07 Nov So just how does using our diaphragm breath affect how we feel, our health and how we move & why is the mindul practice of pilates especially those who are in pain or experiencing the affects of chronic stress so important?
The most important impact on your nervous system Autonomic NS (in my opinion anyways) is how we breath.
We know that mindful practices such as pilates, yoga and many more movement practices, focus on the importance of the breath. But why is so much focus put on the breath and yet so many of us struggle with knowing if we are breathing correctly or even aware of continuing to breath while we co ordinate movement with breath.
Why is it so important for those of us struggling with pain, stress or even those who have just had a baby.
YET 12-15 times a minute we breath ,900 times and hour over 17,000 times a day, a lot of work every day , Where we breath without any awareness of how we breaht through the day.
So how does our breath work actually inpact on how we feel, our health and our movement .
Why is where we breath from in our body so important .
Lets for simplicity and because thats how I am able to understand and attempt to explain. Lets look at breathing as from 2 places or upper and proper respiratory diaphragm breathing. BUT LETS NOT FORGET THE PELVIC FLOOR DIAPHRAGM WHICH IS SO IMPORTANT IN THE RHYTHM OF BREATHING! But for ease lets focus on the below breathing processes
1.Upper diaphragm, thoracic or chest breath , more commonly known as stress breath or fight and flight
2. Respiratory diaphragm for lateral breath, breathing from diaphragm
The relastionship between our breath and the ANS Autonomic nervous system impacts on our health and movement.
If you are breathing from chest stress breath we stimulate the
Sympathetic OR fight or flight response
If you are breathing from the Diaphragm stimulates
Parasympathetic system response or relaxation system
Sypmathetic response fight or flight
- Pain increases,
- lower mood
- Comprimised immusne system less energy to function well,
- Reduces balance,
- Increases muscle tone, increases dysfuntion,
- Elevates in stress
- Resp increases and heart rate,
- REDUCES quality of sleep
- Impacts on congition ability negatively in sustained stress
Diaphrapgm relaxation parasympathateic response
- decrease relaxation ,
- elevate restore mood,
- boosts the immune system,
- improves balance,
- muscle tone reduces,
- increases rest and digestion
- increases, congnitive increases function
Often diaphragmic breathing can be thrown out of sink with chronic back pain, people will often stop breathing from diaphragm and move to thoracic stress breath and fulls sympatheitc system . So impacting on health and movement and if you are experiencing the sysmptoms above associated with increased stress, when we restore the diagphramic breath this can impact positively on your life and how you feel and how you move.
BUT its not a simple mind over matter.
Its the mind driving the body but if the body is tight.
Common issues that impact on our abilty to breath correctly and impacting ultimately on how we feel and trigger stress breath and syptoms of stress in our bodies:
- Tight chest muscles ,
- Tight hip flexors,
- Tight lower back
- Hip tension
- Pelvic floor dysfunction
Pelvic floor in stress breathing begins to tighten or lose flexibilty which will inpact on the bodies core stabilty and can impact on pain and dysfuction in the body. Common pain asscoated with pelvic floor dysfunction
- affect knee ,
- shin splint,
- plantar fascia
All these issues in our body and movement can and will block the natural and postitive rythym of diapragmic breathing.
Loss of the alighnment and kinetic chain and of cause the loss of the big toe anchor (if you are a regular attender of my classes you will know the love I have of feet tripod and toe anchor in establsihing correct pelvic floor and deep core work with fascia train lines .)
To be affective in improving our breathing and reversing the stress impact on our bodies . We need to appraoch the body in a multifactoral way. ( and reestablish the big toe anchor with kinetic chain work !!!)
- Release tension and improve flexibitly
- Activate correct muscle function
- Correct Alignment & Posture
- Awaken you body awarenss and mindfulnes
- Improve awareness of breath
- Improve dysfunction, pelvic floor and core breathing is key
- Strenghten the bodis muscular system
- Take mindful practice into all aspect of our life & relationships
Pracitve of mindfulness movement and medititive practice, we can increase the awareness and improve our ability to gain control over the process of breathing from diaphragm restore control and break the viscious cyce of the fight and flight system.
Mindful Pilates Practice Course starts 16th November twice weekly Pialtes sessions.
Freee your body, to breath more freely and move for health now.
Book a free 15 minute Take Breath Taster availble for next week only.
Take control, improve awareness and improve your movement for pain free and improved feeling of wellbeing in your life.