Juice Fasting

What Will Happen To Me During a Fast?

Symptoms Experienced During Fasting

The cleansing and detoxifying effects of fasting can generate a number of toxicity symptoms:

  • Hunger is usually present for 2-3 days then departs, leaving many people with a surprising feeling of deep abdominal peace. Some may feel hungry for longer, although this is usually associated with fear associated with the cessation of eating and the changing of a long established habit (or even addiction). This fear and hunger will generally pass if the fast is persevered with.
  • Headache is not uncommon for the first couple of days also.
  • Fatigue or irritability may arise at times, as well as dizziness or light headedness.
  • Our sensitivity is usually increased both positively and negatively – to sounds, smells, tastes.
  • The tongue in most fasters will develop a thick white or yellow fur coating, which can be scraped or brushed off.
  • Effects of lower blood pressure is often experienced; i.e. dizziness in rising rapidly from lying or sitting to standing.
  • Bad breath and displeasing tastes in the mouth may occur.
  • Foul smelling urine is possible.
  • Skin odours or eruptions may appear depending on the state of toxicity.
  • Digestive upset, mucousy stools, flatulence or even nausea and vomiting.
  • Insomnia and bad dreams in some people as the body releases toxins during the night.

Most of these symptoms, if they appear, are usually transient.

The general energy levels during fasts, after the first couple of days, are usually good, although there may be ups and downs along the way. Every 2-3 days, as the body goes into a deeper level of dumping wastes, the energy may wax and wane, and resistance as well as symptoms may arise. These stages or periods are often referred to as healing crises. For some people these experiences can be very mild or non-existent, whereas with other they can be quite strong.

Between these times we usually feel cleaner, better and more alive.

During a healing crisis, old symptoms or patterns from our health history might arise, but these are usually transient. Alternatively new symptoms of detoxification may appear. The presentation of the healing crisis (if it appears at all) is not usually predictable. It is extremely advisable to conduct fasts of any length (more than a few days) under the supervision of an experienced practitioner so that symptoms experienced during cleaning or healing crises can be evaluated (as common to, or a positive part of the detoxification process or not) and monitored over the duration. An experienced health practitioner will also advise as to whom a fast is suitable for, or not.

Herring’s Law of Cure is used to guide us in evaluating symptoms. That is, healing happens from the inside out, from the top down, from more important to less important organs, and from the most recent to the oldest symptoms.

Most healing crises pass within a day or two. If any symptom lasts longer than 2-3 days, it should be considered as a side effect of a new problem possibly unrelated to the cleansing. If there is a problem that worsens or is severe and causes concern, such as fainting, heart arrhythmias, or bleeding, the fast should be stopped and a doctor consulted.

If you would like to book in for a fast, or would like more details on whether, or what type of fasting is suitable for you, please contact me on tim@timaltman.com.au or call 0425 739 918.

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Testimonial: Eliminate Asthma with Breathing Dynamics

A lovely testimonial and great result from another happy asthma sufferer – soon to be former sufferer.

The reason I bang on so much about breathing retaining is that this kind of result is the norm using my biofeedback driven breathing retraining rhythms. The shame is that most asthma sufferers overlook this technique as it seems to simple to be true.

“Tim Altman’s breathing techniques made a dramatic improvement to my asthma. The breathing exercises were easy to incorporate into my life, and the biofeedback was helpful to refine the technique. After two weeks I have reduced my asthma medication by half.”

Tim L, Melbourne

Read previous blogs of mine on Breathing Dynamics, The Biochemistry of Breathing and Breathing Dynamics Solutions for Asthma.

Or watch my Youtube video; ‘Breathing Is Life’  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zulIZxuEUvw&t=58s

I am also about to launch an online course for “Breathing Dynamics Solutions for Asthma and Breathing Difficulties”. If you are interested in the course, or would like to book a clinic appointment with me, please email or call 0425 739 918.

 

 

 

tims detox

Why Fast? The Benefits of Fasting

The Process and Benefits of Fasting

Whilst individual experiences may differ, there are a number of common experiences and metabolic changes that occur during, and as a result of fasting.

The following summary by Dr Elson, M Haas, ‘Staying Healthy With Nutrition’ is a very accurate and detailed description of some of these:

‘First, fasting is a catalyst for change and an essential part of transformational medicine. It promotes relaxation and energization of the body, mind and emotions, and supports greater spiritual awareness. Many fasters feel a letting go of past actions and experiences and develop a positive attitude toward the present. Having energy to get things done and clean up old areas, both personal and environmental, without the usual procrastination is also a common experience. Fasting clearly improves motivation and creative energy; it also enhances health and vitality and lets many of body systems rest.’

Fasting is a process that allows us to see from direct experience the incredible innate healing and restorative powers that our bodies possess as well as the incredible inherent capacity for health that we all possess as our birthright – a capacity for which most people only ever experience a fraction of its ultimate potential.

From a physiological perspective, fasting minimises the work done by the digestive organs, including the stomach, intestines, pancreas, gallbladder and liver – the latter of which is the body’s large production and metabolic factory which, when rested during fasting, can attribute more energy to detoxifying and metabolising stored and unwanted chemicals, wastes and microbes (bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi); and creating many new essential substances for our use.

The blood and lymph also have the opportunity to be cleaned of toxins as all the eliminative functions are enhanced with fasting. Increased release of toxins from the colon, kidneys and bladder, lungs and sinuses, and skin is allowed to occur. Discharge, such as mucous, from many of these eliminative organs during fasting is often a correction of the discord created by our imbalanced (with nature) lifestyle.
Each cell of the body has the opportunity to catch up on its work; with fewer demands it can repair itself and dump its waste for elimination.

Most fasters also experience a new vibrancy of their skin and clarity of mind and body. It is literally like a huge ‘spring cleaning’ for the entire body-mind system.

Some Benefits of Fasting

 

Purification Rejuvenation Revitalisation
Rest for digestive organs Clearer skin Anti-ageing effects
Improved senses – vision, hearing, taste More clarity mentally and emotionally Better resistance to disease
Reduction of allergies Weight loss Drug detoxification
More energy Better, quieter sleep More relaxation
More positive attitude Inspiration Creativity & new ideas
Enhanced spiritual awareness Clearer planning Change of habits
Better discipline Right use of will Diet changes

 

Nutritionally, fasting helps us appreciate a good wholesome, natural diet more as less food and simple flavours become far more satisfying. For example, the taste buds experience an explosion of tastes that leave one with the desire to eat more natural foods. The experience of eating an apple in the re-introduction to food becomes a tantalising pleasure.

Mentally, fasting improves clarity and attentiveness; emotionally, it may make us more sensitive and aware of feelings. Decisions based on enhanced clarities are often made during fasts. Fasting clearly supports transformation and life-changing processes. Whilst fasting, we can feel empowered to do things we only thought about before.

Fasting can also precipitate emotional cleansing, and mental attitude and general motivation are often uplifted.

Spiritually, fasting offers a lesson in self-restraint and control of desires, which help us in many evenues of life. Many fasters also experience an increased connection with their internal selves and God; and many relate that their meditation quality, clarity and quietness increases dramatically during a fast.

I will finish this section on the benefits of fasting with another quote from Dr Elson Haas:

I look at fasting as ‘taking a week off work’ to handle other aspects of life for which there is often little time. With fasting we can take time to nurture ourselves and rest. Fasting is also like turning off and cleaning a complex and valuable machine so that it will function better and longer. Resting the gastrointestinal tract, letting the cells and tissues repair themselves, and allowing the lymph, blood and organs to clear out old, defective, or diseased cells and unneeded chemicals all leas to less degeneration and sickness. As healthy cell growth is stimulated, so is our level of vitality, immune function and disease resistance, and our potential for greater longevity.

Contact me via phone or email if you’d like to discuss whether a fast would suit you, and the type of fast most suited.

Plato fasting

Fasting: History and Purposes

The History and Use of Fasting

The use of fasting has a long and ancient history as a healing process and a spiritual-religious process. It has been a tradition in most religions including Christianity, Judaism and the Eastern religions to purify the system and enhance communion with god or higher sources or intelligences.

For many ancient philosophers, scientists, and physicians, fasting was an essential part of life, health, resistance to disease and recovery from illness. These included Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Galen and the forefather of modern medicine, Hippocrates, from whom we derive the ‘Hippocratic Oath’.  Many yogis have used fasting as an excellent health measure.

Juice fasting may be used in treatment plans for many diseases, to increase our natural resistance to disease, to detoxify from drugs, alcohol or coffee, to promote transformation or life transition, or to provide increased mental clarity and spiritual awareness.

Some of the chronic conditions for which fasting may be beneficial as a part of the treatment plan are listed as follows:

  • Colds and flus – and prevention of these
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Digestive complaints – constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, IBS, food allergies/sensitivities, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Skin conditions
  • Insomnia
  • CVD disorders – atherosclerosis, hypertension, HBP, coronary artery disease, angina pectoris
  • Fatigue – in many cases
  • Mental illness – in some cases
  • Immune conditions – hypersensitivities, auto-immune conditions

Fasting is very versatile and generally fairly safe; however it should not be used without proper supervision from an experienced health practitioner who can monitor physical, physiological and biochemical changes.

Find out about the Benefits of Fasting and Fasting Programs Offered through naturopath, Tim Altman. Phone 0425 739 9148 or email.

Juice Fasting

Fasting As a Solution To Optimal Health

Introduction to Fasting

Fasting is a process that allows us to see from direct experience the incredible innate healing and restorative powers that our bodies possess as well as the incredible inherent capacity for health that we all possess as our birthright – a capacity for which most people only ever experience a fraction of its ultimate potential.

In his book ‘Staying Healthy With Nutrition’, Dr Elson, M Haas M.D. describes fasting as nature’s ancient, universal “remedy” for many problems and the single greatest natural healing therapy. Animals instinctively fast when ill. It is the oldest treatment known to us, the instinctive therapy for many illnesses, nature’s doctor and knifeless surgeon and the greatest therapist and tool for preventing disease.

Further, Dr Haas calls fasting, or the cleansing process, the “missing link in the Western diet”.

Most of the conditions for which fasting is recommended are ones that result from the discord to the human system created Western diet and lifestyle. Conditions which are best described as resulting from “chronic sub-clinical malnourishment” (despite having more choice than ever before in human history) in the face of severe “over-consumption or over-nutrition”. In other words, we consume excessive amounts of toxic nutrients such as refined sugars, saturated and trans fats, and chemicals, yet receive inadequate amounts of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential fats.

These conditions are the chronic degenerative diseases including:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Allergies
  • Chronic immune system disorders or deficiencies.
  • Weight Loss – via intermittent fasting only.

Over 90% of deaths in Western countries result from these chronic degenerative disorders. Indeed, ignorance (of how to live in accordance with nature) may be our greatest disease.

Fasting is therapeutic and, more importantly, preventative of many of these diseases.

The term fasting here is used to describe the avoidance of solid foods and the intake of liquids only and we offer mainly juice fasts. Juice fasts support the body nutritionally by providing some of the essential nutrients it requires whilst offering a deep and profound cleansing and detoxification of the system.

Dr Haas describes detoxification via fasting as an important “corrective and rejuvenating process in our cycle of nutrition” (balancing and building being other processes), and a time when we allow our cells to “breathe out, become current and restore themselves”.

It was through the use of fasting to heal a very chronic and debilitating illness that I became involved in natural medicine and nutrition. It literally changed my life and gave me a completely new outlook on food and the incredible innate capacity our bodies have for health if we only take a step back and live our lives naturally in accord with how our evolutionary history has modelled our systems’ to function optimally.

Instead of suffocating my cells and organs via overconsumption of processed and refined foods and ‘new to nature’ chemicals, I simply started eating and living naturally. As such, I have continued to fast occasionally and have continued to enjoy the preventative, healing and transformative benefits that this beautiful and natural cleaning process avails.

Intermittent fasting, or fasting over smaller intervals, but more regularly, has been heavily researched and implemented as an extremely effective solution for reducing weight and inflammation (that contributes to most of the chronic degenerative disorders we suffer and die from).

We now offer a variety of fasting options to clients as a fantastic way of enhancing wellness, slowing down ageing, treating a variety of illnesses and increasing resistance to disease.

Contact me via email, tim@timaltman.com.au or 0425 739 918 to book in or discuss what type of fast would most suit you. I offer consultations in Melbourne and Torquay, or online via Skype…

Mickel Therapy

There Is a Cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Article: Queensland Scientists Make Chronic Fatigue Breakthrough

Linked below is an article outlining that Queensland scientists have made a world first breakthrough in discovering a link between chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and  a dysfunctional immune system.

More specifically, “Griffith University’s National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases identified a defective cell receptor that appeared to be central to the development of CFS and the related myalgic encephalomyelitis.”

Queensland’s Science Minister Leeanne Enoch said; “This discovery is great news for all people living with CFS and the related Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), as it confirms what people with these conditions have long known – that it is a ‘real’ illness – not a psychological issue.”

“CFS and ME are notoriously difficult to diagnose, with sufferers often going for years without getting the proper care and attention they need.

“Currently, there is no effective treatment.”

The two diseases are believed to affect 250,000 Australians, with diagnosis, treatment and management estimated to cost more than $700 million annually.

This is a fantastic breakthrough given the anguish and frustration so many sufferers go through in tying to even get a diagnosis or recognition for their ails.

However I take issue with one comment made by Ms Enoch. That is that current there is no effective treatment.

Is that based on their research. But, have they researched all treatments?

I am just a clinician at the coal face of CFS who has specialised in treating it for almost 20 years now, and I lack the time and resources to conduct my own studies, but I definitely do my own research to better treat my clients, and I do believe there are extremely effective treatments. Dare I say it, even cures for CFS.

I am very comfortable in saying that Mickel Therapy which I adopted as a clinician 3 years ago, is one such cure. This technique takes a major paradigm shift by taking the attention or search for the cause of CFS to higher levels in the brain, which regulate the rest of the systems in the body.

Mickel Therapy, developed in 1999 by a medical doctor (Dr David Mickel) which seeks to address problems with the Hypothalamus gland in the brain. This gland which normally regulates everything in the body becomes overactive creating a wide range of symptoms.

Another way of putting it is Mickel Therapy works by identifying the emotional, mental and behavioural factors which drive the hypothalamus into overdrive, and consequently create physical symptoms.

From the evolutionary medicine perspective, the Mickel technique looks at what should be a harmonious working relationship between how we process emotion and how we think (therefore how we process stress), and makes significant, action based change with the effectiveness of this relationship, or how we process stress.

I have been very humbled by guiding and witnessing dozens of complete recoveries from CFS, fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, anxiety, depression and IBS using this technique in this time.

If you suffer from CFS, fibromyalgia, IBS, anxiety/depression, auto-immune illness (or know someone who does) feel free to contact me and discuss whether Mickel Therapy would be suitable for you.

 

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/02/21/queensland-scientists-make-chronic-fatigue-breakthrough

 

Snoring 3

Breathing Dynamics Solutions for Snoring and Sleep Apnoea

Breathing Dynamics for the Treatment and Prevention of Snoring and Sleep Apnoea

Snoring is the resultant sound caused by vibration of respiratory structures (usually the uvula and soft palate) due to obstructed air movement during breathing whilst sleeping. The blockage in the airways can be due to a number of reasons:

  • Obesity – fat gathering in and around the throat.
  • Dental Reasons – mispositioned jaw, caused by tension in the muscles.
  • Alcohol or drugs relaxing throat muscles.
  • Throat weakness – causing it to close during sleep.
  • Nasal passage and sinus obstruction.
  • Obstructive sleep apnoea – indeed snoring can be one of the first symptoms or signs of sleep apnoea in a person, and is almost always present in sleep apnoea.
  • Sleeping on the back – leading to the tongue dropping to the back of the mouth.
  • The tissues at the top of the airways touching each other.

Whilst incidences of snoring can vary, it is estimated that at least 30% of adults snore.

The impact of snoring occurs both for the snorer and those who sleep with or near them. The impact can include sleep deprivation, daytime drowsiness, lack of energy and focus, irritability, decreased libido and potential psychological problems.

Research on snoring has confirmed an association or correlation of snoring with a number of diseases, including:

  • A correlation between loud snoring and increased risk of heart attack (+34%) and stroke (+67%).
  • Development of carotid artery atherosclerosis (due to turbulence in the artery closes to the airways).
  • Risk of brain damage.
  • Significant improvement of marital relations following correction of snoring.
  • Treatment of Snoring
  • Treatment options for snoring are varied and can depend on the believed causative factor. All treatments focus on clearing the blockage in the breathing passage. Treatments range from:
  • Weight loss
  • Cessation of smoking.
  • Reduction of alcohol consumption.
  • Having patients sleep on their side.
  • Over the counter aids – nasal sprays, nasal strips, nose clips, lubricating sprays, anti-snore pillows and clothing.
  • Dental appliances – splints (mandibular advancement splints – are far more compliant than CPAP machines).
  • The Pillar Procedure – surgical insertion of strips to strengthen the soft palate.
  • CPAP machines – continuous positive airway pressure machines – mainly for sleep apnoea. Is quite invasive as it requires wearing a mask and having a machine beside the bed (that can be noisy). Compliance is as low as 13%.
  • Surgery – i.e. removal of tissue in the back of the throat (although this involves risks of side effects, including scarring), or turbinate coblation (removing obstruction caused by enlarged turbinates in the nose).
  • Pharmaceuticals drugs or herbal preparations.

Breathing Retraining to Prevent and Treat Snoring

Note: it is recommended you read the previous blogs on breathing,  nose breathing and the Bohr Effect, relevant to snoring on this website prior to reading this section, as the following is a simplified summary based on a knowledge of this theory.

The Breathing Dynamics approach to snoring addresses an aspect that is prevalent in most snorers. That is mouth breathing at night.

Up to 6 times the volume of air can travel in and out of the mouth compared to the nostrils. Given the anatomical, physiological and biochemical make-up of our respiratory system is designed for us to breathe through our nose, the increased volume of air flow experienced during mouth breathing can not only increase the air flow in the throat and likelihood that any obstruction or loose tissue will rattle, it can seriously upset our blood chemistry and reduce delivery of oxygen from our arterial blood to our cells for energy production (based on ‘The Bohr Effect’) and lead to smooth muscle constriction or spasm in the respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic, urinary and digestive systems (any systems that involve tubes). This can obviously lead to a number of symptoms throughout the body.

In addition, in normal breathing (according to diagnostic norms), not only should you breathe through the nostrils only, your tongue should rest at the roof of the mouth, preventing it from falling to the floor of the mouth and obstructing the throat (as is often the case during mouth breathing). An obstructed throat at night can or will usually results in snoring. When you breathe through your nose, with your mouth closed, your tongue will naturally sit at the roof of your mouth.

The objective in breathing retraining is to:

  1. Ensure that the mouth is closed at night – there are a number of techniques to achieve this, sometimes initially involving the use of other techniques or interventions such as dental splints or retrainers (especially if there is obstruction due to the positioning of the mandible) in addition to our techniques, but, over time, this can become habitual.

  2. Retrain the person to habitually breathe at all times using the nose, not the mouth. This second aspect takes time and requires the use of breath hold techniques to increase the body’s tolerance to elevated CO2 levels (as are seen when breathing through the nose and with patterns that promote breathing at the right rate and volumes) and CapnoTrainer biofeedback technology to retrain functional breathing patterns that will have your body become more comfortable with nose breathing and slower breathing rates with reduce volumes of air flow.

Once your body becomes more used to breathing with mouth closed (except when eating or talking/singing), and with reduced air flow and breathing rate, this eventually becomes more habitual.

To book in for a consultation to see Tim regarding the use of Breathing Dynamics to prevent or treat asthma, email Tim or call 0425 739 918.

Alternatively, the Breathing Dynamics for snoring and subsequent breathing retraining techniques and rhythm development can be purchased via the shop section of this website.

breathing dynamics

Asthma is a Breathing Issue. And Breathing Retraining is BY FAR the Best Solution for Asthma

Breathing Dynamics for Prevention & Treatment of Asthma

Asthma is defined by the Global Initiative for Asthma as “a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways in which many cells and cellular elements play a role. The chronic inflammation is associated with airway hyper-responsiveness that leads to recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing particularly at night or in the early morning. These episodes are usually associated with widespread, but variable airflow obstruction within the lung that is often reversible either spontaneously or with treatment”.

Asthma is clinically classified according to the frequency of symptoms, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), and peak expiratory flow rate. Asthma may also be classified as atopic (extrinsic) or non-atopic (intrinsic), based on whether symptoms are precipitated by allergens (atopic) or not (non-atopic).
Asthma is caused by environmental and genetic factors. These factors influence how severe asthma is and how well it responds to medication. The interaction is complex and not fully understood.

Studying the prevalence of asthma and related diseases such as eczema and hay fever have yielded important clues about some key risk factors. The strongest risk factor for developing asthma is a history of atopic disease (hypersensitivity or allergic diseases – eczema or atopic dermatitis, hay fever or allergic rhinitis; atopic conjunctivitis). This increases one’s risk of hay fever by up to 5× and the risk of asthma by 3-4×. In children between the ages of 3-14, a positive skin test for allergies and an increase in immunoglobulin E increases the chance of having asthma. In adults, the more allergens one reacts positively to in a skin test, the higher the odds of having asthma.

Research is also beginning to show a strong correlation between the development of asthma and obesity.

Asthma is probably one of the world’s most over-diagnosed and over-medicated ailments.

According to Associate Professor Colin Robertson, Respiratory Physician at the Royal Children’s Hospital, 80 percent of children diagnosed with asthma may have symptoms induced by exercise; therefore the community at large perceives asthma in a certain way. This can be positive in the sense that the problem can be easily recognised, however sometimes other respiratory conditions can mimic asthma.

Professor Robertson suggests, “Doctors, relatives and enthusiastic physical education teachers can mistake a child who exercises and gets out of breath as having asthma when they are actually just unfit”.

“This gets interpreted as Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA) but it doesn’t respond to anti-asthma therapy. What they need is breathing exercises to learn how to control it. It is a simple effective intervention and it is important for people to know that it exists”

Medications for Asthma

Medications used to treat asthma are divided into two general classes: relievers or quick-relief medications used to treat acute symptoms; and preventers or long-term control medications used to prevent further exacerbation.

Relievers which include Ventolin, Bricanyl and Spiriva are recommend to be used only for relief or tightness or breathlessness. They are adrenaline based so they increase heart rate and over use can be dangerous, or even fatal. Those who use relievers more than 3 times per week are considered being at risk and are recommended to cut back dosage.

As a result of these dangers, long acting steroid preventers were produced to suppress the immune reaction or inflammation and hypersensitivity in the body, and therefore reduce reliever usage. These medications are usually inhaled gluco-corticoid steroids and include Flixotide, Pulmicort and Alvesco.

A third group of asthma medications have now been developed that combine the reliever and preventer medications. These include Seretide (the most widely prescribed asthma drug in the world) and Symbicort. These combination drugs were produced as a result of dangers caused by the development of high-potency, long acting reliever medication which, as people were getting longer lasting relief, they often discontinued use of their preventer. After several hundred deaths (due to over-exposure to adrenalin), a solution was devised to combine preventer medication with reliever to prevent patients.

The problem with the combination drugs is that each puff of Seretide or Symbicort contains around 4-6 puffs of Ventolin. Given steroid preventers were developed in the first place to prevent patients using more than 3 puffs of reliever weekly (remember that more than 3 puffs per week were considered risky), these combination drugs actually increase the dosage of Ventolin to up to 24 puffs per day!!!

The irony of the medical approach to asthma and breathing difficulties is that, whilst these medications relieve symptoms in the short term, they can exacerbate or cause asthma and breathing difficulties in the long term.

For example, adrenaline based reliever medication opens the airways and relaxes smooth muscle which eases symptoms in the short term. But, adrenaline causes the breathing rate to rise which, over time leads to over-breathing.

And, steroid based preventer medication reduces inflammation in the lungs, reduces breathing rate on a short term basis and suppresses the immune system response, which results in less asthma symptoms in the short term. But, the suppressed immune system response leads to more colds and flus, and chest and lung infections – which, ultimately, result in over-breathing.

As we will see now, over-breathing plays a major role in creation of asthma and breathing difficulty symptoms, and correction of over-breathing is fundamental to reduction in symptoms and reliance of pharmaceutical drugs.

The Breathing Dynamics Approach

Note it is recommended you read many of the blogs on ‘Breathing Dynamics’ or ‘Respiratory Therapy’ on this website prior to reading this section, as the following is a simplified summary based on a knowledge of this theory.
The Breathing Dynamics approach to dealing with asthma is to look for the ‘root cause’ of asthma. It is not a disease as such – more a condition that can be managed.

Based on “The Bohr Effect” we know that low arterial blood levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) will lead to haemoglobin having a higher affinity for oxygen, and therefore O2 is not released into tissues for energy production. As a result of lower CO2 levels, the body will cause restriction in smooth muscle to prevent CO2 loss (and as a result reduced release of O2 into cells).

In asthma, this constriction of smooth muscle occurs in the airways and alveoli in the lungs resulting in inflammation and spasm in the respiratory system, and ultimately, breathing difficulties such as wheezing and shortness of breath.

We know also that over-breathing results in reduced arterial blood levels of CO2. So, it can be logically deduced, that over-breathing plays a significant role in the pathology seen in asthma.

Also, generally those who over-breathe tend to be sympathetic nervous system dominant (see general breathing notes), which produces the ‘fight or flight’ reaction in the body. This reaction causes a surge of adrenaline in the system and leads to a cascade of other reactions in the body including elevated heart rate, breathing rate and, amongst other things, elevated histamine levels.

Elevated histamine levels will promote or increase immune system hypersensitivity associated with asthma.

Therefore, in dealing with asthma via breathing retraining, we aim to correct over-breathing in order to:

  1. Elevate arterial CO2 levels – reducing smooth muscle constriction and spasm in the airways and alveoli.
  2. Balance the autonomic nervous system – (between sympathetic and parasympathetic enervation) to reduce adrenaline and histamine levels.

This is achieved by a number of techniques aimed at:

  1. Breathing through the nose at all times – including at night and during low level exercise (and even higher levels over time with training).
  2. Increasing brain tolerance to elevated plasma CO2 levels (via breath hold and breathing rhythm techniques) to allow the body to be comfortable with lowered breathing rates and volumes.
  3. Developing breathing rhythms using CapnoTrainer biofeedback technology aimed at maintaining elevated plasma CO2 levels and keeping the airways nice and open – therefore preventing the likelihood of constriction and inflammation in the airways and reducing elevated histamine and adrenaline.

Once developed, all of these techniques can be replicated long term, turned into one’s habitual breathing pattern, and offer not only prevention of breathing difficulties and asthma, but also allow optimal respiratory function. And once trained, the practice is free!!

There is now an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting the use of breathing retraining in the management of respiratory disorders such as asthma.

One study published in 2006 in ‘Thorax’ a highly respected International Journal of Respiratory Medicine, found that in a 30 month, double blind randomized trial of two different breathing techniques in the management of asthma, confirmed that both groups achieved an 86% reduction in bronchodilator reliever medication and a 50% reduction in the dosage of inhaled cortisone medication.

My clinical experiences in treating asthma using Breathing Dynamics or breathing retraining have certainly echoed these results.

To book in for a consultation to see Tim regarding the use of Breathing Dynamics to prevent or treat asthma, email Tim or call 0425 739 918.

 

Breathing

Your Breathing Will Determine Whether You Are Relaxed or Anxious – It’s All Under Your Control!!

Diaphragmatic Breathing Helps You to Regulate Your Nervous System

Functional (or optimal) breathing using the nose and diaphragm plays a very major role in regulating the two aspects of the autonomic nervous system – the sympathetic and parasympathetic aspects. It serves to balance them. Something which, as observed from previous discussion, is not achieved by mouth or over-breathing which serves to maintain us in sympathetic nervous system dominance (or ‘fight or flight’ responsiveness) for most of our lives. As most of us have developed into over-breathers over our lives, this pertains to us all.

The diaphragm in particular, plays a major role in sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system balance in two ways:

  1. Balance between the contraction and subsequent recoil of the diaphragm helps balance SNS & PSNS activity.
  2. The predominance or abundance of SNS and PSNS in different parts of the lung. 

Firstly, the contraction of the diaphragm on inhalation requires sympathetic nervous system input to fire the contraction and resultant flattening of the diaphragm which draws the lungs down and allows air to fill the lungs – particularly the lower lobes. The exhalation however involves switching off the SNS driven contraction of the diaphragm allowing it to return or recoil back to its original position. This is driven by PSNS activation which acts as a complementary opposition (in this case) to the SNS. As stated, it relaxes the diaphragm or switches off the contraction leading to the recoil or return of the diaphragm to its resting state.

Breathing Man Inhalation

 

 

Breathing Man Exhalation

 

Most over breathers use the accessory muscles of breathing as the dominant muscles of respiration, to the detriment of optimal diaphragmatic breathing. As such the diaphragm becomes weak or atonic and loses its flexibility. We have found via CapnoTrainerTM biofeedback equipment and general clinical observation that, over-breathers have most difficulty controlling their exhalation. It ends up being shorter in duration than the inhalation. Diagnostic norms suggest, however, that the inhalation:exhalation ratio is ideally 2:3, and therefore the exhalation is ideally 50% longer than inhalation.

As a result of this imbalance in the inhalation:exhalation ratio, the ANS becomes SNS dominant.

At Breathing Dynamics we focus on creating a balance between inhalation and exhalation, and therefore balance in the autonomic nervous system. The result of this nervous system balance can positively affect many other functions of the body that are under the influence of, or are regulated by, the ANS. For example, we regularly see positive effects from diaphragmatic breathing on:

  • The brain and neurotransmitter levels – Increased PSNS enervation naturally elevates serotonin and melatonin and, as such, we regularly see great results with anxiety & depression and sleep quality via diaphragmatic breathing retraining.
  • The digestive system – diaphragmatic breathing often yields great results with digestive complaints such as IBS, constipation and reflux. After all, a system that is sympathetic dominant will inhibit the digestive system, whereas, one that is parasympathetic dominant (via diaphragm breathing) will encourage it.
  • The circulatory system – allowing greater blood flow to the brain and peripheral areas, resulting in great benefits for headaches and migraines, cold extremities, skin quality etc.
  • The lymphatic system – as the diaphragm helps to act as a constant pump for lymphatic system – which is reliant on muscular contraction for flow.
  • The urinary system.
  • And more.

Secondly, as previously stated, mouth breathing originally (or from an evolutionary perspective) served as an emergency function in response to an acute stressor. Generally, the chest muscles are mostly used when mouth breathing (instead of the diaphragm – unless you have received previous training) which predominantly fills the upper and middle lobes of the lungs, and less so the lower lobes. The upper lobes of the lungs are rich in SNS receptors which, when activated, serve to accentuate the requirement of the body to respond in emergency fashion – or via a ‘fight or flight’ mechanism. This serves a specific function. An example of this would be when we gasp in response to being frightened or surprised.

But it was not designed to be our predominant mode of functioning.

On the other hand, when breathing uses predominantly the diaphragm (as in optimal breathing), the larger, lower lobes of the lungs are comfortably filled allowing for more gas exchange. And respiration is far more efficient. In addition, the lower lobes are rich in PSNS receptors which allows for a balance between the PSNS and SNS and a correction of our predominant ‘fight or flight’ functioning.

When breathing ‘diaphragmatically’ and through the nose it is common to experience relaxation and a calming of the mind. It also gives athletes greater access to ‘zone like’ or ‘alpha’ states during exercise or competition, which generally involve higher levels of PSNS activation than in normal waking states.

The table below shows a comparison in terms of effects between breathing with the diaphragm as the driver of respiration as opposed to predominantly using the chest muscles or other accessory breathing muscles. Whilst, not all of the points listed in the table are covered in the general information, they are covered when we introduce the ‘Breathing Dynamics’ optimal breathing rhythm in courses or via online training modules.

Diaphragmatic Breathing Breathing Using Accessory Muscles
Fills blood rich lower lobes of the lung first. Fills predominantly upper & middle lobes of the lungs.
Allows use of full lung capacity for gas exchange and removal of wastes.Creates a more rhythmic, reduces breathing rate via control of the recoil on exhalation.

Activates PSNS receptors in lower lobes. PSNS and SNS are balanced.

Full use of lungs compromised.
Breathing rate is elevated and rhythm is more random.Activates SNS stress receptors in upper/mid lobes and SNS dominates.
Stimulates ‘rest and digest or rejuvenate’ response. Activates ‘fight or flight’ response.
Diaphragm is strong and elastic. Diaphragm becomes weak and atonic.
Allows for relaxed, rhythmic and efficient respiration. Requires more work and higher breathing & heart rate to achieve efficient respiration.
Sinuses remain clear due to constant air flow through them. Sinuses become congested from discontinued use.
Facilitates lymphatic drainage and circulation to heart, lungs, ribs and chest via the ‘pump’ like action of the diaphragm. Lymphatic drainage and circulation to heart, lungs, chest and rib cage compromised.
The ‘Pump’ like action also facilitates efficient functioning of digestive organs (i.e. peristalsis), urinary organs and sexual organs all located in the abdominal cavity. Function of organs in the abdominal cavity compromised.
Ribs and chest allowed to move in their full range of activity and remain flexible. Ribs and chest become inflexible.
Thoracic spine remains flexible. Thoracic spine at insertion of ribs becomes stiff and rigid.
Neck and shoulders not overworked. Neck and shoulders become tight.