The diaphragm is a dome shaped muscle that attaches into the lower ribs. It is the main muscle in respiration and breathing.
When you Inhale or breathe in the diaphragm expands and contracts thereby opening up the rib cage and the chest cavity. This creates a vacuum allowing air to enter the lungs.
When you Exhale or breathe out, the diaphragm relaxes and lifts, thereby pulling the ribs back together and pushes air back out of the lungs.
On average at rest, we take 12 to 16 breaths per minute. If you are not recruiting the diaphragm correctly, the body starts to use other accessory muscles to do the job of the diaphragm, which can lead to tightness and motor dysfunction in other muscle groups for example chronically tight muscles your shoulders.
1. Sit up nice and tall
2. Relax the shoulders away from the ears.
3. Take a deep breath in through the nose focusing on expanding the lower rib cage out and away from each other.
4. Exhale through the mouth and focus on actively pulling the ribs back together.
Imagine your rib cage is like an accordion, so as you Inhale the rib cage opens out and as you Exhale the ribs knit back together.
Aim to do 10 slow deep breaths keeping the shoulders down and away from the ears and trying to expand more through the rib cage rather than the belly.
You can place your hands on the lower rib cage to encourage the movement through this part of the body. You can also practice the exercise lying down on your back with knees bent.
Chiropractic Care and Physiotherapy can work at improving mobility through the cervical and thoracic spine and reduce tightness in accessory breathing muscles enabling the diaphragm to function more effectively.
For an assessment or more information on breathing to prevent chronically tight muscles, contact us here at the clinic on 021- 2011159 or firstname.lastname@example.org