What is the main factor causing ill health? Most authorities suggest it could be as simple as stress! OK is stress good for us? Yes and no! Without any stress we might all finish up like happy cabbages! However we all know what it feels like to be overwhelmed by stress, so we can’t cope and feel out of control. Perhaps there is a happy medium between theses two extremes that keeps us on our toes but doesn’t kill us?
Let’s look at what happens when we are stressed, injured, shocked or frightened:
The most primitive part of our brain reacts instantly with the Fight , Flight or Freeze response to protect us from imminent danger.
This response produces a vast array of physiologcal changes to prepare us for this imminent danger including: Impaired immune response / Increased blood volume from spleen / Release of steroid hormones / Release of stress hormone cortisol / Release of catacholamines / Increased secretion of adrenalin / Release of neuropeptides / Increased heart rate / Decreased fertility or adverse effects on pregnancy / Increased fat deposition & cholesterol levels / Increased blood pressure / Increased histamine production / Spasm of smooth muscle around vessels / Increased sleep disturbances / Increased inflammation of digestive tract / Reduced blood flow to skin / Impaired immune response / Increased blood clotting reaction and a general increased mental alertness & tension, an increased muscular tension throughout the body preparing us to fight or flee and an increased breathing rate or hyperventilation.
Repeated stress incidents from birth to our adulthood can cause us to be in a continual state of high alertness, high vigilance and chronic hidden hyperventilation. Together these reactions can lay the foundation for or even be the prime cause of most modern diseases including: Asthma, Angina, Anxiety, Breathlessness, Cardiac problems, COPD, Eczema, Epilepsy/tics, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Gastric ulcer, Headaches, Hay fever, Irritable bowel syndrome, Hypertension, Hyperthyroidism, Migraines, Depression, Sleep apnoea and many other health problems.
Despite these well researched connections between stress and diseases most of the above diseases will be treated with drugs to suppress or ameliorate the symptoms leaving the underlying problem untouched.
The genius of Dr Buteyko was recognising that we could all retrain ourselves to relax, to breathe normally and re-establish calm in our body & mind. By improving our breathing through relaxation of our muscles and our mental tension and other lifestyle factors we can restore good health or at least reduce our total reliance on medication. Since all drugs have various adverse side effects any reduction in their use can only be beneficial for our general wellbeing.
In our modern world it appears that up to 90% of us are suffering from some degree of unhealthy stress and are hyperventilating. We can all learn to correct this in a matter of a few weeks but first we need to identify the problem, learn how to correct it and then make the effort and willingness to do the necessary work! Drugs don’t need our effort, that’s why they are so appealing if not even addictive. We have become a society of passive pill poppers. Here is one way to take more responsibility for your own health.
Check your breathing HERE
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