See How To Video Below
Diaphragmatic or deep breathing is essential to our well-being. It is a normal way of breathing that utilizes the diaphragm to increase oxygenation to the rest of our bodies. The diaphragm is a muscle that runs horizontally across our midsection that separates the chest from the abdomen, and it's sole purpose is for respiration.
There are many positive effects from this type of breathing as it helps to shut off the fight or flight response and promote relaxation. Health benefits include decreased stress, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and headaches. It helps to reduce breathlessness in people with COPD or asthma. It is also utilized by many singers and musicians. This is crucial as summer is drawing to a close and the busy time of the year begins to ramp up with increased demands from work, school, and the holidays.
You may be thinking, how does this work? I want you to think of a time you have been stress or have even seen a person on TV hyperventilate. What happens? The rate of respiration increases, which increases oxygen levels, but also decreases carbon-dioxide in the bloodstream. This causes increased agitation, and why you may see people breathing into a bag on TV. Carbon-dioxide is actually a benefit as it helps to calm you down. This is one way that deep breathing works by creating an optimal balance of oxygen and carbon-dioxide in the blood stream to help with the calming effect. It is also why I recommend breathing OUT for 1 more second than breathing in during a stressful time. It also works because secondary muscles from the neck and chest do not get involved with respiration. These muscles are not meant to have the type of endurance it takes to breath 24-7 and often get tense and sore from the inability to keep up. Tension in the neck does not feel good and can often lead to even greater anxiety.
How do I perform deep breathing?
Remember to "SMELL THE ROSES & BLOW OUT THE CANDLES"
James Dulkerian, DPT
Active outdoorsman with an honest soul and a passion for health.