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You’ve Been Breathing Wrong Your Entire Life


This post first appeared on Darou Wellness. Go check out their amazingly informative blogabout all things health related with advice from some of the leading Naturopathic Doctors in North America.

One thing that I love about the naturopathic approach to health care is that your doctor will treat causes instead of symptoms. Although this may at first seem counter-intuitive (like when Dr. Darou recommends changing your diet to change your symptoms of depression), the results speak for themselves. When you heal the cause, the symptoms disappear. No more need for drugs like antidepressants that just mask the real problem, and which come with side effects, and instead you rebalance and get true wellness.

I believe that it’s equally important to treat causes and not symptoms when it comes to treating a pelvic floor issue (or any other musculo-skeletal condition).

Sometimes people are surprised to come to one of my pelvic floor classes and never once do a kegel, or anything resembling one.

But the thing is that your pelvic floor weakness is probably not caused your pelvic floor muscles – it’s just a symptom. The cause is your whole body movement patterns. Something about the way you move is creating forces that have resulted in short, weak pelvic floor muscles. The fix isn’t to strengthen just the muscles down there, but to step back and improve the way your entire body moves.

For instance, the way you breathe makes a huge and direct impact on your pelvic floor health.

Did you know that there are actually three main strategies that you can use to breathe? Your thoracic cavity and lungs are like a container, and you have to change the size of this container in order to draw air in and then push it out. There are three ways to change the size of your container and you can test these all out:

First, try chest breathing – inhale by elevating your shoulder girdle. Here, the air goes mostly into the top part of your lungs because you’ve increased the space at the top of your thoracic container.

Next, try rib breathing – put your hands around your lower ribcage and inhale to expand your ribs out to the sides. As you breath out, the ribs contract in. This time, you’ve enlarged your container by increasing its circumference.

Finally, you can breath by dropping your diaphragm, creating space in the bottom of your container (this is the way you breathe when you do ‘belly breathing’ in yoga class).

All three of these strategies get air into your


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