Benefits of Diaphragmic Breathing
Benefits of diaphragmic breathing are wide-ranged and can help manage symptoms caused by irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness and Oral Myofascial Disorders to name a few. These exercises are designed to strengthen the diaphragm, an important muscle that helps you breathe correctly.
What is the Diaphragm?
The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle that sits below the lungs and hearts and is attached to the sternum. It is the primary breathing muscle that helps us fill the belly and lungs with deep, even breaths. The muscles that surround the neck, upper chest and shoulders are secondary muscles.
Three Reasons Diaphragm Breathing is Important
As we get older, things like stress, chronic pain and Oral Myofascial Disorders can cause us to hold our breath, breath quickly or shallowly with the secondary muscles. This adds extra strain on those muscles that are already working overtime. Tired of getting headaches, neck aches and shoulder pain?
Another reason it’s important to breathe from the diaphragm is to maintain healthy pH levels in the blood.
A normal pH level is 7.4. According to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), a conditioned known as acidosis is characterized by a pH of 7.35 or lower. Acidosis can lead to numerous health issues, and it can even be life-threatening. Acidosis can be caused by excessive shallow breathing.
Lastly, studies have shown that ten minutes of diaphragmatic breathing exercises three times a day can reduce stress and make you think more clearly.
There are two main branches of the autonomic nervous system; sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and restore). When the sympathetic system is activated, more oxygen is sent to your arms and legs in preparation for flight or fight and that means less oxygen is going to your brain which makes it difficult to think clearly.
Deep breathing and relaxation activate the parasympathetic system, which sends a signal to your brain to tell the anxious part that you’re okay and don’t fight or flee.
Oral Myofunctional therapy is used to restore function and movement to the body as a whole. It can contribute to healthy breathing patterns by focusing on exercises that enforce slow, nasal, diaphragmatic breathing.
Want to learn more about Oral Myofunctional therapy? Set up an appointment today at Southwest Myofunctional Therapy (505) 218-6565.