Today, we’re going to talk about breathing. We all know that we need to be breathing, but what a lot of people don’t know is most of us have dysfunctional breathing. Dysfunctional breathing can cause problems with spinal support, with motor patterns, with pain in the body such as shoulder pain, neck pain, incontinence, and pelvic pain. Breathing is very important, and what we want to go over today is a couple quick ways on how to assess your breathing, to give you an idea if you might be having a dysfunctional breathing pattern or not.
The first thing that we’re going to address is what’s called chest breathing, because a lot of people, without even realizing it, breathe into the top of their chest, not down to their diaphragm where they should be.
Because of this, neck muscles in the front can get over tightened, the muscles on the side of the neck that attach to the ribs can get overworked, so this could cause you headaches and be very detrimental to your day.
This can also cause poor posture problems, overdeveloped muscles in the front, pain in the neck, and you’re not using your lungs to the full capacity. A quick, easy test for this is you put a hand on your chest, put one on your lower abdomen and just take normal, easy breaths. Watch how you breathe. What moves first? If you see the first movement coming from your upper hand or more movement here then coming from your lower hand, you’re probably a chest breather. You want to see more movement at the hand down at your abdomen. There’s a pattern called paradoxical breathing, all that means is a lot of people when they breathe in, they suck their stomach in. That is incorrect because they don’t want to look like their stomach’s protruding.
Normal, good breathing means that your abdomen comes out. It’s like filling a balloon with air. When you breathe, you breathe all the way down into your abdomen. You come out and come back in, checking to see where are you breathing into – into your chest more or in your abdomen? That’s test number one. You can test that in standing and sitting positions. Getting in a couple different postures, and even to see if those postures change how you breathe. Because sometimes when you’re making more demands on the body, you may change your breathing pattern also.
The next one is functional residual capacity. All that means is how much air is left in the lungs after a breath. A test for that is you take a normal breath in and just a normal breath out. Then you hold your breath, pinch your nose, and you see how long that you can hold that before muscles start moving because you’re trying to get air in or you have to release your nose. So you would time that. That’s a test for the air that’s left in your lungs.
Now, a gauge to tell how you’re doing is if you can’t hold your breath in that position for less than 25 seconds. If you can’t, you may have a dysfunctional breathing pattern. Ideally, a good breathing pattern for that would be if you could hold it greater than 35 seconds.
The next test is total lung capacity. This is how much air you can hold. To test his, you’re going to take a breath in, a breath out, and then take another breath in, a deep breath this time. Pinch your nose, see how long you can hold your breath. This is for maximum time here, so even if you muscles start spasming or moving, trying to get air in, you don’t stop the timer until you actually have to breathe again. If you cannot hold it 35 seconds, you may have dysfunctional breathing.
Those are some quick tests to see how you are breathing. Subscribe and follow along to our YouTube channel where we will show you some exercises you can do to work on your breathing. For further questions, visit us at our website.Read More