Diaphragmatic Breathing | Movement of the Month

Dr. Miaken Zeiger | Wednesday June 23, 2021

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic Breathing Movement of the Month Exercise by Dr. Miaken Zeigler, Denver CO

Did you know… email apnea is a condition coined in 2008, that affects 80% of us? What is it? Apnea is chronic shallow or interrupted breathing which can contribute to stress-related concerns. Most of us have heard of sleep apnea… but it can also occur when using technology, aka: email apnea, and includes time spent on email, text or a general screen. When apnea occurs, our oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitric oxide levels fall out of balance creating a more acidic body chemistry.

In short, we’re holding our breath for short bursts of time robbing our bodies of vital oxygen that creates a toxic internal environment… every time we’re on a screen.

That’s why, this month’s movement of the month focuses on diaphragmatic breathing. Through daily spinal hygiene practice – we work to bring awareness to our body both in how we hold and carry ourselves… with the goal of reinforcing healthy, aligned structure and neurological patterning. Your breath is essential, necessary, and vital to that daily practice.

In fact, breathing is one of the quickest ways to instantly change your neurology. Inhaling stimulates sympathetic function (fight or flight,) exhaling stimulates parasympathetic function (rest & digest.)

I think we can agree, being in a parasympathetic state can anchor us into the moment and reconnect us to ourselves… not to mention provide our bodies with oxygen-rich blood! Give it a try – you’ll be amazed at how 3-5 breaths can change your immediate experience.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Warm-Up: 5-deep, short breaths from the belly (think blowing a balloon down into the belly.) Inhale through the nose, out through the mouth. Place your hands on your belly to help guide your breath.

Instructions:

  1. Sitting or lying down, place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. (if you’re just starting, lying down is the best position to practice!)
  2. Take a deep breath, in through your nose, filling up your belly (which lifts your belly hand;) your chest hand should not move.
  3. Count to 4. Pause at the top.
  4. Slowly, release the air through your mouth, to a count of 8. Pause at the bottom.
  5. Repeat 3-10 times.

As your diaphragmatic breathing becomes more comfortable, play with your counts – always remember to practice lengthening your exhale (compared to your inhale!)

Happy breathing!

Click here to watch Dr. Miaken Zeigler’s live demo of Diaphragmatic Breathing

Move … throughout your day, frequently, regularly, intentionally, whenever you think of it – MOVE! By introducing specific movements to your structure and spine, you counteract the physical stress induced by gravity, chronic faulty posture, imbalance and malalignment, musculoskeletal restriction and poor flexibility.

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