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understand how to

Academy West provides the most medically credible and reliably professional evaluation, education, and intervention for breathing mechanics.

We help you to improve how you breathe in whatever capacity your body requires, whether for performance, improvement, or survival.

Who can benefit from improved breathing?

  • Any human who is curious, motivated or suffering

  • Typically-developed individuals of any age, as well as those with complicated anatomy, special circumstances, or unique needs

  • Athletes looking for the difference-making edge over their competition

  • People struggling with stress and anxiety looking for a tool outside of medication

  • Weekend-warriors frustrated by diminished performance related to aging

  • Those who experience a health care crisis and can't seem to fully recover

  • Musicians and singers trying to make their instrument more powerful and precise

  • People suffering from frustrating problems like Long-COVID, COPD & asthma, and chronic pain 

Schedule your breathing evaluation today!

Andy Sabatier leading an individual session at Academy West Breathing Performance


- Michael 'Bird' Shaffer

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Group session in the Academy West studio in Bend, Oregon

How can we help you improve?

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It’s no secret that your body’s production of power relies on effective breathing mechanics.

Proper use of the core muscles results in increased power production, and your "true core" muscles control your breathing. How much more powerful could you be?

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Kids & Parents

Children develop breathing dysfunction early in life and often get set in patterns that lead to problems in adulthood including asthma, ADHD, anxiety, sleep problems, and gut problems. 

Training their breathing can often result in improved balance and mobility, GI motility, posture, control of gastric contents, and an overall functional improvement. Have you tried everything?

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Musicians & Singers

Most musical teachers throw in a few breathing warm-ups but haven’t got time to focus on how you breathe. Can you afford to be less than completely effective and efficient with your breath control?

The muscles that power your instrument, whether voice, woodwind or brass are your most valuable asset.


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Pre & Post Partum

Unfortunately, breathing mechanics are often overlooked due, in part, to the complexity of the system, even by seasoned pelvic floor therapists. We use breathing as a vehicle for regulation and recovery through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Doesn't your entire core deserve focused attention?

Breathing muscles are put through drastic changes and require focused attention. Core strength = breathing strength.

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Endurance is built on being efficient in your movement, not wasting anything.

Whether you're running, rowing, cycling, or swimming, if your breathing mechanics are not optimal, you are eventually going to fatigue, which results in accessory muscle use. These muscles cost you more energy and often result in pain and dysfunction down the road, like limping on a sore leg. The extra 3-5% improvement from enhanced breathing can be the difference. How much farther could you go?

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Pre/Post Surgery

Surgery and breathing are inseparable. Both preparation and recovery are helped by learning how to breathe more effectively.  

Our patients learn how to use their breathing to help control pain levels, anxiety, and move functionally both before and after surgery.  Our partnerships with surgeons result in a cohesive team approach, preparing patients to move through their recovery physically, chemically, mentally and emotionally.  Have you tried everything possible yet?

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Altitude Changes

Whether training for an expedition, every day sport, or dealing with a pathological situation, optimized breathing gives you an advantage. Shouldn’t every part of your body be strong enough for your environment?

The higher you climb the lower the oxygen concentration in the air, making efficient breathing crucial. 


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Dysfunctional breathing can go unnoticed and trap people in negative cycles. Optimized breathing has been proven to decrease the release of stress hormones, control heart rate, improve oxygenation, lower blood pressure, and even help you quit smoking. Are you certain your breathing is helping?

Humans we feel how we breathe and breath how we feel. Understanding how your breathing can be helping or harming your anxiety is crucial.

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Your diaphragm is constantly multi-tasking to keep you upright, moving, and alive. Even a strong person with a weak diaphragm will lose their balance before they lose their breath. Could your balance improve?

Odd as it may seem, there is reliable data linking breathing muscles and balance.  

Image by Tim Mossholder


Sometimes the tipping point between getting by and getting better comes down to how you breathe. Long-COVID, COPD,  asthma, and changes caused by trauma or neurologic injury can devastate the muscles that help you breathe long after other parts of your body have improved. Are you thriving or just surviving?

Getting back to full function after a healthcare crisis can be a lengthy and lonely challenge with more questions than answers.  Optimized breathing mechanics are you best tool.

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Everyday People

At a certain point, humans are either getting stronger or getting weaker. A busy life can make those opportunities to enjoy your activities even more important. Optimized breathing mechanics mean you can do what you love for longer and feel better. What do you have to lose, and how much could you gain?

As the saying goes, father time is undefeated. Breathing can be a tool to combat gradual age-related changes.

A man's back with hand massaging his shoulder.

Chronic Pain

Neck, jaw, shoulder, back, abdominal, and pelvic pain almost always involve breathing dysfunction. 

Dysfunctional breathing keeps humans trapped in cycles of stress, inflammation, immune compromise, weakness, poor performance, and emotions like shame, guilt, fear, and anger.  If breathing was making your pain worse, would you know it?

Still have questions?

We understand that often people have never given their breathing a second thought, and you may have a problem related to your breathing that requires a conversation to understand. Let’s discuss it and see what you can gain from being a part of Academy West.

Andy Sabatier, PT, DPT at Academy West Breathing & Performance in Bend, Oregon.

Andy Sabatier, PT, DPT

Breathing Specialist

Andy completed his doctorate in physical therapy in 2013 from New York University, clinical training at Stanford Hospital’s cardiac ICU, and extensive breathing education under Mary Massery DPT. He spent the next 7 years practicing in the ICU in Central Oregon helping thousands of patients to breathe and survive their most critical moments.  Andy now works to bring that same breathing first approach to the greater community through Academy West.

I am a professional musician and started working with Andy a month after having a baby. I was at ground zero for understanding my body and how I would be able to rebuild my strength to perform again. Andy's spirited dedication to my progress saw me through my recovery, with tailored exercises that met me where I was and pushed me just where I needed to go next. I left each session feeling stronger physically and emotionally ready to tackle whatever came next.  

Bria S

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210 SW Century Drive, Suite G

Bend OR 97702




(541) 504-4676

(541) 326-0030

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