By the age of 70, the average adult will have taken 600 million breaths, and for most individuals, breathing is taken for granted. But acute or chronic pain, anxiety, and even depression, can cause a disruption in the normal physiological process. When psychological factors dominate over physiological processes, breathing rate may increase (hyperventilation), and a disordered pattern of breathing can become the norm. When altered breathing patterns become habit they can contribute to health problems, including anxiety, fatigue, and chronic pain, setting up a vicious cycle of health concerns.
Christopher Gilbert, PhD, is a clinical psychologist currently associated with the Kaiser Permanente Chronic Pain Management Program, located in San Francisco, California. Dr. Gilbert has co-authored the book: Recognizing and Treating Breathing Disorders and published articles related to hyperventilation, anxiety and panic. He will discuss techniques which may be of benefit to patients, including: self-regulation of breathing and breathing re-training, and the use of bio-feedback.
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