Massage Therapy  with Dee Hiatt, 
LMT
203-377-1262
Breathing Well
September, 2003
 
Hold one hand across the front of your chest and the other hand on your abdomen.

Take several breaths and notice the movement of your hands.

If you can feel movement with both hands, your breathing is likely to be efficient and full.

If you take breaths that move just your chest, you will notice how hard the neck and rib muscles work to move your chest enough for a generous breath. These muscles are far less efficient than the diaphragm muscle that sits at the base of the lungs. They get sore, tired and tight. Besides being used for breathing, they are involved in moving and stabilizing the shoulders, arms, neck and head.

When you are tense or uptight, you will be more likely to breathe in a shallow way, relying more on chest movement than abdominal movement. That adds to your fatigue.

Periodically check your breath pattern. If it is restricted, try allowing an abdominal breath. See if you really need the tight breathing to do what you were doing.
© 2004, Dee Hiatt
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