Diaphragmatic Breathing

 
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Is there a better, more efficient way to breath? Without using terms like right and wrong when applied to something which is mostly involuntary like breathing, most people do tend to breathe in very constructed, sympathetic(stress response) dominant ways.

 

Most people use their upper chest when they inhale, never fully engaging their diaphragm and core. They take a breath in and the chest rises, exhale and chest deflates. After years of stress and sympathetic overload our chest muscles have learned to remain tight and constructed without our even being aware. This type of breathing doesn’t allow for full lung expansion and oxygenation to occur.

 

To get a breath that fills your whole lungs and aerates them fully you need to breathe from your diaphragm.

 

Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique:

1. Put your hand on your belly button and imagine a ballon expanding pushing your belly button out as you inhale (chest should not move).

 

2. Then as you exhale imagine the balloon collapsing against your spine as your belly button moves back to center as you exhale (chest should not move).

 

Breathing in this way will also stimulate the parasympathetic response (rest and digest response). At first this type of breathing will be difficult, but eventually it will be like driving a car, you can do it without even really noticing it’s happening.

 

For an advanced technique try and make the inhale 4 seconds and the exhale 6. This allows for greater parasympathetic stimulation.

 

During times of stress if you refocus the technique you will notice how your mind will follow the breath and you will feel more calm and at peace.

 

credit via google images