Hypogenetic (scimitar) syndrome
- Hypoplasia of the lung with abnormal segmental/lobar anatomy
- Hypoplasia of the ipsilateral pulmonary artery
- Anomolous pulmonary venous return
- Anomolous systemic arterial supply to lower lobe
Found on the right side. Congenital heart disease in 25% of patients. Get recurrent infections and dyspnea.
Source = Thoracic Imaging - Pulmonary and Cardiovascular Radiology, Webb.
The Importance of Breath
I have been reading a fantastic book lately that goes into some of the science behind the calming effects of slow, deep breathing.
The parallel between trading and breathing is that a trader is always attempting to manage the body’s natural stress response mechanism and breathing provides a process for this. If a soldier freezes during a battle, he gets shot. If I freeze or panic, I lose money. It’s how we respond to stress that can determine success or failure.
Does the body respond to the outside stress itself which causes shortness of breath and a shutting down of inessential cerebral zones and a flow of blood away from the extremities? Or does the person’s response to the stress of shortness of breath signal to the body that it’s in peril and thus cause the cerebral shutdown?
It’s kind of a trick question - apparently it works both ways. But if one could manage one side of the equation, the breathing, wouldn’t that short circuit the stress response?
As a practitioner of yoga and meditation, breath work is essential to both. However, Breathwalk, my new book, let me know that I hadn’t given it enough thought.
Most people take shallow, thoracic breaths. They breathe through the mouth with a constricted throat and let the air fill their chest, which impedes lung capacity because the chest cavity can only expand so far. Yoga and meditation teaches a deeper breath through the nose beginning from the lower belly which inflates the diaphragm below the chest and provides for 2-3x more air to enter the lungs. That’s a distinct oxygen advantage, regardless of the context - yoga, athletics, work, negotiations, etc. The oxygenation of the blood is what allows us to think clearly and respond appropriately, otherwise the body will respond as though it is in peril and shut down parts of our brain that we would really appreciate that it didn’t.
Breathwalk continues with this idea but goes into the cadence of breath (how many seconds per inhale and exhale) and adds a pause at the top and bottom of each breath to make it more of a conscious act. Most people perform 10-20 breathing cycles per minute. That’s a breath every 3-6 seconds. Try changing that cadence to 5 seconds in, 5 hold and 5 out for 4 cycles per minute and watch your heart rate rapidly fall and the body be restored to homeostasis. Keep it up for 5 minutes and it’s like a mini-vacation.
The most interesting thing was the discussion of the ratio of seconds per inhale and exhale. By changing this ratio, our bodies are signaled differently.
For a calming effect, the ratio should be skewed towards the exhalation. The same amount of air needs to be taken in but in a shorter period of time such that the same 4 cycle per minute cadence would be 3 seconds in, 3 second hold and then a 9 second exhale. Changing the ratio signals to the parasympathetic nervous system to slow itself, increasing your calm and controlling your response to a stressor. The opposite ratio can be used to excite the body.
Trading has led me to research many things like this and the one thing that I cannot understand is: why is this not common knowledge? Why isn’t this taught in schools right next to reading and mathematics?
Because I don’t care how smart you are, if you can’t control your stress response then your intellect is being held hostage by your physiology and you will always underperform your potential.
Contrast this outcome with a lesser intellect that has mastered her breathing. She has the advantage now because she can maintain uninterrupted thought during stress.