Diaphragmatic Breathing has been shown to benefit chronic pain, anxiety, stress and difficulty in sleeping and depression.
Chronic pain is defined as a persistent, long-lasting pain that lasts longer than six months in spite of the required medical treatment. Individuals with chronic pain often tense their muscles in reaction to pain, which in turn aggravate pain altogether. Chronic pain can present itself in a series of forms including:
Headaches | Arthritis | Shingles | Sciatica | Back pain | Neck pain | Cancer pain | Emotional pain
But don’t wait for health symptoms to become chronic, there are many benefits which you can read about in this article to keep your inner health and wellbeing working for your lifelong benefit. Make it a part of your daily habit.
In a nutshell, what is Diaphragmatic Breathing? Try it with me now while reading this article.
Either lay down with your neck supported and a pillow under your knees, or sit down comfortably in a chair with the knees bent, feet flat on the floor and the shoulders, head and neck relaxed.
Relax your body and let my words become indelibly fixed in your mind through repetition… repetition… repetition… to become a part of your normal breathing habit. It is said that consistently doing something for 21 days causes that to happen. That is actually not correct. You need to do it however long it takes. So, whilst it may seem unnatural to breathe this way initially, your perseverance will pay off to give you great lasting benefits without trying.
Deliberately relax all your Muscles to let go and become Loose… Limp… and relaxed… Releasing any tension in your shoulders or your back or anywhere else you can feel tension. Your breathing just gentle and easy… Your chest relaxing, as you learn to breathe diaphragmatically to increase your health and wellness.
- Take a gentle deep breath through your nose – Feel as though you are gently sucking the air from the lower part of your stomach as you push and extend your belly out in front of you – as you complete that, continue sucking the air out of your upper chest until there is no air left to suck out – now hold your breath to the count of 4.
- Next, blow the air out of your mouth as though you are blowing up a balloon with one deep breath, squeezing the area just below your ribs (diaphragm) – until all the air has been blown out into the balloon. (blowing out of your mouth is done to carry the poisons from the body which would otherwise be caught and held by the sponge filters in the nose.)
That is all you need to do – Rhythmically in and out; breathing gently in through your nose… filling up your lower stomach, then your chest… hold to the count of 4…. Then, pushing the air out of your mouth, as though filling up a balloon, squeezing you diaphragm (just below the ribs), till all the air is expelled from your chest.
Every part of the exercise should be gentle but deep. Some instructions say to do that 6 times then rest for about a minute or two. Then do that another 6 times, then repeat those 12 repeats with the rest break 6 times more. However, I like to think about it as self-hypnosis or meditation, there is no right or wrong – you decide what feels right for you. Think of it like jogging, what puffs you out when you started, becomes easy to do with practice, allowing you to jog further than when you first started. But remember, effort = success.
If you feel as though you are getting light headed, then cut back on the number of times you are doing it – easy does it… same as you might feel light headed if you were blowing up too many party balloons – as you do it more often, you will increase the number of times when it seems right. The more times you remember to breathe like this during your day, the bigger health benefit you will get.
For thousands of years, humans have understood breathing has a powerful influence over our physical and mental wellbeing. But many people still find it difficult to understand the link and impact breathing has on our body and emotions.
With every breath that we take, we breathe in oxygen, and when we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. But more than that, when we breathe diaphragmatically… we can access the lower parts of the lungs, which are 7 times more productive in gas exchange than the upper parts of the lungs. Don’t be surprised if you start yawning as you do this, for some (and I am one of these) this is just a natural reaction.
When breathing with your diaphragm you eliminate wastes from the body. Further, the lymphatic system helps remove wastes from the body… But we need help from our muscles to do this. Contraction of the diaphragm through proper breathing stimulates the lymph nodes and facilitates lymphatic drainage.
Breathing diaphragmatically helps shift the balance from a state of fight or flight response to one of rest and digest. What this does, it to help shift our body and mind from a state of feeling stressed to one of feeling calm.
Pathogens or organisms are the nasties that cause us disease. When using diaphragmatic breathing and increasing the oxygen in your body, this helps to kill them off.
Diaphragmatic breathing gets rid of illness fast… It eases joint pain… Fills you with energy… It benefits your kidneys, liver, heart and all systems of the body.
Everything takes a little while to feel normal. Repetition… Repetition… Repetition… Short-term memory… Long-term memory… Habit… So, do yourself a favour and bring this breathing exercise for your inner health to become a normal part of your daily routine.
Your body will love you for it and become healthier in the process. Do your friends a favour and pass on this information to them too.
- Mechanics of breathing V3 0. 12/05/2016. Animation and Explainer Video. https://youtu.be/OmoU3EexFQQ
- C.A. Jennner MB BS, FRCA. 16/6/2007. Diaphragmatic Breathing and Chronic Pain.
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