Some of the symptoms of hyperventilation affect:
✦ The respiratory system in the form of wheezing, breath- lessness, coughing, chest tightness, frequent yawning, rhinitis (hay fever), snoring and sleep apnoea.
✦ The nervous system in the form of a light-headed feeling, poor concentration, numbness, sweating, dizziness, ver- tigo, tingling of hands and feet, faintness, trembling and headache.
✦ The heart, typically a racing heartbeat, pain in the chest region, and a skipping or irregular heartbeat.
✦ The mind, including some degrees of anxiety, tension, depression, apprehension and stress.
✦ Other general symptoms include mouth dryness, fatigue, bad dreams, nightmares, dry itchy skin, sweaty palms, increased urination such as bed wetting or regular visits to the bathroom during the night, diarrhoea, constipa- tion, general weakness and chronic exhaustion.
Why do we overbreathe?
Earlier on, I explained that when we overbreathe permanently, the respiratory centre in the brain is trained to accept a lower level of carbon dioxide. There are many reasons why we overbreathe, although not all of them may apply to every- one. These factors are more prevalent in countries experiencing increasing modernisation and afﬂuence, and that prevalence helps explain why there are such high incidences of asthma and other diseases of civilisation in the same countries. Brieﬂy, these factors include: incorrect eating habits; the belief that it is good to take ‘big breaths’; stress; more home heating; wearing too much clothing; lack of physical exercise, and pollution.
Beneﬁts of Reduced Breathing
Reduced breathing due to what is called the Bohr effect leads to better oxygenation of all of the body’s cells and tissues which in turn enables all the organs to function more efﬁciently. Almost everyone who have attended Asthma Care clinics worldwide report not just a signiﬁcant improvement in their asthma, but also an improvement in their general health and well-being.
In addition, they reported increased energy levels; less dependence on stimulants such as caffeine; increased calmness; reduced anxiety and normalisation of weight – all within a relatively short period of time. Chronic complaints such as headaches, constipation and spasmodic conditions – caused by incorrect breathing and dietary factors or as result of side effects from asthma related medication – were also gradually eliminated.