Diaphragmatic Breathing can help to bring calm and relaxation whilst enhancing a persons body awareness and ability to cope with anxiety.
What is the diaphragm?
The diaphragm is dome-shaped muscle that lies at the bottom of the rib cage and is the primary breathing muscle.
What is Diaphragmatic Breathing?
Diaphragmatic Breathing is where you use your diaphragm (primary breathing muscle) to breathe. It is not uncommon (especially in adults) to see the chest rise as they breathe and the stomach sucked in. This is an indicator that the diaphragm has not been engaged correctly which can result in a weaker core and a reduced amount of oxygen being drawn into the body.
When diaphragmatic breathing is performed correctly we will be able to visually see the stomach rise as the air is drawn into the lower part of the lungs. Diaphragmatic breathing can include the chest rising however this should be the last thing expand. Try to imagine drawing all of your breath into the entire rib cage, include the front, back and sides.
As we breathe out, the opposite occurs and we can see both the chest and stomach fall and relax. In general, children are naturally better at diaphragmatic breathing than adults.
Why is Diaphragmatic Breathing important?
Diaphragmatic Breathing ensures that the air is drawn into the lower part of the lungs. By breathing correctly you can help to decrease any additional intra-abdominal pressure on your stomach, which can help you to maintain a functional, stable core and to avoid any muscular imbalances leading to abdominal separation.