Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: July 2018

What faulty breathing is doing to your body

"Respiration is our primary and most important movement pattern ... and also the most dysfunctional," states Dr. Karel Lewit, a well-known Czech researcher. Breathing seems so natural, we tend to take it for granted. But in today's high stress and technology driven society, many of us have dysfunctional breathing patterns that are often detrimental to our health.

During healthy inhalation, the ribcage expands three dimensionally, and the dome-shaped diaphragm flattens as it contracts and moves down to allow room for the lungs to expand. This increase in abdominal pressure flattens spinal curves, causing rigidity in the spine and ribcage. These bony structures then relax and the diaphragm returns to its domed position as we exhale the air from our lungs. This respiratory process also engages our core muscles, such as the deep abdominals.

Unfortunately, many of us don't breathe this way. Some people only breathe into the chest, causing the diaphragm to weaken from lack of use. Others only breathe into the belly causing immobility in the ribcage and spine. And some do paradoxical breathing, which is when the belly goes out on the exhale and flattens on the inhale - the opposite of healthy breathing. These are only a few examples faulty breathing patterns.

It's easy to see how dysfunctional breathing negatively affects our diaphragm, core muscles, ribcage, and spine. Anything that adversely affects breathing patterns, such as poor posture, trauma, or tension, will cause joints to stiffen, leaving us vulnerable to pain and injury.

Faulty breathing patterns often lead to high stress, anxiety, headaches, chronic low back pain, neck and shoulder pain, and postural strain, to name a few. Proper breathing is essential for optimal health.

We can all benefit from paying attention to our breathing. Take just a few minutes to follow along with me in the video below, and feel the profound affects you can have on your physical and emotional state just by altering your breathing pattern!

Source: https://erikdalton.com/blog/breathing-back-pain/

Alleviate anxiety with this simple breathing exercise

Do you suffer from high anxiety? If so, this video is for you. Take just 5 minutes to learn highly effective breathing techniques that you can do anytime, anywhere. You'll be amazed at how these simple breathing exercises will have you feeling relaxed, calm, and clear-headed in no time.

What's new with me ...

Sienna has officially graduated from pre-K and is now enjoying summer camp!

On my birthday, Jesse and I went to see "Won't You Be My Neighbor," the Mr. Rogers documentary, which I highly recommend! Then we went for lunch at Tavern on the Green in beautiful Central Park.

Wishing everyone a very happy July 4th holiday!

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