The diaphragm is a dome-shaped respiratory muscle located just below your chest. When you breathe and exhale, the diaphragm and other respiratory muscles in your lungs contract. The diaphragm does most of the work during the inhalation part. During inhalation, the diaphragm contracts so your lungs can expand into the extra space and let in as much air as needed. The muscles between your ribs, known as the intercostal muscles, lift up your rib cage to help your diaphragm get enough air into your lungs.The muscles near your collarbone and neck also assist these muscles when something makes it difficult to breathe properly; they all ,the ribs can contribute to making room for your lungs.
What is Diaphragmatic Breathing?
Diaphragmatic breathing is a type of breathing exercise in which we use the diaphragm mostly while breathing. This breathing exercise is also sometimes called belly breathing or abdominal breathing.
Why is Diaphragmatic Breathing İmportant?
The idea that diaphragmatic breathing should be the main type of breathing supports the idea that it provides parasympathetic system activation during diaphragmatic breathing and creates a micromassage effect in the intra-abdominal organs.In studies, it has been found that the oxygen level in the arterial blood is low in individuals who breathe in the upper chest.
Another important feature of the diaphragm is to stimulate and increase lymphatic drainage with the vacuum effect it creates during contraction and relaxation.In this case, the rate of excretion of toxic substances from the body increases significantly.
Being stressed prevents your immune system from working at full capacity.This can make you more susceptible to a variety of conditions.And over time, even minor disease like traffic, problems with loved ones, or other daily worries can cause you to experience long-term (chronic) stress, anxiety, or depression.Most of the health problems experienced today are caused by our sympathetic system being constantly active (even during sleep) due to our endless anxiety.Continuous sympathetic system activity, that is, a constant “Fight or Flight” activation, naturally causes wear on the body.
Here are some deep diaphragmatic breathing exercises that can help you reduce these effects of stress.We can explain the effect of these breathing exercises on reducing stress symptoms by providing parasympathetic system activation.The most important nerve of the parasympathetic system is N.The vagus passes through the diaphragm. For this reason, we can say that we provide a massage effect to the Vagus with every respiration that we use and move the diaphragm actively.
Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises
Lie down with your back on a flat surface or on a bed, your knees bent and your head supported.You can use a pillow under your knees to support your legs.Place one hand on your upper chest and the other hand just below your rib cage.This will allow you to feel that your diaphragm is moving when you breathe.
Breathe slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves towards your hand.The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.
Exhale calmly through your mouth, extending your exhalation time as much as possible. (Like if you took a breath for 2 seconds, give it 4 seconds.) The hand on your upper chest should remain as still as possible.
When you first learn the diaphragmatic breathing technique, it may be easier to follow the outstretched instructions as shown above.As you gain more practice, you can try the diaphragmatic breathing technique while sitting on a chair, as shown below.
To do this exercise while sitting in a chair:
-Sit comfortably with your knees bent and your shoulders, head and neck relaxed.
-Place one hand on your upper chest and the other hand just below the rib cage. This will allow you to feel that your diaphragm is moving when you breathe.
-Breathe slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves towards your hand. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.
Tighten your abdominal muscles, allowing them to fall inward as you exhale through puckered lips. The hand on your upper chest should remain as still as possible.
At first, practice this exercise for 5-10 minutes about 3-4 times a day. Progressively increase the time you spend doing this exercise, and perhaps increase the effort of the exercise by putting a book on your stomach.