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Breathing For Emotional Control

Published on May 27, 2024

“What is the fundamental difference between a state of deep relaxation and meditation versus being totally stressed out and having a panic attack? Well, it is not sleep, food, or exercise. It is breathing. The relaxed person is breathing low, slow, and rhythmically, while the stressed-out person is breathing fast, big, shallow, and chaotic. In deep relaxation, slow breathing leads to restriction in oxygen intake and more CO2 being retained, while the opposite is true for stress and panic,” says breathing expert Anders Olsson from the Conscious Breathing Institute.

During a panic attack, a person experiences overwhelming anxiety.
They may feel their heart racing, they cannot breathe, or they are going to die.
A panic attack may be frightening, but it is not usually fatal.

Dr. Sheldon writes, “Breathing is the most critical thing you do. And breathing correctly is the most important thing you can do to improve your life.” Our breath is the primary connection between our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual levels of consciousness. So, by becoming more aware of our breath and using that awareness consciously, we can move mountains in terms of our health and how we feel about ourselves.

Professors Richard Brown and Patricia Gerbarg tried experimenting with coherent breathing on people with anxiety and depression. The results were astounding. Brown said he saw people transforming even with just 5-10 mins of this breathing exercise per day. Of course, psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies will have none of that, preferring to treat with nasty drugs that money can be made from.

Getting one’s breathing under control can reduce stress and anxiety; thus, the NHS recommends this for stress relief. Consciously slow and deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system – the “rest and digest” response opposite to the “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system. Studies have shown that controlled breathing can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol in saliva. Another study shows that controlled breathing can alter the chemistry in the brain, affecting levels of another stress hormone, noradrenaline, which could enhance focus and keep brains healthier for longer.

Dr. Fred Muench says, “Once you go below ten breaths a minute, you start to engage the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body relax when injured. Slow breathing activates the vagus nerve, the primary cranial nerve, associated with a recuperative state.” Perhaps more” importantly, slow breathing tends to increase heart-rate variability, a measurement of the fluctuation in a heartbeat during an activity. The way to increase variability is to breathe slowly.

So, if you have a panic attack, which can be considered the ultimate stress, and go to the hospital, don’t be surprised if you will get a bag to breathe in and out through. Bag breathing works because you will inhale less oxygen and re-breathe some of the carbon dioxide you just exhaled (the air we breathe out contains about 100 times more carbon dioxide than the air we breathe). A study by Dr. Alicia Meuret, where 43 subjects underwent repeated 24-hour monitoring of respiration and heart rate, showed that up to 50 minutes before a panic attack, the subjects started to breathe faster.

The only doctors who pay attention to people’s respiration are emergency and ICU doctors because their patients are often close to death’s door. Hence, each breath is critical and needs to be monitored. We all know how essential oxygen is for our survival, as we die within minutes if we stop breathing. However, many people overbreathe, inhaling more oxygen than they consume. This is a severe problem, as too much oxygen is toxic. The only possible reason why we store so little oxygen in our body, compared to, for example, water, fat, and carbohydrates, is because of its toxicity. We do not want to get too much oxygen, but hypoxia and cancer occur when we get too little.

At the State Institute of Further Medical Education, researchers showed that the elimination of hyperventilation and hypocapnia (low CO2 levels) in patients with breast cancer after the completion of the special treatment led to an increased three-year survival rate, better quality of life, including released fear of unfavorable outcomes of the treatment, improved working ability, more accessible social adaptation and relief of edema of upper extremities.

This machine, the Frolov from Russia is used for breathing retraining, and it is pretty lovely to blow bubbles while increasing the oxygenation of your cells and tissues.

This is a hands-free breathing device that can be very convenient to use.

The Breather is good. Many brands look and operate like this.

Hyperventilation

Women who suffer stress are twice as likely to develop breast cancer, a study suggests. It might be fair to say that women who breathe at twice the standard rate are twice as likely to develop breast and other cancers. At four times the standard rate, you are dying of cancer or one of many possible life-ending diseases. In extreme cases, hyperventilation-induced respiratory alkalosis can lead to seizures or loss of consciousness.

People who hyperventilate can have low carbon dioxide blood levels that can cause a spasm of the blood vessels that supply the heart. If a person already has heart disease, this spasm may be enough to cause a heart attack. Central neurogenic hyperventilation (CNH) is an abnormal pattern of breathing characterized by deep and rapid breaths at a rate of at least 25 breaths per minute. Increasing irregularity of this respiratory rate generally indicates that the patient will enter into a coma.

Some causes of sudden hyperventilation include anxiety, fever, some medicines, intense exercise, and emotional stress. It also can occur because of problems caused by asthma or emphysema or after a head injury.

Women with advanced breast cancer who have abnormal daytime levels of cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress, are significantly more likely to die sooner than patients with normal levels of the hormone, Stanford University researchers reported back in 2000. Much of the stress women with breast cancer feel is iatrogenic, meaning caused by their oncologists who provoke fear.

At the State Institute of Further Medical Education, in 2001, researchers showed that elimination of hyperventilation and hypocapnia (low CO2 levels) in patients with breast cancer after the completion of the special treatment led to increased three-year survival rate, better quality of life, including released fear of unfavorable outcomes of the treatment, improved working ability, easier social adaptation and relief of edema of upper extremities.

Working On Your Breathing Is Working On Your Being

Deep within is our pure being which
has incarnated into this body.
This being is ultra-sensitive.
From the moment of conception, this pure being
is picking up subtle impressions from the environment
through the heart center of pure feeling.

Over more than a decade of research, author Dr. Brené Brown has found that vulnerability is not a weakness — it can be our greatest strength. Yet instead of allowing ourselves to feel vulnerable, Brown says many people put up emotional shields to protect themselves. Brown describes vulnerability as the core of all emotions, “To feel is to be vulnerable.” It is tough to experience our vulnerabilities when we are breathing too fast!

Dr. Steven Stosny writes about our strong resistance to vulnerability: “Your core vulnerability is the emotional state that is most dreadful to you, in reaction to which you’ve developed the strongest defenses. Other states of vulnerability are more tolerable if they avoid stimulating your core vulnerability and less bearable when they don’t. For most people, either fear (of harm, isolation, deprivation) or shame (of failure) constitutes their core vulnerability.”

When one does breathing retraining, it is a good time to explore one’s heart, deepest feelings, and vulnerability; remembering the tears of the melting heart are golden drops of potent medicine.

Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Professor of Natural Oncology, Da Vinci Institute of Holistic Medicine
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine
Founder of Natural Allopathic Medicine

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