January 13, 2020

Written by Jessica Jackman

Breathe in, breathe out.  Hopefully you just used your diaphragm to help you bring that oxygen into your lungs.  The diaphragm is the primary respiratory muscle located in the rib cage.  It attaches to your lower 6 ribs, sternum and upper lumbar spine.  It is shaped like two big domes underneath the lungs.  It acts to change the pressure in the abdomen and chest to help drawer air in and out of the lungs.

How to check if you are breathing correctly.

1.  Lie on your back, place your hand on your stomach.
2.  Take a deep breath in
3.  Did your hand rise?
4.  Exhale all the air out
5.  Did you hand fall/sink?

If the answer is yes, then you are breathing the most efficiently.

If the answer is no, then it might be time to spend some time on correcting your breathing.

The reason why is using accessory breathing muscles around the neck and shoulders can lead to tension in these areas. Basically your body is working much harder to get the air in and out that way, which means less energy for other bodily functions overall.

Well why do we have these muscles?

The accessory breathing muscles are designed to help us breath, but more in situations where we require faster breathing use. Eg. Running, playing sport, being active.

What can I do to encourage my diaphragm to function more?

Breathing!  Taking a few controlled conscious breaths every few hours with encourage to more efficient breathing technique to take over. Do this by focusing on the tummy.

Breathe in and the tummy rises/ pokes out, neck and shoulders are still.  Breathe out and the tummy falls/ flattens, neck and shoulders are still.  Repeat for about 5 cycles.

For bookings with our osteopath Jessica, please call the clinic on  (03) 5429 3610 or follow the link below:-


  • Social Networks
  • facebook
  • facebook