How to relax the chest with Belly Breathing?: Mobility Month Week 2 Task 4

When we get busy and anxious, what we find with our breathing becomes shallow and this can tighten up the chest. In this video/blog we look at how we can relax the chest with belly breathing.

If you observe young children and other mammals, you will notice how their belly expands with inhalation. This is what should be happening in adult humans. With a breath in, the diaphragm pushes down as the lungs fill up with oxygen and causes the belly to push out. The shoulders should not be lifting.

How do I belly breath?

  • Sit with feet on the floor. You can do this lying down
  • Place back of hands on knees and sit as upright as possible, placing a cushion in your low back to provide support if needed.
  • As you breath in, feel your belly pushing out. You may wish to place your hands on your belly to feel that movement.
  • Breath in for 4 seconds.
  • Hold breathe for a couple of seconds.
  • Breath out for 8 seconds, preferably through your nose.
  • Repeat 5 times

Do remember that this technique does take time to practice, and it is not unusual for people to take a few attempts before they get into this rhythm of breathing.

When to belly breath?

Focusing on your breathing with belly breathing is a great way to relax your mind, so we share with you a couple of suggestions of when you can relax the chest with belly breathing:

  • Before a potentially stressful situation
  • In bed if you are having trouble switching off from the day
  • After a busy/stressful period at work or home

Belly breathing can help to relax your mind and relax your chest too. Give it a go.

If you haven’t checked in with your thoracic mobility then CLICK HERE to check out how you can do that.  Find out how to stretch your mid and upper back, CLICK HERE.

Lisa, chiropractor

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