I have trouble with gasping for air, short breaths and breathlessness, particularly when I'm going through a bad spell. My step mother is a cranial sacral therapist and she explained that when your body is under stress it goes into the "flight or fight" response, and your breathing goes up in your rib cage and is shallower to take in maximum oxygen as quickly as possible. She said if I am breathing shallowly as normal it's sending a message to the brain that my body is under stress. She explained about how new born babies breathe from their stomachs, pushing the diaphragm out, and it sends a message to the brain that they are relaxed and safe, and that this is the natural state for when you sleep. If you concentrate to take some breaths with your hands on your stomach, and you feel them go up and down, it calms the system down. I've been doing these breathing exercises for the past couple of weeks and it's made a significant difference to my general condition I think, I have certainly felt a lot less anxious too. I can't breathe like this without concentrating at the moment, but being aware of my breathing all the time and trying to breath from the diaphragm as much as poss seems to have helped.