The importance of breathing

With mandatory masks now in place in Melbourne for daily activities such as work, shopping, appointments and walking, never before have we been so focused on our breathing.

Breathing is one of the most basic functions of the human body but not one which we commonly give much thought to. The function of breathing allows us to intake oxygen into the body and expel carbon dioxide. This process is important as our body needs oxygen to function. The creation of energy, muscle development, cell regeneration, blood and nutrient flow all need oxygen to occur and without these we would cease to exist.

Whilst we are never taught to breath, we can learn to breath more efficiently to allow our bodies to function at their optimum. Putting aside some down time each day at a similar time to focus on your breathing is a good place to start. Deep breathing is the most efficient way to maximise oxygen input and carbon dioxide output and help to reduce stress and stabilise our heartbeat.

Try the below steps to focus on breathing deeper;

  • Find somewhere comfortable and start by lying on your back with your hands resting on your belly
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose and focus on filling your belly first, then your chest then finally your throat.
  • Exhale fully through your nose feeling the air leave your throat, then chest, then belly last.
  • Feel as though your hand rise with your belly on inhale and fall with your belly on exhale.

There are many factors that can contribute to sub optimal breathing including poor posture, tight musculature, stress and certain medical conditions. There are over ten different muscles that assist with breathing and when these muscles become tight and restricted from day to day living it can affect how efficiently we are breathing.

Visiting your osteopath can help relieve muscle tension and get joints moving allowing you breath more efficiently. They can also take you through exercises and stretches that help facilitate deeper more efficient breathing. The team at Blackburn Osteopathy can help- to make an appointment you can book in online or call our friendly reception staff on 9878 3122.

By Dr Rianna Percy, Osteopath

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