Here are a few simple tests to see if you are breathing properly. How can I not be breathing properly??????...... YOU ASK! Well, obviously you're getting enough oxygen to sit here and read this post. However, you might not be getting enough oxygen to properly oxygenate every cell in your body AND restricting your natural breathing patterns can tighten up your muscles.
So.....here are the things you can watch out for:
1) Paradoxical Breathing. This means that when you breath in with your lungs you suck your tummy in. Many of us do this so that our tummies look flat when we are out and about....without even realizing it. If you notice yourself breathing this way, just allow your stomach to expand along with your lungs, it's how babies do it!
2) Shallow Breathing. This means that you don't take full breaths, possibly not expanding your tummy or your rib cage, often in periods of stress. In fact, breathing in this manner serves as a cue to your nervous system that it should be in a higher state of stress! If you notice yourself breathing this way, just slow down and focus on making your exhalations last as long as your inhalations.
3) Not Breathing Into the Back of Your Body. Sounds weird, right? Give it a try......attempt to expand the back of your ribcage as you breath, it makes a difference!
Our lungs are actually a very important organ that our body uses to detoxify. Proper breathing also soothes our nervous system and allows us to truly relax. All you have to do is balance your breathing when you think of it, and you'll be on the road to better health!
Dr. Dielle Raymond, ND