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Lung Volume - Anxiety

That jittery, anxious feeling may not be your nerves or stress, or even too much coffee.  You may just not get enough oxygen.  It may actually be the same feeling you have after hard physical exercise when your body is slightly starved for oxygen.  Since you haven't physically exerted yourself, you think that slight tension is anxiety.  Most people do not realize the importance of proper breathing  - that is breathing with the diaphragm.  Take a deep breath.  Now, stand up or sit up straight and take a deep breath again.  Feels different doesn't it?  Good posture increases your lung volume by about 30%, and that is significant. 

Being slightly starved for oxygen makes us feel anxious. Reduced lung volume can also feel like you are not getting enough air, so you breathe harder, and cause the muscles on the front of your neck (Scalens) to become tired, tense and sore. 

Common Causes   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •

The typical head forward posture is also associated with protracted shoulders and a sunken chest.  This posture causes you to breathe with the upper portion of your lungs only. This causes you to breathe faster and shallower making your breathing very inefficient.  Doing so, you actually expel too much carbon dioxide which reduces your blood's ability to hand off the oxygen to the tissues.  The blood remains nicely oxygenated, but the tissues starve.  And, because chest breathing is inefficient, your rate (breaths per minute) increases.  This breathing pattern causes the carbon dioxide partial pressure to drop too low.  In addition to starving your body for oxygen, the low CO2 pressure may also contribute to a PH change of the blood which may cause other symptoms like heart beat irregularities.  The head forward posture for most people is caused by hyperpronating feet. 

Your anxiety could be resolved by improving your posture and better breathing

How to eliminate the problem

If you are frequently feeling anxious for seemingly no reason, or if you are on anti-anxiety medications, you may want to check your posture and breathing patterns. Doctors often do not pay attention to either of these issues because, in general, they believe there is little you can do about it.  But all you need to do is to  think about how you are breathing, and you realize that you control it.  Posture as well can be controlled by re-educating your postural muscles. 

A capnometer is a tool you can use to monitor your breathing frequency and efficiency so you can learn the feel of correct diaphragmatic breathing through biofeedback. Posture Control Insoles® provide the proper feedback to the feet to effectively control hyperpronation to start undoing the head forward posture pattern.