Lymphedema Awareness Month Tips: Breath!
Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing (or Yoga Breathing) is essential for many reasons, including relief from stress and anxiety, calming the nervous system, massaging the digestive system, improving oxygen levels, improving concentration, improving sleep, but it is also really important for the lymphatic system…
1) Start by exhaling and empty your lungs as much as possible.
2) Pull the belly button back gently towards the spine to empty a little more.
3) Now inhale fully, right into your belly and then into your chest. Feel your belly (and chest) expanding.
4) Exhale to begin again. Repeat often. If you get light-headed, of course you need to stop, but you should be able to continue for longer with some practice.
As your belly expands, the diaphragm muscle expands and moves down towards your bellybutton, which creates more space in your chest cavityand draws air into your lungs. When it relaxes, it moves back up under the ribs and makes you exhale. Cool, right?
This movement of your diaphragm upwards and then downwards and outwards, acts like a pump for your lymphatic system.