embedded within a holistic stress management matrix, participants will learn to recognize and experience subtle dysfunctional breathing patterns such as those triggered by the startle response, pain and defense reaction which include breath holding, gasping, absence of pelvic floor movement, shallow rapid chest breathing, and hyperventilation. The workshop describes the hydraulic process of breathing, the role of abdominal movement and the psychophysiology of hyperventilation. The workshop focusses on recognizing dysfunctional breathing and teaching functional healthy breathing patterns to support health and healing. This integrated approach which includes passive attention has been applied to facilitate the reduction of symptoms with test anxiety, panic attacks, chronic pain, vulvodynia, psychogenic epilepsy, POTs, dysmenorrhea, acid reflux and irritable bowel. The workshop will demonstrate biofeedback, touch and imagery strategies (e.g., abdominal and thoracic EMG for teaching diaphragmatic breathing; volumetric, posture and oxygen saturation feedback; guided touch for evoking passive attention and guided visualization strategies) to identify dysfunctional breathing that may contribute or maintain illness and teach strategies to reverse dysfunctional breathing and thereby promote health and healing.

Learning Objectives

  • Breathing beyond HRV training to the rescue to reduce pain, IBS, acid reflux, anxiety, dysmenorrhea, epilepsy-it is more than HRV
  • Recognize dysfunctional and functional breathing patterns
  • Learn how to monitor breathing with respiration sensors and abdominal /thoracic EMG recording
  • Practice experiential breathing patterns to increase and decrease discomfort

About Dr. Erik Peper

Erik Peper, PhD, BCB, is an international authority on biofeedback and Professor of Holistic Health Studies / Department of Health Education at San Francisco State University. He is President of the Biofeedback Federation of Europe and past President of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB). He has received numerous awards such as 2013 Biofeedback Distinguished Scientist Award in recognition of outstanding career & scientific contributions from the Association for Applied Psychophysiology. He has a biofeedback practice in Berkeley, CA at BiofeedbackHealth ( He is an author of numerous scientific articles and books such as Make Health Happen, Fighting Cancer-A Nontoxic Approach to Treatment, and Biofeedback Mastery. He publishes the blog, the peper perspective-ideas on illness, health and well-being ( He is a recognized expert on holistic health, stress management and workplace health. His research interests focus on self-healing strategies to optimize health, illness prevention, the effects of respiration and posture, and self-mastery with biofeedback.