blog deep breath not like thatHave you ever noticed that people tend to get more aches and pains the older they get? You may think this is just a normal part of getting older, but what if there were some simple exercises that would help keep you feeling young a lot longer? Would you be interested?

Research has found that the way babies move is the most efficient way to move! ⁠When you deviate from this type of movement you will not function at your best, but it is possible to develop effective moving patterns once again. ⁠

Functional Movement exercises are based on the way babies develop - taking special attention to how they move, organize movement patterns, and learn stabilization.⁠ These exercises allow you to reestablish these movement patterns so that they become natural again.⁠ 

The foundation for all these exercises is breathing properly. Let’s look at getting you back to breathing in the most effective way so that you function at your best!⁠


Diaphragmatic Breathing

Did you know that breathing properly is crucial to ideal health? But improper breathing is actually more common than correct breathing in adults.


In a pilot study of 96 people in 2003 that assessed breathing mechanics, only 25% of people were found to breathe normally. The others were chest breathers, lacked normal movement of the lower rib cage, or had deep clavicular grooves. 

When asked to take a deep breath, 74% adults were chest breathers! 


What happens if you aren't breathing properly? 

  • Proper breathing helps you maintain spinal stability while improper breathing often leads to instability through the spine and pelvic floor. 

  • Improper breathing can lead to poor coordination and poor cardiovascular endurance.

  • Using accessory muscles to help with breathing can lead to problems with shoulder mechanics 

  • Faulty respiration mechanics can lead to recurrent back pain. 

  • Improper breathing can play a major role in chronic fatigue, anxiety, panic attacks, as well as many musculoskeletal symptoms. 


Why are we such poor breathers? 

If you watch a baby breathe, they pretty much universally breathe perfectly from their diaphragm. They don’t have to think about proper mechanics, it is just natural for them!

Over time, adults spend many hours sitting in chairs, slumping forward at computers, or reclining in Lazy Boys watching TV. This change in position of our spine and rib cage causes us to find alternate ways to breathe. 

In addition, many of us look at models in advertisements and strive for a "flat stomach". Normal breathing involves letting the belly go outward with each inhalation, and when we constantly hold our stomachs tight (consciously or subconsciously) to make them appear flatter, it is impossible to breathe correctly.


How Do You Learn to Breathe Naturally Again

As with anything, the first step in fixing a problem is to realize what you are doing wrong. Then learn to do it correctly, and practice until it becomes automatic. 

Here is a video of the first functional movement exercises. It is the foundation for all the other functional movement exercises, so don’t skip this important step.

If you are trying to make changes in the way that you breathe, try to focus on your breathing technique at least once an hour. This could mean reminding yourself with a note for your desk at work, setting a timer, or thinking about it every time you do a certain activity (like stopping at a red light). 



Keep in mind that most people who breathe improperly have been doing it for years. It will take time to fix this, so keep practicing and be patient. 

If you want more guidance, I'd be happy to help! Call our office at 630-448-0255, and we'll set up a consultation to get you breathing better! 


Dr. Jamie