Today I am going to talk to you about breathing. Well, breathing and how that can impact everything from gut function to anxiety levels in the body. 

But how ? You might be thinking, "how does my inhale and exhale affect more than just oxygen in my body?"

The article explains the scientific reasons for the diaphragm muscle being an important crossroads for information involving the entire body. The diaphragm muscle extends from the trigeminal system to the pelvic floor, passing from the thoracic diaphragm to the floor of the mouth. Like many structures in the human body, the diaphragm muscle has more than one function, and has links throughout the body, and provides the network necessary for breathing. To assess and treat this muscle effectively, it is necessary to be aware of its anatomic, fascial, and neurologic complexity in the control of breathing. The patient is never a symptom localized, but a system that adapts to a corporeal dysfunction.
— https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3731110/

Your diaphragm muscle can impact not only muscles of the pelvis, but all the way up to the jaw as well as your organs.

On Anxiety and Breath

Recent evidences support the presence of subclinical changes in respiration and other functions related to body homeostasis in PD patients. The fear network, comprising the hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex, amygdala and its brainstem projections, may be abnormally sensitive in PD patients, and respiratory stimulants like CO2 may trigger panic attacks. Studies indicate that PD patients with dominant respiratory symptoms are particularly sensitive to respiratory tests compared to those who do not manifest dominant respiratory symptoms, representing a distinct subtype. The evidence of changes in several neurochemical systems might be the expression of the complex interaction among brain circuits.
— http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-44462012000500004

In short, anxiety levels can be impacted by the capacity to breath fully and breath effectively. 

 

Well, how can we help facilitate our breathing patterns to be more effective?

As I am not a doctor or a physician, these suggestions are to be taken at your own precaution. they are simple and non invasive. However, if symptoms do worsen, please do not use these and find a certified health practitioner in your area to further diagnose.

 

Exercise 1- 

Counting Breath. A simple exercises you can do anywhere to modulate breath. Take a few easy inhales through the nose (KEY!) and out the mouth to start. Then on an inhale through the nose, count to 4, and as you exhale (either out the mouth of the nose), count to 6. Repeat 8-10 times. Assess yourself to see how you feel.

 

Exercise 2 -

 

Belt Breathing. I used to do this as a singer, and does wonders to help re proprioception the area. Taking a belt, or a theraband, gently wrap it around your lower ribcage. As you inhale, visualize and focus on your inhale filling up the band, and as you exhale, repeat. Taking about 5-10 rounds of breath and re assess. 

 

Exercises 3 -

Straw breathing. Either lying, sitting, or standing, use an inhale through the nose, and slowly, with control, exhale through the straw. This one can be harder than you think! Use patience and practice to build stamina up. 

 

Your breath can do wonders to help facilitate or be a detriment to your movement and life goals. Which one it does is up to you !

Happy Breathing!

 

-Peak Body Integration