Breathing for a Healthier Lymphatic System
My newest discovery on how to support the lymphatic system: Diaphragmatic breathing!! AKA belly breathing, AKA deep breathing. Seems so simple that you may be quick to disregard it, but keep reading as you may learn something amazing!!
➡️ Did you know that we take over 20,000 breaths a day??
➡️ Did you know that 60% of our body’s lymph nodes are located under the diaphragm??
➡️ Did you know that deep breathing through the diaphragm creates pressure and expansion that helps pump the lymphatic fluid??
Stretch! Sit up straight!
.... when you take over 20,000 breaths a day, make em count!
Here’s the problem, we tend to predominantly breathe more with our upper chest than deep down through our diaphragm and belly.
Through my experience as an RMT, I have noticed that shallow breathing is part of a pattern of postural movements and habits that we start limiting somewhere after infancy. With a life lived in chairs, we compress our diaphragm and abdominal contents making deep breathing less likely to happen. As a society are also stressed out. When we are always on the go we tend to breathe using our neck muscles to lift the rib cage instead of primarily using the diaphragm.
When you chest breathe you reduce the amount of fresh oxygen to the bottom part of the lungs and to your body. You also don’t fully engage the diaphragm pump! Chest breathing at rest causes lymphatic stagnation in the stomach, pancreas, spleen, liver, kidneys, large and small colon, and other organs. Yikes!!
So sit up straight. Open up the front of your body. Take breaks from your desk.
And start finding ways to relax and reduce your stress!! It’s easy to create a zen space at home or at the office by diffusing your favourite essential oils to purify the air and to help reduce stress and tension. My go-to oils to purify are Lemon and Peppermint, and to relax I love Frankincense, Bergamont and Lavender.
Take a moment to read up on how to breathe from the diaphragm, or simply start by putting your hand on your stomach and make sure your lungs are filling up enough to make your rib cage expand and that belly move. You can also make an appointment with one of our therapists to assess your breathing patterns and help retrain the way you breathe as well as assess and treat any tension in the diaphragm, neck or shoulders.
When you take over 20,000 breaths a day, make em count!!
Post written by Sjoukje Remark, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist, Infant Massage Instructor, Essential Oil Educator