Shortness of Breath (SOB / Dyspnea)-
A Silent Killer More Dangerous Than Cancer!
I’m just tired!”
You would have used yourself or heard someone saying this quite often.
Most of us realize we have lost a great deal of our breathing ability only when shortness of breath gets so bad that someone puts an “illness” label on it.
Consider this- Flat tire incidences in your car become a lot quicker when the tire has been worn down to the threads. So does illness and death due to shortness of breath.
Have you ever thought about your lungs?
Many of you might find it “NORMAL” to have this poor lung capacity and even would live your entire lives with less than even mediocre breathing.
If your breath is smaller, weaker, or uncoordinated, if you find yourself out of breath, tired and worn out most times, you might be on your way toward radically reduced breathing ability, and you just don’t know it.
What Causes SOB?
For optimum quality of life, you need to know which conditions cause SOB, whether you know or feel they exist in your life, is a different question.
Shortness of breath is caused by many direct and indirect sources. Ailments like heart attacks, lung disease, asthma, and suffocation are some of the direct sources and easy to observe.
But leading-edge health practitioners realize there may be many aspects to shortness of breath that may not be considered by much of western medical science.
Factors like poor physical conditioning, recurrent lung infections, poor posture, over-tight clothing, obesity, addiction to junk food, stress, unresolved emotional issues, toxic environment, surgery, side effects of certain prescription drugs, and even some unpleasant experiences, or something that scares or excites us- literally anything that can take our breath away, can cause, or exacerbate – shortness of breath.
In that sense, SOB or Dyspnea is largely a matter of degree and individual susceptibility.
As Dr. Robert E. Hyatt, director of the Mayo clinic's Pulmonary Function Laboratory stated in his book- Interpretation of Pulmonary Function Tests written along with Dr Paul David Scanlon and Dr Masao Nakamura, "the average patient has lost half of his lung function by the time he sees a doctor for shortness of breath"1.
Shortness of breath is very much like soil erosion. It creeps up from behind on us. But unlike erosion, SOB largely gets unnoticed, because you don’t know what you are looking for.
Dyspnea never matures overnight and could take years to present itself.
What happens from say a healthy lung to the point where it is riddled with a cold, bronchitis, asthma or emphysema?
There must be many tiny and incremental steps or events that lead to a larger sum total equaling what we call shortness of breath.
How can we spot these almost microscopic tendencies or "speed bumps" of life?
Anything- that habitually and repeatedly reduces a natural breathing volume, strength, and coordination- is setting the stage for appearances of varying forms of shortness of breath.
More obvious versions grow and fester in our human bodies. Asthma, emphysema, bronchitis and most COPD are caused by small, incremental steps, not big ones.
For example, someone could develop asthma just by slouching for months in a poorly ventilated environment or by engaging in repeated competitive sports like track or football.
Obvious and Hidden Forms - Reduction and Elimination- Endorsement of SOB by Western Medicine
Today, many medical practitioners in the US are endorsing the view that SOB could be a major factor in determining the overall health of an individual and if detected and tackled in time, it could reduce the chances of developing complications 10 years later to a large extent.
Here is what I learned from an enlightened medical doctor. "Mr. A has had an injury to his diaphragm -- the inability to function properly --adversely affecting his breathing. There is no established medical treatment for this condition and patient has been encouraged to seek any and all alternative treatment modalities."
"If a pattern of breathing has been disturbed for any length of time, clinical experience suggests that normalization of the muscles and joints associated with the breathing process frequently require primary attention, before normal breathing patterns of use can be restored.
Yamaguti, Claudino, Neto, 2012 Diaphragmatic breathing training improves abdominal motion during natural breathing in patients with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 93 (4) 571-577
Dr. William B. Kannel a former Boston University professor of medicine and heart specialist found that "the lungs forced vital capacity (FEV1) is indirectly related to the rate of all cardiovascular diseases and to overall mortality”
From a the health standpoint, the most important factors to be kept in mind is that chronic shortness of breath could reduce lung volume, increase breath rate, hamper breathing coordination and hamper effortless breathing which is your birthright.
Can Dyspnea Be Cured?
Kudos to Dr. Noah Greenspan and his Pulmonary Wellness Center in NYC. (We are not affiliated with him, we just admire him).
Dr. Greenspan is raising the bar and giving hope and great results with COPD sufferers. Watch several videos that tell the story; a MUST watch for anyone.
If you can't get there at least get our self-help program and use our Skype or in-person sessions as an option.
For optimal breathing development, you need to make conscious efforts towards altering your lifestyle. You also need to add nutritional and cleansing aids that help rebuild your entire breathing system. We have seen that those who skip on incorporating essential nutritional supplements often fall prey to conditions like asthma, bronchitis, COPD and emphysema. (Read How antibiotics make asthma worse)
Action Steps for Breathing Easier
Here is what We can do for you to Breathe Easier
Get back your breath, NOW!
Because of the many potential reasons for shortness of breath, I have created a program that addresses it in many of its different aspects.
There are certain steps that are followed:
We all need Oxygen all the time. That is why, I first focus on the physical-mechanical factors because they happen in real time, and we can adapt our breathing by increasing breathing volume, balancing and easing out the breathing process.
For this, you first may want to rule out any existing life-threatening medical conditions by seeing a licensed health professional.
You have done this already and they have either:
- Diagnosed your condition and given breathing work as a prescription or
- Told you either
a) There is nothing wrong with you
b) There was nothing they could do
c) They prescribe drugs or surgery and you would prefer to handle the problem without drugs or surgery;
Next follows the understanding of the chemistry, environment, and lifestyle. I believe that if you can't measure it, you can't manage it Together with the patient, we learn what is going on in their lives on a day to day basis that determines whether our breathing is getting better or worse.
Teaching measurable breathing skills to people is the third step of this program
I have a beautiful experience to share here.
I facilitated a breathing/stress management workshop at a county jail in California and integrated my world-class collection of Himalayan "singing bowls" (see Breathing Exercise1).
Towards the end of the workshop, an inmate told me that he felt very much at peace. It was foreign to him, and he wanted to understand more about the significance of how he felt. I told him that if he felt at peace he would naturally choose activities and strategies that stemmed from or supported that experience.
If he felt anxiety, fear and or agitation he might well choose activities and responses that more resembled anger and defensiveness, and that the choice was his. He seemed much relieved and with an emphatic but quiet "thank you", he smiled and quietly sat down.
Breath is life. Shortness of breath equals shortness of life. We teach people breathing skills that are measurable. Regaining control over your life starts with one small breath at a time.
SOB is a silent killer, if you can’t eliminate it you can reduce it to manageable levels and lead a quality of life that you truly desire and deserve.