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Re: thanks for the breathing advice! fluffy

Posted by BarbaraCat on September 7, 2003, at 0:16:37

In reply to thanks for the breathing advice!, posted by fluffy on September 6, 2003, at 18:14:14

I don't know why your doctor would ask you about sighing except for it may indicate depression. Maybe western medicine is hip to 'disordered breathing', a big contributor to mental imbalance, according to some yoga texts. In fact, some say that disordered breathing is the MAJOR contributor to mental imbalance. The texts go on to talk about irregular breathing, sighing, ragged in and outs, as severely imbalancing the nervous system. But most of what you hear about yogic breathing is the deep belly breathing stuff - take a deep breath. It's never done anything for me either and I've always felt that I didn't know how to do it right, even though I've been 'trying' to do it right for a long time. According to the info I read, the big inhale/oxygen saturation we're taught is proper deep breathing disrupts the pH and can bring on panic attacks and asthma symptoms. The reason we're told to breathe into a paper bag during a panic attack is to increase the carbon dioxide in the blood and bring the pH back to normal levels. Carbon dioxide is a good thing, despite what we're told about how bad it is and how good oxygen is. Surprised me. I guess we need the balance.

So now I've been paying more attention to breathing since hearing about this hyperventillation syndrome. I don't always get it right and sometimes feel like my diaphragm is locked up. But what's supposed to work for normal breathing to relax (not the holding the nose exercise which is more of a therapeutic workout and retraining) is to make the exhale about twice as long as the inhale and use the stomach muscles to wring out that last bit of air, but without forcing anything - just a kind of relaxed squeezing it out. Don't have to be anal with the count either. The idea is that you want to focus on the exhale and squeeze out as much of the stale air as possible, pause for a second or so, and then you don't have to even think about the inhale. It happens by itself and with the right amount of air just by releasing the abdomen after the exhale and short pause. It really is relaxing and clears the head. Plus you get a bonus ab workout.

The breathing is normally done through the nose, but a variation on it that I like alot is to put your tongue against your teeth and exhale from the mouth making a 'sssssss' sound like a steam kettle. Use a bit of resistance, in other words, don't let the air whoosh out too quickly, but make the exhale long and slow keeping the hissy sound even. Or you could purse your lips like you're blowing out a candle, again with a little resistance so that it doesn't come out too fast. Super relaxing, clearing, and gets you pleasantly high in a nice way! You can't expect to breathe like this all the time, but whenever you have a little time, like waiting in lines, at a stop light, or even devoting some time on a regular basis in the morning and eve, it will be a nice break.

I think it will help you, Katy, especially if you sigh alot. That sounds like a sure case of 'disordered breathing' to me that the yogi's speak of - having been there and done that myself. - Barbara


> That's interesting info, Barbara. I wonder what the hyperventilation stuff has to do with psych meds? When I go to my doc, he asks me a host of questions about side effects. One of them is: Are you sighing or hyperventilating?
>
> Either way--I've always sighed constantly. It weirds people out. They wonder if I'm impatient or pissed. I'm usually not--just relieving myself.
>
> I'm gonna try it. Can't hurt. I think it's funny advice to NOT BREATHE. When you're upset, people are always saying--"just breathe--take deep breaths." Yoga has never helped me with breathing.
>
> Thanks!
> Katy


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URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20030902/msgs/257743.html