Have you ever been asked “what’s your favourite something or other – movie, song, colour “- actually colour is pretty easy and almost predictable. I’ve even heard of parents being asked which is their favourite child? I cannot imagine being able to play favourites in that scenario. In other matters though it is possible to choose handful of favourite films, or albums, it can be difficult to narrow it down to one.
One of my favourite things is assisting people to breathe more freely. It’s one of their favourite things too.
Think about the last time you received a fright or were tense, what did you? Hold your breath? Tense up ready for flight, fight, or faint. Normally sometime after the threat passes the muscles relax and return to their comfortable resting state. At times they don’t or only partially release. This unreleased state becomes the new ‘normal’ and can restrict your breathing. Sedentary lifestyles can have a similar effect.
Many of you who work in offices would be familiar with work induced tension in the upper body where prolonged stress can cause the chest muscles to tighten, shoulders to hunch, and upper back and neck to tense up and remain so, even after a nights sleep. These chest, neck and back muscles can also affect your breathing if the muscles are in a hypertonic (taught) state, effectively reducing the volume the lungs can expand into, and also resisting the expansion. The muscles of the stomach and core also resist expansion when taught, resisting expansion of the lungs. The organs of the gut also need room to function properly and belly breathing assists with this. As if being able to draw in more breath wasn’t enough, belly breathing gives our organs space to move about, increasing blood and other fluid flow. Belly breathing is a self applied internal massage of sorts.
Techniques Emmett Therapists use (some are taight in the EMMTECH course can assist you to breathe better and that will bring some wonderful secondary benefits. So do you suffer from neck or shoulder pain that appears to have no cause? Is your gut a bit lazy? Perhaps your breathing needs a little tune up.