Physiotherapist Michelle guides you through four reflux exercises scientifically proven to reduce heartburn, acid reflux and the need for acid reflux (antacid) medication. Do these exercises daily with Michelle's free App https://www.pelvic.app
These abdominal breathing exercises are a natural remedy for reflux.They reduce upward pressure from the stomach and may strengthen muscles that stop acid rising.
Acid reflux causes heartburn and is caused by acid rising from the stomach into the food tube. This acid burns the tissue lining the food tube (oesophagus).
Common Causes of Acid Reflux
1. Upward pressure from the belly e.g. holding your abdominal muscles tensed or wearing a tight belt which causes acid to rise up into the food tube (oesophagus).
2. Lack of closing pressure in the barrier at the top of the stomach that stops acid rising. This closing pressure is normally provided by the valve or muscular ring (lower esophageal sphincter or LES) above the stomach.
*Always discuss prescribed medication changes with your doctor before changing*
If you feel lightheaded or dizzy stop the breathing exercises and resume when recovered. This can happen if you’re accustomed to upper chest breathing rather than abdominal breathing.
Step 1 - Setting Up for Breathing Exercises
*Loosen your belt or remove tight fitting clothing from around your waist
* Correct sitting position for abdominal breathing exercises:
- Hips and knees approximately 90 degrees
- Feet flat knees slightly apart
- Sit with weight even between both sit bones
- Normal curve in low back
- Chest slightly raised
- Lift up through the crown of your head and bring your chin inwards slightly
- Relax your shoulders
Do these breathing exercises when calm and relaxed.
Breathing Exercise 1 (diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing)
Rest your right hand on your chest bone and left hand on your upper belly. Breathe in and out slowly through your nose. Breathe in slowly and keep the upper most hand still. You should only feel your lower hand moving in and out as you breathe .
Resisted Breathing Exercise 2 (Progression)
Press gently with both hands to resist the outward movement of your belly as you breathe in so your breathing muscles need to work harder.
Breathing Exercise 3
Place both hands on your sides, at the level of your lower rib cage. Wrap your hands around the sides of your ribcage. Breathe in slowly and deeply just as for breathing exercise No.1.
When you breathe in, first your stomach moves forwards and then your hands move out sideways as your ribs expand keeping your chest relaxed. Let the breathe release slowly from your lungs.
Resisted Breathing Exercise 4 (Progression)
Press your hands slightly against your sides when you breathe in to prevent your lower rib cage from expanding outwards to the sides. Start with your belly moving forwards. There is no need to press the ribs too firmly. If you start moving your chest forwards, stop the exercise and start again.
How many exercises and how often
* Do the exercises daily
* Perform up to 10 breathing exercises in a row starting with exercises 1 and 3
* Progress to resisted breathing exercises 2 and 4
* Repeat up to 10 exercises in a row according to your comfort levels
When to do these breathing exercises
* Do the exercises before reflux occurs rather than after it has started
- Before eating 3 times a day
- 10 minutes after eating
- If you notice you feel stressed or you are bracing your abdominal muscles
* Don't wait until you feel acid reflux burning or heartburn to start your exercises
* These reflux exercises are not an instant reflux fix and may only be effective as long as you continue them.
Eherer AJ et al. Positive effect of abdominal breathing exercise on gastroesophageal reflux disease: a randomized, controlled study. Am J Gastroenterol. 2012 Mar;107(3):372-8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22146...#refluxexercises #abdominalbreathingexercises #naturalheartburnrelief
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Videography by Jonah Babongi
Music That Kid Goran licensed user
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