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What do you want to know about breathing? Answered in our newsletter

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Diaphragm Development
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From an enlightened medical doctor. "Mr. A has had an injury to his diaphragm -- inability to function properly --adversely affecting his breathing.  There is no established medical treatment for this condition and patient has been encouraged to seek any and all alternative treatment modalities." 

Partly good advice but yikes on the many sources of mediocre to bad information that are out in the world these days.

Breath-by-breath measurement of the volume displaced by diaphragm motion.
Department of Pulmonary Physiology, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia 6009, Australia. Bhajan.Singh@health.wa.gov.au

To develop an accurate method to measure the volume displaced by diaphragm motion (DeltaVdi) breath by breath, we compared DeltaVdi measured by a previously evaluated biplanar radiographic method (Singh B, Eastwood PR, and Finucane KE. J Appl Physiol 91: 1913-1923, 2001) at several lung volumes during vital capacity inspirations in 10 healthy and nine hyperinflated subjects with 1) DeltaVdi measured from the same chest X-rays by two previously described uniplanar methods (Petroll WM, Knight H, and Rochester DF. J Appl Physiol 69: 2175-2182, 1990; Verschakelen JA, Deschepper K, and Demendts M. J Appl Physiol 72: 1536-1540, 1992) and a proposed method that considered actual cross-sectional shape of the rib cage and spinal volume (DeltaVdi(S)); and 2) DeltaVdi(S) measured by lateral fluoroscopy in the same 10 healthy subjects. Relative to biplanar DeltaVdi, DeltaVdi(S) values from lateral chest X-rays and fluoroscopy were not different, whereas DeltaVdi values of Petroll et al. and Verschakelen et al. were increased by (means +/- SD) 1.98 +/- 1.59 and 1.16 +/- 0.82 liters, respectively (both P < 0.001). During quiet breathing, DeltaVdi(S) by lateral fluoroscopy was 66 +/- 16% of tidal volume and similar to that between functional residual capacity and one-half inspiratory capacity by the biplanar radiographic method. We conclude that accurate breath-by-breath measurements of DeltaVdi can be made by using lateral fluoroscopy.   PMID: 12571137 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 

If you think you have some kind of illness I caution you against self-diagnosis or self treatment. There are numerous health conditions sometimes associated with respiratory muscle weakness as outlined on page 1891 of The Thorax, by Charles Roussos.  He missed sleep apnea.   I suspect he missed a few more.

The diaphragm is the central muscle of the human body, the principal muscle of your breathing. It almost completely separates the body in half from top to bottom. Ancient Greece called the diaphragm phrenos, "the unity of all possibilities of human expression".

The diaphragm shrinks and as it shrinks it will rise less and less up into the chest. Liken it to a bicycle pump.  If you pull the handle out just a little you get very little air into the tire.  The higher the diaphragm rise, the higher the pump handle can rise, and the more air it can push/pull into the tire/lungs.  It shrinks irregularly as well. This happens with almost every lung issue.

I have had video fluoroscopes of MY diaphragm.  It was fascinating.  The MD radiologist was kind enough to let me x-ray my diaphragm but did not have a protocol for this which suggests to me a lack of clinical research into diaphragm function and development.   

Y
our heart rests above and next to it and your liver, gall bladder, spleen, stomach, and kidneys lie below. It is attached to your spine as it moves and massages all your abdominal organs.

Your diaphragm is the mediator of all the biological and emotional rhythms of your body, including the autonomic nervous system. The diaphragm interconnects your abdomen, lungs and spine. Because of these relationships, its movement is profoundly influenced by continued in the Optimal Breathing Mastery Kit

The rhythmic movement of your diaphragm is changing constantly. It is shaped like a half dome arching into the cavity of your chest. As you inhale, it contracts down pressing on your organs and hopefully with a proper deep breath, continued in the Optimal Breathing Mastery Kit

But the diaphragm shrinks. And when it does it loses some or most of its air drawing and exhaling ability. It is then that we can learn about how much of so called diaphragmatic breathing really ISN’T full breathing. 

All optimal breathing is diaphragmatic + continued in the Optimal Breathing Mastery Kit

If you think of the diaphragm as a face down half-dome shaped bowl like a fresh half plum that can weaken and shrivel up on the top and all around its sides like a prune. This means that the diaphragm is affected on ALL sides of it. It can weaken on any part of its bowl shaped surface. If it does, it will most likely remain so unless it is redeveloped.

With the recent "new age" popularity of daily conscious breathing exercises, many are being trained to either breathe into the belly, consistently watch their breath, create postures that are supposed to expand the breathing (many do), or forcefully inhale or exhale in an attempt to increase breathing rate or volume.

The belly breath can stabilize the nervous systems and emotions and is generally a good place to begin strengthening. But I have seen many exceptions to this as a improperly trained belly breath can also become an habitual distraction and breathing restriction.

Watching the breath is good for many to focus and get calm but can develop into continued in the Optimal Breathing Mastery Kit . Postures can expand or distribute the breath as well as cause the breathing restriction they hope to eliminate. The forcefulness/effort can be valuable, but is in many ways continued in the Optimal Breathing Mastery Kit. These blocks are tensions and postures in the body that restrict the natural flow of the breathing energy called life-force, chi, ki, qi, ha, prana, pneuma, elan vital, and many, many others. Breathing awareness, physical assessments, and continued in the Optimal Breathing Mastery Kit are the primary markers for positive change of the breath.


EASIER, FULLER BREATHING
Many techniques exist to modify, direct or observe the activity of the breath. Each has its purpose and limitation. Any one exercise you do with the breath will, after enough repetitions, restrict the continued in the Optimal Breathing Mastery Kit. When we forcibly take deeper belly breaths we also partially stimulate the sympathetic nervous system because we are efforting the activity. When practicing breath awareness, observation of the breath may cause it to continued in the Optimal Breathing Mastery Kit

‘Breath awareness’ is more of a sitting or walking meditation and a pretty good one except I have had clients tell me that to follow their breath made them extremely anxious and others that just couldn’t do it due to stress and internal distractions.

ANATOMY

LUNG FUNCTION -

The lungs lose their capacity to increase vital capacity primarily in five ways.

My order of priority. 1. continued in continued in the Optimal Breathing Mastery Kit

See the diaphragm and lungs above. The stomach  is directly underneath the diaphragm. With food in your stomach, you can not breathe as easily.  Food also lowers your blood oxygen.

See the lungs above and notice how they are mostly in the lower trunk. So it is a waste of time trying to get any breath in the chest area. There is MUCH more to learn.

Self Help Program 
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The breathing improvement techniques, practices and products outlined in this publication are extremely gentle, and should, if carried out as described, be beneficial
to your overall physical and psychological health. If you have any serious medical or psychological problem, however, such as heart disease, high blood pressure,
cancer, mental illness, or recent abdominal or chest surgery, you should consult your health professional before undertaking these practices.

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