Breathing & the Muscle Connection
Bad breathing – it’s more common than you think. You may be a bad breather and not even realise it.
What influences your breathing?
1. Posture: Do you find yourself slouching or sitting for long periods? Poor posture leads to altered muscle tension and spine stiffness. It can also impact your exercise technique.
2. Stress Levels: Increased workloads and anxiety can lead to changes in your stress hormones, posture and breath holding.
3. Hormones: Changes during PMS, pregnancy and menopause.
4. Environment: Living in or being exposed to heat and humidity.
5. Asthma: Your airways are easily irritated and you may be prone to more respiratory tract infections.
How do these factors affect your breathing and what is the impact on your body?
A key physiological change is a decrease in carbon dioxide – Respiratory Alkalosis.
This leads to overactivity of your sympathetic nervous system putting your body on HIGH alert. You start to divert blood flow from your brain and muscles, lower your pain threshold and accumulate lactic acid.
From here biomechanics begin to change.
Increased activity of your upper chest muscles.
Over-breathing leads to your lungs becoming hyperinflated and your ribcage losing its elastic recoil.
Muscle imbalances develop between your abdominals, back and pelvic floor.
Your spine stiffens.
Lymphatic and blood circulation slows.
Your gut motility slows.
So, what are the clues you’re a bad breather?
At rest, you may experience headaches, brain fog, burning in your back, neck, shoulders and arms, muscle tension, spine stiffness, numbness, pins and needles, upset gut (bloating) or bowel and bladder problems.
During exercise you may experience breathlessness, muscle aches, fatigue, weakness, loss of power or impaired performance.
A habitual pattern is formed and you develop a breathing patter disorder.
Think this is you? Contact us for more information on how we can help!