Also Known As: deep breathing, Diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, belly breathing
Diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, belly breathing or deep breathing is breathing that is done by contracting the diaphragm, a muscle located horizontally between the chest cavity and stomach cavity. Air enters the lungs and the belly expands during this type of breathing.
This deep breathing is marked by expansion of the abdomen rather than the chest when breathing. It is considered by some to be a healthier way to breathe, and is considered by some a useful form of complementary and alternative treatment.
According the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, "12.7 percent of American adults [have] used deep-breathing exercises... for health purposes," which it describes as follows, "Deep breathing involves slow and deep inhalation through the nose, usually to a count of 10, followed by slow and complete exhalation for a similar count. The process may be repeated 5 to 10 times, several times a day."
Diaphragmatic Breathing in Complementary and Alternative Medicine[edit source | edit]
Some practitioners of CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) believe that particular kinds of breathing they identify as diaphragm breathing can be used to bring about health benefits.
Deep breathing exercises are sometimes used as a form of relaxation, that, when practiced regularly, may lead to the relief or prevention of symptoms commonly associated with stress, which may include high blood pressure, headaches, stomach conditions, depression, anxiety, and others.
There are other, distinct diaphragmatic breathing exercises taught by CAM practitioners.