Take note of each of the following before and after the breathing exercise to compare
Rate your current stress level on a scale of 1-10.
Rate any pain in your body on a scale of 1-10 and identify the place in pain.
Take your resting heart rate: Count how many beats in one minute (or count how many beats in ten seconds, beat “one” on the first second, and multiply x6
Measure your resting respiratory rate: Count how many times you inhale and exhale in 60 seconds (or count how many times in 10 seconds and multiply x6
Practice diaphragm breathing for 3 minutes and then re-test.
Sit up straight and tall in your chair, put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach just below your ribs. When you inhale the hand on your chest shouldn’t move and the one on your stomach should be pushed out when you inhale, you should also feel your ribs pushing back into the chair when you inhale.
If you can’t breathe with your diaphragm without lifting your shoulders then you need to work on activating your diaphragm. One way to do this is to wrap a piece of cloth around your ribs, hold the ends in your hands with your hands pulling toward each other in front of your abdomen. Purse your lips like you’re sucking air through a straw and inhale, pulling air into the bottom of your lungs. If you still cannot get it to fire ask a member of the Peak Wellness team for help.
Sit up straight and Put your hand on your lower abdomen and cough, feel that muscle that contracts and try to contract it without coughing. That’s your transverse abdominus. Try to keep that muscle contracted while your breath in your diaphragm and still not move your neck and shoulders. When you can do this you will have activated the key elements of your core.
For 3 minutes, inhale for 3-5 seconds and exhale for 6-10 without lifting shoulders or collar bone.