Breathing isn’t JUST about getting oxygen into the blood; it is also about regulating the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood. Contrary to what many people think, if the level of carbon dioxide in the blood is too low, the red blood cells won’t readily release oxygen to the tissues. Over breathing expels more carbon dioxide and this increases the pH of the blood, and can cause a build-up of lactic acid in the tissues and can increase stress levels via activation of the sympathetic nervous system.
In addition to this, how you breath is important for daily function; ideally when you breath in, the diaphragm does most of the work and your chest cavity expands in all directions; side-to-side and front to back. Many people breath abnormally, which is usually seen by their shoulders raising on breathing in, using accessory muscles around the shoulder girdle. In this case, the movements of the shoulder girdle are compromised and this can lead to shoulder dysfunction and pain.
Assessment of breathing is crucial to our overall health and wellbeing. After all, breathing is the first thing we do in life and the last thing we do!