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When practicing this breathing technique, try and keep your upper chest and neck muscles as relaxed as possible.† The aim is to keep the upper chest quiet and to rely solely on the diaphragm. If you are doing this technique properly, you should feel hardly any movement in the shoulders and chest at all.
Put yourself into a comfortable, relaxed position, sitting in a chair or lying in bed with pillows under your head and knees.
Place one hand on your abdomen at the bottom of your sternum (breast bone).† If you breathe quietly and then sniff in, you will feel your diaphragm move under your fingers. *
Keep your hand on your stomach while you slowly breathe out as much as you can, and feel your stomach moving inwards.
Take a gentle, slow breath in and you should see and feel your abdomen move outwards.
Exhale (breathe) all the way of and your abdomen will fall inwards again.
Repeat in groups of six breaths with a short rest between each group to avoid dizziness.† If you can, practice 2-3 groups per session.
Practicing this exercise as often as possible will help foster good breathing habits.
*Note:† in some cases a personís diaphragm will not be working and therefore this type of breathing control will not be possible.† For this situation concentrate on pursed lip breathing only.
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