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What is Belly Breathing - "Diaphragmatic Breathing"



How do I do diaphragmatic breathing exercises?

When you first learn the diaphragmatic breathing technique, it may be easier for you to follow the instructions lying down.

  1. Lie on your back on a flat surface or in bed, with your knees bent and your head supported. You can use a pillow under your knees to support your legs.

  2. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage. This will allow you to feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.

  3. Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves out, causing your hand to rise. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.

  4. Tighten your stomach muscles, so that your stomach moves in, causing your hand to lower as you exhale through your mouth. The hand on your upper chest should remain as still as possible.


What are the benefits of diaphragmatic breathing?

Diaphragmatic breathing offers several benefits to your body including:

  • Helping you relax.

  • Improving muscle function during exercises and preventing strain.

  • Increasing how much oxygen is in your blood.

  • Making it easier for your body to release gas waste from your lungs.

  • Reducing blood pressure.

  • Reducing heart rate.

What conditions does diaphragmatic breathing help improve?

Diaphragmatic breathing can help several conditions that cause symptoms that affect how you breathe including:

  • Anxiety.

  • Asthma.

  • COPD.

  • Stress.


Breathing & Stress

One of the amazing qualities of the diaphragm is that it can improve both posture and stress. Yes, diaphragmatic breathing actually lowers your stress levels. There was a study out of Stanford that studied the effects of breath work in veterans suffering with PTSD. PTSD can be shown as a prime example of both emotional and physical tension. Breathwork is breathing with the diaphragm in specific patterns like inhale, hold, exhale. The results they found were amazing.


Through breathwork, the veterans experienced a calmer mind and a calmer body plus were able to reduce their medication. They were reported to have more focus and less reactiveness. How so? Not only through a better flow of oxygen to the brain and body but diaphragmatic breathing actually helps to reduce the fight or flight response of the body and enables the rest and digest response of our nervous system.


Diaphragmatic breathing can improve your stress response, improving core and pelvic floor efficiency and improving spinal and trunk mobility. The breath is a pretty powerful tool.


If you enjoyed this - try some other breathing techniques here . Want to know more?.... Book a consultation with us and we can kick-start your healing process. Click HERE to book your initial consultation with one of our Chiropractors at Sydney Family Chiropractic.




Our Practitioners can provide you with tailored and appropriate care, as well as lifestyle advice to help improve your spinal health and overall wellbeing.

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