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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

The purpose of this blog and the entire website is to provide evidence-based information on how to live a vibrant, meaningful life while living with chronic health challenges or other life challenges.

Every Tuesday I post a new, very brief video from my presentations or interviews. Every Friday this Q&A column appears.
Here is this week’s question:

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Continuation of answer to breathing question from last week.

ANSWER: Healthy breathing is essential for health. When we are young and in perfect health, we can get away with shallow chest breathing. With aging and many chronic medical conditions, the quality of our breathing can make the difference between health and disease. Shallow chest breathing results in insufficient gas exchange. Forced deep breathing can result in blowing off too much carbon dioxide. Too much oxygen and too little oxygen are both toxic. Although metabolic compensation by the kidneys can help maintain an acid-base balance, the cultivation of healthy breathing can often obviate the need for metabolic compensation.
It is best to breathe between eight and fourteen breaths per minute. For brief periods of a half hour, once or twice a day, six breaths per minute breathing is very healthy. Ten or twelve breaths throughout the day is very healthy, but it should be diaphragmatic.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges or issues related to wellbeing. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about living a life of mindfulness-based mastery or about the relationship between the mind and health or wellbeing? Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box below. An answer to your specific question may not appear in this column. The reason for that is I wait until I get a certain number of related questions, then I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one. People attending my presentations asked most of the questions appearing in this column, and I repeat them here so you may benefit.

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