Breathing with your diaphragm > aka Diaphragmatic Breathing
As a Massage Therapist I am always always recommending this style of breathing, especially during a treatment as it helps to relax the entire body and lower pain.
Also known as 3 part breath or yogic breath, Diaphragmatic breathing does not come naturally to (most of) us anymore, although it used to ! If you ever watch a baby breathing you'll see the belly naturally inflate....somewhere along the way we lose that.
A favourite Yoga teacher once referred to the diaphragm muscle as "the internal massage therapist", working the the inner organs and deeper muscles around the spine. This breathing style basically benefits every system of your body (no big deal!!!)
Practicing Diaphragmatic Breathing every day has loads of benefits!
It increases your lung capacity, rids your body of carbon dioxide "waste" and increase your oxygen flow and therefore circulation and energy!
Guess what else?? This type of breathing calms your mind (and entire nervous system) lowering stress and tension all over.
When we breath unconsciously using only our chest, we are depriving ourselves of nourishing oxygen and encouraging as state of stress.
The more conscious and aware you become with your breath, (your life force!) and the more begin to you "check-in with yourself",- you will catch yourself breathing shallow, and especially under stress or when our minds are racing we can even unconsciously hold our our breath!
Another video visual break down of diaphragmatic breathing:
A quick video tutorial: http://www.youtube.
I highly recommend setting an alarm for 5 minutes every day to consciously practice Diaphragmatic Breathing. Dare I say it is life changing? It may even feel a little uncomfortable aft first but the more you do it the more natural and easy it will become - promise!
more on the diaphragm here
I also recommend Diaphragmatic breathing when you first wake up , before or after exercising, whenever you are feeling anxious, winding down after a long day, or my personal favourite, immediately following stubbing your toe some other painful moment when you just want to hold your breath!
If you're really keen - book an appointment with me and I can assist in freeing this main muscle of breathing, as loosening a tight diaphragm can be done with gentle abdominal and/or rib massage.