The diaphragm has a legitimate claim to the title for most important “muscle” in the body. It is a sheet of muscle and tissue that separates the chest and lungs from the abdomen and powers the respiration process. So it is no joke when this muscle starts misfiring: whether because we don’t know the right technique, our accessory muscles are weak, there is a dysfunction in the phrenic nerve, our posture is poor or for any number of other reasons, a subdued diaphragm is problematic.
Drawing deep breaths with the diaphragm helps with circulation and ensures that the right muscle is bearing the brunt of the work, so that other muscles are not being used unnecessarily in the process. A deep breath with the diaphragm massages the organs in the stomach, helping to encourage rhythmic balance of the body and helps the oxygen to enter the blood stream and the carbon dioxide to leave more efficiently.
70-80% of each breath should be drawn using the diaphragm as the primary power input. Multiply this by 20,000 times per day and you begin to realize the scale of importance that this muscle holds. Keeping the diaphragm functioning properly means keeping the muscles of the core strengthened and the corresponding vertebrae in alignment so that nerve irritation does not interfere with this most essential process. At Associates in Chiropractic, we can help you with the maintenance of a healthy diaphragm so that every cell in your body gets the oxygen it needs.
Dr. Albert Stabile, D.C.