Our main breathing muscles is called the ‘Diaphragm’. It wraps around the bottom of your ribs, crossing your entire torso and attaches to your lower back. Some of you would have also experienced how it feels to get this muscle released.
When our breathing is too shallow aka breathing too much through our chest, we are not only overworking our neck muscles (think neck pain), but we are also creating a tighter Diaphragm. Think in terms of ‘you lose it, when you don’t use it’.
So, when we underutilize our most important and largest breathing muscle, that muscle is more likely to tighten which then can cause more tension to our neck, mid- and lower back. Furthermore, the up and down movement of our diaphragm with proper breathing (about 12-15x/min) not only stretches out that important muscle, but it also ensures a gentle ‘massage’ of our small and large intestine, helping with gut movement and digestion. Proper breathing can also help with regulating of our emotions, calming our nervous system down and helping us gain clarity.
To summarise, shallow breathing can lead to tighter neck, mid- and low back muscles and a less optimal digestive tract.
There is obviously much more to all of this and a myriad of more benefits for your body and therefore health, but this is giving you a first glimpse into the importance of proper breathing and what Chiropractors look for when assessing you.
If you like to know more about this (e.g. see previous newsletters) or you would like us to give you a demonstration on how proper breathing should work, let us know on your next visit.