Breathing for Health

Breathing for Health

Breathing for Health

By Janét Moyle, Psychologist, Flourish Health Services

Each time we take a breath we are determining our short term and long term physical, emotional and mental health.

Physical Effects

Habitual shallow breathing creates tension, and can end up causing physical pain, a crampy or heavy feeling in the chest. This is because those muscles are not designed for breathing in this way for a long period of time, and the body is sending a signal that it wants relief from this extra duty.

Breathing also maintains the proper balance of acid and alkali in every cell of the body, thus maintaining overall healthy functioning by controlling the amount of carbon dioxide in our blood stream.

Emotional Effects

Overbreathing can easily cause a sense of being out of control, anxiety and if not altered, may lead to panic.

Mental Effects

When our breathing is shallow we upset the delicate balance of gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) in the brain. This causes a loss of cognitive ability such as not being able to focus, remember, make decisions or think rationally.

What To Do!

The major muscle in the body designed for breathing is the diaphragm. When we breath using the diaphragm the body, mind and emotions are more balanced in both obvious and subtle ways.

To breathe for health, place a hand on your lower belly and bring the movement of the breath to this area of the body. Breathing with the diaphragm slows and steadies the breath rate and rhythm, calming and balancing the brain, body and emotional state.

For further information call Flourish Psychological Services on (02) 4578 3384 or email: contactus@flourishhealth.com.au