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Recognizing and Treating Breathing Disorders by Leon Chaitow: 3 more notes

Written by Kento Kamiyama PT, DPT

Chaitow breathing book

As I continue to finish reading  this book from Leon Chaitow (If you missed Part I, click here), I keep getting tid bits of golden information about breathing which I want to share.  I even recommended this book to the attendee’s of my course this past weekend in Florida!  Many were shocked how incorporating good breathing during an exercise vs. poor breathing can make a huge difference to an outcome.

The more I teach, the more I fall in love with it.
The more I teach, the more I fall in love with it.

Here are some random notes from the book:

  1.  A relaxed pause at the end of exhalation releases the diaphragm briefly from the negative and positive pressure exerted across it during breathing.

Notes for me:  One of the biggest reasons why PRI techniques tend to have a pause after exhalation is to allow the diaphragm to dome better.  This automatically becomes a reset.  You would be surprised how many people just want to quickly inhale after a prolonged exhale and not let the diaphragm dome.  So, if you want to release the diaphragm make sure to take a little pause after your exhalation :).

2.  It is thought that in those with chronic hyperventilation the respiratory center is reset to tolerate a lower than normal partial pressure of arterial carbon dioxide (PaCO2) in the blood (Nixon 1989).  In such patients a single sigh or one deep breathe will reduce the PaCO2, enough to bring on symptoms

Notes for me:  With chronic pain patients, this is not uncommon I believe.  Depending on what they feel as a ‘threat’ it could immediately change their breathing pattern and boom it may bring on their symptoms. I believe knowing what the ‘threat’ is and integrating it with breathing drills are crucial for optimal recovery.

3.  Buist (1985) has demonstrated a direct connection between clinical anxiety and elevated blood lactate levels, as well as increased lactate: pyruvate ratio.  This ratio can also be increased by alcohol, caffeine and sugar.  Wemmie (2011) reports that both CO2 and lactate alter pH balance, influencing neuronal function via pH sensitive receptors, provoking hyperventilation and panic.

Notes for me: I remember Lois Laynee talking about how alcohol and sugar can alter our breathing.  When we look at from a chemical standpoint, makes tons of sense.  I love when things come together.  The key as a practitioner is when to refer out for nutritional consult.  I believe this is when all the health care professional working as a team is essential for your patient/client recovery.

Granted I don’t believe breathing drills will cure everything.  However, I do believe that utilizing good breathing mechanics along with other intervention is an essential part of optimal function mentally and physically.  Happy Breathing Everyone.



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