If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right. Switch to Accessible Site

WARNING

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Close [x]

When overcoming high levels of anxiety, it is important to learn the techniques of natural breathing.  Many people who live with high levels of anxiety are known to breathe through their chest. Shallow breathing through the chest means you are disrupting the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide necessary to be in a relaxed state. This type of breathing will perpetuate the symptoms of anxiety.

The natural breathing technique is called Diaphragmatic Breathing(stomach breathing).  We automatically breathe this way when we are born.  Diaphragmatic breathing uses the diaphragm muscle (a strong dome shaped muscle) located under our ribs and above our stomach.  When we breathe in, we push the muscle down, and our stomach moves forward.  When we breathe out, the diaphragmatic muscle moves back to resting position and our tummy moves back in.  There is little or no upper chest movement.  

As we grow older many of us change our pattern of breathing and start breathing through our chest. This can be the result of a number of factors such as the pressure on women to have a flat stomach, certain fashions, poor posture, and of course anxiety.

Diaphragmatic breathing is intended to help you use the diaphragm correctly while breathing to:

  • Strengthen the diaphragm
  • Decrease the work of breathing by slowing your breathing rate
  • Decrease oxygen demand
  • Use less effort and energy to breathe

 

Diaphragmatic breathing technique

 

diaphragm_1.gif

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. 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.

 

diaphragm_2.gif

2.  Breathe in slowly through your nose so that your stomach moves out against your hand. The hand on your chest should remain as still as possible.

diaphragm_3.gif

3.  Tighten your stomach muscles, letting them fall inward as you exhale through pursed lips (see "Pursed Lip Breathing Technique"). The hand on your upper chest must remain as still as possible.

When you first learn the diaphragmatic breathing technique, it may be easier for you to follow the instructions lying down, as shown on the first page. As you gain more practice, you can try the diaphragmatic breathing technique while sitting in a chair, as shown below.

 

 

To perform this exercise while sitting in a chair:

diaphragm_chair.gif1. Sit comfortably, with your knees bent and your shoulders, head and neck relaxed.

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. Tighten your stomach muscles, letting them fall inward as you exhale through pursed lips (see "Pursed Lip Breathing Technique"). The hand on your upper chest must remain as still as possible.

 

Note: You may notice an increased effort will be needed to use the diaphragm correctly. At first, you'll probably get tired while doing this exercise. But keep at it, because with continued practice, diaphragmatic breathing will become easy and automatic.

How often should I practice this exercise?
At first, practice this exercise 5-10 minutes about 3-4 times per day. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend doing this exercise, and perhaps even increase the effort of the exercise by placing a book on your abdomen.

 

Sign up using the form or call us at 253-473-0300.

THIS ---->https://chirotacoma.chiromatrixbase.com/custom_member_content/c_1208_diaphragmatic_breathing.html

Office Hours

Day
Monday9:00am - 12:30pm2:00pm - 6:00pm
Tuesday9:00am - 1:00pm3:00pm - 7:00pm
Wednesday9:00am - 12:30pm2:00pm - 6:00pm
Thursday9:00am - 1:00pm3:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday9:00am - 12:30pm2:00pm - 6:00pm
Saturday9:00am - 12:00pmClosed
SundayClosedClosed
Day
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
9:00am - 12:30pm 9:00am - 1:00pm 9:00am - 12:30pm 9:00am - 1:00pm 9:00am - 12:30pm 9:00am - 12:00pm Closed
2:00pm - 6:00pm 3:00pm - 7:00pm 2:00pm - 6:00pm 3:00pm - 7:00pm 2:00pm - 6:00pm Closed Closed

Testimonials

Dr. Doug Long and his father, Dr. Brian have helped keep me from neck fusion surgery since I started treatment in 1985. I am forever grateful for their help with pain relief and their professional advice. Thank you both for your services to our community!

Russel H.
Tacoma, WA

Newsletter Sign Up