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:  Conclusion of answer about breathing for health

ANSWER: This is the conclusion of series on the most evidence-based method of breathing

Although there is some disagreement regarding optimal rates and depths of respiration, in talking to colleagues I have found a general consensus that diaphragmatic breathing at a respiration rate of approximately twelve breaths per minute, with longer expiration than inspiration, is very healthy and optimizes gas exchange and acid-base balance.

Based on what we now know from psychophysiological research about the healthiest breathing patterns and the way they require a little training followed by a lot of practice, it would be advantageous to almost all of us to give conscious attention to respiration a priority in our lives.

Furthermore, this conscious attention to improving our respiratory patterns can be used as a mindfulness or concentration practice. Conscious respiration practices increase self-mastery and wellbeing. This is because in addition to the direct benefits of healthy breathing patterns, just the act of practicing various forms of self-care—in this case related to an intentional breathing practice—you will feel more in control of your life. Self-mastery is not about finding cures or treatments; it is about taking valued action, regardless of the outcome.

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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