Breathing Exercise 4: Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing, sometimes called abdominal breathing, belly breathing or deep breathing, helps us to breathe fuller and deeper.  When we breathe deeply, the diaphragm massages the vagus nerve (the vagus nerve controls the relaxation response) which then sends a signal for the body to slow the heart, relax the muscles and also sends waves of peaceful feelings throughout the body.  Also, diaphragmatic breathing brings more oxygen into the lungs which also triggers endorphins and improves overall health.

How do you do diaphragmatic breathing?  Put one hand on your abdomen, the other on your upper chest and close your eyes.  Take a deep breath in through your nose; the hand on your chest should remain as still as possible, while your abdomen should move your hand out.  Expel the air slowly and completely through your mouth.  The hand on your abdomen should fall with the out breath.  Again, the hand on your upper chest should remain as still as possible.  Repeat.

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