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What is the difference between stress and hyperventilation?

What is the difference between stress and hyperventilation?
July 04, 2010 12:22PM
What is the difference between stress and hyperventilation?

Stress and CHV often (usually?) go hand in hand. At first stress can be the trigger causing people to hyperventilate. Because of the severity of the symptoms (of both stress and CHV), we start to worry and our nervous systems responds with fear. Fear and anxiety trigger the respiratory center in the brain to increase the breathing frequency. This causes CHV, CHV causes more symptoms, this triggers the respiratory center even more... and so on, eventually leading to a genuine hyperventilation attack!

Stress can also be a reason why our average graph in the HyperVen therapy does not rise (or just very slowly). The nervous system has to deal with the stress causing it to make adaptations slower then normal. This also applies to the respiratory center! Stress comes - just like CHV - in many gradations. While we are at rest (sleeping => dreaming) our nervous system starts to process the stress, trying to dissolve it. During our activities we store new stress into the nervous system. If we store more stress then we can dissolve in our dreams and resting periods, the balance slowly goes to the wrong side. This process can continue quite long before we start to notice anything. But eventually our storage capacity for stress is exhausted and we are becoming aware of the stress stored. It becomes conscious (in extreme cases this is called a burn-out). Also traumatic experiences can have a profound influence on our stress levels.

The symptoms caused by stress are very similar to the symptoms we know from CHV. It is the combination of the two which makes things really bad. Our nervous system has to cope with all the stress and this reduces our mental strength considerably...

Stress and CHV have a strong interaction. For this reason many physicians loose track. And we are unhappy with our doctors because they do not seem to understand what's wrong with use and send us home again with some vague reassurances, without actually changing anything. This is also due to the low priority CHV and stress have in their training period. Stress and CHV are often intertwined and this causes the doctor to loose track.

So what can we do about stress then?

1. make sure you do not add more stress then you can handle (this sounds easy enough but it is actually very difficult.
One has to sense how much stress one can handle...!)
2. make sure you have enough sleeping time
3. sport is important, but do not exaggerate it (sport facilitates mental relaxation, ultimately dissolving stress)
4. go easy on alcohol
5. try relaxation exercises, like yoga, meditation or others

HyperVen Foundation

Answers provided by HyperVen Foundation are given with the utmost care. The answers are based on experience only and can never be regarded as a medical consult, a treatment of a trained physician or medical information.

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