One minute wellness – Handle hyperventilating the right way

Hyperventilation, or experiencing fast and shallow breaths, can be caused by a number of different things, the most common cause though is a panic attack Kung Fu Panda 1 Download. And, like a bandage for a cut or a crutch for a broken leg, a brown paper bag is the trusted medical symbol for it – you’ve even seen it in cartoons and the movies. But why a brown bag?

First, let’s take a look at what actually happens in your body when you hyperventilate

Breathing too quickly is one of those unfortunate responses that short-circuits the body’s survival instincts. After a while, carbon dioxide levels start to drop off, and this sets off a cascade of responses. Firstly, blood supply is diverted from your arms and legs, and to your heart. Secondly, a change in carbon dioxide levels results in a change in the pH, and your blood cells hang onto their oxygen and can’t deliver the oxygen that your body needs. The result? You feel light headed, dizzy and a bit wobbly.

So why the brown paper bag?

The idea behind using this technique is to increase carbon dioxide levels, and “rebreathing” exhaled air helps restore that lost gas. It may be old-fashioned, but it works.

There’s a problem though…

A lot of doctors are calling for people to stop using this technique. Not because it doesn’t work with hyperventilation, but because it can cover up the reason you’re hyperventilating. And while a paper bag will help someone who’s having a panic attack, the increase in carbon dioxide can be dangerous if someone is having a heart attack.

Read  Help for hardware mishaps

So what should we do instead?

Changing the way you breathe when you feel a panic attack coming on can make a big difference. People who experience panic attacks usually breathe with their chest, but they should breathe from their belly. To test it and make sure you’re doing it right, put a book on your stomach and watch it rise and fall. If you practice yoga, you’ll already be familiar with this type of breathing. If you are prone to panic attacks, practice breathing with your stomach as much as possible, so if you do suddenly find yourself with breathing difficulties it will be much easier for you to kick in with this.