Updated: Jul 13
by Tim Janak Jr
Just breathe! I am sure you have heard someone in your life time tell you that. We all hear that at some point in our lives and we mostly hear that when we are stressed out or going through tough times.
Recently, I had a client come in for her appointment at the end of a long day of work and commuting she looked like she was about to break down and start crying. At that moment I knew that putting her on the table would only mask the problem and not resolve it. I immediately started to discuss breathing with her and took her through a zone exercise that I knew would enhance the therapy session that she was about to receive. After, five minutes of breathing and moving she was more relaxed and ready to move on with the session and the pain she was experiencing had started to dissipate.
If you went without oxygen for longer than 3 minutes you would die. 3 days without water and 2 weeks with out food our body systems would start to shut down. So, we can safely say that oxygen is vital for our survival, and the way we receive oxygen is through breathing.
On average we take 25,000 breaths a day. When that happens our diapraghm contracts and allows our lungs to expand so that we can consume more oxygen into our lungs. But consuming oxygen is not the only purpose for breathing. Breathing has many different effects on the body that are beneficial.
One of the benefits is it acts as a pump to enhance the spinal movement and disc space. During inhalation the spine lengthens and the curves lessen. During exhalation the spine shortens and the curves increase. This creates a pumping affect of the spine which helps to bring more fluid into the vertebral disc. When you inhale your spine naturally goes into extension which opens the rib cage so that it allows more oxygen into your lungs. When you exhale your spine goes into flexion which closes the rib cage and allows the air to exit your lungs. When you repeat this process over and over you create a pumping action throughout the spine that brings fluid into the muscles that surround the spine and also into the discs. This helps to keep your spine healthy!
Breathing also acts as a pump for our organs and our joints. When the lungs expand and the diaphragm contracts it pushes into the organs below it. This massages the organs and creates an increase of blood flow to the organs, which is vital for their function and health.
Breathing is one of the cheapest, and quickest fixes you can do to help improve your health and vitality. Carve 10 minutes into your day to incorporate breathing into your life and you will start to feel a difference.
Try this simple exercise daily:
Lie on your back with your legs out straight.
Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
When you breath you want 2/3 of your breath to fill your abdomen first and the last 1/3 will fill the chest. So you should feel your stomach move and fill up first and the your chest will expand and fill up second.
When you are finished filling up you will allow your body to exhale.
Repeat this process lying on your back for 5 - 10 mins
Then stand up and see how you feel. I know that when I do this I feel more relaxed able to think more clearly and make better decisions. Do this before your get out of bed in the morning and before you go to sleep. Or when you start to feel sleepy during the day.
If you would like to have your breathing mechanics assessed contact us to schedule an appointment. firstname.lastname@example.org or call us Tim Janak Jr 832-767-8549 or Tim Janak Sr 281-352-3611.
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