How everyday habits can lead to respiratory problems
Posted by Dr. Mark Cruz
Dr. Mark A. Cruz of Dana Point, California, co-developed "Airway Focused Dentistry Mini Residency," which includes a series of lectures from experts on breathing disorders. During the series, Dr. Litchfield gave an enlightening presentation, discussing the link between dysfunctional breathing and behavior.
The link between habits and breathing problems
Habits are learned behaviors. Dr. Litchfield explained that not only your mind, but also your body "learns." Any living system can acquire and save information, then modify physiologically in response.
He used a case study to demonstrate how dysfunctional breathing habits can develop, and how they can be consciously overcome. The woman he discussed was a healthy, physically fit adult, who suddenly developed an unusual set of respiratory problems.
Episodes of breathing problems would begin suddenly, without any noticeable advance symptoms.
Once an episode began, it lasted through the day.
This happened frequently enough that she was missing an average of one to three days of work per week.
Multiple doctors had diagnosed her with anxiety attacks or similar conditions, yet the prescribed medications did not improve her breathing.
After interviewing the woman about her habits, the doctor learned that she was using a stress reduction technique involving slow, deliberate, deep breaths. This exercise was causing her to expel excess CO2, resulting in a pH imbalance that compromised her body’s oxygen delivery capacity. This deep breathing was not increasing her oxygen supply, but depleting it.
During their meeting, Dr. Litchfield helped the woman understand the implications of her breathing habits, and offered advice about changing behavioral habits. Although he only saw the woman once, she applied his advice, and her condition gradually improved. After years of suffering, she was able to overcome her respiratory problems without medication, simply by changing habits.
For more information, or if you want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cruz, call (949) 661-1006.