Diaphragmatic Breathing: A Technique to Release Stress

| Posted On Nov 13, 2014 | By:

Stress, either to mind or body – a deadline at work, a very bad headache, presenting to a crowd,  chronic pain – often causes very physical reactions: your muscles tense and can even cramp, your heart rate rises, you cannot easily concentrate, and often your breathing becomes faster and shallower.

Diaphragmatic breathing is a style of breathing that can release stress from your body, helping you to calm, relax, and ultimately feel better.  It can be used to treat anxiety disorders and sleep problems, and in the Department of Pain Management at Atrius Health, we teach our patients how to use it to lessen physical pain effectively.

Dr. Linda Bolle, a clinical psychologist in the Department of Pain Management, has created 3 short videos to explain what diaphragmatic breathing is and the body mechanics of this type of breathing, and then goes on to demonstrate diaphragmatic breathing while lying down – a good way to learn to do it properly – and finally sitting up so it can be practiced in everyday situations.

Introduction to Diaphragmatic Breathing

Practicing Diaphragmatic Breathing while Lying Down

Diaphragmatic Breathing: Seated or Upright Position

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  1. thank you for this tape. I’ve been a life long meditator and am finding in my older years, that the simpler the better. /what I like about brething meditation is that you can take it with you wherever you go! And following the breathing is simple simple simple. Sometimes I do Thich Nat Hanh one which is just noticing now I am breathing in/Now I am breathing out….Anyway, thank yoou for bringing this to us.

    Comment by Linda Kopans on January 16, 2015 at 12:05 am
  2. Yes, thanks Dr. Bolle for your calm, clear instructions. I often find myself yawning whenever I concentrate on breathing techniques like this – the relaxation and release of stress brings a smile to my face! As you say, just a few moments like this throughout the day and I feel more secure, more embodied and at peace, no matter what else is going in around me!

    Comment by Greg Cope on January 29, 2015 at 12:32 pm

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