Most people think about belly breathing for relaxation and stress relief. But what about digestion?
Belly breathing means contracting the diaphragm to expand the belly and maximize airflow into the lungs. Here’s why it might support digestion:
🧘 It activates the parasympathetic nervous system—a relaxation response that supports digestive function.
🧘 It improves the pressure gradient of the lower esophageal sphincter—which relates to reflux and heartburn.
🧘 It increases the amount the stomach can hold—helpful for those who feel full quickly.
Here’s how it’s done:
1️⃣ Sit upright, with knees bent and neck and shoulders relaxed.
2️⃣ The mouth can be slightly opened, even though breathing in will be through the nose.
3️⃣ Place one hand on the chest and one on the abdomen.
4️⃣ Breathe in for 4 seconds through the nose. Try to expand the belly without expanding the chest.
5️⃣ Breathe out slowly for 6 seconds through the mouth. This can be done with pursed lips like using a straw.
Belly breathing is recommended by the American College of Gastroenterology. It can be done before eating, after eating, or any time there is discomfort.
Have you tried it before?
If you are struggling with digestive issues and are looking for personalized guidance, I invite you to take advantage of a Free Session with Dr. Ryan. During this session, you will receive a Free Digestive Blueprint outlining the exact next steps you need to take for your gut health. Don’t let digestive issues hold you back any longer – take control of your well-being and embark on a journey towards optimal digestive health. Schedule your Free Digestive Blueprint Session with Dr. Ryan here and start feeling your best now.