Are you stressed out? We all have feelings of tension or anxiety throughout the day. Sometimes we may feel lethargic or tired.
Deep abdominal breathing can help improve your mood, reduce stress and promote overall health.
Deep breathing also may help if you are struggling with a physical condition, such as lymphedema. Breathing with your diaphragm activates your thoracic duct, one of the largest lymph vessels in the body. The thoracic duct activates your immune system, which increases blood and lymphatic circulation. This increased oxygen to you body promotes healthy skin, tissue and organs.
Deep breathing goes by many names: diaphragmatic breathing, breathing from the Dan Tian, breathing from center, circular breathing, Kussmaul breathing, storing chi.
Regardless of what you call it, deep breathing is the key to vital energy.
Here is a simple deep abdominal breathing exercise you can try:
1. Sit or lie comfortably
2. Put one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach
3. Slowly inhale through your nose, filling your stomach with air (you should feel your belly expand)
4. Slowly exhale through you mouth (you should feel you belly deflate)
5. Rest then repeat
Have fun and remember to breathe!
Denise Rios, PTA, is a lymphedema specialist in Good Shepherd Outpatient Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Program. For more information on lymphedema services at Good Shepherd, click here .