Breathing

Breathing is natural however how we breathe affects our Well-being.

With the widespread use of computers for work, long work hours, prolonged sitting and stress in our lives our breathing can become shallow even holding our breath at times.

This is not good for us physically, physiologically or emotionally.

  1. Physically shallow breathing makes the rib cage stiff affecting the lower back (- see back pain page) and is a frequent cause of neck and shoulder pain. When we do not breathe into the lower chest using the diaphragm, we use neck and shoulder muscles to lift the rib cage. This causes fatigue and ultimately pain in the neck and shoulders.
  2. Physiologically it affects our blood gases and internal health
  3. Emotionally shallow breathing makes the body think there is danger putting it into a tense stress response. We have primitive bodies that have not adapted to computer use, our bodies interpret shallow breathing as us being in danger. Have you ever noticed what your breath is like when you are feeling anxious or stressed? Try it, does the breath become shorter and shallow? You may feel it high in the chest rather than down in your belly or side ribs.

Breathing practices specifically for you are available at The Physio + Yoga Clinic, Crows Nest.

NOTE: We are all individuals and the tips below are general, they do not suit everyone.

1. Postural correction and stretches: Correcting of your posture and learning to release muscle tension with specific gentle stretches can enhance your ease of breathing and reduce stress. There is much more you can do..let us show you how to help yourself Book Online.

 

2. Simple breath awareness: start with this simple exercise below

Become aware of your breath and the quality of your inhalation for a few breaths, then turn your attention to your exhalation. This is a simple and effective way to bring your attention back to your body and to give your brain breaks throughout the day.  If you are able to incorporate short full stop moments throughout your day, to pause, and “to be”, you can end your day with more energy. Taking a pause to breathe need only take  1-2 minutes here and there; give yourself the opportunity to reconnect to your body.

3. Belly breathing and Box Breathing: Place your hands on your belly. Just be aware of your natural breathing. Feel the belly rise and fall. Your breathing will naturally elongate as you observe it. If you get anxious, try blowing the air out through pursed lips on each exhalation until you feel better.

You may like to try Box breathing: breathing in for the count of 4, hold for the count of 4, breathe out for the count of 4, hold for the count of 4. Having a slightly longer exhalation can be more calming. Become aware of your body. Scan your body and breathe into any tense spots.

 

There are many more techniques and postural tips to improve your breathing and your sense of well-being. Physio and yoga combined here at The Physio & Yoga Clinic in Crows Nest has many techniques to help you individually.

The great thing about the breath is that it is with us wherever we go! You can use your breath to settle both tension in the body, and the mind.