By Bradley Tremper BS, LMT and Brandie Tremper BS, LMT
Take a deep inhalation. What do you feel? Does your belly bulge? Does your rib cage expand in
all directions? Does your chest lift? In spite of how it feels when we inhale, we do not pull air into our
body. When we take a breath, we simply create space in the body for air to flow into. Air is pushed into
the body by the atmospheric pressure that surrounds us. We are being breathed! Take another deep
breath. While exhaling, notice the reverse action of the inhalation. The thoracic cavity and lung tissue,
which have been stretched out during the inhalation, return to their previous shapes.
Breathing is movement. A proper breath causes a three dimensional shape change in the
thoracic and abdominal cavities. Effective breath is simply the ability of the breathing structures of our
body to move or change shape. Breathing deep, full breaths helps the blood to bathe the cells in
oxygen. A few benefits of increased oxygenation are increased athletic performance, quicker recovery
time, increased cognitive function and decreased stress.
While effective breath is the ability of the breathing structures of our body to move freely,
obstructive breath is the inability of breathing structures to move freely and effectively, resulting in a
shallow breath. When our posture inhibits the diaphragm from filling the lungs completely, other
muscles are recruited for the job. These muscles, located in the chest and neck, are not efficient as
breathing muscles, potentially leading to tension and restriction in those areas. Consequences of
obstructed breath may be decreased athletic performance and recovery, neck or shoulder pain, and
increased pain sensitivity.
Fortunately, for those of us who breathe ineffectively, there are several approaches to getting
more out of our breath. Breathing exercises are perhaps the most important and can help teach how to
breathe more efficiently by training our muscles and attention on the breath. Yoga is an excellent way
to practice deep breathing through a variety of postures and breathing techniques. Massage can help to
promote an open, upright posture and ease tense breathing muscles facilitating a freer and deeper
breath. Chiropractic work can promote thoracic spine and rib mobility as well as core neuromuscular
control. Ideally, a variety of approaches would be blended to achieve more control, endurance and
depth of breath.
For more information and to get help in maximizing your breath, please contact us:
Bradley: 928-600-0678 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Brandie: 307-203-9196 or email@example.com