Another breathing thread

Bill's forum was the first! All subjects are welcome. Participation by all encouraged.

Moderator: Bill Glasheen

Another breathing thread

Postby Bill Glasheen » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:28 pm

Back when there was a lot more activity on these forums and the greater Uechi Ryu community was in search of its identity, we were having what I will refer to as "Breathing Wars". These fights were in the same league as the "Chi Wars", which thankfully science has pretty much put to rest.

The Breathing Wars interested me for several reasons:

  • I started in Nippon Shorin Ken, which taught a variety of different breathing techniques not typically seen in traditional (Okinawan) Uechi Ryu.
    ...
  • After getting up to yondan in Uechi Ryu, I was "adopted" by a Goju Ryu teacher who brought me up to nidan in Shorei Kai Goju Ryu. A Goju and a Uechi Sanchin are the same in some ways, and very different in others -- especially in the breathing. Thanks to starting in a style other than Uechi Ryu, I never took opinions of senior seniors as irrefutable dogma. I had exposure to multiple methods, and I had the scientific mind to explore the what and the why.
    ...
  • My biomedical engineering training got me very deep both in kinesiology and in respiratory physiology. My dissertation was on Cardiopulmonary Rhythms, where I was converting both cardiovascular and respiratory signals to the frequency domain and looking at resonating frequencies.

Today I ran across a publication in Nature which talked about the neural mechanism behind the sigh. This initially piqued my interest because my dogs in the experimental lab would often sigh at regular intervals, and these rather dramatic sighs showed up as BIG, low-frequency peaks in all my cardiopulmonary variable frequency plots. Young scientists get annoyed when these "bothersome", unexpected things happen. Smart scientists learn over time to pay attention to anomalies that don't fit existing paradigms. That's where many great discoveries are found. So I included data from dogs who liked to sigh because... that was real life -- warts and all. It's a good thing, because it seems like there's a good reason for it. And then I remembered all these breathing wars we had in Uechi Karate Forums and...

Enjoy the article. :-)

- Bill

WSJ wrote:Scientists Pinpoint Brain Chemical Linked to the Sigh
Study finds neurons connected to sighing; breathing pattern thought a vital process that maintains overall health

By KAT LONG
Updated Feb. 8, 2016 11:01 a.m. ET


Shakespeare cautioned ladies to “sigh no more” over unfaithful lovers. But scientists say that’s easier said than done.

Exploring the biology of the sigh, researchers at the University of California, Los Angles and Stanford University said they have pinpointed the neural structures that tell the brain when and how to sigh. The researchers said their findings, reported Monday in the journal Nature, support the theory that sighing isn’t just an emotional outlet; it’s a vital biological process necessary for maintaining overall health.

Researchers are just starting to grasp why and how we sigh, and what happens when we don’t. In the brain, sighs stimulate neural activity, signal changes in behavior and reset breathing rates. In the respiratory system, sighs clear airways and help the lungs absorb oxygen. Too much or too little sighing can lead to neurological diseases, scientists say.

“A sigh is the ultimate arousal” for the brain, said Nino Ramirez, director of the Center for Integrative Brain Research at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, who wasn’t involved in the new study.

Humans breathe “restorative sighs” about once every five minutes, often without noticing. The double inhalation activates the brain’s cortex, the portion responsible for emotions, speech, recognition, reasoning and other higher functions, Dr. Ramirez said.

In the lungs, tiny air sacs called alveoli absorb oxygen and exchange it with the body’s carbon dioxide, which is eliminated through exhalation. During periods of normal breathing, the alveoli gradually deflate “like wet balloons,” said Jack Feldman, distinguished professor of neurobiology at the University of California Los Angeles’ David Geffen School of Medicine and co-author on the new paper.

Collapsed alveoli can’t absorb enough oxygen, and regular breaths are too weak to inflate them. Sighs—triggered when the brain senses inadequate oxygen—pop the sacs open again.

In the new research, a team led by Dr. Feldman and Mark Krasnow, a professor of biochemistry at the Stanford University School of Medicine, screened more than 19,000 gene expressions in rats’ brain cells. They identified two bundles of neurons that produced two particular neuropeptides, chemicals that let brain cells talk to one another, that they thought could be associated with sighing.

To test the theory, the team injected the neuropeptides into another group of neurons in the rats’ brains called the Pre-Bötzinger complex, which sets the breathing rate and determines the types of breaths. Right away, the rats’ normal sighing rate switched into overdrive, jumping from about 40 to 400 times per hour. When the researchers removed the neuropeptides, the rats stopped sighing altogether.

“It was immediate and dramatic,” Dr. Krasnow said, adding that the experiment didn’t change the rats’ normal breathing.

Many neurological conditions, such as anxiety, sleep apnea and sudden infant death syndrome, are linked to improper breathing. For example, people with panic disorders may sigh too much, overstimulating the brain’s cortex and leading to problems like insomnia.

“There are a number of syndromes characterized by excess sighing. Now that we know which neurons are linked to sighing, and which neuropeptides trigger them, we can reduce the number and the rate of sighs,” Dr. Krasnow said.

In the future, Dr. Krasnow said, drugs that increase sighing could be developed for hospital patients who would otherwise need to go on ventilators to breathe. The finding could also mean that other neurons within the brain’s breathing circuitry may control yawning, coughing, laughing or gasping.

“The paper shows one pathway,” said Dr. Ramirez, “but I think there will be more. Knowing the pathways will help us unravel the sigh.”
- WSJ
User avatar
Bill Glasheen
 
Posts: 17308
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY

Re: Another breathing thread

Postby Bill Glasheen » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:30 pm

Image

WSJ wrote:On each side of the brain stem, a florescent-green marker illuminates the network of 200 neurons that control the sighing reflex. PHOTO: KRASNOW LAB/STANFORD UNIVERSITY
User avatar
Bill Glasheen
 
Posts: 17308
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY

Re: Another breathing thread

Postby Bill Glasheen » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:35 pm

Nature wrote:The isolated vertebrate brainstem can produce not only the normal breathing rhythm, but also sighs and gasps. All three patterns may involve the same neural circuit.

Although breathing seems simple and effortless, until recently little was known about the neural circuitry underlying this essential behavior. Mammalian breathing movements are driven by a brainstem network of endogenously active neurons.

- Nature Neuroscience 3, 531 - 532 (2000) doi:10.1038/75695
User avatar
Bill Glasheen
 
Posts: 17308
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY

Re: Another breathing thread

Postby fivedragons » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:31 am

A good sigh feels good, and releases tension. Good way to ground yourself. A good strike should be more like a sneeze! A throw should be maybe more like a yawn.
fivedragons
 
Posts: 1575
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:05 am

Re: Another breathing thread

Postby fivedragons » Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:42 am

I just saw something where the person was talking about different sounds for different movements. A snapping straight strike would be a "yeeahh!" An arcing strike would be a "wraaagh!" A sinking strike would be an "ohhhh!" and a kick would be a "nup!" It seems that the sounds you make alter the way your core tenses. Makes sense to me. I tried it, but I think if you do anything for long enough, you just let the movement breathe you. Interesting subject.

It is true that if you let your body try to match the speed of the sound, you will move faster, as it tricks your nervous system into a relaxed state, as opposed to a tense, pushing kind of thing.
fivedragons
 
Posts: 1575
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:05 am

Re: Another breathing thread

Postby Van Canna » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:21 am

very interesting article.
Van
User avatar
Van Canna
 
Posts: 50744
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am


Return to Bill Glasheen's Dojo Roundtable

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests