Breathing Difficulties: The connection between your lungs and a bellows

asthmaA bellows is basically a leather sack that has two handles, an air intake valve and a narrow opening at the other end. Moving the two handles apart makes room for air to flow into the sack through the intake valve. Bringing the handles together makes air flow out through the narrow opening. (Blacksmiths used to use a bellows to force air into a coal fire to increase the heat.)

It may not be obvious but that’s kinda like how your body breathes. You see, your ribs are connected in front to your chest bone and in back to your spine. In the resting position your ribs hang down, but with muscular contraction your ribs rise up. When the ribs rise up, they also go out and make a bigger space so air is naturally drawn into your lungs. Just like separating the handles of the bellows. This easy and natural process is something that most people take for granted.

But when you have a breathing difficulty like asthma, it’s a different story. Asthma is a disorder affecting the airways into your lungs. The airways become inflamed and obstructed with increased responsiveness to a variety of stimuli. The symptoms range from slight to very severe. Usually breathing becomes difficult and more rapid with a tightness or pressure in the chest . Often there is a cough and wheezing as well.

Getting back to the bellows. With asthma, it’s like opening into the leather sack has been narrowed (obstructed airway) and the handles are tight and don’t separate much (chest tightness). The result is… not much air gets into the sack.

Asthma medications are often used to help open up the airways and prevent attacks but the chest tightness may remain and continue making breathing more difficult than it should be.

This tightness or pressure in the chest usually results from excessive tension or tightness in the muscles affecting the spine and ribs. The spine itself also is usually stiff and may be distorted adding to the problem. (There may even be accompanying headaches, neck pain or back pain.) However, when well cared for, the spinal and muscular tension and stiffness may readily be alleviated (along with the pain in many cases).

When this stiffness is eliminated it’s wonderful for the asthma sufferer. The chest tightness reduces significantly and breathing becomes easier. (Like the bellows when the handles open up more fully, more air is naturally and easily drawn into the sack.)

The process to correct the spinal and muscular tension is very gentle, pain free and does not involve any medications. So, if you or someone in your family has asthma or some other breathing difficulty and they have any tightness in the chest, it might be a good idea to have their spine and muscles checked out by an experienced professional.

Please phone Better life Chiropractic on 9793 3755.

Category: Asthma