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When you breathe, what does your diaphragm do?

Dear Erin:

The diaphragm (DIE-uh-fram) is a large, dome-shaped sheet of muscle under your lungs. This powerful muscle almost divides your body in half between the chest cavity (containing the heart and lungs) and the abdomen (which contains the stomach, intestines, and other organs).

The diaphragm is one of the main muscles we use to breathe. As you breathe in, the diaphragm contracts and pulls down, allowing the lungs to fill with air. Then the diaphragm relaxes, causing it to expand and arch upwards as we breathe out. This helps push some of the air out of the lungs through the nose.
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Title Annotation:Ask Doctor Cory
Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:U.S. Kids
Date:Dec 1, 1997
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