Breathing is so essential to life that most of the time, we don’t notice it—that is, until something occurs to disrupt our breathing. Issues like asthma, bronchitis, or even allergies can make it difficult to take in a full breath, leaving us feeling light-headed.
Fortunately, there are simple ways to help the situation without a medical degree. Here is how massage can improve breathing and respiratory problems.
Breathing itself isn’t a workout; however, it is an act that takes a surprising amount of muscle power. Along with the all-important diaphragm, we utilize muscles in our ribcage, neck, and abdomen. That means muscle pain or tension can disrupt our breathing. Massage can improve breathing and respiratory problems by relaxing these muscles, enabling them to expand and contract more freely and allowing you to get a fuller breath.
Along with pain and tension, poor posture can also limit our muscles’ capacity to expand fully, impairing our ability to breathe. It’s the same reason singing choirs typically stand or sit up straight during a performance. Massage can have a profoundly positive impact on one’s posture. As a bonus, it also helps reduce some of the adverse effects of poor posture, such as a sore back.
Imagine you had a child who was working themselves into a state of hysteria, and you wanted to help them calm down. One of the first things you might tell them is, “Take a deep breath.” When you’re in distress, your fight-or-flight instinct often causes your breathing to become shallow, and you may even find yourself short of breath. Massage helps remind our body that it isn’t in distress, enabling us to take deeper breaths.
Increases Body Awareness
Distress doesn’t always look like a panic attack. At times, our stress levels build without us realizing it. Massage improves our awareness of our body’s needs, such as hunger or cold. It also gives us a better understanding of how our bodies react to emotions like stress. When we are more aware of our bodies, it is easier to notice when we need to stop and take a deep breath.
Whether you settle onto a massage table or using one of our massage therapy products, our hope is that you will be able to breathe deeper and live more fully after your treatment.