Chest breathing, or more specifically, high chest dominant breathing, often causes or worsens chest pain.
Stand and look into a mirror or close your eyes and feel what occurs or ask someone to observe you.
Put your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your chest. Take a very deep breath, as deep as you can. When you breathe in very deeply:
- Do you raise your rib cage?
- Do you raise your shoulders?
- Do your neck muscles bulge out?
- Then you used your chest too much to breathe.
- Try it again with a quick breath (sniff) through your nose. Did the hand on your belly move? If not then you used you chest too much to breathe.
Many who think they passed this test soon discover that when they get challenged or stressed the breathing pattern heads upwards to the chest.
Chest breathing often brings a sense of struggle to breathing, a behavior that should otherwise seem automatic, effortless, and easy.
- Chest breathing often triggers muscle posturing, which can result in tension and pain, even headache.
- Chest breathing is inefficient, labor intensive, and can make breathing seem difficult, even exhausting.
- Chest breathing requires faster breathing, which can make it seem like you're running a race, and makes you anxious.
- Chest breathing makes completion of exhale difficult, and may make you feel breathless, and worried about getting the next breath.
- Chest breathing makes you feel confined, restricted, and trapped, setting the stage for making you feel defensive and insecure.
- Chest breathing may quickly deregulate body chemistry
- Chest breathing "requires" that you "take" a breath! Intentional breathing, conscious or unconscious, may too often interfere with basic reflexes.
- Chest breathing is "controlled breathing." which may occur too often and not allow one to be present for the breath. It most often comes on its own accord if you do not have UDB.
Reduce or eliminate high chest breathing