Breathing nourishes the whole body and regulates important functions like heart rate and blood pressure. It also reinforces proper body mechanics to lessen the stress on the body when moving. Busy lives combined with sedentary work and lifestyle can condition the body to take only quick, shallow breaths, which can weaken lung muscles and cause tension to build, worsening posture and leading to other adverse symptoms and conditions. Learning deep breathing can positively affect heart rate, mental alertness, and blood pressure and improve posture. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic can create personalized postural treatment and training plans.

Breathing and Posture: EP's Chiropractic Team

Breathing and Posture

Inhalation causes the lungs to get filled with air, and exhalation releases and empties the lungs. For the lungs to work optimally, the rib cage needs to expand constantly in a gentle, rhythmic way. The respiratory muscle/diaphragm muscle needs to go up and down with each breath cycle. This can only happen when the muscle is not contracted or tense. Tension in the upper body can increase unhealthy postures and undermine health. Continued unhealthy postures at school, work, and home will compress the ribs, intercostal muscles, diaphragm, and base of the neck. This prevents the ribcage from expanding fully, which impairs optimal breathing. Over time, the strength of the respiratory muscles weakens.

Healthy Posture

Proper body alignment reduces strain on supportive structures like ligaments, muscles, joints, and discs. A healthy posture allows individuals to breathe more easily, move more efficiently, relax, and sleep better.

Symptoms Of Unhealthy Posture

Research shows that prolonged practice of unhealthy posture can lead to health problems, including:

  • Aching and chronic pain in the back, neck, and shoulders.
  • Tight, sore muscle knots/trigger points.
  • Tension headaches, limited sleep, and digestive problems.
  • Brain fog.
  • Shifting moods.
  • Digestive problems.

Breathing from the chest relies on secondary muscles around the neck and collarbone instead of the diaphragm. Shallow breathing patterns accompanied by unhealthy postures cause muscles in the upper body to function improperly. The longer the body sits, the less the body can resist the force of gravity and maintain a stable core. Tight muscles around the chest cause rounded shoulders and forward head posture, further weakening the muscles that help maintain an upright posture. Chest and rib discomfort symptoms can result from the tight intercostal muscles and inadequate expansion of the ribs.

Chiropractic Treatment

Shallow breathing can be reversed by regular physical activity, and sessions of respiratory muscle training will help to improve posture and quality of life. Deep or belly breathing involves learning to use the abdominal muscles. Inhaling slowly and deeply through the nose fills the lungs with air and expands the stomach. Learning to breathe deep regularly provides benefits like stress reduction, improved cardiovascular health, stronger lungs, and improved cognitive performance.

  • Posture correction techniques relieve back and neck pain, improve muscle and joint function, maintain brain health, increase mood stability, and improve spinal health.
  • Learning how to breathe deeply takes practice.
  • One beginning technique is to breathe deeply and count to 4 before slowly releasing the breath with another count to 4.
  • Individuals will notice their abdomen, ribs, and chest push forward as they breathe.
  • The shoulders, neck, and spine properly align during this action.
  • Place a hand on the abdomen to check for correct breathing.
  • It should move outwards slightly as air fills the lungs.

Real Patients, Real Results


Albarrati, Ali, et al. “Effect of Upright and Slouched Sitting Postures on the Respiratory Muscle Strength in Healthy Young Males.” BioMed research international vol. 2018 3058970. 25 Feb. 2018, doi:10.1155/2018/3058970

Aliverti, Andrea. “The respiratory muscles during exercise.” Breathe (Sheffield, England) vol. 12,2 (2016): 165-8. doi:10.1183/20734735.008116

Guan, Hualin, et al. “Posture-Specific Breathing Detection.” Sensors (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 18,12 4443. 15 Dec. 2018, doi:10.3390/s18124443

Pickering, Mark, and James F X Jones. “The diaphragm: two physiological muscles in one.” Journal of Anatomy vol. 201,4 (2002): 305-12. doi:10.1046/j.1469-7580.2002.00095.x

Sheel, A William. “Respiratory muscle training in healthy individuals: physiological rationale and implications for exercise performance.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 32,9 (2002): 567-81. doi:10.2165/00007256-200232090-00003


Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Breathing and Posture: EP's Health Coach Clinic" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*


Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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