Diaphragmatic breathing naturally
relaxes the mind and body.
This practice is designed to calm your nervous system. The purpose of this practice is to decrease your ‘fight or flight’ response, or your sympathetic arousal, and reduce muscle tension caused by your response to stress.
When we feel pain or stress our instant unconscious reaction is to hold our breath. Diaphragmatic breathing helps to eliminate shallow chest breathing that is common when we feel stressed or are in pain. This technique encourages full exhalation and inhalation.
Practice reducing your response to stress by breathing “3:5” pace. Inhale for a count of 3 seconds, pause naturally and then exhale for a count of 5 seconds. Repeat this breathing pace while doing the Static Back Stretch.
- Lie on the floor face up with knees slightly bent.
- Place one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest.
- Concentrate on breathing using the diaphragm, not using the chest, and feeling the stomach rise as the lungs fill from the bottom.
- Let the stomach fall naturally when breathing out by relaxing the diaphragm.
Diaphragmatic breathing is used to reduce the arousal (startle) response to stress and release endorphins which are the body’s natural feel good pain killers.
Try this breathing exercise in the seated and standing position.