19th March 15:46
Rediscovering breathing (diaphragm asthma choking heart throat)
At least in thousands of explanations of how we breathe addressed to
patients the lungs are treated as a sort of bellows. Therefore there
would be no point in having any sort of choking effect acting during an
inhale. This reflects the feeling that, although taking a deep breath
is accompanied by noise and a sensation of resistance in the nose or
throat, this is simply what might be expected with the bellows model.
****ing in air through the nozzle of the bellows would necessarily be
accompanied by noise.
It simply seems a question adequately opening up the upper airways for
exertion without the very least intention of producing a choking effect.
Therefore any sort of stridor (asthma, snoring or in extremis) on an
inhale is thought of as a somewhat dumb-witted failure of nature to
prevent tissues from collapsing. Maybe the idea of any sort of
functional choking on an inhale seems basically repugnant and unclean,
like dragging one's feet.
However several phenomena speak against the concept of the nose as
merely for "warming, humidifying and cleaning" the air for us in
accordance with the medical view of breathing.
Firstly when breathing extremely vigorously through the mouth we cannot
make an inhale quieter than an exhale. Although it seems to be a
question of uncontrolled and unsophisticated collapsing of structures,
it might be a question of a physiologically necessary choking effect.
Secondly there is the sniff maneuver by which the diaphragm is
Thirdly there is the reduction of nasal patency during an inhale, see
"The paired internal valves consist of the caudal end of the upper
lateral cartilage, the nasal septum, and the soft tissue surrounding the
piriform aperture. This valve is located at the anterior end of the
inferior turbinate. Unlike the external valve, the internal valve
functions paradoxically. During inspiration this flow limiting segment
narrows and accounts for over 50% of the normal nasal resistance."
Fourthly there is the unsubtle reliance on sensations, although it is
well known that interoception involves filtering out information. For
example, sensations relating to digestion only tell us whether things
are all right or not and we do not consciously know about the movement
of food along the gut. Respiratory sensations relate primarily to
whether breathing is free or is abnormally obstructed. Whether we as
healthy individuals are seated in an armchair at rest or are sprinting,
breathing feels free. There is no feeling that upper airways resistance
is necessary for inhaling and this would just be confusing. There seems
to be a fateful mix up of a naive interpretation of sensations and of
Fifthly upper airways resistance creates intrathoracic negative pressure
which would aid venous blood return to the heart.
Sixthly the following experiment shows that inspiration is dependent on
Place an inch or so of your index finger into your mouth between your
lips and **** on it without any air flowing past the finger or through
the nose, not as if you were about to drink through a straw but were
trying to breathe in. If you cannot stop breathing through the nose,
press the nostrils together or put some sort of clip on your nose.
Slightly relax your lips to define a gap between them and your finger
and inhale slowly and steadily through the gap. The inhale lasts at
least three seconds. Since you are able to sense the size of the gap
just like sensing the size of the gap between a finger and your thumb,
you will be able to feel the effect of widening and narrowing the gap
between your lips and your finger, namely that the size of an inhale
increases (and does not decrease) on narrowing the gap. This the very
opposite of the bellows concept and school physics not concerned with
On getting the feel of breathing through other constrictions such as
ones in the nose or at the glottis there is the sensation of feeling of
a more intense flow occurring with a deeper breath, but there is no way
of feeling the size of the constriction. Furthermore, the gap around the
finger can be held quite steady, unlike one formed by the lips alone. It
is like designing a tool so that it can be held steady.
If you increase the size of the gap between the lips and your finger
beyond a certain point the inhale will suddenly abort, unless you more
or less automatically switch over to constricting the passage through
the throat at some point (vocal chords, glottis), but this will be
audible. There is no such effect on exhaling through the gap. An exhale
following a deep breath can continue more or less inaudibly. Medicine
has it that the noise with a deep inhale is due to tissues "collapsing"
and this should ideally be prevented, but this looks like a willful
interpretation of nature. It seems we are up against medicine's own
theory of breathing. Regards, Richard Friedel