Unlocking Your Your Body by Breathing

We let our in-house physical therapist Jeddy Azuma compose a pearl of wisdom just for you this week!  So take a deep breathe and get ready to absorb these cool ideas about breathe:

Breathing, or respiration, is commonly overlooked in regards to its critical function in health and wellness. While we all know that without breath there is no life, some are still largely unaware of the far-reaching effects of breath and breathing strategies.  For starters, did you know that breathing is the ONLY physiological function in the body that is both voluntary and involuntary

Here are 5 other quick thoughts about breathing you may not know:

1. The movement of the ribcage during breathing is crucial in setting the tone for your posture.

2. Long, relaxed inhalation and exhalation induces a relaxing, anti-inflammatory state in your nervous system that affects you entire body physiology (look up “parasympathetic nervous system”).

3. Though we appear symmetrical in our bodies, our basic anatomy and breathing mechanics guarantee that we are not (for example, you have 1 Liver on the right side of your body, 1 Pancreas on the left, stronger diaphragm on the right, etc.).

4. The diaphragm is the primary engine for normal breathing, but it does not function well in disordered postures. Thus, you will depend more on smaller, accessory muscles to breathe if you are misaligned.

5. Breathing with an extended back and elevated ribcage - which is a common postural strategy used by people who pull their shoulders back and stick the chest out - increases the sympathetic response in the body. This contributes to elevated blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tone, and other physiological effects reflective of the stress response.