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Diaphragmatic Breathing (Belly Breathing)

Date :2021-05-09

Phase 1: Deep Breathing While On Your Back

  1. Lie on your back and bend your knees so that the bottom of your feet are resting on the bed.
  2. Place your hands on top of your stomach or wrap them around the sides of your stomach.
  3. Close your lips and place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
  4. Breathe in through the nose and pull air down into your stomach where your hands are. Try to spread your fingers apart with your breath.
  5. Slowly exhale your breath through the nose.
  6. Repeat deep breaths for one minute.

Phase 2: Deep Breathing While on Your Stomach

  1. Lie on your stomach and rest your head on your hands to allow room to breathe.
  2. Close your lips and place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
  3. Breathe in through your nose and pull air down into your stomach. Try to focus on your stomach pushing into the mattress as you breathe.
  4. Slowly exhale your breath through your nose.
  5. Repeat deep breaths for one minute

Phase 3: Deep Breathing While Sitting

  1. Sit upright on the edge of a bed or in a sturdy chair.
  2. Place your hands around the sides of your stomach.
  3. Close lips and place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
  4. Breathe in through your nose and pull air down into your stomach where your hands are. Try to spread your fingers apart with your breath.
  5. Slowly exhale your breath through your nose.
  6. Repeat deep breaths for one minute.

 

Phase 4: Deep Breathing While Standing

  1. Stand upright and place your hands around the sides of your stomach.
  2. Close your lips and place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
  3. Breathe in through your nose and pull air down into your stomach where your hands are. Try to spread your fingers apart with your breath.
  4. Slowly exhale your breath* through your nose.
  5. Repeat deep breaths for one minute.

*You may practice humming exhalation here if desired.

Exercises to Facilitate Movement

 

In this video, physical therapist Peiting Lien from the Johns Hopkins Rehabilitation Network demonstrates proper diaphragmatic breathing techniques, and goes on to show a few exercises to ease into movement.

Yawn to a Smile

This exercise incorporates motion with deep breathing, which helps increase coordination and build strength in the arms and shoulders. It also opens up the muscles in your chest to give the diaphragm space to expand.

  1. Sit upright on the edge of your bed or in a sturdy chair.
  2. Reach arms overhead and create a big stretching yawn.
  3. Bring your arms down and finish by smiling for three seconds.
  4. Repeat for one minute.

 

Humming

Humming while exhaling helps increase nitric oxide production in the body. Nitric oxide helps with neural plasticity (building and repair of the nervous system) and it dilates blood vessels, enabling more oxygen to be delivered throughout the body. Humming is also calming and soothing, it reduces stress and it can help the patient remain in restoration mode.

  1. Sit upright on the edge of your bed or in a sturdy chair.
  2. Place your hands around the sides of your stomach.
  3. With your lips closed and your tongue on the roof of your mouth, breathe in through your nose and pull air down into your stomach where your hands are. Try to spread your fingers apart with your breath.
  4. Once your lungs are full, keep your lips closed and exhale while humming, making the “hmmmmmm” sound. Notice how your hands lower back down.
  5. Again, inhale through your nose, then exhale through your nose while humming.
  6. Repeat for one minute.

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