Behavioral Breathing

Breathing is a behavior that regulates acid-base physiology. Acid-base physiology is about the pH balance of body fluids, including blood and the fluids that surround tissue cells. The effects of deregulated pH (or chemistry) on health and performance can be dramatic and profound. The way you have learned to breathe may have a much greater impact on you, than you might have ever imagined!

Everyone has breathing habits. When these habits are dysfunctional, they can severely compromise health and performance. Most people, however, are rarely aware of the presence of these habits, their potentially serious effects (symptoms and deficits), and their interaction with other related and/or unrelated healthcare issues.

Dysfunctional breathing habits can profoundly and immediately alter physiology, leading to disturbed extracellular pH, deregulated electrolyte balance, compromised blood flow, unfriendly hemoglobin, compromised muscle function, autonomic nervous system disturbances, central nervous system deficits, and anatomical compromise or damage (e.g., misalignment of teeth).

These far-reaching physiological changes may directly trigger, exacerbate, perpetuate, and/or cause a wide variety of emotional (anxiety, anger), cognitive (attention, learning), behavioral (public speaking, test taking), and physical (pain, asthma) symptoms and deficits that may seriously affect you. These symptoms and deficits can be powerful, insidious, and debilitating, especially when you don’t know where they are coming from. This fact is nicely illustrated by surveys indicating that up to 60% of ambulance runs in major US cities are a result of acute symptoms triggered by dysfunctional breathing habits.

Physical symptoms may include inability to focus, nausea, headache (reduced cerebral glucose) dizziness (reduced cerebral oxygen), tingling, numbness, blurred vision, muscle cramping, increased airway resistance, air hunger, cardiac changes, hyperarousal, and reduced pain threshold. Psychological changes may include (depending on the person) attention deficit, heightened emotionality (e.g., wanting to cry), anxiety, panic, disconnectedness, traumatic memories, learning impairment, changes in self-esteem, and even personality changes.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please contact About Face Collaborative by calling (919) 213-6330.