A Pilot Study in the Physiology of Voluntary Breathing
13 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2019 Last revised: 26 May 2019
Date Written: March 21, 2019
“Take a deep breath and calm down”, who has not ever heard this exhortation? The advice is based upon individual experience of calm resulting from deep breathing. Various cultures have used it as a preventative and remedial practice for a number of mental, physical and social disorders.
Modern medicine, however, effectively rejects the underlying hypothesis.
Being a practitioner of deep breathing, from personal experience the author is certain of its effectiveness in health, wellness and development of executive function. The underlying thought is that breath is life, therefore its quality must be a determinant of human health, wellness executive control.
Unable to find credible references to deep breathing in books on modern physiology, the author decided to confront the problem himself by making some replicable measurements, primarily on himself, of oxygen uptake while breathing deep. The study indicates that oxygen uptake during deep breathing at a frequency of 8 to 3 breaths per minute increases by 100 to 200% respectively over its value at 15 breaths per minute considered average for autonomic breathing. Such an increase in oxygen uptake is a reason compelling enough to disseminate the results to health professionals for further study.
Keywords: deep breathing, oxygen uptake, sympathetic dominance, health, wellness, executive function, mental calm
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