16 Scientific Health Benefits of Diaphragmatic Breathing
Everyone may wish for a happy and healthy life. However, between the crowded activities, we sometimes cannot have enough time to relax and do some exercise to maintain our body health. Actually, there are some simple activities that beneficial for our health such as benefits of cuddling in the morning and benefits of listening our favorite song. Besides those two simple habits benefits for health, diaphragmatic breathing is also beneficial for our health. Before knowing the diaphragmatic breathing benefits, you should know about what is diaphragmatic breathing first.
Diaphragmatic breathing is breathing which involved the diaphragm contraction. So, where is a diaphragm? Diaphragm is the horizontal muscle between the thoracic and abdominal cavity. The diaphragmatic breathing allows air to maximally enter lungs while the chest rises and the belly expand. This is a natural form of breathing makes us fully relaxed.
People might know this kind of breathing as deep breathing. We do this by slowly and deeply inhaling the air through the nose, holding it for about 10 seconds, and then releasing the air in the same slowly and deeply way. Since the process involves some organs and the effect also might be varied, this kind of breathing is known to be beneficial for health.
There are many health benefits of diaphragmatic breathing, such as:
- Makes you feel good
The diaphragmatic breathing is able to release serotonin, a hormone which in charge to stimulates the happy feeling. This is the reason why people who work in a long office hours are recommended to frequently take a deep breath. It is aimed to reduce stress and control the feeling. The diaphragm breathing can also release anabolic hormones which are good for stress balancing.
- Improves concentration
When we are doing something difficult, we intentionally take a deep breath. This is how our subconciousness remind us to inhale more air and clear our mind. Well, diaphragmatic breathing is proven to be able to improve concentration as it takes a lot of oxygen to be circulated to brain which will improves our mental focus.
The diaphragmatic breathing also increases the blood flow to the pre-frontal cortex of our brain. Prefrontal cortex is the part of brain attributes to the complex behaviors such as planning and thinking.
- Reduces pain and headache
As the more oxygen taken into the lungs, the diaphragmatic breathing allows the blood to flow well. As we know, the main cause of pain and headache is mostly attributed by the bad blood circulation.
- Lowers blood pressure
As we know, during the process of diaphragmatic breathing, the amount of oxygen carried by the air might be doubled. The oxygen supply to our blood will be increased. It allows the blood circulation run well which will affect the normal blood pressure. The normal blood pressure will also reduce the risk of some diseases such as coronary heart and stroke.
- Lowers blood sugar
If you think that reducing blood sugar is only related to low sugar diet, you might be mistaken. Actually, exercise is also important to lower blood sugar. Here are the benefits of exercise recommendation. However, the tight activity might not allow us to have such a regular exercise time.
In this case diaphragmatic breathing exercise is one of the solutions to give the benefits of exercise in a more simple way. A research concluded that breathing in three times and breathing out six times able to reduce the blood sugar.
- Lowers the risk of cancer
Diaphragmatic breathing is able to eliminate free radical. We know that free radical is the main culprit of the cancer cell formation. Therefore, we can reduce the risk of cancer by doing the simple thing such as diaphragmatic breathing anytime.
- Slows aging process
Diaphragmatic breathing enables the growth hormone release. The growth hormone is the hormone to cause aging. In addition, this kind of breathing can also improve the cellular lifespan. Therefore, the diaphragmatic breathing is able to slower the aging process
- Improves sleep quality
According to research, deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing exercise is able to improve the sleep quality. The result of the exercise is found after the subject of the research regularly takes 10 – 20 minutes of diaphragmatic breathing exercise daily. In addition to the result, the diaphragmatic breathing can also decrease snoring.
- Helps to lose weight
Besides making you happy, the serotonin released during the process of diaphragmatic breathing is able to reduce your craving of food. And the most important, it can balance the stress hormones with anabolic hormones. Therefore, the metabolism will go normally. Further, diaphragmatic breathing can also improve the fat burning process.
- Increases lungs capacity
People tend to not watch their breathing carefully, since breathing is a subliminal activity people commonly do. However, this habit might not be all the way accepted, since the shallow breathing doesn’t allow the respiratory organ to work properly. One of the bad effects of the habit is the small capacity of lungs.
On the other hand, the diaphragmatic breathing is bale to allow the lungs to expand optimally and accommodate oxygen as much as possible. This is the reason why health experts strongly recommend diaphragmatic breathing for singer, actor, speaker, athletes, and even teacher since their job is fairly attached to how they breathe properly.
- Eases pulmonary disease
According to a preliminary research, diaphragmatic breathing effectively reduces the symptom of COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease such as dyspnea and hypoxemia.
The research observed 5 moderate COPD patients and 5 severe COPD patients. As the result, the diaphragm mobility went well.
- Strengthen pelvic floor muscle
A study revealed about the role of health benefits of diaphragmatic breathing to strengthen pelvic floor muscle. As we know, the diaphragmatic breathing employs the bottom part of human body, including the pelvic floor muscle. Pelvic floor muscle is the muscle which holds the genital organ such as bladder and bowel. The strong pelvic floor muscle will also affect the strong joint.
- Improves sexual performance
As mention before, diaphragmatic breathing can make the pelvic floor muscle stronger. The strong pelvic floor muscle is very beneficial for your sexual performance since the muscle is in charge to hold the genital organ. Therefore, the strong pelvic floor muscle will help you to get a maximum orgasm.
So, it is not an exaggeration to say that diaphragmatic breathing benefits attributes to your better sexual performance. As the addition, you can also read the benefits of having sex in the morning.
- Improves excretion organs
Besides improving the sexual performance, the diaphragmatic breathing benefits also affects the pelvic floors muscle which involves the excretion organ such as bladder and bowel. The diaphragmatic maintain the good work of these organs. It means that diaphragmatic breathing attributes to the good excretion system to effectively release the toxin and waste.
- Reduces atelectasis
Atelactasis is the stage of collapsed or closed lungs which inhibits the gas exchange in our lungs. Not only inhibits, it may also stop the exchange in all part of lungs. Atelactasis is usually happen to people with pulmonary syndrome, or a patient who has just undergone surgery, especially cardiac surgery.
The diaphragm breathing activates the work of lungs back to normal. it proves that diaphragmatic breathing benefits is significant to our health.
16. Keeps your correct posture
Since the diaphragmatic breathing requires you to breathe down your spine, it won’t work when you are not keeping your upright position. Breathing in your daily posture may trap your breath, and as the result your breathing will be short and quick. Therefore, if you normally breathe with your diaphragm, you will make your upper chest relaxed for a while, and able to keep your right posture as a bonus.
Exercise to get the diaphragmatic breathing benefits
Some exercises frequently employ the health benefits of diaphragmatic breathing, especially yoga. You can also get the benefit of yoga. On the other hand, if you want to do the simple diaphragmatic exercise, there are some steps that you should master.
- The first is the starting position. In this stage, you may start by lying down, bending your knee, and support your head with a pillow.
- To make sure you breathe correctly with your diaphragm, you can place one hand on your upper abdomen and the other hand on at the side of your chest.
- In the second step, you should start to watch your breathing technique.
- Breathe in slowly for about in 5 – 10 count. In this stage your hand may notice your belly raised and the lower rib cage widen under your hand.
- Remember to make your upper chest relaxed and let your diaphragm and belly work.
- The third step is by letting the air out and resting your rib cage to the normal position. In this step you should notice the gentle movement of your belly under your hand.
If you have mastered the technique, you can take such a progressive diaphragmatic breathing. When you have done the exercise in lying down position, you can also try to do it sitting and then standing by keeping your upright position just like when you are lying down. If you have mastered all of them, you can also practice them while you walk around.
Recommended exercise to get the diaphragmatic breathing benefits
The key of doing this exercise to gain the diaphragmatic breathing benefits is trying to keep you relaxed and comfortable. Do not force your lung to breath in or out. When you suddenly feel out of breath during the diaphragmatic breathing, just stop a while and start again slowly.
You may find it is difficult since we rarely use our diaphragm to breath. And how many exercise you should take? Try to breathe in and out for about 5 – 10 minute for each session. You can do this exercise twice daily. Don’t forget to do it regularly, so that you can get the diaphragmatic breathing benefit for health.