Tom Willemann Health Tips

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Square Breathing or Box Breathing

I was introduced to the “box breathing” (or “square breathing”) technique years ago while in graduate school at the University of Miami. Every time I teach someone in the clinic about this self-calming strategy, it also helps me – even if I do it only for a minute.

I’m a big advocate of meditation and its many benefits. To be completely honest, I have a hard time incorporating it into my own health and wellness initiatives.  After this video, I’m making a promise to myself to start introducing this regularly into my daily program.


Find a moment in the day for 3 to 5 minutes of uninterrupted time. 

It can be in the bathroom or in the car before you start work.

Step 1: Visualize a box or draw one out.  Start focusing on the lower left corner of the box and slowly inhale through your nose for a count of four seconds into your stomach.  Try to avoid breathing shallowly into your chest.

Step 2: After four seconds, hold the air in for four seconds.

Step 3: Slowly breathe out through your mouth for a count of four seconds.

Step 4: Maintain your lungs empty for four seconds.

Repeat for 3 to 5 minutes.  While counting, visualize each side of the square as a mouse scrolling on the perimeter gradually through.

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Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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