Mind Body Medicine
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XIV Breathing

1. DeGuire, S., Gevirtz, R., Hawkinson, D., & Dixon, K. (1996). Breathing Retraining: A Three Year Follow-up Study of Treatment for Hyperventilation Syndrome and Associated Functional Cardiac Symptoms. Biofeedback and Self-Regulation, 21(2), 191-198.
This study was designed to evaluate the long-term effects of paced diaphragmatic breathing on subjects who reported functional cardiac symptoms and who also demonstrated associated signs of hyperventilation syndrome. This was a follow-up to a study done three years previously that evaluated the short-term effects of breathing retraining on functional cardiac symptoms and respiratory parameters. Ten out of the original 41 subjects participated in this follow-up study. The results indicated that breathing retraining had lasting effects on both respiratory parameters measured (respiratory rate and end-tidal carbon dioxide) and subjects also continued to report a decrease in the frequency of functional cardiac symptoms.

2. Fried. R. (1990). The Breath Connection. New York: Plenum Press, 58-71,91-93, 171-179, 182-184.
The first excerpt discusses respiration, the physiology of the lungs and airway passages, and the composition of air in the atmosphere and in the lungs. The process of breathing in the context of breath volume, mode and rhythm is presented for both normal and abnormal breathing. The last three excerpts contain information on the hyperventilation syndrome including the effect of low blood CO2 on arteries, hemoglobin, muscles and nerves, and on the nervous system. The author also addresses anxiety, psychological problems, and medication, and their relation to hyperventilation.

3. Wood, C. (1993). Mood Change and Perceptions of Vitality: A Comparison of the Effects of Relaxation, Visualization, and Yoga. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 86, 254-258.
This study evaluated the effects of three different procedures: relaxation, visualization, and yogic breathing and stretch (pranayama) on perceptions of physical and mental energy and on positive and negative mood states were assessed in a group of normal volunteers. Each group of subjects participated in six sessions, two of each technique, over a two week period. Mood and physical energy level was assessed before and after each session. The results showed that pranayama produced a marked increase in energy and mood. It was significantly better than either relaxation or imagery by these measures.