Ladies, Are Your Neck And Shoulders Sore By The End Of The Day? Part 3
In this article, I want to show you how to take a supported breath and make it a habit
In order to learn to breathe with support, I want you to place your hands under your rib cage and cough. The muscle that kicked out at you is your diaphragm. If you have ever watched a funny movie and laughed for two hours, you may remember being sore in that region afterwards. Another time you may remember this muscle is when you have had a cold with a hacking cough and, by the end of the day, you were sore in that area. Aside from those few times, most people don't use that muscle for breathing.
In this article, I want to show you how to take a supported breath and make it a habit.
Again, with your hands under your rib cage, inhale through an open mouth and take the air all the way down to your diaphragm. Try pushing against your hands with your diaphragm as you inhale. If done properly, your rib cage will expand, front and back. If done improperly, you will suck in your mid-torso region, your diaphragm will rise/lift up (not expand), and your chest and shoulders will lift.
[Notice I want you breathing through an open mouth. For the purposes of voice training, I teach all my clients to breathe through the mouth while practicing because in speaking we breathe through an open mouth. At all other times of the day, I expect my clients to breathe through the nose as they should be doing. I do not want anyone to become a mouth breather! Again, breathing through the mouth is normal in speaking or in singing.]
To see if you are doing this properly, it is a good idea to practice this technique standing in front of a mirror without your blouse or shirt on.
Watch your shoulders. If they go up, you are not doing this correctly.
If the tendons in your neck tighten, you are definitely not doing this correctly.
Supported breathing is very relaxing.
The only things that will move are your diaphragm, expanding down and out, and your rib cage opening up. The rest of your torso and neck will be pliable, very loose, no tension whatsoever.
This breathing is not difficult but you must end your old habit of shallow breathing and instill a new one.
One of the best means of practicing your breathing is to take a supported breath every time you answer the phone. Become like Pavlov's dog. Phone rings; you breathe.
The more situations in which you can think to take a breath, the sooner it will become a habit. I worked with a gentleman who was a taxi dispatcher, answering the phone on average 600 times a day. He made diaphragmatic breathing a habit very quickly!
Try breathing properly while doing other things, like standing in line, climbing stairs, emptying the dishwasher, mowing the lawn, walking the dog.
Once you make supported breathing a habit, not only will the tension in your neck and shoulders disappear, but you will discover other changes in your life both professionally and personally.
In addition, diaphragmatic breathing can add more than 4 years to your life.
You will not believe what can happen just by taking a breath!
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels is a voice specialist and president of Voice Dynamic. Offering corporate and 2-day workshops throughout the US and Canada, Daniels launched Voicing It! in April of 2006, the only video training course on voice improvement. For more information go to: http://www.voicedynamic.com