“Healthy breathing is perhaps the simplest significant change we can make to improve our health. Deep, full, slow breathing teaches the body to be calm, improves mental clarity and focus, and nourishes our tissues,” writes acupuncturist Stephanie Grant in her blog post entitled “Breathing: A Simple Way to Improve Well-Being.” But what if you can’t breathe? What if disease has ravaged your lungs? What then? If, as Ms. Grant proposes, breathing is significant for well-being, the respiratory therapist is key to each patient’s personal wellness. Have you ever thought of yourself as a wellness professional? In the shift from healthcare to well-care, such a shift in our thinking must take place. Consider the following:
“All chronic pain, suffering, and diseases are caused by a lack of oxygen at the cell level.” – Dr. Arthur C. Guyton, M.D., author of Textbook of Medical Physiology
“Breathing is the key that unlocks the whole catalog of advanced biological function and development. Is it any wonder that it is so central to every aspect of health? Breathing is the first place, not the last, one should look when fatigue, disease, or other evidence of disordered energy presents itself. Breathing is truly the body’s most basic communication system.” – Sheldon Saul Hendler, M.D., Ph.D., The Oxygen Breakthrough
“In all serious disease states, we find a concomitant low oxygen state… Low oxygen in the body tissues is a sure indicator for disease… Hypoxia, or lack of oxygen in the tissues, is the fundamental cause for all degenerative disease. Oxygen is the source of life to all cells.” – Stephen Levine, M.D., author of Oxygen Deficiency: A Concomitant to All Degenerative Illness
Behind the nebs, the MDIs, the vent settings, blood gas values, protocols and all the other means we employ to carry out daily tasks, our common goal remains–the advancing of lung health as the cornerstone to true wellness. Breathing is not only scientifically essential to life, it is fundamental to all that life is; breathing is living. And living is our common goal.