When you are trying to relax, the way to breathe, is to breathe slowly and deeply by using your diaphragm and abdomen. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose and fill your lungs (from the bottom, side, then top of the lungs) with air. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then slowly exhale through your mouth. Focus on the movement of your abdomen as you inhale and exhale. You know that you are doing this breathing right when: As you inhale, you feel your abdomen/ diaphragm rise, instead of your chest,.
Every now and then during a massage treatment, a client can perform diaphragmatic breathing to help their body relax and to increase blood flow. The client can concentrate and try to “breathe into the area of the body the therapist is working on”.
The diaphragm is a large muscle at the bottom of your lungs that helps you breathe
Diaphragmatic Breathing vs Belly Breathing vs Abdominal Breathing
Diaphragmatic breathing is a breathing technique that involves deep breaths that are taken in through the nose and directed down into the diaphragm/ belly/ abdomen. It is also known as belly breathing or abdominal breathing. This type of breathing helps to reduce stress, increase relaxation, and can improve overall wellbeing.
Steps: How to Perform Diaphragmatic Breathing
- Loosen up your body.
- Begin by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position. You may close your eyes for more relaxation.
- Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly just below your ribcage. (This is for you to feel that your belly and NOT your chest is rising as you inhale.)
- Slowly inhale through your nose, making sure to feel your stomach expand as you do so.
- As you inhale, focus on letting your stomach out, rather than your chest.
- Your slow inhalation should take 3 to 5 seconds.
- Hold the air in your lungs for about 3 seconds.
- Then, exhale the air out slowly and fully through your mouth, allowing your stomach to flatten.
- Your slow exhalation should also take about 3 to 5 seconds.
Note: Diaphragmatic breathing can be performed for 5 to 10 minutes, and several times a day if possible. It is a good technique to use when you are anxious, stressed, or trying to relax or fall asleep.
VIDEO: Perform Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique
15 Benefits of Diaphragmatic Breathing
- Improved Posture: Diaphragmatic breathing helps promote better posture by strengthening the diaphragm and core muscles, which helps improve spinal alignment and posture.
- Enhanced Relaxation: Deep, diaphragmatic breathing helps to reduce stress hormones in the body and relax the body and mind.
- Reduced Stress: Belly breathing helps reduce tension in the body and mind, which can help reduce stress levels.
- Improved Concentration: Diaphragmatic breathing helps increase oxygen intake and reduce tension in the body and mind, which can help improve focus and concentration.
- Improved Digestion: Abdominal breathing helps massage the internal organs, which can help improve digestion.
- Increased Oxygen Intake: Diaphragmatic breathing helps increase the amount of oxygen entering the body, which can help improve overall health.
- Improved Lymphatic Drainage: Diaphragmatic breathing helps massage the lymphatic system, which can help improve lymphatic drainage and overall health.
- Reduced Heart Rate: Belly breathing helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure, which can help improve overall health and wellbeing.
- Improved Immunity: Diaphragmatic breathing helps reduce inflammation in the body, which can help improve immunity and reduce the risk of illnesses.
- Improved Overall Health and Wellbeing: Diaphragmatic breathing helps to reduce stress hormones, increase oxygen intake, massage the internal organs and improve posture, which can help to improve overall health and wellbeing.
- Improved Breathing Efficiency: Diaphragmatic breathing helps strengthen the diaphragm and core muscles, which can help improve breathing efficiency.
- Reduced Anxiety: Belly breathing helps reduce stress hormones, which can help reduce anxiety levels.
- Increased Energy Levels: Diaphragmatic breathing helps increase oxygen intake, which can help improve energy levels.
- Improved Sleep Quality: Abdominal breathing helps to reduce stress hormones, which can help to improve sleep quality.
- Reduced Risk of Respiratory Illnesses: Diaphragmatic breathing helps reduce inflammation in the respiratory system, which can help improve immunity which helps reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses.