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Breathing

You can live a couple of weeks without food; several days without water but you can only live a couple of minutes without oxygen. Now we have your attention?!

We take breathing for granted, just because you breathe daily, doesn’t mean you are efficiently getting oxygen to your cells. This blog post will run through the ways to optimize breathing.

Why is breathing important?

- to stay alive (which is pretty critical)

- to enhance healing and parasympathetic nervous system

- to facilitate physical, mental and visceral function and performance

How to breathe?

Nose breathing for the win. When you breathe through your nose rather than your mouth the following happens:

- Air coming in is warmed, humidified and filtered

- Air is redistributed to the lower lung lobes where the highest concentration of blood is situated and,

- Nitric oxide is released to assist in redistributing the blood evenly in the lungs to ensure greater ventilation perfusion

- Respiratory Rate is slowed which relays signals of calm and relaxation to the brain, helping with stress management

- Diaphragm (main breathing muscle) is activated and simultaneously;

o Rest, Sleep, Digest and Heel nerve (Vagus Nerve) which reduces inflammation and improves sleep

o Improved rib control and inner core unit activation for prime spinal stability

o Organs move


At home practice:

- Place your hands on the side of your rib cage for feedback

- Inhale for four long, slow, deep seconds into the back and sides of the bottom part of your ribs. And then without a pause, exhale for six seconds.



- When exhalation is 1.5x inhalation, diaphragm strength, control and parasympathetic tone are improved



But don’t forget to shut your mouth as much as you can during the other 23 hours of the day… we advocate breathing through your nose!


Emily Korn

Physiotherapist



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