Are you lifting your chest, using your neck muscles, and sucking in your abdomen when taking a big breath? Believe it or not, you may be one of many who have forgotten how to properly breathe.
We live in what I like to call "The Flexion Society," in which our posture is always slumped forward at the computer, in the car, at work or even in the classroom. This is not only poor for our spinal health, but it also doesn't allow us to use our biggest "breathing" muscle, our diaphragm!
The diaphragm lays directly underneath your rib cage and allows our lungs to expand downward and outward to take a deep breath. Let's think about this, how can we take a proper deep breath in such a bad posture? We can't! If we are hunched over, our lungs can't expand down.
Instead, we've learned to utilize our chest and neck muscles to lift our ribs, which doesn't allow us to intake as much oxygen. It also overuses those muscles and eventually can lead to neck pain and headaches! Let's go through some steps to help our bodies remember how to breathe again.
1. Sit up Straight. Allow your neck muscles to relax.
2. Breathe through your nose. Your nose filters all the bacteria and other toxins in the air before it enters your body, your mouth does not.
3. Let your belly expand. Your breath should fill your lungs, your lower ribs will expand down and out, and your belly will expand forward. Now your diaphragm is working!
4. Breathe out through your mouth. Use your abdominal muscles and diaphragm to blow out that carbon dioxide.
5. Count your breath. Count 4 seconds in and 4 seconds out. This will allow your body to optimally exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.
6. Practice makes perfect! Do this at least a few times a day, your body will start to remember and do it on it's own without having to think about it first.
There are many causes of neck pain, but this is one that hardly anyone thinks about. If you or someone you love is struggling with neck pain, have them visit their Chiropractic Physician to best diagnose the issue.
If you would like an appointment with Dr. Kosciusko, please call (401) 683-6430. Learn more about Chiropractic at www.newhorizonchiro.com.