Health Blog

Are You Breathing Correctly?


Do you have to deal with aches, pains, feeling stiff, headaches or just plain fatigue? Your breathing patterns may be to blame. We are all subjected to daily stresses that cause us subconsciously to change our breathing patterns. The normal responses to stress are a whole host of reactions, including shallower, but rapid breathing, increased blood pressure and more. This causes actual changes in blood chemistry and gets your body ready for a fight or flight response.

In today’s high-pressure world, we deal with our bodies being on a continuous fight or flight response. This chronic stress causes us to change our breathing patterns, which actually makes our blood more acidic. It also slows down your lymphatic system, which is responsible for carrying normal metabolic waste materials away. These blood chemistry and lymphatic changes can lead to symptoms of general fatigue, aches, pains, sleepiness and even headaches. In some cases, fibromyalgia and other chronic pain disorders can be traced to chronic stress and biochemical changes from altered breathing. That is why it is so important for these sufferers to focus on restoring proper posture and breathing techniques.


Posture and Your Breathing

Your posture is critical to how well your body can breathe. If you find yourself slouching all the time and find your head protruding forward, your posture will greatly affect your breathing. The spine is the anchor for your breathing muscles, requiring good flexibility and proper curvatures to function properly. Furthermore, having good posture, means your ribs have room to expand properly, filling your lungs and using your diaphragm muscle correctly.


How You Should Breathe

Take a moment to look in the mirror and place your hand on your upper abdomen. Do you find yourself breathing with your shoulders and upper trapezius muscles? This is wrong and you should not actually have much movement in these areas when breathing normally. Most of the movement should come from your upper abdomen expanding as your diaphragm muscle descends.


What You Can Do

It is important to take time every day to correct your breathing and train your body to breathe properly again. It is amazing, that with 5-10 minutes of proper training a day, you can feel more energized, reduce fatigue, alleviate a lot of common ailments and feel your best.


Proper Technique

  • Lie on your back with a pillow under your head for support.
  • Place your hands on your upper and lower abdomen.
  • Close your eyes and take normal, but slightly deeper breathes.
  • Try to maintain a rhythm of a continuous inhalation for 4 seconds, then exhalation for 6 seconds. Eventually, as you feel good with this speed, slightly increase the duration for 6 seconds inhalation, then 8 seconds exhalation.
  • Focus on making your abdomen rise and lower, while keeping your shoulders relaxed. Gently feel your chest rise towards your throat and your ribs expand outwards and upwards. However, continue to make sure that your neck and shoulders stay relaxed.


How Physical Therapy Helps

Our physical therapists are experts in posture and motion. Proper breathing technique is a big component of our whole body approach to making your body perform to its peak. Whether you are an athlete or a senior, everyone can benefit from better movement, posture and breathing. If you suffer from neck, back or joint pains, we can help you quickly relieve pain and live a healthy life. Contact Orthopedic and Balance Therapy today to learn more and talk to one of our specialized therapists. It will be like taking a breathe of fresh air!

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Our Reviews
Tim Nash
Tim Nash
15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
Jose Ico
Jose Ico
12:43 27 Apr 18
My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
Paul Grant
Paul Grant
21:51 03 Apr 18
I have read lots of reviews that say "the entire staff of ..." is great, and you know that it is BS.. .. Butt at OBTS that statement is true. The person answering the phone, appointment setting they work around my schedule. It is truly a team concept. Everyone that has work with/on me keeps me focus on getting healthy to play golf.... Even those employees that haven't work with/on me are upbeat, positive and encouraging both their patients and me..... follow up phone calls, positive, hand written notes of encouragement, reminding me to do my homework so I can play golf this year. Great Employees, Great Business!.
Diane Burns
Diane Burns
02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
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