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Related to costal breathing: Diaphragmatic breathing


ventilation (def. 2).
diaphragmatic breathing diaphragmatic respiration.
a type of breathing exercise that patients are taught to promote more effective aeration of the lungs, consisting of moving the diaphragm downward during inhalation and upward with exhalation.
frog breathing (glossopharyngeal breathing) respiration unaided by the primary or ordinary accessory muscles of respiration, the air being “swallowed” rapidly into the lungs by use of the tongue and the muscles of the pharynx; used by patients with chronic muscle paralysis to augment their vital capacity.
intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB) see intermittent positive pressure breathing.
mouth breathing breathing through the mouth instead of the nose, usually because of some obstruction in the nasal passages.
breathing pattern, ineffective a nursing diagnosis approved by the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association, defined as inspiration and/or expiration that does not provide adequate ventilation. Etiologic and contributing factors include disorders of the nervous system in which there is abnormal response to neural stimulation, as in spinal cord injury; impairment of musculoskeletal function, as in trauma to the chest; pain and discomfort associated with deep breathing, as after abdominal or thoracic surgery; fatigue and diminished energy level; inadequate lung expansion, as in poor body posture and positioning; inappropriate response to stress, as in hyperventilation; inflammation of respiratory structures; and tracheobronchial obstruction.

Subjective symptoms include reports of dyspnea, shortness of breath, pain associated with breathing, complaints of dizziness, and previous episodes of emotional or physical stress or fear and anxiety. Objective symptoms include increased respiratory rate and changes in depth of respirations, fremitus, abnormal arterial blood gases, nasal flaring, orthopnea or assumption of the three-point position, in which the patient sits down and elevates the shoulders by stiffening each arm and pushing downward with the hands on the chair or bed, use of accessory muscles of respiration, increased anteroposterior diameter of chest (barrel chest), and altered chest excursion.

The goal of nursing intervention is to help the patient experience improved gas exchange by using a more effective breathing pattern. This might include teaching appropriate breathing exercises and proper use of accessory muscles of respiration, and encouraging body posture that maximizes expansion of the lungs. If postoperative pain is a contributing factor, providing support of the operative site to reduce strain during coughing or moving about could encourage deeper respirations and a more normal breathing pattern. If a causative factor is stress with resultant hyperventilation or some other ineffective breathing pattern, the patient may need help in developing more beneficial coping mechanisms such as relaxation techniques.
pursed-lip breathing a breathing technique in which air is inhaled slowly through the nose and then exhaled slowly through pursed lips. This type of breathing is often used by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to prevent small airway collapse.
breathing-related sleep disorder any of several disorders characterized by sleep disruption due to some sleep-related breathing problem, resulting in excessive sleepiness or insomnia. Included are central and obstructive sleep apnea syndromes (see adult sleep apnea).
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


Inhalation and exhalation of air or gaseous mixtures.
Synonym(s): pneusis
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


a. The act or process of respiration.
b. A single breath.
2. The time required to take one's breath.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Alternative medicine
The act of breathing—many forms of alternative healthcare emphasise proper breathing. The mechanical component of breathing is divided into two components: chest breathing, which is under voluntary control; and the more rhythmic diaphragmatic breathing, which is primarily involuntary and therefore more natural. Breathing techniques focus on improving diaphragmatic breathing, which allows a fuller expansion of the lungs and a decrease in carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Improper breathing is believed by some alternative healthcare providers to have an adverse effect on the nervous system, resulting in anxiety, stress, insomnia and exhaustion.

A local unfolding of a polypeptide to allow exchange of one isotope for another.
Chest medicine
Respiration; the act of inhaling and exhaling.
Molecular biology
A local unwinding of the DNA double helix to allow formation of transcription bubbles; alternately, the "chaotic” transient rupture and reforming of inter-chain hydrogen bonds that facilitates the interaction with the regulatory DNA-binding proteins.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


Chest medicine Respiration; the act of inhaling and exhaling air. See Biot breathing, Cheynes-Stokes breathing, Noisy breathing, Rescue breathing.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Inhalation and exhalation of air or gaseous mixtures.
See also: respiration
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


The automatic, and usually unconscious, process by which air is drawn into the LUNGS for the purpose of oxygenating the blood and disposing of carbon dioxide. Breathing involves a periodic increase in the volume of the chest occasioned by the raising and outward movement of the ribs and the flattening of the domed DIAPHRAGM. This is an active process involving muscle contraction and results in air being forced into the lungs by atmospheric pressure. Expiration is passive, the air escaping as a result of elastic recoil of the lungs and relaxation of the respiratory muscles.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
Breathingclick for a larger image
Fig. 83 Breathing . Steps in breathing control.
Breathingclick for a larger image
Fig. 82 Breathing . Expansion and relaxation of the chest during breathing.
Breathingclick for a larger image
Fig. 81 Breathing . The human respiritory system.


a process in which air is taken into the lungs (inspiration) and then expelled from the lungs (expiration). In a mammal such as man the structures involved are as shown in Fig. 81.

Inspiration occurs when the rib cage and the DIAPHRAGM alter shape to increase the volume and reduce the pressure in the thoracic cavity. The ribs are drawn up and outwards by contraction of the external INTERCOSTAL MUSCLES (chest breathing), while contraction of the diaphragm causes it to flatten downwards (abdominal breathing). Expiration can be simply a passive process in which the muscles relax, causing the ribs to drop down and inwards and the diaphragm to curve upwards. These movements reduce the thoracic volume which, along with elastic recoil of the lungs, results in a raising of the internal pressure so that air is expelled. Forced expiration can also occur where the abdominal muscles force the diaphragm further up into the thoracic cavity.

Control of breathing is by a series of reflex actions so that, although the muscles involved are skeletal and therefore can be controlled voluntarily, respiration movements are automatic to a large extent. The main area of control is a respiratory centre in the hindbrain, located in the pons and the MEDULLA OBLONGATA. The steps in breathing control are as follows (see also Fig. 83 , steps 1–6):

  1. spontaneous nerve impulses are generated in the inspiratory centre which cause contraction of the intercostal muscle (via intercostal nerve) and the diaphragm (via phrenic nerve). The thoracic volume increases.
  2. the pneumotaxic and expiratory centres are excited by impulses from the inspiratory centre.
  3. when sufficiently excited the pneumotaxic and expiratory centres send inhibitory signals to the inspiratory centre.
  4. at the same time as (c), stretch receptors in the walls of the lungs become excited and begin to send inhibitory signals (via the vagus nerve) to the inspiratory centre, which eventually stops stimulating the intercostal muscle and the diaphragm so that they now relax.
  5. the expiratory centre stimulates contraction of the abdominal muscles. Steps (d) and (e) cause reduction of thoracic volume so that the stretch receptors are no longer stimulated. As a result the breathing cycle begins again at step (a).
  6. finally, there is a chemical method of control. Excess carbon dioxide in the blood causes a lowering of pH which is detected in the AORTIC BODY and the CAROTID BODY as well as the respiratory centre itself. As a result, the inspiratory centre is stimulated to produce deeper breathing so as to reduce the level of CO2 in the blood. This negative FEEDBACK MECHANISM thus relies not on oxygen levels but rather on CO2 levels to control breathing rate. See Fig. 83 .
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005


Inhalation and exhalation of air or gaseous mixtures.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about breathing

Q. Help her to breathe. My sixteen year old cousin (girl) who is wondering if she is suffering from asthma, anxiety or both. She is thin, healthy girl and have been very worried She have asthma and have been thinking about it constantly. When she exercise, she get more out of breath, more worn out, and her heart beats faster than other people. Sometimes her chest hurts, but people tell me that is from my chest muscles being worked. She get a little dizzy also. When she go to bed at night sometimes it seems hard to breathe. She can take a deep breath and everything but it seems hard or something. I know there isn't anything wrong with my heart because she had an EKG done recently and chest x-rays. That was fine. When it is hot humid and muggy outside she find it hard to breath. Do you think she have asthma. She don't have any coughing or any known wheezing. Could thinking about every breath she take seem like she have asthma? She really want to know and me too, what is going on! Please help her to breathe!!!!

A. PS--alcohol and cigarettes can cause this problem to(drugs)mrfoot56.

Q. What causes bad breath? I have bad breath for a long time. What causes it?

A. Here are some causes of bad breath:
A Dry mouth- Saliva helps cleanse and moisten your mouth. A dry mouth enables dead cells to accumulate on your tongue, gums and cheeks. These cells then decompose and cause odor. Dry mouth naturally occurs during sleep. It's what causes "morning breath." Dry mouth is even more of a problem if you sleep with your mouth open. Some medications as well as smoking can lead to a chronic dry mouth, as can a problem with your salivary glands.
Some Diseases can also cause bad breath- Chronic lung infections and lung abscesses can produce very foul-smelling breath. Other illnesses, such as some cancers and certain metabolic disorders, can cause a distinctive breath odor. Kidney failure can cause a urine-like odor, and liver failure may cause an odor described as "fishy." People with uncontrolled diabetes often have a fruity breath odor. Chronic reflux of stomach acids from your stomach (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD)

Q. How to get rid of bad breath? My wife complains that I have bad breath. How can I get rid of it?

A. Consider that candida infection can make your breath worse. You might try cutting down on sugar and carbs.

"Bad breath can also be caused by a candida (yeast infection), you may have a constant white furry tongue. Look at cutting down your intake of sugars and processed foods, as well as those containing yeast. - Search for Anti-Candida diet on a search engine for more info"

More discussions about breathing
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