Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is a natural breathing pattern that we are born with but many of lose this due to lifestyle and even poor posture. As a result the majority of us become shallow breathers where we do not use our diaphragmatic muscles correctly. As a physical therapist I see many patients who come into our clinic with incorrect breathing patterns which inadvertently causes a stress response in the rest of the body. Oftentimes these patients come in with poor posture as well. Once I educate my physical therapy patients with the correct breathing pattern I find that their symptoms subside over time and they also notice an overall sense of well-being. There are many benefits of diaphragmatic breathing, many of which include: improved posture, increase their oxygen flow and release of toxins such as carbon dioxide.
Here’s how you can quickly change your breathing pattern today. First you want to become aware of your incorrect breathing pattern by placing your hand on your belly. When you breathe check and see whether your belly rising up or is your chest rising more? Once you determine this you want to practice breathing in the correct pattern to start forming the habit of reading breathing differently.
To do this first sit in a chair with your feet flat and place your hands on your belly. Then take a deep breath in and let your belly expand. When you breathe out gently push the belly in. Repeat this 10 times and do this twice a day. By doing this exercise on a regular basis for a few weeks you will notice that this new breathing pattern will start to become a habit. Eventually you will find yourself breathing in this new way more automatically throughout the day. It is definitely worth trying. You have nothing to lose and only an opportunity to feel better.

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