breath awareness

Two important terms used in context with breathing system are – Breathing and Respiration. Breathing simply includes taking in and throwing out of air.

Respiration is at the cellular level and includes the gaseous exchange in which the energetic Oxygen goes inside the cell and the toxic Carbon dioxide comes out.

There are three types of breathing:

  • Diaphragmatic /Abdominal Breathing
  • Thoracic/Chest Breathing
  • Clavicular/Apical Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing: includes mainly the action of diaphragm, which is the dome shaped muscular sheet that separates the lung from the abdomen. This is the most efficient type of breathing., During inhalation the diaphragm contracts and moves down thus pushing the abdominal contents out ,while during the exhalation the diaphragm relaxes and moves up as a result of which the abdominal contents move inwards. Movement of diaphragm leads to the maximum utilization of the lower lobe, which has also the best perfusion (blood supply) of all the lung lobes. Hence the diaphragmatic breathing promotes the best ventilation perfusion ratio leading to better oxygenation and decreased respiratory rate. Hence this breathing is the best and takes load off the heart and lung tissues.

Thoracic breathing: utilities the middle lobe s of the lung tissues by expanding and contracting the rib cage. It requires more energy than abdominal breathing for the same exchange of gases. The chest breathing is often associated with physical exertion as well as stress and tension.

Clavicular breathing: happens at the end stage of chest breathing .It takes place after the chest breathing is complete and requires upper rib and collar bone movement. In this only the upper lobe is ventilated .In day today life this breathing is used under conditions of extreme physical exertion and when experiencing diseases like Asthma.

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