Diaphragmatic Breathing


When you take a truly deep breath, you are expanding the lungs, pressing down the diaphragm, and causing your abdomen to expand as your lungs fill with air. This is not only wonderful for reducing tension, but research has shown that it may also help with diseases that inhibit breathing, like emphysema.

Diaphragmatic breathing effectively calms us down. It also makes sure that you take in lots of oxygen. If you are not sure you are breathing deeply enough try lying down and putting a magazine on your stomach. Make sure you expel all your air, exhaling completely, and then slowly raise the magazine as you inhale. Inhale for five nice, long counts. Exhale the same way, counting until the magazine goes down. You can also use your hand instead of a magazine.

Breathing retraining has a lot to offer anxious hyper-tense patients. Anxious people are experiencing sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight system) over-arousal. Slow breathing reduces sympathetic nervous system over-arousal and increases parasympathetic nervous system activity – the relax, recuperate, regenerate system –which calms people down.