What is diaphragm breathing?
Diaphragmatic breathing exercise, also known as belly breathing or abdominal breathing, is a type of exercise that helps strengthen your diaphragm. Breathing with your belly using diaphragm muscle, an efficient dome-shaped muscle that sits below the lungs, helps air flowing in and out of the lungs. While normal breathing is comparatively shallow and does not use the full capacity of the lungs, diaphragm breathing stimulates more power that results in deeper breathing.
The contractions that happen when a person inhales and exhales, creates a space for the lungs to expand and fill with air. The diaphragm relaxes and moves upward when a person exhales, therefore air moves out of the lungs.
A person is engaging their diaphragm consciously to take deeper breaths which results in stomach rising and falling. This also causes an expanding and stretching sensation in the stomach, rather than only in their chest and shoulders.
How do you do diaphragm breathing?
The simplest form out of numerous diaphragm breathing is basic diaphragmatic. Here are the steps on how to do basic diaphragmatic breathing:
- Find a comfortable place, lie down on a flat surface with your head on a pillow and a support pillow beneath your knees.
- Place one hand on your upper chest and the other one on the stomach, below the ribcage above the diaphragm.
- Slowly inhale through the nose to draw the breath down into the stomach. While inhaling, the stomach should rise up against the hand, although your hand should remain still in the chest.
- Slowly exhale through pursed lips, tighten abdominal muscles and let the stomach fall downward. Similar to the inhaling step, the hand on the chest remains still. - Repeat these steps several times for best results.
What are the benefits of diaphragm breathing?
Diaphragm breathing is centered to be a practice of meditation that is known to help maintain wide-ranging health conditions symptoms, such as irritable bowel syndrome, depression and anxiety, and trouble of falling asleep at night.
Here are some more benefits that diaphragm breathing can benefit you:
- Relaxation by lowering damaging effects of stress hormone cortisol on your body - Maintain your heart at normal rate
- Helps lower your blood pressure
- As a coping mechanism for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms - Strengthens your core muscle stability
- Improves your body’s ability to experience intense workout
- Lowers your chance of muscle injury and wear out
- Slows down your breathing so it bolsters less energy
Reducing stress is one of the biggest benefits diaphragmatic breathing can have. With this exercise, your immune system is working at full capacity boosting up your health to prevent being susceptible to numerous health conditions.
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