We do it all the time, but just because we are breathing, it doesn’t mean we are doing it correctly.
Proper breathing involves using your diaphragm - a muscle located at the base of the lungs separating the chest and abdominal cavities. When you breathe with your diaphragm the muscle works like a pump drawing air into the lower lung spaces. During inhalation you should notice your belly move forward and the lower ribs expand out to the side.
Many people are chest breathers, especially if they are stressed. When you breathe with your chest, you engage the neck, shoulder and upper rib muscles as your chest elevates towards your chin when breathing inwards. Eventually this can lead to chronic neck and shoulder tension and postural changes that include a forward shift in the head and rounding of the shoulders.
Next time you are in to see your chiropractor, have them demonstrate diaphragm breathing. It’s useful to perform this by breathing through the nose and making the out breath longer than the in breath. This is a great way to improve your posture and an important tool in relaxing the body.
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