A guide for breathing | The importance of our diaphragm muscle

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(Edited)

Greetings fellow Hivers πŸ€—


Hello there fellow hiveans! πŸ€— So, today, the opportunity presented itself for me to give a little contribution to Hive overall and specificaly to the #dreemport community, taking advantage of my knowledge and expertise on the human body and motion so far, in order to help others.

I was invited by @samsmith1971 to join the DreemPort Challenge and the next 6 weeks will consist on making a series of tasks to help us achieve our personal goals and healtier lifestyle habits. It's also about supporting and motivating others to do the same so I do hope this post will help others to commit to, at least, one of the tasks.

πŸ‘β€πŸ—¨ For more information about the DreemPort Challenge read this post πŸ‘β€πŸ—¨

Today, dear reader, I will guide you, step by step, not how to breath (note to self - everyone knows how to do that 😎), but how to breathe making the best use of the principal respiratory muscle - our diaphragm. I'll be guiding you to do what is called a diaphragmatic breathing.

I will explain a little bit of the importance of this specific muscle in the next section but feel free to jump right to the Breating exercise - step by step section if you feel like it 😊

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Source by Tenor


The importance of our diaphragm muscle πŸ™Œ

Everyone knows how to breathe right? Otherwise we will be dead. Because breathing is unconscious, controled by our nervous system and brain. We can't just not breathe if we wanted to. Yet, breathing can also be a conscious act and it's benefits are widely reported! From the psycological effects like having a calming and focusing effect, to the physical importance of being a key part of our body posture and motion.

So, dear reader, have you ever seen the diaphragm muscle? Do you know how it moves? Have you ever touched it?

Imagine a parachute with 2 domes. When we breathe with a proper use of the diaphragm the following motion occurs:

  • Inhale: the ribs expand to the sides, the domes from our parachute flaten and the belly expands as well.

  • Exale: the reverse process happens. The belly and the ribs both go back in, effortlessly, and the diaphgram goes back up.

I'll use this opportunity by leaving you with a GIF to demonstrate these particular movements. Please note all the expansion that happens when I inhale - it is key for making a good use of our diaphragm πŸ˜‰ Also, note that there is NO movement on my shoulders.

No getting shy on letting those bellies out! One of the reasons that we alter our respiratory pattern is because we are always pulling our stomatchs inwards and locking our abdominal muscles (note to self - they now realize how an unconscious contraction can change so many things 😎).

Dear reader, let's do a little experiment to see if I can get you to feel what I'm talking about.

You see all the expansion it has to happen in our abdomen right? Now, you're probably in a seated position, with your phone or computer. If you're in this position for a while now, it's higly likely that your spine is curved and round. That's ok, don't need to change it. Just indulge that posture and try to breathe to your abdomen...

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Source by Tenor

You can't right? In a curved position, you also have to move your shoulders as there is no space for your parachute to come down! Now, be seated to a proper position. Both feet well placed on the ground, shoulders down, spine long and tall like you want to grow towards the ceeling. Now breathe! Ahhhhhh ... Sweet freedom right? 😎😎😎

If even in this position you find it's hard to inhale, your shoulders keep moving a lot, or you have a short movement it is possible that you have too much tension on your diaphragm (note to self - now you got them worried!).

Worry not dear reader, as I will throw here a little bonus exercise! I will leave here the instructions for massaging your diaphragm for those that felt like the movement was stuck. It is recommended to do it for 15 minutes.

How to massage your diaphragm:

1 - Lie on the floor like the GIF I shared above.
2 - Place your hands in a shell position with a little lotion or oil
3 - Start on your sternum and go down along your ribs slowly
4 - Always start from the sternum, following the ribcage countour.

The purpose is to try to enter a bit in your ribcage. It might be a little discomfortable in some areas, specially those ones that are tight or tense. Just adjust the pressure of your hands so it is only a minor or managable discomfort - no need for pain! I do not agree with the "No pain no gain" motto.

You can also add the breathing exercises and it would be even more effective. The idea is to first massage, therefore relax our diaphragm, so afterwards we can recrute its contraction better by inhaling, making a good and complete use of all the muscle range of motion. Contracting but also relaxing and expanding.

There's much more going on in relation of our diaphragm and the pressures inside our abdomen and specially related to our pelvic floor muscles but I don't wanna get to techy and I am already extending myself for the intended content πŸ˜†. What can I say, I'm a movement entusiast as well! I can get going for hours non-stop πŸ™ˆ

My main point here is that, the way we breathe matters. The way our diaphgram muscle is moving and working matters. And our postures and emotions have a major influence on it, having the capability to change how our bodies move.

Feel free to drop any questions you might have in the comment section if I didn't explained it clearly 😊


Breathing exercise step by step πŸ§˜β€β™‚οΈ

Let's get down to business dear reader? πŸ€—

(Opcional - do the diaphragm massage first)

  1. Find a comfortable position, it can be sitting or lying on the floor. Place some pillows/blankets, if necessary, to make sure your body can relax and you are warm.

  2. Place one hand in your chest and another below your belly button.

  3. Close your eyes if you feel comfortable. If not, fix your gaze on a point in front of you.

  4. Start noticing your breathing. How it feels, the air going in and out, wich hands moves the most. Let the air fill your lungs fully, expand your ribs and belly. Slowly exale.

  5. Start bringing more motion to the hand placed bellow your belly button when you inhale.

  6. Slowly begin to deepen your breathing. If your mind goes on a loop of thoughts try bringing your attention again to the movement of your body and all sensations that your breathing gives you

  7. Enjoy!


Final considerations πŸ™Œ

That's it for me and this little guide 😊 I really hope this helps someone to do the breathing task from DreemPort Challenge and maybe even more fellow Hivers that want to explore the magic of breathing consciously can enjoy it 😁

Let me know if you have any questions or encountered any dificulty in doing these steps. I'm here for you 😊 Also I'm a bit afraid if I was too techy in explaning since I'm not used to write in English πŸ™ˆ, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it as I go 😁


The GIFs that aren't sourced are my own and were recorded with my phone Samsung A32



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49 comments
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Excellent @blackdaisyft! I have noticed especially when sitting for a prolonged time or even driving the car, that I tend to be what I call a 'lazy breather'; in other words, I breathe shallowly because there's no real demand for more oxygen. Other times, when hiking and climbing, there's no worries about breathing deep then, lol! Thanks for the tips for exercising the diaphragm, and have a lovely day!πŸ‘πŸ˜Ž

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Thank you Elizabeth, so glad you liked it! 😁 Lazy breather is very good expression 🀣🀣🀣 Well there is no need for deep breathing all the time of course, but ocasionally doing it in a counscious way can be a great 😍 I'm sure on the climbing or whiking you don't need to think about that deep breathe!

Have a lovely day yourself! !LUV

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Thank you @blackdaisyft for the luv! You are correct about breathing and hiking! Take care and have a wonderful week!πŸ’œπŸ€—

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You received 1 LADY(LOH) token for posting in Ladies of Hive!

We believe that you should be rewarded for the time and effort spent in creating articles. The goal is to encourage token holders to accumulate and hold LOH tokens over a long period of time.

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Thank you! Glad to contribute to Ladies of Hive community 😊

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Now, you're probably in a seated position, with your phone or computer.

How did you know? hahaha

Oh wow, breathing! this is something my physiotherapist is trying to teach me... and I am a very bad student πŸ˜†

I have to try your breathing exercise, I mean I know in theory and all, and how important it is and in how many ways it could help me, but I am keeping forgetting to do it (note to self - I just simply love these additional notes hahaha)

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Hehehe I thought it would be higly likely that everyone reading this were in a sitting positions xD I'm glad I was right ahaha

Why do you say you're a bad student? Maybe I can help you 😁 What is it that you find most difficult while trying this type of breathing pattern?

If you try it I would love to read your feedback on how it went! 😍 The little note to myself that I write are actually thoughts that cross my mind while I'm writing (note to self - at least the most funny ones 🀣)

Thank you for stoping by and happy to talk to you once again! !LUV

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Hahaha, I know you used that sentence because of the fact we must read at that moment from a phone or computer :)) cool

I am a bad student as he every time says to me that I have to learn to breathe but I dont do it. I just dont pay attention to my breathing. At home, I dont do the exercises. Just when I am there and have acupuncture or similar and he repeats me thousands of times breathe I start doing that. (note to self - all your notes are funny :D )

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Hehehe 😁

At home, I dont do the exercises.

A very common situation I also go through with my patients heheh. And in all honesty there is nothing I can do about it.

Homework are really important but it takes motivation for one to do it! I like to try to find that little sparkle that makes the person adhere to the treatment 😁 I hope you can find your motivation if this is an exercise that you find important πŸ™

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Strangely (not to self - not strangely as I am a teacher so I expect my students do the homework :D) we adults tend to forget about homework, having so many other works haha. Work, family, household, hive, piano and it all if I can organize well the time.

I know, I know, no space for excuses :)
but I had to try hahaha

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This is awesome @blackdaisyft. thank you so much. I will definitely be using thisβ£οΈπŸ™ If anyone wants to integrate it into the #Dreemport Challenge that starts tomorrow centered around healthy living, then they can catch all the details here in @dreemsteem's post. Life is short. Start Fresh. !LUV !ALIVE

@elizabethbit, @silversaver888, @mipiano, @generosesity I see you really enjoyed @blackdaisyft's post... maybe you'd like to join us for the 6 week Dreemport Challenge? If so head on over and make your commitment pledge today on @dreemsteem's post and join in the fun to healthier living choices πŸ€— This is my pledge below and you can have one just like it ❣️

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😊😊😊 Glad you liked it! I edited my post to place the link for @dreemsteem's post as well. I only realized I forgot it when I already published it πŸ™ˆπŸ€¦β€β™€.

Thank you for all the adding information πŸ™ I hope more people can join in! It's an awesome opportunity to grow and support each other 😁

!LUV

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Interesting and educative one. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

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Thank you very much for this! This is so helpful and I will use this for the challenge for sure :)

Came here via Dreemport, by the way!

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Thank you! I'm very glad this can be helful to others (note to self - goal achieved! 😎)

Yeey DreemPort! Are you joining the 6 week challenge too? 😁

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Yep, I joined. Let's see how it goes. ;)

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You got this! πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ What do you think will be the most difficult task to keep up to you? Maybe I can give you a little boost of motivation 😁

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Thank you! You are very kind :)
I think the tough part for me will be the physical activity every day during the whole 6 weeks of the challenge. And post every day ;). What about you?

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(Edited)

Hmmm I think for me it is unrealistic to post every day since I'm out for work most of my day from Monday to Friday and it does take me several hours to write a post... Between formatting, spell checking, fact checking and actual inspiration to write about a theme I don't think I'll be able to do it everyday...

But I already have a draft for my post on Friday to answer the DreemPort question, so I think I'll just overcompensate with that post πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…

About the physical activity I'm currently working on a post to help especificaly in that so hang on thight!

!LUV

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Looking forward to your post about physical activity. And as for posting every day, It takes me too, a couple of hours to write a post and feel comfy to post it in English, so let's try to do the best we can. Cheers!

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Hello @coquicoin! I'm so behind on that physical activity post πŸ™ˆ I've been sick this last few days and really down so I still hadn't the chance to do it! But today I've started feeling a little bit better and I hope tomorrow I can, at least, record it 😁

so let's try to do the best we can

Yes! Let's do our best 😁 !LUV

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I'm sorry to hear you are sick. I hope you recover soon and that you'll be able to post today for the challenge. Take care!

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Hello @blackdaisyft, I finally got to read this. Nice one from you. I can tell from the first paragraph that you had fun writing this. Makes it even better to know that you are a movement enthusiast.

The guideline you gave are well taken.

Breathing is something we do without undergoing any sort of training for it so, it can pass as a casual exercise, but your explanation shows that it's not as casual as many would imagine.

Nice reading from you. I came here through @dreemport

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Hello @kenechukwu97 😁 So glad you found the time to check my post ^^ And you're right, I did have lots of fun writing this! I made a carrer out of being a movement enthusiast ahaha

Thank you for your kind words 😊

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(Edited)

I did your breathing exercise sitting up straight in my office chair this evening on purpose - I want to try it sitting up and lying down. I think tomorrow I will do it lying down but do the diaphragm massage first to loosen up a bit. I did try the massage afterwards, sitting up too, to see how it felt and I didn't have any discomfort but I also wasn't getting much under the ribs, so let's see how tomorrow goes when I do it as a prep exercise lying down as in your gif. The time went relatively quickly but I think tomorrow I must do the exercises before I have dinner as it was slightly uncomfortable !LOLZ Thank you for sharing this technique with all of us !LUV !ALIVE I want to do the breathing and the meditation dailyπŸ™πŸ’—

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(Edited)

Amazing Sam! Way to go πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ Let me just throw here a few more tips and instructions!

About the diaphragm massage you really need to lie down on the ground with feet placed like the GIF I showed. If you're sitting up your abdominal muscles most likely are active and you can't go well under the ribcage (our diaphragm is under those abdominal muscles). It is very important that the belly is relaxed and soft!

When you try tomorrow the breathing exercises, if you do it lying down you'll feel the diference πŸ˜‰

You got this! !LUV

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Fab thanks for that. I know that the gif was lying down version but you had said the breathing exercise could be done sitting up too, so I wanted to experiment so that I could experience the difference between the two. I am almost certain that I am going to prefer doing both the breathing and massage lying down πŸ˜‚πŸ™ŒπŸ’—

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hehehe I hope you enjoy! The breathing can be done sitting up no problem (just ensure our posture is active - growing towards the ceeling) πŸ˜‰ But lying down I think the relaxation benefit is greater ^^ Let me know how it goes and if you have any further doubt I'll be around to help πŸ˜πŸ’œ

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I enjoyed this and was following along as you did some of those simple exercises. The six week challenge is going to be fun and the fun just began reading from you. Well done. Greetings from @dreemport

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Thank you very much! I'm really glad you liked following along πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—

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I got interested in this post when I saw the word diaphragm.
Being able to breathe in and out properly is one thing that helps a singer sing so well.

As I read through, I practiced along with it and it feels so good.
Not moving the shoulders and letting it come from the diaphragm alone is what does the trick.
Thanks for sharing ma'am.



Have you gotten your gold star today? I'm sure you have goals for today, I hope they've been fulfilled πŸ™‚!

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Yey I'm so glad it was useful for you! I love to talk about body and movement, its fascinating to me. I know how to use the diaphragm but I don't know how to sing xD xD I have listen to some of your videos and you rock lady! Keep using that wonderful voice of yours ^^

I'm aiming for another gold star today yes! I hope you are too ^^ Have a wonderful tuesday 😊

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