The Diaphragm is an incredible muscle vital for respiration. It attaches to the inside of the sternum and to the lower 5 ribs. It also fuses onto the pericardium helping the heart stay in place. At the lower end, the tendon attaches onto lumber vertebrae 1,2 and 3.
The diaphragm looks a little like a jelly fish when it contracts and relaxes. It should move rhythmically in waves as we breathe in and out. This 3D video helps us understand the way the diaphragm moves within the chest.
The other interesting aspect of the diaphragm is that the aorta, the vena cava and the oesophagus travel directly through it to enter the chest cavity. It is easy to then understand the impact on these structures if the diaphragm is not sufficiently strong.
How can we strengthen the diaphragm?
Inspitatory muscle traing (IMT) can lead to improvements in balance too!
Comparison of balance changes after inspiratory muscle or Otago exercise training.
Ferraro et al, (2020)
IMT improved dynamic balance and can be consider for balance retraining for the older adults in frailty prevention
When you breathe well, every organ in your body benefits. Breathing properly creates the perfect space for your body to rest and repair. If you want your general health and wellbeing to flourish, breathing is an obvious starting point.
Breathing Pattern Disorders
Did you know that your breathing pattern can alter over time due to a wide variety of reasons; respiratory disorders (asthma, COPD, etc), hormonal upsets, poor postures, chest wall injuries, chest surgeries, chronic pain, nasal/sinus problems, high stress levels, anxiety, traumatic events or grief. In many of these cases, the upper lung inflates too much creating a hyperventilation syndrome. In other cases, breath may become too shallow. Commonly, the diaphragm is weak and requires strengthening to promote an improved breathing pattern.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a simple, natural way of dropping your heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure as well as optimising blood flow to the muscles, heart and brain.
Common symptoms of a breathing pattern disorder:
if you think you may be suffering from a breathing pattern disorder, call Nina to make an appointment on 021 372832.