Put your left hand on your belly and your
right hand on your chest. Notice how your hands move as you breathe in and out.
Practice filling your lower lungs by breathing so that your
"belly" (left) hand goes up when you inhale and your "chest" (right) hand
remains still. Keep your shoulders relaxed and don't shrug. Always breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your
mouth. Do this 8 to 10 times.
When you have filled and emptied your
lower lungs 8 to 10 times, add the second step to your breathing: Inhale first
into your lower lungs as before, and then continue inhaling into your upper
chest. As you do so, your right hand will rise and your left hand will fall a
little as your belly falls.
As you exhale slowly through your
mouth, make a quiet, whooshing sound as first your left hand (belly) and then your
right hand (chest) fall. As you exhale, feel the tension leaving your body as you
become more and more relaxed.
Practice breathing in and out in
this way for 3 to 5 minutes. Notice that the movement of your belly and chest
rises and falls like the motion of rolling waves.
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Steven Locke, MD - Psychiatry
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.