If the muscles of your shoulders and neck feel perpetually tight and knotted, the chances are that you not using your diaphragm to breathe.
Diaphragmatic or ‘belly breathing’ is not a Buteyko breathing technique, however, Mim teaches this in the Breathe Well course as it complements all the benefits of Buteyko and more.
Correct breathing means using the diaphragm, a thin dome-shaped band of muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. The diaphragm relaxes on the outbreath by moving upwards in a high dome, pressing on the lungs, causing air to be exhaled. On the in-breath, the diaphragm muscle contracts or shortens, allowing air to enter the lungs. The diaphragm presses down on the abdominal organs, causing the tummy to expand slightly, which is why this method is sometimes called ‘belly breathing’.
People who don’t use the diaphragm properly, rely excessively on the accessory muscles of breathing (scalenes, trapezium and sternocleidomastoid) located around the neck and shoulders, which often causes neck and shoulder pain.