How to breathe using your diaphragm

Breathing is the most important thing your body does – and you’re probably doing it wrong. Think about the last time you got the wind knocked out of you, caught a bad cold, or even pushed through a conditioning double sessions in the August summer heat. Breathing is generally taken for granted because it is unconscious and automatic – but in those moments, you remembered how important it is! We breathe an average of 5000-30,000 times per day. Most people initiate the breath from the muscles and ribs of the chest and lower neck region – an area we call Zone 2. If you’re breathing from Zone 2, your diaphragm becomes the rigid base of support for your breathing which actually requires more effort. You’re working harder. You’re getting less oxygen. And your muscular and nervous systems are probably both out of balance as a result. Let’s look at an easier way. It will remind you of how newborn and young children breathe.   Diaphragmatic Breathing Look at the diagram on the left above. Proper breathing begins with the diaphragm in Zone 1. Next, the lateral collateral chest wall in Zone 2 expands. Then the apical chest and lower neck complete the inspiration in Zone 3. One breath, three zones. Breathing out is shown on the right above, and it’s completely passive. The diaphragm relaxes and all three zones collapse, almost without effort. In the activation process, we often call this “belly breathing.” Inhale through your nose and imagine inflating your belly like a balloon. Then release the breath through your mouth. If you’re breathing right, you’ll feel – and...

Activation Training Opportunity, July 18-19

This upcoming training equips athletic trainers, coaches and personal trainers with the necessary information and techniques to teach their students and clients how to implement activation into their everyday lives. Improve performance,prevent injuries, and restore resilience with this quick and immediately measurable method. Register below for this two-day training seminar with the creator of the “Be Activated” system, Douglas Heel. Dr. Tom along with Dr. Eric Janota, and Chris Korfist will be assisting Douglas Heel at this training event. Register here...
Going in for an activation with Dr. Nelson the day before the ACT was one of the best decisions I could have made. The increase in my breathing and visual awareness helped me to stay focused and relaxed during the four hour long testing period. I went up 4 points from my previous scores. I can’t thank Dr. Nelson enough for his help in building my future.
Maryclaire McKenna