Our Diaphragm Theory

 We hypothesize that the diaphragm,  connected to the central nerve system

through the lower L1 and  L2 vertebrae,

can be consciously used to control all nerve systems by

balancing the left and right phrenic nerve systems,  

attached at the upper C3, C4, and C5 vertebrae.

The diaphragm is activated when we mentally focus on moving our belly-gut in and out thus enabling the diaphragm to more fully contract and expand.  This conscious action increases the inhalation and exhalation of the lungs which leads to the following benefits.

   1.  Balancing the left/right brain hemispheres,

   2.  Balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve systems,

   3.  Balancing the left and right Vagus nerve systems,

   4.  Enhance communication between the gut and the brain,

   5. Reducing stress by overriding hard wired brain network,

   6. Diffusing any negative feelings or thoughts throughout the torso before       they reach the fight or flight area of the reptilian part of the brain,

   7. Connecting the mind/brain with trillions of bacteria in the gut,

   8.  Plus many more . . .

 

We theorize that active conscious movement of the diaphragm will balance the upper and lower body.  The diaphragm balances the thinking on the mind with the intelligence of the gut.  It effectively works as a fulcrum to neutralize or diffuse negative energies and as a parachute to ground us to positive thoughts and feelings on all levels of emotional, mental, physical and spiritual being.

The Psoas Muscle – Diaphragm Connection

The psoas muscle is connected to the diaphragm by fascia tissue and consequently, can have a strong impact on the functioning of the diaphragm and our breathing. 

The psoas muscle which connects our 12th thoracic and 5 lumbar vertebrae to the top of our femur (thigh) bone is the only muscle connecting our spine to our legs.  It provides support for the intestinal cavity and is critical to maintaining our upright posture.

Neurologically the psoas is linked to our reptilian brain, known for its survival instincts relating to fight or flight responses.

 

Our fast paced stress-filled lifestyle triggers the psoas to tighten up.  This causes structural problems, constricts organs, interferes with movement of fluids and impairs the functioning of the diaphragm.  When this becomes chronic, the psoas continually signals to the brain that you are in danger which eventually exhausts the adrenal glands and weakens our immune system.

By engaging in Belly-Gut Breathing, you release tension in the psoas and become more somatically aware of this muscle and the messages that it and other parts of your gut are sending you.

Impact on Brain Wave Activity

This resulting balanced state of mind and body has the ability to connect Beta brain waves (consciously active mind) with Alpha (meditative state), Theta brainwaves (day-dream state) and Delta brainwaves (deep dreamless sleep).  When Delta waves increase into the frequency of theta brainwaves, active dreaming takes place which is called REM; rapid eye movement.

Research has shown that although one brainwave state may predominate at any given time, depending on the activity level of the individual, the remaining three brain states are present in the mix of brainwaves at all times. While we are in an aroused state and exhibiting a beta brainwave pattern, there also exists in our brain a component of alpha, theta and delta, even though these may be present only at the trace level.

The Heart Connection

 

It has been proven that breathing patterns modulate the heart rhythm.  Studies show that when the breathing becomes more regulated and coherent, it brings the heart rate and especially, the heart rate variance into a state of coherence.  This coherence causes the balancing of the autonomic nerve system by increasing the activity of the parasympathetic nerve system.

Studies also indicate that the heart has its own nerve system that communicates directly with the brain.  Some researchers believe that heart rhythm coherence creates a powerful feedback loop to the brain from the heart.  The “intelligence” of the heart can produce hormones like oxytocin and neurotransmitters that profoundly affect brain and body functions. 

The phrenic nerve system which links the diaphragm with the brain controls the functioning of the diaphragm and consequently breathing.  The phrenic nerve system also connects with the heart.  Since the vagus nerve is primarily involved with the functioning of the heart, we theorize that the phrenic nerve system can actually influence the vagus nerve system through the heart when conscious Belly-Gut Breathing is done.  The conscious movement of the diaphragm could stimulate the vagus nerve system this way which would then modulate the sympathetic nerve system in stressful situations that may cause a fight or flight response.

Consequently, it could be proven that BG Breathing impacts all our physiological systems to function more efficiently resulting in greater emotional stability, increased mental clarity and improved cognitive function. 

We theorize that the heart when stimulated by Belly-Gut Breathing plays a powerful role and bridge to enable us to experience the principle of 'lucid dreaming' while actually in a conscious state of mind.

We are communicating with researchers interested in our Diaphragm Theory at Stanford University.  We welcome the opportunity to speak with other academics who want to do additional research to prove this theory and help us successfully fulfill our mission.