Maybe it's something you've never thought of, but many people have found several benefits in practicing breathing techniques.
Maybe you've never even thought that there were multiple breathing techniques. Besides, breathing is something we've just always done naturally.
While that's true, and you typically shouldn't have to think too hard about the way you breathe.
However, there are ways to improve your physical as well as your mental health by taking a few minutes out of each day to focus on deep breathing.
A growing number of people around the world have found that practicing these techniques has dramatically benefited their physical and mental well-being.
In the article below, we will take a look at deep breathing and how it can affect your health.
Table of Contents
- What Effect Does Incorrect Breathing Have On Us?
- Proper Breathing For Better Posture
- Deep Breathing for Anxiety and Stress
- How Deep Breathing Can Protect Your Back
- How To Practice Deep Breathing
- How to Practice Deep Breathing, the Next Steps
- Chiropractic Care Can Help Even More
What Effect Does Incorrect Breathing Have On Us?
If you've never practiced deep breathing, and limit your breath to the chest, it not only reduces your oxygen intake, but your diaphragm also remains tense.
A tense diaphragm can lead to tightness around your aorta, the main blood vessel in your body.
It can also lead to restricted movement around your large bowel, potentially leading to high blood pressure and constipation.
Never practicing deep breathing also leads to the overuse of your accessory muscles of breathing, the muscles of your neck and shoulders.
That causes those muscles to fatigue and tighten up, leading to pain and tiredness.
Deep breathing is especially important for people with impaired breathing, like those with asthma or emphysema.
Proper Breathing For Better Posture
Your breathing can actually influence the way you stand and sit.
Your posture has a significant impact on your overall health.
Posture has been scientifically linked to higher rates of anxiety, low self-esteem, and pain-related issues like headaches.
The easiest way to breathe in a manner that keeps your spine upright is by making sure you are inhaling and exhaling through your belly with deep breathing.
We'll talk more about how to practice deep breathing later on.
Deep Breathing for Anxiety and Stress
Deep breathing can also reduce stress and anxiety, which can, in turn, improve the health of your spine.
When you're stressed, your muscles tense up involuntarily, which can strain the muscles that support your spinal column.
Anxiety is often exacerbated by hyperventilating, which also occurs involuntarily.
A study in 2010 found that slow abdominal breathing reduced the "fight-or-flight" response in individuals.
It also found that deep breathing reduces stress, anxiety, anger, and inflammation by activating the "relaxation response."
By practicing deep breathing and learning how to slow down your breath, you might be able to keep severe anxiety at bay.
How Deep Breathing Can Protect Your Back
Almost everyone has felt low back pain or will feel it at some point in their lives.
Luckily, there are some simple and effective ways to mitigate and prevent low back pain.
Deep belly breathing is one of those ways.
Belly breathing builds intra-abdominal pressure. It involves training your breathing pattern to create a cylinder of pressure in your abdomen.
This helps protect your lower back from excessive strain or injury and can improve the way you move and feel over time.
Most people don't realize that your breathing pattern and spinal stability heavily influence your strength and efficiency.
Imagine that the muscles that hold your spine together are all members of a rock band.
All of the members of the band have to play at the right time and at the right level to perform a song.
Your breathing is the bandleader the makes sure everyone in the band is doing their part.
How to Practice Deep Breathing
With all of this talk about belly breathing, you are probably wondering how you know if you're doing it right.
Luckily, there are are a few short steps you can do to practice:
- Lay on the floor on your back on a mat. Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor.
- Put your hands on top of your stomach. Take ten deep breathes, making sure to inflate your belly toward the ceiling. Keep your chest, neck, and shoulders relaxed.
- Move your hands to the sides of your waist and inflate your abdomen outward into your hands for 5 to 10 breaths.
- Make sure to press your lower back into the floor each time you inflate your abdomen.
- Do this until you feel comfortable and confident in your ability to breathe deeply.
How to Practice Deep Breathing, the Next Steps
- Do the above steps for five breaths.
- Practice keeping your stomach expanded, even during your exhale. Fill your abdomen with air, pushing it out in all directions. Maintain this shape while you exhale.
- Repeat this for 15 to 20 breaths. Make sure to keep your chest, neck, and shoulders relaxed.
Chiropractic Care Can Help Even More
Although deep breathing has proven to help many people, it always helps to have a professional at your side.
Someone who can help monitor your health and wellness to keep you updated on where you stand.
That's where the team at Arrowhead Clinic comes in.
If you want to take charge of your health, consulting with a chiropractor at the Arrowhead Clinic can bring about immediate relief from issues like back pain to insomnia and digestive issues.
Your chiropractor can also help you make lifestyle modifications so you can live a healthier overall life for better long-term health.
To contact the team at Arrowhead Clinic and get started today, click the button below.