It’s might seem odd to think that you could improve something that you’ve been doing since the day you were born. Yet many of us could improve the way we breathe. Most people rarely notice the way that they breath. After all, it’s something which just goes on in the background even when we are fast asleep, so how could it possibly be a cause of problems?
Breathing involves several muscles – in the back, chest, abdomen and ribs. To work best they need space to be able to allow the lungs to expand and deflate naturally. The ribs should be able to rise upwards and outwards and the abdomen should be able to expand. Yet all too often we either under-use or restrict the movement of these muscles, resulting in quite shallow breathing. This happens when we are hunched over our computers, when we are tense and stressed, and even when we simply have the habit of slouching.
In times of anxiety, shallow breathing can even become a habit. Shallow and restricted breathing can be a problem because it is inefficient, reducing the volume of air we take in at each breath. This can lead to tiredness and a feeling of low energy. It can also perpetuate the feelings of stress and anxiety that caused it.
On the other hand, breathing more deeply, allowing the lungs to expand properly, can improve the efficiency of your breathing, making you feel more wakeful and can reduce the risk of tightness and discomfort in the back and rib muscles. Breathing deeply can also bring about a sense of calmness, reducing stress and anxiety.
So, spend a little time noticing how you are breathing – especially if you feel tired when working at your desk or if you feel stressed and anxious. Take a five or more good deep breaths, allowing your chest and abdomen to expand. You might be surprised at the difference it makes.
I offer specialised physical therapies including massage and myofascial release work in Leicestershire. Contact me to discover how I might help you improve your mobility and decrease stiffness and pain.