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What is so special about breathing?

We breathe in, we breathe out, repeat. For life. Pretty simple isn't it? Or is it?

According to Dr Peter Maffetone, the proper breathing pattern is as follows:

Upon inhalation, the abdominal muscles relax and are gently pushed out, allowing the diaphragm muscle to lower. There is also a simultaneous but slight extension of the spine. Exhalation involves contracting, or pulling in of the abdominal muscles, with slight flexion of the spine. The chest should move very little during normal breathing and should expand only during forced inhalation and only after the abdominal muscles have relaxed.

The problem is that most people breathe just the opposite. They pull their abdomen in when breathing in, and raise their chest. As a result, less air is taken into the lungs and less carbon dioxide is removed. This can be a cumulative stress over time on the entire body system, especially those muscles involved in respiration.

Shallow chest breathing results in the overworking of chest and neck muscles. As we tend to shallow chest breathe when under stress, this often leads to headaches and a general feeling of tightness in the neck and shoulders as the muscles become overworked.

Massage is one tool that is useful in helping people become aware of their breathing, by increasing awareness while providing some quiet time for the mind and body. And of course there is nothing quite like a sports massage or relaxation massage when it comes to addressing those tight spots in the neck and shoulders. Book in with us here at Taupō Muscle Therapy for your next massage now!

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