Diaphragmatic breathing impacts on biophysiological systems




Thomas, Prince


0000-0003-2523-1350 (Thomas, Prince)

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Anxiety and stress has been at an all-time high in recent years for various reasons. With added anxiety and stress comes a plethora of preventable diseases such as heart disease, asthma, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, etc. The purpose of this study was to examine diaphragmatic breathing as an underutilized tool that may result in body relaxation and help with physical and mental health. Specifically, we are looking at the biophysiological changes that can be monitored, and how they are impacted by diaphragmatic breathing practices. This systematic review utilized PubMed and Scopus databases to identify 10 articles that met our inclusion criteria. Key words used were diaphragmatic breathing; mental health; real-time feedback; relaxation; sustained attention; DASS-21; HbA1c; diaphragmatic breathing; stress management; systematic relaxation; type 2 diabetes mellitus. The results displayed that Diaphragmatic breathing has an impact on multiple factors that correlate with overall health and well-being. We saw that diaphragmatic breathing interventions resulted in cortisol levels decreasing, Beck anxiety inventory scores decreasing, Dass-21 showing less depression, peripheral temperature decreasing, heart rate decreasing, blood pressure decreases, and decreased breathing rate. Studies have also shown better glycemic control for individuals with type 2 diabetes who participated in a diaphragmatic breathing protocol. The data that we looked at suggested that diaphragmatic breathing has positive implications for overall health and wellness. Stress management in the United States are often pharmacological interventions that can be costly and difficult for some to access. Diaphragmatic breathing is a free practice that has shown to provide positive results for individuals to improve their mental and physical health with minimal side effects.


Research Appreciation Day Award Winner - 2022 School of Health Professions, Physical Therapy Program Poster Award - 1st Place