Trauma Belly Breathing

Trauma Belly Breathing by Dr Sims
April 22, 2019

We often think about chest breathing vs. belly breathing.  Also, people talk about
diaphragmatic breathing or deep breathing. Part of the idea is to remember that the diaphragm has two halves and they work together in a somewhat of a circular motion. There is a tendon at the center.

So, when the tendon is tensed (during inhalation), that pulls the diaphragm down toward the middle (it sort of flattens). Relaxing it, (during exhalation) lets it rise.
In order for the diaphragm to flatten totally, the abdominal muscles need to relax and expand as the diaphragm contracts and pushes down.

Simplifying this a bit, a good deep breath should involve sticking your belly out a bit, hence the term “belly breath.”  This is often what people mean when they say “FULL abdominal and diaphragmatic breathing.”

Taking advantage of “belly breathing” means slowing down and allowing the muscles to fully contract/relax in order to optimize how much air the lungs take in.  This is a way to train these muscles to increase your breathing support by counting to 10 for both breathing in and breathing out.

Below, there is a diagram from and provides a nice visual.  It is a yoga site so
they focus on being connected to the body in general. They have breathing apps to help with focusing on breathing and breath support. Visit: breathing-pranayama-guide for some helpful guides.

We try to incorporate these techniques into voice training and voice therapy.  I also reinforce and support these goals during the patient interview and even during the strobe exam and explain that it is the movement of air that initiates and sustains the vocal fold vibrations that actually make sound/voice, and serves as the “generator.”

GENERATOR:  the lungs
VIBRATORS:  the vocal folds
RESONATORS:  oral cavity, oropharynx, nasopharynx, nasal cavity, soft palate
ARTICULATORS:  lips, teeth, tongue

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