BREATHWORK coach David Toney is aiming to help people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Ballymena man has taken to the internet to share his knowledge with those who seek it.
Over 200 people clicked in to the free of charge taster sessions.
“‘We spend our life between two breaths - our first breath and our last, and not many people understand how important breathing is,” he told Guardian Sport.
“Over 300 diseases are associated with disfunctional breathing and over 50% of adults have some form of breathing disfunction.”
Toney, lead coach and head of The Dojo, which has its headquarters at Woodside Road, Ballymena, was meant to be in Finland teaching Martial Arts.
But with all flights cancelled and both countries shut down, he decided to put his skills to another task.
For the International Martial arts Instructor is also a Breathwork coach.
With clients Toney first works out if they have any breathing issues with three simple tests.
He then gives the participants exercises to combat stress and bring them back to functional breathing.
The Ju-Jitsu expert has been trained in several breathing systems. But the ones he focuses on the most are Buteyko breathing (a Russian system) and The Oxygen Advantage, which is geared towards sporting performance.
In the past he has worked with sporting groups around Northern Ireland. He has also travelled to Donegal to train Milford Athletic Club. Closer to home he has worked with groups ranging from Women’s Aid to Wealth Management organisations.
A local woman had such good results from practising the techniques that after three months she was taken off the asthma register. “The usual outcome, based in studies in Russia, was a 50% reduction in the need for medication so her results were really excellent,” he said.
Reflecting on the current coronavirus pandemic Toney said that in this difficult time, everyone needs to pay attention to their health and wellbeing and focus on the things they can control.
“Breathing in an optimal way means your body/immune system etc will function better and it also brings you out of a panic state which is so detrimental for us to live in long term,” he said. “ Everyone can benefit if they even take a short time every day to master this, so if I have helped anyone during my taster sessions online – it has been time well invested.”
Free courses to NHS staff
Most recent of his free courses, was offered to NHS and support staff at the weekend. Feedback from this, as with all the courses, has been really excellent with participants reporting reduced anxiety within days.
“I am delighted that Frontline workers have said they appreciate being able to pass on what they’ve learned to their patients and clients,” concluded Toney.