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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: Psychophysiology researchers Dr. Paul Lehrer and Dr. Richard Gevirtz point out that it is essential to maintain a balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation in order to regulate the subtle exchange of sodium and potassium ions in the sinoatrial (SA) node of the heart. Any electrical dysfunction in the SA node usually translates into atrial fibrillation (AF), PVCs, and can sometimes even trigger a lethal dysrhythmia such as ventricular fibrillation.

Dysfunctional breathing such as hyperventilation, shallow thoracic breathing, sighing, and breath holding can play a role in the etiology of any of the following conditions:

  • Respiratory symptoms: asthma, dyspnea (shortness of breath), excessive sighing and yawning, and cough
  • Cardiovascular symptoms: hypertension, ischemic as well as arrhythmic heart attacks, palpitations, tachycardia, angina, and cold hands and feet
  • Neurological symptoms: dizziness, faintness, migraines, and paresthesias
  • GI symptoms: dysphagia (swallowing difficulties), dry throat, belching, flatulence, globus (lump in throat), and abdominal discomfort
  • Muscular symptoms: cramps, tremors, twitches, pain, and fatigue
  • General symptoms: anxiety, fatigue, weakness, lack of concentration, impaired memory, sleep disturbances, nightmares

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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