Huffin’ and Puffin’ (I might blow my house down)

The days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are a great diagnostic test for most of us to prove once and for all time that we are too prone to stressful living and our body (with hands on hips) is scolding us. If it just weren’t for the crowds, traffic snarls, unreasonable delays and dumb mistakes, we would be just fine! Right?

Harrison CO2 shutterstock_737815474So, what does all that Holiday clamor do to our biology? The tale tell metric we all wear on our wrist and our ears will give us all the information we need to know.  We over breathe and throw our body chemistry out of whack. The fine-tuned machine we are supposed to become a clunker. If someone near you can hear you breathe, you sigh frequently, you need to breathe through your mouth or you are breathing more than 15 times a minute – you’ve got trouble brewing in the wind- more so if you snore.

We have to train ourselves to be cool, calm and collected. It does not come naturally, in fact, it is about as unnatural as holding a golf club properly and it is all counter-intuitive because when stressed we think we need more air to breathe not less, but as you have heard before “less is more”.  We have to overcome the sympathetic nervous systems “flight or flight” reaction to harassment and irritation which is to dump lots of stimulants into the bloodstream that increase blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. This ruins our “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system doing its best to keep us on hydromatic autopilot with slow light breathing pumping way more oxygen into our brain cells for intelligent thinking and behavior rather than the sympathetic system preparing our muscles for war.

Over breathing is the culprit (not the big bad wolf), that is blowing our house apart and the reason is that we are reducing the reservoir of carbon dioxide pressure necessary for offloading oxygen in the blood into trillions of cells. All CPR rescue courses now emphasize compressions over ventilation, because too much ventilation defeats the effort to get oxygen to the brain. Over breathing the unconscious patient did more damage than good, oxygen is not the problem, there is plenty of that in the blood-  the key is carbon dioxide which has to be made in our body because there is not enough in the air we breathe.

How much better to control our body with proper breathing techniques than prescription pills. I can go as far as saying that if young children were taught to breathe right (through the nose) and keep their tongue incorrect posture, then their facial development and dental alignment would naturally improve. I don’t want to put myself out of business, but I do want to see America great because she is healthy.

Slow down your breathing and enjoy the new life that Christmas promises!

Merry Christmas,

John B, Harrison DDS,MSc


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