What is diaphragmatic breathing and what are its benefits?

The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle that helps us in breathing. Most of us work on different parts of our body to strengthen it, but have you ever imagined how you can strengthen your breathing muscles? Diaphragmatic breathing is a breathing technique that is mostly associated with different relaxation and meditation techniques. This kind of breathing is also known as the belly or abdominal breathing. This type of breathing has several kinds of benefits which aids in stress reduction, blood pressure reduction, and helps in regulating the other body parts.

Though you won’t realize it, the diaphragm is an important muscle that plays a crucial role in breathing. During inhalation and exhalation, there is contraction and expansion of the diaphragm. When you inhale, the diaphragm contacts and creates a space allowing air to flow inside the lungs. When you exhale, the muscles relax allowing the diaphragm to return to its original shape. In this article, you’ll learn how diaphragm breathing can actually benefit your body. But before that, you must know how to do it!

The technique of performing diaphragm breathing:

You must know the right technique of diaphragm breathing to get the maximum benefits. Here’s how you should perform the technique.

  • Lie flat on your bed and bend your knees. For a comfortable pose, you can use cushions or pillows under your knees and head.
  • Place one hand on your abdomen below the rib cage and the other hand on your chest.
  • Take slow but deep breaths through your nose and allow the air to flow through your lower abdomen. The hand on your abdomen should rise but you cannot move your hand placed on the chest. Make sure that you do not move your hand from the chest. It should be in a still position.
  • Hold your breath for some time and start exhaling through your mouth. Now the hand on your abdomen should move back to the original position.

Try to practice this for 5 to 10 minutes regularly. It’s not mandatory to practice this technique on your bed. You can also perform this sitting in a chair. To derive and learn this technique, benefits, and diaphragmatic breathing symptoms, you can read books or watch online videos for better understanding.

Benefits of diaphragmatic breathing:

Abdomen or Belly breathing has a lot of advantages and benefits. It’s the base for most meditation techniques and helps in managing a wide range of symptoms like sleeplessness, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression. Besides this, this breathing has several benefits.

  • It helps in lowering your stress and depression levels.
  • It helps in lowering your blood pressure levels.
  • It reduces the chances of muscle injury like wear and tear.
  • It enhances the capability of your body to tolerate high-intensity workout training.
  • It enhances muscle stability.
  • It is highly beneficial for dealing with the symptoms of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD).

Frankly speaking, the main advantage of diaphragmatic breathing is reducing stress. When you have stress, the body cannot function with its full capacity. Also, when your body doesn’t function properly, you are vulnerable to several health conditions. Strengthening the diaphragm can improve breathing in several ways:

  • Healthy lungs help in inhaling fresh air and exhales carbon dioxide and other gases from your lungs.
  • With respiratory conditions like asthma, your diaphragm cannot go back to its original form after exhaling.
  • Diaphragmatic breathing helps in forcing out the buildup of air from your lungs.

These are the incredible benefits of belly breathing and therefore, you should practice it regularly.