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Benefits of Breathing


Breathing is more than just taking oxygen in. If we consciously activate the diaphragm to take deeper breaths, magical things happen!

The diaphragm is a muscle located directly below the lungs. It is attached to the spine, sternum and lower ribs. When it contracts during inhalation, it lowers and widens, creating space for the lungs to expand. Just like any other muscle, the diaphragm can be strengthened, and one way to accomplish this is through diaphragmatic breathing, also called deep or belly breathing. When the diaphragm becomes stronger, it is able to perform its job more efficiently.

One major benefit of strengthening the diaphragm is improvement of lung efficiency. With increased lung capacity comes greater gas exchange, which means optimal blood oxygen levels and removal of carbon dioxide waste. This is especially helpful for people with mild to moderate COPD to increase their lung capacity.

Deep breathing helps calm our sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system and helps activate our parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system, lowering cortisol levels and combatting disease-causing chronic stress. As a result of lowered chronic stress, it also helps combat high blood pressure; depression; anxiety and panic disorders; and improves digestion.

Deep breathing also helps improve the immune system. Part of how our bodies stay healthy is through the lymphatic system. When the diaphragm is engaged during deep breathing, it acts as a pump that stimulates the lymph nodes nearby. This in turn helps move the lymph fluid, increasing toxin removal up to fifteen times the normal rate and keeps the immune system functioning properly.

Additionally, receiving a chiropractic adjustment can help free up the structures involved with breathing such as the ribs and the spine. Massage therapy also helps release the soft tissue associated with normal and labored breathing.

Thanks to Family Chiro Plus