Breathing Physiological Reasons for Loss of Self-Control

  • P. G. F. Nixon
Part of the The Plenum Series in Behavioral Psychophysiology and Medicine book series (SSBP)


Survival and health depend on the ability of the organism to maintain its internal environment in an orderly, stable, and controlled condition. This axiom (Dubos, 1980) is the basis of the author’s approach to the failures of homoeostatic regulation of the breathing that are called “hyperventilation”; he does not include the overbreathing that is secondary to organic conditions such as pulmonary embolism or metabolic disorders (e.g., aspirin intoxication). Respiratory disregulation does not appear on its own, but as one element of the multiple systems disturbances that occur in people who are stretched beyond the boundaries of their physiological tolerance by effort and distress. The loss of order and stability and control of the internal milieu is the result of inability to deal successfully with environmental stressors and adapt to change. In civilian life, these challenges to human performance may be so low in profile and so long drawn out as to be well-nigh invisible, but in wartime they are prominent, and excellent descriptions have been written (e.g., T. Lewis, Cotton, Barcroft, Milroy, Drifton, and Parsons, 1916; T. Lewis, 1918).


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Physiological Tolerance Bohr Effect Internal Milieu Relevant Stressor 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. G. F. Nixon
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonEngland

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