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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 motivated or curious

  • 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

  • Young competitors trying to take care of their developing bodies as they grow

  • 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

Schedule an evaluation today.

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- Michael 'Bird' Shaffer

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Young woman with backpack hiking through alpine meadow.Image by Holly Mandarich.

How can physical therapy and training help?

Athletic man lifting weights in gym.
Effective respiration and control for power.


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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Effective breathing mechanics for children


Children born with genetic variations or atypical anatomy or those who acquire life-changing conditions often sacrifice effective breathing mechanics to survive. 

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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Breathing performance training for musicians


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

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?

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Post-partum breathing strength training

Pre & Post Partum

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

Unfortunately, in-depth breathing work is usually overlooked due, in part, to the complexity of women’s health and pelvic floor performance. A piece of paper or a quick demo tacked on to your treatment is rarely enough to make a difference. Your breathing is the motion that holds your entire core. Doesn't your "core" deserve focused attention?

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Breathing performance training for endurance


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?

Surgical team in operating room
Effective breathing for surgical preparation and recovery

Pre/Post Surgery

Surgery and breathing are inseparable. Preparation and recovery are dependent on breathing effectively.

Pre-surgical patients benefit from training to be as ready as possible for the big days ahead. Simply put, patients with strong breathing and effective strategies for anxiety perform better under stress. Post-surgery presents a different set of challenges, including acute deconditioning, mechanical dysfunction due to scarring, and overall weakness. What is most difficult or worrisome for you?

Mountaineer climbing snowy mountain
Efficient breathing for high altitude


The higher you climb the lower the oxygen level in the air, making efficient breathing vital. 

A stronger system for taking in air gives you an advantage, whether you’re training for an expedition or just wanting to beat your partner up the hill. Shouldn’t every part of your body be strong enough for your environment?

Stressed man working at computer rubbing his eyes.
Breathing strategies for anxiety


Biologically we feel how we breathe and breath how we feel. Learn how to use breathing as a tool to control how you feel.

Science tells us that the connection point between mind and body is the human breath. Controlling respiration has been proven to control heart rate, improve oxygenation, lower blood pressure, decrease the release of stress hormones, and even help you quit smoking. Are you using all your tools to cope with your anxiety?

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Breathing training for balance


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

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?

Image by Tim Mossholder
Improved breathing with chronic conditions

Return to Function

Improved breathing is often the tipping point between "just getting by" and getting better. Chronic diseases like COPD and asthma or body 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?

For adults and children who experience a healthcare crisis, getting back to your full function can be a lengthy and lonely challenge. 

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Breathing as a tool to combat age-related changes


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

At a certain point, we are all either getting stronger or getting weaker. A busy life can make those weekend warrior opportunities to get after it even more important. Every person who breathes can benefit from breathing more effectively and efficiently. What do you have to lose, and how much could you gain?

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Breathing therapy for chronic pain

Chronic Pain

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

The diaphragm plays a tremendous role in postural support, and neck muscles are designed for movement, not breathing. Weakness and fatigue lead to patterns that cause pain. If your breathing were making your back or neck 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.


Bria S

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.  


Michael S

The reasons I recommend Academy West:

1. Andy is incredible! He is living his purpose through this work

2. Anyone can benefit from learning to   control their breathing and leaning the home positions of core strength.

3. I truly believe it will change

anyone's life! 


Pandie A

Without my connection to Academy West, I doubt at 61 years old I would have been riding my bike on 30 mile plus rides 4 months after my accident.


I completely attribute the fact that I could perform at this level to Andy and his individualized, thoughtful, informed and unique treatment and training.

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Ginger B 

The minute I walked in the door there was the most calm and comforting aura radiating from Bob, the receptionist and Andy, the PT. 

I would have to write a book to share all the benefit I have gained. I recommend Academy West to everyone who wants a better life and wants to learn how to correctly do what our body does 20,000 times per day. You will never regret going for a simple consultation and seeing for yourself.

I am a real patient, age 76 with life changing results. We are never too old to improve our lives. 

Academy West Breathing & Performance logo

210 SW Century Drive, Suite G

Bend OR 97702

(located near Bangers & Brews)



(541) 504-4676

(541) 326-0030


© 2021 Academy West