How you breathe
Assess, Treat, Rehabilitate…
Have you ever considered how well you Breathe?
Breathing is something most of us don’t really pay attention to, unless you take part in certain exercises where it is discussed as in yoga, Pilates, martial arts and meditation.
Have you ever considered why they discuss breathing?
Diaphragmatic breathing is a type of a breathing exercise that helps strengthen your diaphragm, an important muscle that helps you breathe and forms an integral part of your core stability.
You can probably recall holding your breathe or breathing out when moving something heavy? This creates additional core stability when exerting a force, and a strong core is essential for the body to function, if the core is weak it’s like firing a cannon from a canoe.
So, what does the research tell us?
Being part of the core structure it;
improves your core stability.
improves your body’s ability to tolerate intense exercise.
It reduced the risk of injury to the spine.
Things you might not know:
It helps you relax, lowering the harmful effects of the stress hormone cortisol on your body.
It lowers your heart rate
It helps lower your blood pressure
Here’s a brief description on one exercise to breathe with the diaphragm.
- Lie on your back on a flat surface (or in bed), use a pillow for your head, and if you have pain or any stiffness in the spine or its uncomfortable lie with your knees bent using a cushion to support them.
- Place one hand on your upper chest and the other on your belly, just below your rib cage.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose, letting the air in deeply, towards your lower belly. The hand on your chest should remain still, while the one on your belly should rise.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles and let them fall inward as you exhale through pursed lips. The hand on your belly should move down to its original position.
You can also practice this sitting in a chair, with your knees bent and your shoulders, head, and neck relaxed. Practice for five to 10 minutes, several times a day if possible.
Refs: (The Impact of Resonance Frequency Breathing on Measures of Heart Rate Variability, Blood Pressure, and Mood, Patrick R.Steffen., et al 2017) (A randomized controlled trial on effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping in young adultsNidich SI., et al 2009)
If in doubt speak too your osteopath or physio, it is what we do: Assess-Treat-Rehabilitate,
any questions give us a call..
Deansgate Osteopathic Clinic