Problems with breathing could lead to oxygen deprivation, problems with memory, balance, etc. They are an example of Whole-Body Control System Deviation (WCS Deviation, see “Whole-Body Control System” on this site), and to treat them we need to understand how they emerge.
Oxygen is a dangerous component to carry in the blood – it could damage the body itself. Hence, the body attempts to have exact amount of it in the blood. For each cycle of breathing, it attempts to take into the blood amount of oxygen matching amount of glucose “allocated” for burning in this cycle. When there is too much oxygen in the blood, it delays next inhalation, and when it is too little, it starts next inhalation sooner and inhales more oxygen.
Different parts of the body require different amount of oxygen. The body provides different level of blood flow do different body parts by regulation of pumping action of heart with arteries and regulating diameters of arteries and veins.
However, this regulation mechanism is not perfect. Sometimes, the body cannot satisfy oxygen requirements of some of its parts, because it needs to protect some other parts. As a result, some parts of the body “starve” of oxygen. Usually, the body attempts to adjust patterns of its activity to minimize this negative effect.
To accomplish such fine control of oxygen delivery, the body controls pattern of breathing and speed of pumping the blood through the body. Still, tools of control available to the body are limited and, as a result, sometimes, a person feels “shortage of air”.
Note, that sometimes even attempts of hyperventilation do not change much. As a result, some parts of the body could continue experiencing shortage of oxygen supply, and the person could feel dizziness, spinning head, muscle spasms, problems with memory, “brain fog”, etc.
Changing position of the body, for example, from standing to laying down, could have dramatic effect, because it changes the set of available breathing patterns, distribution of blood pressure through blood vessels in the body, oxygen requirements of different parts of the body, etc.
Similarly, changing fullness of stomach leads to changes in the set of available breathing patterns.
Different activities of the body engage parts of the body in different ways with different oxygen requirements.
Note that sometimes this could be used to overcome the uncomfortable breathing patterns. One often could find a form of action, which allows efficient completion of the task without reaching dangerously low level of oxygen anywhere in the body.
Muscles are a large customer of oxygen and glucose. Absence of engagement of skeletal muscles of the body leads muscles to consume unnaturally low level of these substances. This leads to protective actions of the body’s control system – limiting of intake of oxygen, which could lead to breathing problems. In such cases, the solution is obvious: engagement of muscles of the body.
Patterns of breathing and heartbeat are set together by the body and they are affected by a large set of factors. Some patterns are pleasant, some are usual, but some are painful and some could be dangerous.
Alexander Liss 2/18/2021