The diaphragm is an overlooked solution to symptoms and improved performance. Whether you have a specific symptom related to poor diaphragm function, like fatigue, heartburn, asthma, or even dementia, or you want to improve the performance of your brain and body by providing more oxygen, look to your diaphragm .
The diaphragm is the second most important muscle in the body, second only to the heart. Yet the average person’s diaphragm muscle is working at far less than 100% of its ability. Because the diaphragm is the pump that determines how much oxygen comes into our systems, anything less than 100% of normal function of this vital muscle means less oxygen to our brains as well as all our muscles and internal organs.
In my book, Your Inner Pharmacy, I explain more about the diaphragm and how its function can be improved to help you to be more healthy, whether you are an aspiring Olympic athlete, an average person with frequent heartburn, or concerned about and perhaps battling with dementia.
I am including a few excerpts from my book that may get you interested in optimizing the function of your own diaphragm muscle…… For specifics on how your diaphragm affects your stomach, check out my post, The Diaphragm Causes and Corrects Heartburn/GERD.
From the book, Your Inner Pharmacy:
Good diaphragm function is important for your health and vitality. Antioxidants, found in fruits and vegetables, can be quite helpful. But the best antioxidant is oxygen itself. If you improve your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to its own tissues, you reduce oxidative stress and tissue damage throughout your body and slow the decline in body function that occurs with aging.
While I recommend that many of my patients take antioxidant nutrients, I definitely want to optimize the vital function of their diaphragm muscle. I test for it in almost every patient, regardless of their symptoms, because I know that by correcting it, I have a good chance of helping their digestion, mental function, and overall energy and well-being.
How can the function of the diaphragm be improved? The first step, as with any malfunctioning muscle, is to identify what could be inhibiting or weakening the muscle. With the diaphragm, there are common patterns of weakness. The nerves that stimulate the diaphragm exit the spine in two areas, the neck or mid-cervical spine and the lower thoracic spine, where the ribcage ends. If these spinal areas are misaligned or fixated (failing to move properly), there can be a reflex inhibition, or weakness, of the diaphragm.
Other common faulty mechanisms can affect the diaphragm. If the rib cage is not moving freely on either side, usually from past injury, the motion of the diaphragm can be limited. A common pelvic or lower-back misalignment creates a torquing in the body that limits diaphragm motion. If the cranial bones are misaligned or limited in their normal respiratory motion, this can prevent a person from breathing deeply. An important lower-back supporting muscle, the psoas, attaches indirectly to the diaphragm. A common imbalance of this muscle can also compromise the diaphragm. Many people with low-back problems have an imbalance of this muscle.
All of these are switches that commonly disturb the normal function of the diaphragm. To obtain normal function of the diaphragm, a healthcare provider has to determine which biomechanics are impeding its normal function. Treatment then entails manipulation or adjustments to specific areas of the spine that affect nerves leading to the diaphragm, or the correction of other muscle imbalances as well as a manipulation to the stomach itself.
And it all results in getting more oxygen to your brain and body 24 hours a day.