Myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart is severely reduced or cut off altogether. The stoppage of blood resulting in oxygen starvation and damage to part of the heart muscle is a heart attack.
Heart attacks often occur during or following physical exercise or emotional stress. Both activities increase breathing volume, and when breathing volume is greater than metabolic needs, carbon dioxide is removed from the lungs and, hence, the blood, resulting in reduced blood flow and oxygenation of the heart.
In a paper entitled “Hyperventilation and Myocardial Infarction,” Chelmowski et al.(1988) wrote, “In addition to causing peripheral and cerebral vaso-constriction, hyperventilation has also been shown to cause diminished coronary blood flow. Oxygen delivery to the myocardium and other tissues is further decreased in alkalosis because of increased haemoglobin oxygen affinity according to the Bohr effect”.
Cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack. The principle cause of a cardiac arrest is the electrical signals, which control the timing and organisation of the heartbeat, becoming completely chaotic. When the signals degenerate into total chaos, the heart suddenly stops beating, cutting off normal circulation to the rest of the body. While the causes of cardiac arrest are numerous; by far the most common in adults is ischemic cardiovascular disease. Breathing in excess of normal metabolic requirements causes a loss of carbon dioxide from the blood, leading to hypocapnia. Hypocapnia alters oxygenation of the heart and cardiac rhythm.
Breathing exercises aimed at normalizing breathing volume provide therapeutic benefits to recovering cardiac patients.
Why not check your breathing?
It takes less than a minute. See YouTube clip “Check your own breathing” HERE
If your CP (Control Pause) is less than 20 seconds you would be well advised to improve your breathing. Don’t forget you can learn to improve your breathing anywhere in the world with our Skype Course, backed up with the MyButeyko App that allows you to do exercises on your smartphone, PC or android anytime anywhere.
For numerous research references supporting this relationship download pdf Cardiacreferences
Michael Lingard BSc DO BBEC