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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 about breathing for health

ANSWER: In terms of a type of breathing that calms the autonomic nervous system, it depends on the health of the tenth cranial nerve, known as the vagus nerve. Good vagal tone (related to the health of the parasympathetic nervous system) is associated with a state of happiness. The vagus nerve influences heart rate, heart rate variability, immune responses, digestion, and absorption. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia breathing, the most evidence-based method of breathing for health, leads to increased vagal tone. Higher resting vagal tone is associated with improved immune function, health, and happiness.

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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