Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing-Anatomical and Biomechanical Consideration

Author: Howe Liu1, Christopher M Wiedman1, Venita Lovelace-Chandler1, Suzhen Gong2, Yasser Salem3
1 Physical Therapy Program, 28532Allen College, Waterloo, IA, USA.
2 Office of Research, 12326University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, USA.
3 Physical Therapy Program, 3871Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, USA.
Conference/Journal: J Holist Nurs
Date published: 2023 Feb 3
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/08980101221149866. , Word Count: 190

Background: Deep diaphragmatic breathing (DDB) involves slow and fully contraction of the diaphragm with expansion of the belly during inhalation, and slow and fully contraction of the abdominal muscles with reduction of the belly during exhalation. It is the key component of the holistic mind-body exercises commonly used for patients with multimorbidity. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to re-visit and address the fundamental anatomical and biomechanical consideration of the DDB with the relevant literature. Method: Peer-reviewed publications from last the 15 years were retrieved, reviewed, and analyzed. Findings: In this article, we described the updated morphological and anatomical characteristics of the diaphragm. Then, we elucidated in a biomechanical approach how and why the DDB can work on the gastrointestinal, cardiopulmonary, and nervous systems as well as on regulating the intra-abdominopelvic pressure and mind-body interaction to coordinate the diaphragm-pelvic floor-abdominal complex for a variety of physical and physiological activities. Conclusion: Understanding of this updated DDB knowledge may help holistic healthcare professionals including holistic nurses provide better patient education and care management during the DDB or DDB-based mind-body intervention time.

Keywords: anatomy; biomechanics; breathing; diaphragm; mindfulness; older adults; respiration.

PMID: 36734111 DOI: 10.1177/08980101221149866