Respiratory Rate at Rest is Involuntary!!!

Even so called voluntary changes to breathing, seen in speaking, singing, laughing, screaming, and sighing MUST be organized and prepared by the autonomic nervous system. And these behaviours may be advantageous to the increased removal of carbon dioxide in the blood. And they all take increased muscular WORK.

There is no such thing as any behaviour that is not organized and prepared by the autonomic nervous system and by thermoregulatory processes.

Nothing is purely psychological; everything we want, everything we feel, everything we do is in the interest of maintaining normal or normal enough PCO2 of the blood plus adequate thermoregulation in order to be able to keep functioning in the flexible semi voluntary manner that we all enjoy.

The more we have difficulty in moving enough air in and out of our body, the more we have difficulty maintaining thermoregulation, the more we have difficulty meeting our metabolic needs…the less voluntary and more stereotypical our behaviour will become.

Nothing is purely psychological…This is the reason for Libet’s findings. The autonomic nervous system is just as much ourselves as our thoughts and our minds and our emotions.

All of it is in the service of our full selves, brain, mind and body- conscious or not, purely voluntary or not.

It is obvious really, especially to Paula…….who, when unable to raise her involuntary resting breathing rate in response to a stressor like internal suffocation due to rising acids ]in the blood, the familiar acid of PCO2, was involuntarily helped to stay alive because the autonomic nervous system took over much of the mechanisms to control PCO2 and thermoregulation despite the failure of the neural motor ventilatory system to react.

That is pretty impressive! And in Paula’s case, the ANS took over for a year and a half until it was given help by a serotonin agonist. The ANS had to act like a critical care doctor who takes over your vital functions and your behaviour in order to save your life. And like a critical care doctor, the ANS was to busy to explain it to the slower to react mind….so it tended to simply ignore it even though this was incredibly frightening.

Paula thinks it is pretty cool and is proud of her autonomic nervous system for helping her to see another day without any damage to her self, her mind and her soul.

Much better than psychology; physiology is AWESOME!!!!!!!


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