Chapter 5: Interaction of Psychological and Emotional Effects with Breathing Dysfunction

This is a chapter 5 summary of “Multidisciplinary Approaches to Breathing Pattern Disorders” by Leon Chaitow. The second edition will be coming out this December, and you can preorder it by clicking on the link or the photo below. Intro This chapter is dedicated to showing the connection between the body and consciousness; how our psyche is influenced by breathing and vice versa. This chapter was easily my favorite out of the entire book. Breathing Strategies Optimal breathing involves moderate abdominal expansion, some intercostal involvement, and minimal involvement of accessory muscles. Conversely, chest breathing is dominated by accessory muscle use. These two breathing styles are merely end points on a continuum rather than discrete categories. In terms of which strategy is used, chest breathing is often the preferred route for consciously mediated intentional breathing; whereas abdominal breathing is the main route for relaxed, automatic breathing. One reason you would want to override automatic breathing is to prepare for sudden action. At the onset of exercise, ventilation immediately jumps.  This change occurs via three phases, with the first phase occurring independent of exercise load. This phase is a conscious exercise preparatory action. The other increases occur as exercise demands increase. When we are in an emergency situation, these breathing phases change. Prior to the initial pre-action deep breath comes a breath holding phase, which helps increase sensory organ stability. These preparatory breathing changes are great for imminent danger or action, but problematic when threats are non-physical and in the future.  While

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