What:Without even being aware of it, most of us are chest-breathers, taking in quick, shallow sips of air instead of breathing deeply into the lower parts of our lungs. When people are in pain, they often breathe very shallowly (chest breathing) or even hold their breath. These are our body’s protective reactions to pain and stress, but instead of calming us, chest breathing can increase the levels of pain that we experience. Studies have shown that slower, fuller, diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing, can significantly reduce the sensations of pain and the negative effects of stress.
Where:Both in and out of clinics
When:Monday, 1/26 - Monday, 2/2
How:*Participants schedule time (1-5 min) each day, at least once a day to practice belly breathing. *Participants are asked to practice a minimum of 3 out of 7 days outside of the clinic. They can practice as many other days in the clinic, during their treatments. *Communicate with PT/Exercise Tech. What’s working? What’s not? Practice in clinic with clinicians. *Complete/return log to clinic. Logs can be returned Friday, 1/30 - Monday, 2/2.
Why:The purpose of this challenge is to have participants: * Intentionally create devoted time in their daily schedules to focus on their practice of diaphragmatic or belly breathing. * Understand the basics of diaphragmatic/belly breathing and the potential health benefits of a regular practice. *Create a sense of community and support in the clinics around the topic of diaphragmatic breathing. * Reflect on how they are feeling after practicing the technique. * Commit, enjoy and be successful with this simple challenge.
Simple technique: 1. Sit or lay down and take a moment to get comfortable. 2. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth for a couple of minutes. 3. Place your left hand on your belly and your right on your chest. 4. Inhale deeply and gently into your lower lungs, expanding your belly (your left hand should rise). Exhale completely through your mouth. Watch your left hand rise and fall as you continue this cycle for a few minutes. This is diaphragmatic breathing. 5. Notice how you feel immediately after and within the hour.