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Behav Modif. 2003 Oct;27(5):692-709.

Clinical applications of breathing regulation. Beyond anxiety management.

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Kaiser Permanente, Chronic Pain Management Program, San Francisco, USA.


Breathing training is widely used as an aid in reducing anxiety states, but several other applications also show promise. This article reviews evidence that normalizing breathing patterns may offer help in some cases of essential hypertension, angina, functional chest disorder, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cardiac rehabilitation. Hyperventilation and hypoventilation, inhibited breathing, and breath suspension are all deviations from an optimal breathing pattern in which breathing volume is closely matched to metabolic needs. Such disordered breathing has varying effects on acid/base balance, arterial diameter, and sodium retention by the kidneys. Therefore, a chronic breathing imbalance can contribute to pathophysiology, which may be remediable to an extent by altering habitual breathing patterns.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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