Diaphragmatic breathing stress and cognitive performance
A study conducted by the Beijing Normal University with 40 randomly chosen participants were assigned to one of two groups: either a breathing intervention group (BIG) or a control group (CG). The BIG received intensive training for 20 sessions, implemented over 8 weeks, employing a real-time feedback device, and an average respiratory rate of 4 breaths/min, while the CG did not receive this treatment. The study concluded:
“In conclusion, diaphragmatic breathing could improve sustained attention, affect, and cortisol levels [stress]“
Diaphragmatic breathing and digestion
The University of Camerino in Italy studied the effects of Diaphragmatic breathing on the reduction of postprandial oxidative stress. Postprandial oxidative stress is characterised by an increase in oxidative damage after consumption of a high-fat meal. The study concluded:
“Diaphragmatic breathing, likely through the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, increases insulin, reduces glycemia, and reduces reactive oxygen species production.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating the intake of high-fat meals (especially one with highly processed food). However, it does demonstrate the benefits of diaphragmatic breathing.
Diaphragmatic breathing and diabetes
The University of Helsinki conducted a study to determine if slow breathing could assist patients with type 1 diabetes. Specifically, cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction evaluated as baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), which is evident in patients with type 1 diabetes. The study concluded:
“Slow breathing could be a simple beneficial intervention in diabetes.”
A follow-up study tested this hypothesis in patients with type 2 diabetes with or without renal impairment. The conclusion was:
“Autonomic dysfunction present in patients with type 2 diabetes can be partially reversed by slow breathing, suggesting a functional role of hypoxia, also in patients with DKD” (chronic diabetic kidney disease).
Diaphragmatic breathing and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Many studies have been conducted on diaphragmatic breathing and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (A group of lung diseases that block airflow and make it difficult to breathe) all with positive effects. One study also investigated pilates and yoga breathing on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and concluded:
“We conclude that short-term training in yoga is well tolerated and induces favourable respiratory changes in patients with COPD.”( chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)