How breathing changes digestion

Edward Dangerfield
December 6, 2020

Digestive issues are on the rise in Western societies.
The focus on gut health in increasing, and we are understanding the importance of good intestinal health.
There are 10 signals sent from the gut to the brain, to every one sent from the brain to the gut.
Our digestive health changes our blood chemistry, brain function and level of contentment.

In this article I will discuss:
Neuroplasticity and the subconsicous breath pattern.
Epigenetics and the subconsicous breath pattern.
The anatomy of the diaphragm and intestines.
Why the subconsicous breath pattern changes digestion.
Some tips for improving your digestive health with simple excersises.

Neuroplasticity and the subconscious breath pattern.
Our brains and nervous systems adapt and change.  The old Western belief that our brains are fixed or hard wired has been fully overturned by modern neuroscience. We now know that with meditation, movement and breathwork we can change the functioning of our brains.
Our whole nervous system is “plastic”.  We can train movement patterns, and our bodies can be wired and rewired. We can habituate a certain movement into our subconscious.  Like riding a bike, hitting a gold ball or backing out of our driveway.
Our subconscious breath pattern is also malleable. We can change the way we subconsciously breathe.  Depth, volume, pace and rhythm.

Epigenetics and the subconscious breath pattern.
The cutting edge scientific area of epigenetics explores how our cells respond and change to their environment.  Whilst our genetic code is unique, our capacity to activate and deactivate different parts of it lies in our environment and habits.
Our environment and habits shape our subconscious breath pattern.
If we run, practice yoga, and lead a more active lifestyle we will breath differently than if we sit at a desk.  This will change which areas of our DNA activate over time.

The anatomy of the diaphragm and intestines.
The diaphragm attached to the base of the ribs is a thin sheet of muscle.  Along with the intercostal muscles, like any muscles it can change its function with time and be trained.
We can go to the gym to build strength, and stretch to create flexibility in our large movement muscles.  
Our breathing muscles adapt in the same way.
A full breath pattern will allow the diaphragm to descend, and the filling of the lungs will press the organ space of the lower abdomen, creating a massaging effect.
However, the diaphragm can become rigid, and stiff with a lack of movement.  If this is the case then there will be no movement of the diaphragm into the organ space below the ribs, and no massaging.

Why the subconscious breath pattern changes digestion.
When we combine the information above, we can recognise that over time our breathing pattern can become shallow, rigid and unhealthy.
We can stop massaging down into the small and large intestine.
We breath on average 23,000 times per day, and if the breath isn’t moving down into this organ space then there will be a lack of movement.  Physical massaging and blood flow will be limited.
Stagnation in the gut will lead to slower digestion, and a lack of clear communication to the brain. We will feel slow, heavy and sluggish.

It is necessary to practice our breathing pattern so that it can be dynamic, full, deep and flexible.
Our breathing needs to be able to respond to our environment, and we must maintain this.

One of the most simple exercises is to lie on our back, place our hands on our belly and breathe deeply into this space.
Exploration of the organs gently with the fingers and breathe will create more slide and glide.

Make a habit every morning of performing your own visceral massage!  
Get to know your organs.  
Explore and move them around, gently.
Explore under your ribs!
See how your breath can move down into your pelvic space.

If you wish to rewire your whole breath pattern with a very powerful technique, then book in with a practitioner of Conscious Connected Breathing in your area.
Breathwork will change your digestion, your energy levels, and your life!

Are you ready to breathe?
If you've made it this far, we invite you to be courageous and enquire about the sessions we offer.
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