Proper Breathing and Posture

Did you know that effectively practicing deep breathing techniques can improve your posture? It’s true. At Advantage Chiropractic, we have the scientific information to prove it. This blog post is dedicated to explaining the how and why behind the connection of proper breathing and good posture.

Deep breathing does more than strengthen the muscles surrounding your lungs. It can also rearrange tension patterns of the spine and strengthen underused muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back.

When you breathe deeply, several things happen.

Inhalations and exhalations are made possible by contractions in the muscles surrounding the lungs. The main muscle involved is called the diaphragm which is a very large muscle inside the lower ribs near the bottom of your chest.

When you inhale, the diaphragm will lift the rib cage and expand the chest cavity to allow air into the lungs. It is assisted by the intercostal muscles which are located between your ribs.

The ribs will separate slightly as the rib cage lifts away from the hips. Because the ribs are attached to different segments of the spine, this action will also elongate the spine, reducing pressure on the intervertebral discs and strengthening muscles in the torso.

Regular elongation of the spine from deep breathing eventually increases the space between the joints. This improves the spine’s capacity to twist, bend forwards and backwards, and bend sideways.

While deep breathing and using the full capacity of your lungs, you also reinforce the natural curves of the spine. The upper back, neck, and shoulders are more likely to come into their optimal, “natural” position. This can reduce tension in the upper body and help you develop better posture.

Learning how to breathe deeply is simple. One of the simplest techniques is to breathe in deeply and count to four before releasing your breath over another four count.

You should notice that your abdomen, ribs, and chest are all pushed forward as you breathe. The shoulders, neck, and spine will naturally be pulled into proper alignment during this action. To check that you are breathing correctly, place your hand on your abdomen as you breathe in. It should move outwards slightly as air fills your lungs.

For more tips on how proper breathing affects your posture, contact us at Advantage Chiropractic. We will show you how to properly employ these techniques.