How To Breathe & It’s Effect On Your Health

It may seem strange to be posting content around how to breathe correctly and more effectively. Most people, although have been breathing all their lives, and not even give it much conscious thought as it takes care of itself. It sort of happens in the background rather than for us to consciously worry about breathing correctly.

But that’s the problem. Most of the people I see in at AVID Clinic are not breathing correctly. They have actually forgotten how to breathe correctly, and there are number of reasons why that is.

With quiet breathing we only should be using one muscle – the abdominal diaphragm. This muscle runs through about half way in your torso, separating your chest cavity from the abdominal cavity.

When contracting your diaphragm, this muscle flattens and pushes your abdominal organs out, making your tummy stick out a bit. This creates negative pressure in the chest cavity, drawing are in from your environment into your lungs. That’s how we breathe in.

Most do not like the idea of appearing to have a large tummy, so tend to hold their tummy in. This means that they avoid contracting the diaphragm, so it stays relaxed as a dome.

To breathe, they elevate the upper ribs to create the negative pressure to breathe into the lungs. That’s normally ok if it’s been done for a short while. In fact that’s how we are meant to breathe when we exercise and are not “quiet breathing”. But breathing this way for too long can cause other problems.

The muscles required to elevate the upper ribs have another primary function – movement. Their secondary function is to assist in breathing. Breathing incorrectly means that these muscles are already pre fatigued, so when you go to move your neck or your arms, they are having to work extra hard, thereby increasing your risk of injury. The common complaint for patients that I see with neck and shoulder aches are “all I did was reach for… and ping the pain started”. This is the primary reason why this happens.

So working with me these patients retrain and learn to use the correct muscles to breathe properly.

Breathing this way also helps keen our organs healthy. See, the organs are not statis, like in diagrams or in models. They are very motile. For example when you eat food, your stomach enlarges to accommodate and pushes some of the other organs to make space. By breathing using your diaphragm, it enables those organs to be massaged and create flexibility to move better.


A lot of people who are constipated tend not to be breathing correctly. By breathing this way, their intestines get massaged, improved the movement and reducing their constipation.

Breathing correctly also can help relieve stress, and certainly can help you manage stressful situations in a better way.

The ratio to breathe is 1:4:2

Breathe in for 1, hold for 4, breathe out for 2.

In this example I can hold my breath for 20 seconds. So my rations are 5:20:10

Repeat this 10 times.

This enables your sympathetic nervous system, which works very hard during times of stress, goes does. And your parasympathetic nervous system elevates creating feelings of calm and relaxation.

You see, this is important if you are considering improving overall productivity. In a stressed state your IQ tends to reduce a little because you enter a fight or flight survival mode. All your blood gets shunted to your skeletal muscles to prepare you to fight the danger or “flight” run away from the danger. Doing this over a long period of time means there’s less blood to your brain, reducing your brain’s efficiency and function thereby reducing your IQ output.


Breathing this way helps you stay smart!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s