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High Chest Breathing

Stand and look into a mirror or close your eyes and feel what occurs or ask someone to observe you.

Put your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your chest. Take a very deep breath, as deep as you can. When you breathe in very deeply:

Do you raise your rib cage?
Do you raise your shoulders?
Do your neck muscles bulge out?
Do you experience a little or a lot more of any of the following:

Anxiety
Panic attack
High blood pressure
Hypertension
Voice troubles
Chest pain
Asthma-like symptoms of wheezing
Tension
Sleep disturbance
Blurred hazy vision
Dizziness
Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
Chronic muscle tension
Cold hands and feet
Irregular heartbeat
Constant sighing or gasping
Poor concentration or focus
Yawning episodes
Fatigue
Angina
Mental confusion
Getting sick more often
Poor digestion
Tightness in the chest
Overreacting to stress
Feeling of not being able to take a big easy breath and/or
Can't take a deep breath or can't get over the hump as it is often called
Gas, constipation, or diarrhea
Tired yet cannot sleep
Feeling on edge
Phobias
Chest pain

Then you used your chest too much to breathe.

Try it again with a quick breath (sniff) through your nose. Did the hand on your belly move MORE than your chest? If not then you used your high chest too much to breathe.

- High chest breathing often brings a sense of struggle to breathing, a behavior that should otherwise seem automatic, effortless, and easy.
- High chest breathing often triggers muscle posturing, which can result in tension and pain, even headache.
- High chest breathing is inefficient, labor intensive, and can make breathing seem difficult, even exhausting.
- High chest breathing requires faster breathing, which can make it seem like you're running a race, and makes you anxious.
- High chest breathing makes completion of exhale difficult, and may make you feel breathless, and worried about getting the next breath.
- High chest breathing makes you feel confined, restricted, and trapped, setting the stage for making you feel defensive and insecure.
- High chest breathing "requires" that you "take" a breath! Intentional breathing, conscious or unconscious, interferes with basic reflexes.
- High chest breathing is "controlled breathing." One must most often be present for the breath as it comes on its own accord.
- High chest breathing may quickly deregulate body chemistry

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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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