Though all muscle controlled functions in the human body are somehow affected by a Paralysis, we will focus on the ones, that are most likely to affect your subsequent life in a negative manner. From these functions the breath might be the first to mention. Next comes blood supply to the inner organs, head and extremities, and the vertebrae column, and yes; it is all interrelated.
Breath in normal life
The main working muscle in breathing is the diaphragm1. See picture below. A more passive role is played by the muscles of the chest and stomach, the muscles of the thoracic vertebrae and the bronchi, as they are to some extend controlled by muscles. The diaphragm deserves special attention, because it is of crucial importance, when it comes to breath and the effects of a Paralysis. It is like a carpet of muscles separating lungs and heart above, and intestines below. It is the organ of breath. When it contracts, the lungs are sucked downward, expanding their volume, and air is drawn in. This downward movement of the diaphragm exerts a pressure on the belly, which is pushed outwards, and the chest might be lifted slightly.
In this process the muscles of the chest and stomach are usually passive. Only under extreme breathing both of them can help with inhale as well as exhale.
There is one more option for an optimized breath. This can be observed after a running competition, when the participants try to catch up and regain control after having exhausted the body to its very limits.
By inhalation the back can be straightened and the head lifted. This will open the lungs to their maximum. Bending slightly forward at exhale will compress the lungs and squeeze even the last rest of air out.
Breath and Paralysis
The shut down of the breath is controlled by the mechanical impact of the fetal position, which restricts the breath by compressing the chest. This is done by curling the upper body together. See picture below right. Lungs are darker grey and diaphragm is indicated with the thick black line.
The lungs are encapsulated by strong muscles on all sides. The tights are drawn up to the chest, the neck is bent down and the head is pressed towards the knees. In this position all muscles are tightened just so much, that the body will stand it out, without using all available resources, but enough to keep the position and secure vulnerable organs.
If this tensions persists in the Paralysis Hangover, breath will be permanently restricted and oxygen uptake distorted. As there are no muscles in the lungs themselves, they are stuck, surrounded at all sides by strong muscles as indicated with the arrows at picture below. Whilst we easily can feel the painful tensions in the muscles of the chest, belly and back, the diaphragm gives little clue as to its state, other than a shallow breath.
The tension of the diaphragm is downward – see the white arrow at picture below – and thus seemingly levels out the influence of the remaining muscle cage.
As long as the body is in the fetal state, everything is in a kind of balance. All tensions are adjusted to each other. Thus there are in reality no contradictions, no springs, that can jump.
Even the bronchi play a part here, as they too are surrounded by muscle tissue, that contrasts during Paralysis.
The tension of the diaphragm exerts a permanent vacuum below the lungs and thus restricts breath by not allowing the lungs to exhale. Hence during a Paralysis Hangover only a part of the capacity of the lungs can take part in the air exchange.
This is worsened by another arrangement. Curled together during Paralysis, the eating tube – esophagus – contracts and draws the stomach up tight under the diaphragm.
This effectively ties the stomach to the diaphragm and the lungs, where as the diaphragm normally should travel up and down with each breath without being restricted by the esophagus.
In worse cases of a Paralysis Hangover the lower oesophageal sphincter with a part of the stomach is drawn up through the duct in the diaphragm, thus creating a mini stomach above the diaphragm. The condition is called Hiatal Hernia2; see picture below. This creates other common problems, which one might think, are not related to breath, such as the heartburn – acid reflux, which hardly is removed with any kind of medication.
All the tiny muscles controlling the thoracic vertebrae3 – like the rotatores4, see picture below left, and intertransversarii – will restrict the proper upright position of the body, that is supposed to enable full air exchange in the lungs.
The intercostal muscles5 will restrict the lifting and opening of the chest cavity. As you can see at picture below to the right, they are build up like in carbon fibre constructions, with several thin layers of fibres crossing each other, enabling a structure, that withstands multi directional stress.
Tensions in the thoracic vertebral column are generally very much visible and recognizable, and are known as «bad posture». See picture below to the right.
In the 19th century bad posture was regarded as a sign of bad personality, and parents put great emphasis on teaching their children to pose correctly, as this was thought to be a basic means to a good and prosperous life.
On picture below6 to the left is an example of an approach intended to help young ladies lift their chest and breast and lower their shoulders. These leather girths are of course by no means a way to release the tensions of a Paralysis Hangover, merely a way of hiding the symptoms.
The military seems to be a more conservative part of our society, as the upright posture is still highly regarded there.7 Otherwise with our youth culture.
To the right of the officer with his sable on picture below is a well known rapper8 with a canned soft drink. His chest is obviously sunk in, and his vertebral column bent forward, restricting his breath considerably.
His posture represents a change in ideals from a century or so back. As seen with the girthed girl at least a breath enabling posture was endeavoured; now the traumatized posture is normalized, even idolized.
Where the restricting girths were seen as a tyranny, bad posture and restrained breath is now seen as a sort of freedom. If you do not know, what this is all about, freedom and bad posture may be better than the correct outer posture torturing the human soul. Thus the rapping culture becomes a freedom idol, unconsciously based on a normalization of trauma.
Of the belly muscles the so called six-pack may be the most known. Underneath though is a set of muscles equalling that of the chest with layers upon layers of muscles with fibres crossing each other, creating a formidable bulwark capable of resisting incredible strain. Obviously strength may become an Achilles heel, when these muscles are exerting their power counter productive to the breath in a Paralysis Hangover. Now they restrict the expansion of the abdominal cavity and thus the free movement of the diaphragm.
The contraction of the bronchi will limit the amount of airflow too, although this is the lesser evil of them all.
The smoker, being haunted by the long term effects of a Paralysis Hangover, enjoys the otherwise rather toxic substances in tobacco smoke from obvious reasons: The nicotine soothe and calm the nervous system by increasing the amounts of opioids and endorphins, thus trying to persuade the dorsal vagus to calm down. This is what people tend to say about smoking: It calms me down!
On an autonomous nervous system level, maybe we should rather say: Wake up!? Because alongside the endorphins also the adrenals flow. This would generally speaking mean out of a Paralysis and start dealing actively with the world; can you fight it, or do you have to run? Your body is at least trying to cope, intrigued by the artificial input of nicotine.
The fight or flight mode also tries to dilate the bronchi, that are locked down for reduced breath in the Paralysis Hangover. Thus the breath of smokers is actually relieved a tiny bit!
With smoking comes another naughty detail to the breath. You do not smoke through the nose, do you? Try to imagine, what it would be like; taking the cigarette to your preferred nostril and draw a deep breath! The mere thought would create discomfort in most smokers. Maybe it could work with a Hookah?
Because when the smoke is cooled in the Hooka, it would not burn the nostrils like with the cigarette smoke, which might be way too hot for the delicate internal structures of the nose. The mouth is more rugged and withstands higher temperatures and denser materials. Because the mouth is meant for chewing and swallowing and the nose for breathing. Eating is what the mouth is good at. Breathing is what the nose is good at.
However, breathing puts high demands on the nose, which the mouth simply cannot support or only rudimentary so. The nose filters the air we breath. This is done with lots of tiny hairs inside the nose. How good is your tongue at filtering air? Well, it is laughable, to say it the least. The moisture on the tongue may bring some few particles to halt, but this is in no way comparable to the amazing filtering capacity of the nose. If you ever worked under very dusty circumstances, you will know, that after some time big cakes of dust build up in your nose. They are easily removed. With mouth breathing all that dirt and dust would land in your lungs and inevitably decreased your ability to breathe properly.
Out in a cold arctic snowstorm or touring through Sahara on a sunny day? No problem. The nose will regulate the bitter cold air as well as the hot and dry desert air. This is done inside of the nose, in the nose cavity surrounded by big, moist and blood filled mucous membranes.
The whole process of conditioning the air inhaled points to some golden standard of air composition, which you will hardly find anywhere outside the body. Studying the evolution in general, and specifically that of man, points to a possible early stage with stable and very different circumstances, even in terms of the composition of the air, we breathe. You might call that state Paradise. From there on things started fluctuating and different species sought different ways to adapt. Hence some live under water, some above. Some follow the outside temperature, other create their own micro climate inside the body.
The breathing process is very delicate, and lots of chemical reactions in the body are influencing the way oxygen, O, and carbon dioxide, CO2, are circulated. Even the otherwise highly toxic carbon monoxide, CO, is created in the body and seems to play an important part. Nose breathing may be regulating the level of CO and other gases like nitric oxide, NO. The meaning and influences of these gasses is little understood as of now.
To the contrary mouth breathing comes short here. The smoker inhales a lot more CO than the body creates and wishes to maintain on its own. When inhaled in big amounts, like when your fireplace leaks, we call it toxic. The amounts, which the body maintains however, actually help keeping the blood vessels open; as contrary to the nicotine induced adrenaline. CO also helps healing and regeneration, which is shut down during flight or fight as well as during Paralysis.
What happens, when a person, that has been smoking regularly, stops? That may tell something about the effects of smoking. The most common symptoms of withdrawal are anger, anxiety, depression, impatience, restlessness, hunger or weight gain, and difficulty concentrating. Now we can look for an answer to the much sought question, as to why smokers smoke. The first important thing is the feeling of relief from an underlying stress, anxiety and depression. These are common denominators of a Paralysis Hangover.
As a rule of thumb we can say, that smokers are trapped in a Paralysis Hangover. The relief they experience, is connected to being – at least for a short while – lifted one step up in the direction of becoming human: From a Paralysis to the fight or flight mode. And that the increased levels of CO decreases some of the strains put at the body through the fight or flight mode. The higher levels of CO eases the bloodstream and thus brings some relief to pain and strain.
Physiological reason for mouth breathing
So why would someone breathe through the mouth, if not while smoking that is?
As established, the physiology of a Paralysis Hangover prohibits nutrients to the head. When a Paralysis Hangover originates at an early age – for instance at the conception – everything in the body develops in this depleted environment. Extreme cases of people suffering from this kind of undernourishment are easily recognized by their narrow faces like the girl to the left at picture below.
The less visible for the untrained eye is an underdeveloped maxilla as the man in the middle of picture below.
In an article9 dentist Raymond Silkman points out, that the healthy maxilla creates an angle to the nose less than 90 degrees, where as many people today develop angles far greater than that. The man on picture below has rather 110 degrees.
An even less visible consequence of the Paralysis Hangover and the narrow face are the teeth, that are pulled, because, as it is usually emphasized: «There is not enough space for the teeth in the jaws, therefore we have to pull them!»
This kind of intervention is of course not without consequences, as the roots of the teeth penetrate deep into the bones of the skull and connect to the meridians and through them to all the rest of the body. Each pulled tooth creates some disorder in this originally fine tuned system.
Hence braces are a result of this unrecognised undernourishment. They are meant to balance the underdeveloped jaws by monitoring the teeth, instead of helping the body to grow normally.
Silkman refers to the Canadian dentist Weston Price, that already in the 1930th promoted the view, that undernourishment was the underlying cause of narrow face and sunken jaws.
He had travelled the world and found, that real indigenous people had well formed faces, and that narrow faces or underdeveloped maxilla did not occur amongst them, until they started to civilize.
All what has been mentioned until now is relatively obvious and visible. It is recognizable in the form of the face and the teeth. What remains hidden is the dirty truth about the undernourished development of the internal cranial structures.
Not only does restrictions in neck and bloodstream lead to reduction in the supplies suited and needed for a correct development of face form and jaws, but the underdeveloped structure itself may permanently reduce blood flow and hinder the proper function of nerves, that have to penetrate the cranial bones.
This all boils down to the sad situation with more and more kids, that do not have the ability to concentrate and perform common tasks. Not because they do not want to, not because they are not interested, not because they are raised improperly or spoiled in the common understanding of the word, but because they are spoiled in terms of undernourishment following an early or even conceptional Paralysis.
Their thinking capabilities are permanently limited by the restrictions in the blood supply. After some few minutes concentrated and focussed attention, they are exhausted and have to wait for the energy stores to be refilled.
These kids are subsequently labelled ADD or ADHD, and in order to keep them calm they are silenced with drugs.
Needless to say, the signs visible at picture 14 are not easily reversed, and yet the detrimental course can be adjusted, the further development can be corrected and the consequences mitigated.
Breathing is not really just a thing of the lungs. The lungs do one half of it, the rest takes place all over the body. In this way the whole body is an organ of breath, not only the lungs. It seems to be the same process, that happens in the lungs as do elsewhere in the body. Thus in principle, the bloodstream could start carrying O out of the body, would the right conditions occur; get it?
Minute changes in the chemistry will influence the performance of the breathing process, and the main factor is CO2. When the CO2 levels rise, this is understood as demand, and O is released. When CO2 levels decrease, it is understood as no activity and thus no demand. With no CO2 in the body, no O is delivered. Hyperventilation does just that: It expels the CO2, thus prohibiting the delivery of O to the tissue and organs.
With smoking the breath becomes manipulated. To get the smoke inside the lungs, we actively suck in air through the mouth; thus smoking is hyperventilation to some extend. This lowers the available O through the increase of CO – which high jacks the place of O in the haemoglobin structure – and through the decrease in the CO2 level, which signals, that no more O is needed.
Less available O will worsens just about any condition, you may be suffering from. Therefore old eastern breathing techniques is about breathing less in order to get more O. This is achieved by no smoking, by nose breathing and by preventing hyperventilation.
6https://da.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kropsholdning Picture originally from Lord, William Barry (1868): Corset and crinoline; a book of modes and customs from remote to the present time. London, Ward, Lock, and Tyler