Did you know that breathing provides you with your very own, built in massage therapist and chiropractor?
We usually think of breathing as the unconscious process that moves air in and out of the lungs twentyfour hours a day, seven days a week. It’s one of the most basic requirements to keep us alive. But it turns out there’s a whole lot of stuff that depends on our breathing apparatus working correctly and optimally.
In the last post we focused on the diaphragm and its role in the overall health of your spine when you breathe.
Today we’re looking at imbalances with breathing. In the same way you can have an imbalance in your back or leg muscles, you can have an imbalance in the way you breathe; especially if scoliosis is involved.
Shallow breathing, which happens when air doesn’t travel very far down into the lungs, is the most common imbalance with breathing. Usually shallow breathing taxes the neck muscles in ways they weren’t meant to work and even gets the shoulders involved. Shallow breathing can keep the neck and shoulders chronically tight.
It’s also possible to have a side-to-side imbalance when you breathe which involves breathing more into one side, or lung, than the other.
But first, let’s consider some of the many reasons we breathe. We breathe to:
- Take in oxygen, which provides us with fuel for movement
- Lower blood pressure
- Increase circulation
- Promote spinal movement
- Circulation, which creates an “inner shower” or cleansing
- Transport nutrients to your tissues (tissue respiration)
- Stimulates your lymphatic system (immune system)
- Promote oscillatory activity of cells
- Provide posture support
- Hydrate your tissues
- Motivate innermost movement, keeping your internal organs and spine healthy
When you take a good look at this list and think about it, it puts into perspective just how amazing and efficient our bodies truly are. It also highlights the health problems that can arise when we are not breathing fully, or have a muscular imbalance in the lungs.
Today’s video shares an exercise to help you discover if you may indeed breathe more into one lung than the other and shows you how to help bring your breathing into balance.
If you have scoliosis in your thoracic spine, this is an extra powerful exercise for you!
Give One Lung Breathing a try and let me know how it goes in the comments below!
See you in the studio!