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Belly-Breathing (Diaphragmatic Breathing)

Topic Overview

Belly-breathing fills your lungs fully, slows your breathing rate, and helps you relax.

  • Place one hand on your belly just below the ribs and the other hand on your chest. You can do this while standing, but it may be more comfortable while you are lying on the floor with your knees bent.
  • Take a deep breath through your nose. As you inhale, let your belly push your hand out. Keep your chest still.
  • As you exhale through pursed lips as though you were whistling, feel your hand go down. Use the hand on your belly to help you push all the air out. Take your time exhaling.
  • Repeat these steps 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
David Messenger, MD
Last Revised August 29, 2012

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