Breathing has become an industry in this country. Books, apps, and countless health articles revolve around the various styles of breathing, all boasting the mental and physical benefits that can be unlocked with different techniques. As pelvic health physical therapists in Boulder County, we often assess a patient’s breathing pattern during our first evaluation and many patients have some form of breathing homework on day one. This is because of the close association between breathing mechanics and pelvic floor mechanics. Look back at our blog here to read more about the relationship between the diaphragm and pelvic floor.
So what is the best pattern of breathing to optimize our pelvic floor mechanics? We will break down a pattern here that is ideal for anyone dealing with pelvic floor dysfunction (whether a weak OR tight pelvic floor) or anyone looking to prevent pelvic dysfunction. This style has two components of focus: deep belly expansion, and rib expansion.
The Inhale: take a deep breath in and with this inhale think of expanding that breath low and deep into your abdomen as well as thinking of expanding your ribcage outward
The Exhale: as you exhale you should belly your belly empty and your ribcage retract back inward as breath exits your body
Watch this video to ensure you are getting the correct motions and not performing any unwanted compensations: