Incorrect breathing is the source for many types of pain, including back/neck/SI-joint pain as well as headaches and anxiety.
The breath initiates and facilitates movement through the spine.
As you inhale the sacrum (area above your tailbone) tips back slightly and as you exhale it tips forward again. The movement of your sacrum is only about 2-4mm however it sets off a wave up your spine. This is vital to keep the flexibility in your spine.
Due to quick, shallow breathing we do not encourage this function of the sacrum. Therefore it is vital to take a full deep breath in and out.
So if you are living with pain the first thing to look at is your breathing.
Not only will correct breathing address your pain but it also reduces stress, anxiety and provides a calm and relaxed feeling.
Let’s check in on your breathing and see if you can improve it.
Sit or lie in a comfortable position.
Rest your hands on your lower ribcage or around the side of the lower ribcage
Take a breath in through the nose and see if you can expand your ribs sideways without lifting your shoulders to your ears.
Notice if you can also feel your breath in your lower back
As you breathe out through your mouth, let your ribcage come back together and feel your lower back almost float up
This may take some practice!
Inhale and exhale slowly to your best ability and try 5 to 10 repetitions first.
As you become more aware of what this feels like, you will really start to notice your lower back and how much more relaxed you will become.
Keep your shoulders still and relaxed throughout.
To integrate this into your daily life why not do this when you wake up/go to bed or when you feel really tired or stressed during the day. You will soon notice a difference if you do it regularly.
For a lot of my clients it has really helped with their breathing habits in general and reduced anxiety, as well as aches and pains.
Give it a try and stick with it for a month.
I’d love to hear how you got on.
PS: you can join my Pilates classes every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at the ChangesNow Centre in Dawlish or book a 1 to 1 tuition.