Diaphragmatic Breathing and Its Role in Lung Health

Diaphragmatic breathing is one of the ways to maintain lung health and lung capacity. It is also referred to as “belly breathing,” which is a type of breathing exercise that engages the diaphragm.  

It encourages full oxygen exchange which can be beneficial for the release of carbon dioxide.  

Diaphragm breathing is also the basis for meditation breathing techniques used today, which is believed to help lower stress levels, lower blood pressure, and regulate other bodily functions.  


How To Do It?  

You can do the breathing exercise by:  

  • Lying on your back on a flat surface with knees bent. You can have a pillow support your head if that is more comfortable for you  
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose, with your chest remaining still. The belly should be the one moving through breathing.  
  • Exhale slowly for 4 seconds while your chest remains still and your stomach gently contracts.  
  • Repeat the practice several times for five to 10 minutes.  


You can also do the practice sitting in a chair with your knees bent while your shoulders and neck are relaxed.  


Are There Benefits?  

Practicing diaphragm breathing has benefits such as:  

  • Lowers stress: it also decreases the effects of the stress hormone cortisol on your body.  
  • Improve cognitive performance  
  • Helps improve your core strength and stability  
  • Can be beneficial to those with chronic pulmonary disease: the disease causes the lungs to lose its elasticity, making the air move with difficulty. By doing breathing exercises, people with COPD can help train their diaphragm and improve their breathing.  
  • It helps other conditions such as stress, anxiety, and asthma.  


Although there are possible benefits for diaphragm breathing, you should consult your doctor to see if it would be the best practice to help your condition.  

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