Mind Body Spirit Martial Arts
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- Grand Master Gene Perceval

Martial Arts First Aid:

Respiratory

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Students who suffer from asthma may suddenly experience an asthma attack. Asthma is a disease of the lungs, and can occur for the first time at any age. Prior to the start of a lesson, make sure the asthmatic student has proper medication available in the event he/she has an asthma attack. The symptoms may range from mild to very severe. Breathing becomes difficult during an asthma attack because the airways are narrowed.

When you see a student laboring for breath in your class, you must be able to determine whether the student is merely winded, or suffering from respiratory distress. Although we teach students mental discipline and physical control, the martial arts student must not be allowed to push him/her self to the point where laboring for oxygen could trigger complications or lead to a dangerous medical circumstances.

In the martial arts, "choking" is the intentional constriction or blockage of air into the windpipe, preventing breathing. CHOKING OR STRANGULATION TECHNIQUES THAT INVOLVE STOPPING AIR FOR BREATHING OR BLOOD TO NOURISH THE BRAIN ARE VERY DANGEROUS, AND MAY CAUSE PARTIAL OR PERMANENT BRAIN DAMAGE, AND POSSIBLY DEATH.

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At first, the student may have symptoms of a cold, such as a stuffy or runny nose for a few days, and a possible fever. As the upper airway becomes progressively inflamed and swollen, the airway is partially blocked off, decreasing the air intake. The effects of croup begin to be noticed. A student will feel like he/she are trying to breath through a straw, due to a narrowing of the windpipe.

When a student hyperventilates, he/she usually takes quick, shallow breaths from the top of his/her chest. A student's over-breathing issue is usually due to stress, stressful situations, physical trigger(s), or prolonged stress. As the situation passes, the student's breathing generally returns back to normal.