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To reduce suffering and improve quality of life by changing the understanding and experience of functional breathing

"Breathing First" Approach

Humans tend to think of breathing last or not at all.  That's because every human alive can "just breathe", which means this is how we talk about it and understand it.  How someone breathes is the single most impactful action hey perform 20,000 times each day.  So that is where we start!  At Academy West, we help you to understand, feel, see, talk about, and use your breathing first.  Using a physical-therapy-based approach, proven methods, current medical research, and objective data we clear up confusion, misunderstanding and harm that can be done by dysfunctional breathing.


While many people attempt to teach breathing with yoga / meditation / energy  backgrounds, Academy West was developed and propelled by success in the ICU. We provide the most medically credible and reliably professional breathing evaluation, education, and intervention available anywhere. Physical Therapists are highly trained medical experts in body movement and patient education. We identify muscle groups and movement patterns that require improvement, and use a combination of hands-on manual skills and strength training aimed at your respiratory system. By targeting the "breathing first", we effect change throughout the body. We believe that the musculoskeletal expertise, extensive medical experience with all types of bodies, and hands-on approach are what set us apart from any other resource.


Built on the same physical therapy concepts, Performance Training is geared toward enhancement of human potential.  Academy West incorporates simple breathing strategies during dynamic athletic activity to retrain the brain to breathe more effectively. This translates to use of effective breathing strategies both in everyday life and in pursuit of greatness. 


Our Beginning

Based on the success of focused breathing evaluation, education, and intervention in the ICU, Academy West was founded to apply these principles to a greater population. Teaching and facilitating the use of breathing strategies then incorporating elements of strength and endurance training allows all populations across various levels of activity to benefit. No matter our age or activity level, we are all trying to perform better in one way or another, and it starts and ends with how we breathe.

Andy Sabatier, PT, DPT

Breathing Focused Physical Therapist

Andy Sabatier, PT, DPT at Academy West in Bend, Oregon

Ben Dullum completed his doctorate in physical therapy in 2017 at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth MN,  followed inpatient training at Salem Hospital as well as orthopedic training at Essentia in Duluth MN.  He has been utilizing the Academy West “breathing first” approach since he began ICU training in 2019.  He remains primary PT for the ICU here in Central Oregon while working at Academy West.


Prior to his work as a therapist, Ben has earned a BS in exercise physiology while also running cross country before venturing into greater running challenges.  He has completed more than 200 marathon distances, and currently specializes in running self-supported runs greater than 100 miles.  He has completed the Cocodona 250 and is the reigning champion of the Oregon 200, finishing nearly 2 hours ahead of the field and all while breathing functionally through his nose.  His training includes powerlifting, strength training, and Nordic skiing all with a “breathing first” approach.  He enjoys mentoring and coaching aspiring distance runners to meet their full potential.

Bob Maddox, BS

Clinical Coordinator & Assistant

Physical Therapy near me, Bend Or

Andy Sabatier completed his doctorate in physical therapy in 2013 from New York University, followed by clinical training at Stanford Hospital in the cardiac ICU. He helped thousands of patients to breathe to survive their most critical and complicated moments practicing in the ICU in Central Oregon. He has continued to study breathing mechanics under the guidance of Mary Massery DPT.

Prior to his work as a physical therapist, Andy earned a BS in psychology while playing four years of lacrosse at Auburn University. After moving west, he enjoyed a 5-year career as a professional freeskier, traveling and competing in some of the world’s most iconic mountains. Acquiring knowledge about the human body and training for the challenges that lie ahead has been his life’s work. Academy West combines that passion for excellence in performance with a critical eye for patient care and improving the human condition through the power of functional breathing strategies.

Ben Dullum, PT, DPT

Breathing Focused Physical Therapist

Physical Therapist, Bend Oregon, Breathing Physical Therapist

Bob Maddox completed her bachelors degree in exercise physiology at Wester State in Gunnison Colorado.  As a competitive Nordic skier in college, she gained proficiency at understanding the nuances of movement that create efficiency and honed her own competitive spirit.


Bob wears many different hats at Academy West including scheduling, social media marketing, communication with patients and providers as well as involvement in evaluation and workshops.  Bob has a tremendous amount of experience working in a clinical environment for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech language pathology.  In her free time, she can be found in nature moving fast while breathing slowly and occasionally hugging trees.  She has never met a dog she didn't like, and she enjoys connecting with enthusiastic people, exploring, and finding adventure. 

About Andy

Ready to shift your breathing?

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