Stress, Anxiety, and Panic Attacks
There is a broad spectrum of problems related to anxiety and stress. Ranging from those that one manages in their day day life to those that are overwhelming.
You may have suffered from anxiety all your life or are someone who coped very well but in later life it seems to be more difficult. The chronic stress of meeting deadlines, financial pressures, time urgency, marital issues, the pressure of rearing children and achieving your ambitions can often take their toll on your health.
How does this effect my breathing?
When we are stressed our breathing changes. If this happens over a long period of time it is called chronic breathing. Chronic over breathing means breathing more air than the body requires.
The normal volume of air required is about five to six litres per minute. Persons suffering from anxiety and depression breathe a volume of around 10 to 15 litres per minute. When when this happens over a long period of time it takes a toll on one’s health. For most people it is very subtle and often is not recognised. The following are some indications of over-breathing:
- Audible breathing at rest.
- Breathing with upper chest movement,
- Movement of shoulders while breathing
- Heavy breathing at night
- Holding of breath at night (apnoea)
- Regular sighs,
- Regular sniffing
- Taking large breaths prior to talking
Hyperventilation/ over breathing can effect many systems of your body. The following are some symptoms of hyperventilation/ over-breathing, that you may relate to.
Neurological: lightheaded feeling, poor concentration, memory lapses, headache, anxiety, apprehension, tension, racing mind, irritability, brain fog, panic attacks, disrupted sleep, numbness and tingling, tremor, fatigue, nightmares
Other symptoms may include: a racing heartbeat, idiopathic pain, chest pain, breathlessness, chest tightness, frequent yawning, snoring, sleep apnoea, reflux, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic exhaustion, cramping, frequent visits to the bathroom at night, sweating…
What happens when I over breathe that causes these symptoms?
If you breathe in a large volume of air then you will breathe out a large volume. Humans do not inhale air to store it in any form in the body, so therefore the volume exhaled has to be the same as the volume inhaled.
Exhaling a large volume of air results in a loss of carbon dioxide.
It is this loss of Carbon dioxide over a period of months days and /or years leads to a person becoming symptomatic.
Carbon dioxide is often thought of in negative terms but a certain level of it is essential to human life. Maintaining the correct level of carbon dioxide is very important for the following reasons.
- Transportation of Oxygen
- Dilation of blood vessels
- Maintaining ph balance
- Maintaining natures steroid
- Controlling mucous production,
Prolonged hyperventilation seems to sensitise the brain, leading to a prolonged hyperventilation. Breathing more does not increase the amount of oxygen in your blood. In fact the opposite happens. When one is over breathing, carbon dioxide is removed from the body, causing the oxygen to stick to haemoglobin within the red blood cells. ( The Bohr effect)
Lower carbon dioxide within the blood causes a constriction of the carotid Artery, the main blood vessel to the brain.
The extent of the constriction depends on genetic predisposition but it has been estimated by Gibbs (1992) to be as much as 50% for those with Anxiety and panic attacks.This finding is also supported by Ball & Shaker (1997).
How will the Buteyko Breathing programme help me?
Through the programme you will learn the effects of over breathing. You will be guided in how to recognise it in yourself and how to reverse it.
You will also learn:
- The importance of nasal breathing day and night.
- How to calm the mind by bringing your attention to the breath with exercises that are easy to use in everyday life.
- Through the exercises you will learn the calmer and quieter you breathe the better you will feel.
- How to sleep right through the night and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning!
- How to Eliminate fatigue, brain fog and daytime tiredness
- How to stop panic attacks, anxiety and stress.
- Lifestyle and exercise guidelines.
Everybody has the capacity to develop a still mind. But sometimes in your life you need a few tools in your back pocket to cope with what life throws at you. This programme will help you everyday. It is scientifically proven, and what you will learn will last a lifetime.
Is the Programme demanding?
The exercises are simple to understand and user-friendly.
No special equipment required.
They are suitable for adults of all ages, teenagers and children.
As part of the programme you will be required to do some breathing exercises. How you do the exercises can be worked to suit your schedule. Generally speaking, to make a difference in your life, you will be asked to commit to doing an hour of exercises. over the period of the programme This can be done 10 minutes by 6, or 20 minutes by 3, or 30 minutes by 2 etc.
You will feel the benefits over the period of the programme. Poor breathing habits can be changed. Good breathing habits can be fostered.
The most important thing is to take Action.
Just made a bad decision?
The calmer and quieter you breathe, the larger your blood vessels open enabling better circulation and distribution of oxygen throughout the body, including the brain
Special thanks to Patrick for his help and guidance. The information in this website is available in books written by Patrick. Visit Website