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.

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

 

fight or flight response

The World We Created Causes Us to Over Breathe

What is the Cause of Over Breathing?

I’ve already written about the importance of breathing to our health, the biochemistry and mechanics of breathing, what optimal breathing looks like and what it doesn’t look like, so it is now time to discuss the cause of dysfunctional breathing or over breathing.

In short, STRESS CAUSES OVER-BREATHING. More specifically, we become conditioned to respond to stress by over-breathing or mouth breathing as an emergency response.

Our innate response to stress is the ‘fight or flight’ state which is an evolutionary response to a perceived threat, and served to effect changes in our bodies that prioritise or make us more capable of ‘fighting’ or ‘fleeing’. For example, if a wild animal poses a threat to our safety, we choose to either fight or flee the source of this extreme stress. In this evolutionary example, the stressor either goes away either by us successfully fighting or fleeing the animal. Or we die. There was indeed an “emergency” that asked for a body/mind response that called upon all of our resources. With the removal of the stress, our physiology returns back to a basal level and we return to the tasks of living.

The modern stressors we deal with are, more often than not, far less threatening to our safety. Whilst the the sources of stress are often far less severe, due to the culture we have created being far different to the environment our bodies evolved or adapted to, they are far more chronic or long lasting. Unfortunately we do not often return to this basal low level (or zero level) of stress we predominantly existed in (outside of emergencies) in times past. As a result we reduce our body’s ability to deal with more acute stressors and we often regularly respond in ‘emergency’ fashion to stressors that do not require this response.

Nevertheless, the process of evolution has led to us responding to any stress in a way that has long been our mode of functioning, because that its what we evolved to do. That the severity and types of stress we now deal with are vastly different to those we evolved dealing with is not of consequence to the body. Our safety is far more assured than in previous times, yet our body still responds with this ‘fight or flight’ mechanism.

Our body’s innate stress response is driven by the ‘autonomic nervous system’ (ANS) – a part of our nervous system that controls the functions of our organs and many of our body’s functions (including respiration!!) which functions regardless of whether we are conscious of it or not; i.e. the functions it controls still operate whether we are awake or asleep. It comprises the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which excites or arouses the body to prepare for the ‘fight or flight’ stress response, and the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), which calms the mind and rejuvenates the body. The sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions typically function in complementary opposition to each other.

A common analogy used to compare these two facets of the autonomic nervous system describes the SNS as the ‘accelerator’ and the PSNS as the ‘brake’. The sympathetic division typically functions in actions requiring quick responses. The parasympathetic division functions with actions that do not require immediate reaction.

The ‘fight or flight’ response to stress causes the sympathetic nervous system to dominate. Sympathetic nervous system dominance leads to the following changes characteristic of the ‘fight or flight’ response:

  • Adrenaline levels in the blood rise.
  • Over time, blood levels of cortisol increase.
  • Heart rate increases
  • Blood pressure increases
  • Blood is redirected from the digestive system to skeletal muscles
  • Breathing rate and volume increases
  • Triggers the burning of sugar and storage of fat.
  • Elevation of plasma levels of clotting factors and histamine.

When breathing rate and volume rise we over breathe. When we over breathe we lose too much CO2 and the blood becomes too alkaline. As a result, haemoglobin holds on to inhaled oxygen in the blood stream, cells become deprived of oxygen and we experience different symptoms.

Once this response occurs regularly enough it becomes a conditioned response or a habit. Over time, this adaptive response, originally designed as an emergency response to an acute stress, becomes our normal mode of functioning.

But, as humans we are born ‘obligate nose breathers’ meaning that we do not possess the voluntary ability to breathe through our mouths. Mouth-breathing, the most common example of over-breathing is a learned response triggered by our emergency response to stress.

For example, you will notice that newborn infants breathe quietly through their nose all of the time. However, if their nose becomes blocked they will struggle to get air into their lungs. As they have not learned the response to mouth breathe, they will begin to suffocate. As a response, they begin to cry which allows large volumes of air to enter the lungs rectifying the emergency. The infant then returns to its normal nose breathing.

When subsequent stressors arise they repeat this emergency response, until they become conditioned from a very early age to respond to any sign of stress with this emergency mouth breathing response.

In our modern world of chronic low level stress, mouth-breathing, originally an emergency response, becomes a conditioned response and a habit. And, eventually our normal way of functioning.

The parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, promotes a “rest and digest” response, thus a calming of the nerves return to regular function, and enhance digestion. Some of the functions of the PSNS are:

  • Increase in digestive system function.
  • Breathing rate and volume decrease
  • Lowering of the heart rate (or returning it back to normal or resting rates)
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Reduced blood cortisol
  • Constriction of the pupil and contraction of the ciliary muscle to the lens, allowing for closer vision.
  • Stimulation salivary gland of secretion, and accelerates peristalsis, so, in keeping with the rest and digest functions, appropriate PNS activity mediates digestion of food and indirectly, the absorption of nutrients
  • Increase in blood flow to the brain
  • Increase in ‘happy’ neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine – low levels of these are seen in depression
  • Is also involved in erection of genitals
  • Stimulates sexual arousal
  • Increase in night time melatonin – promoting a more restful sleep.

If you observe the cascade of changes that are evident when we over breathe and are in ‘fight or flight’ responsiveness, you will see that this cascade of changes accounts for many of the pathologies that occur in a great number of the chronic ailments we suffer from in the modern world.  Which, in turn, points out that over breathing is not something that we should ignore or take for granted.

The Breathing Dynamics training program will teach you to beak the cycle of over breathing, and help to get out of habitual ‘fight or flight’ responsiveness.

 

Breathing Man meditating - breathing optimally...

How Would Optimal Breathing Feel to Your Body?

What Does Functional, or Optimal Breathing Look Like?

Normal breathing is defined as:

  • A silent, gentle wave pattern
  • 8-10 breaths per minute
  • Through the nose
  • Tongue resting at the roof of the mouth.
  • Driven via the diaphragm with minimal or no upper chest or shoulder movement
  • Yielding a tidal volume (volume of air in and out) of 4-5 litres per minute.

These diagnostic norms combined with the optimal concentration of CO2 in arterial blood of 40mmHg partial pressure (based on the previous discussion about the Bohr Effect), will ensure that the pH of the blood is maintained at its ideal levels (7.35-7.45), and result in optimal energy production in cells.

The respiratory centre(s) in the brain control breathing rate and depth and primarily use the concentration of CO2 in arterial blood (pACO2). pAO2 is also used in part (via receptors in the carotid arteries), but, as oxygen availability in cells is directly related to pACO2 (The Bohr Effect), CO2 concentrations remain the primary determinant.

A functional or normal breathing rate of 8-10 breaths combined with pACO2 of 40mmHg will allow for maintenance of pH in the ideal range of 7.35 to 7.45.

Therefore if pACO2 drops below 40mmHg, it follows that the breathing rate will have to increase to maintain this ideal pH range.

If the pACO2 remains below ideal for an extended period of time (as is the case with over-breathers or those with chronic breathing disorders such as asthma, snoring, hyperventilation etc), the brain will accept this as normal functioning and will adapt by establishing this elevated breathing rate as normal. So the respiratory centre(s) in the brain will now have a lower pACO2 as a ‘trigger point’ to re-instigate breathing via the diaphragm.

As mentioned earlier, the diagnostic norm of 8-10 breaths per minute translates to 12,000-14,000 breaths per day. Yet the average person breathes up to 30,000 times per day. This suggests that the average person breathes roughly twice as often as we are ‘designed’ to and, more seriously, that the average person does not meet diagnostic norms for breathing. And therefore, is not capable of breathing functionally or optimally due to habitual over-breathing patterns.

Indeed, our clinical experience has confirmed this. Using CapnoTrainer biofeedback technology, we have not found a single person, without previous training, capable of breathing at a level that is considered functional according to diagnostic norms. So we are all over breathers – both in rate and volume until we are trained to breathe functionally again.

Common sense, reinforced by research, suggests that performing a bodily function at a level that is considerably inferior to that which is found to be optimal (from an evolutionary perspective) will ultimately lead to a compromise in function, including pathology, elsewhere in the body.

For example, we all know that living with blood pressure that is significantly above or below what is the diagnostic norm for blood pressure (and, as such, the blood pressure our system was designed to function optimally at) will lead to serious side effects or pathology. Indeed, high blood pressure and low blood pressure are both medical conditions that are taken very seriously by the medical community.

Similarly, if insulin levels are constantly elevated compared to diagnostic norms (via elevated blood sugar levels), then diabetes can eventually be the result. Obviously, diabetes or hyper-insulinaemia are both treated as serious or chronic life threatening medical conditions that are in epidemic proportions in the Western world.

Yet, whilst it is common knowledge that most or all of us over-breathe compared to diagnostic norms, why is it that over breathing is not treated as a serious medical condition?

Perhaps because breathing is so central to our functioning at all levels of the body and in all systems of the body, the side effects of over breathing are not as obvious as they are with the above abnormalities in our physiology or biochemistry.

Understanding the problem requires an understanding of the current medical model and its origins.  The medical system which evolved to deal with the historically predominant threats of infection and trauma became a system which focuses its energy on acute treatment of distinct, specific diseases, seeking to eliminate a single causative agent, with the patient as a passive recipient of the ‘cure’.  We can see how this approach is out of alignment with the new wave of chronic disease.  Instead, these patients require long term management, of multiple, overlapping states of dysfunction, driven by numerous causative factors, with the patient being required to take the primary role in their own risk reduction.

The Breathing Dynamics program will retrain you to breathe at functional, or optimal levels. Your energy levels, sleep, performance, circulation, digestion, nervous system, and many other systems in the body will see the benefits of this….

The Nose is for breathing. The mouth is for eating.

Nose Breathe Your Way to Energy and Health

We Are Designed As Nose Breathers!!

In using the word ‘designed’, I am not talking about a grand design in a religious or spiritual sense. I am using this term to describe the outcome of factors that have contributed to how our bodies are both constructed and function, optimally. These factors are the evolutionary influences (environment etc.) that, over a million years and more, have led to us being what we are now.

As such, the respiratory system is designed for us to breathe through or nose (see diagram) via the following mechanisms:

Human_respiratory_system

  • The inside of the nose contains turbine like ridges, known as turbinates, which swirl the air into a refined stream most suitable for oxygen exchange.
  • The hairs in the nose filter inhaled air removing it of larger debris.
  • The mucous membranes in the nasal passages produce mucous that help disinfect (via lysosomes) other pollutants in the air we breathe.
  • Our sinuses produce up to 2 litres of mucous per day which serve to disinfect (as per the nose), humidify (as moist air is required in the lungs for optimal gas exchange) and heat or cool inspired air.

If we breathe regularly through our mouth, we by-pass the above processes leading to:

  • Poor gas exchange in the lungs as the air that enters them is not humidified.
  • As a result we also dry out and irritate sensitive lung tissue which produces mucous as a protective mechanism. This mucous takes up space in the lungs that would otherwise be used for gas exchange, and wheezing can be a common consequence.
  • As the air that we breathe is not filtered or disinfected of bacterial, viral and foreign particles, excessive immune system activation occurs in our tonsils, adenoids and sensitive lung tissue leaving us more susceptible colds, flu’s and respiratory tract infections.
  • The support that the tongue provides the upper jaw (to counteract the pressure exerted by the cheeks on the upper jaw) is removed as the tongue position shifts to the bottom of the mouth. This can lead to narrowing of the jaw and crowding of the teeth, especially during development.
  • Drying of the saliva in our mouths which disrupts the pH of the saliva, removing some of its antibacterial effect which can predispose to dental carries and upset digestion.

Moreover, we breathe up to 6 times the volume of air in, and subsequently out, when we breathe through our mouths. The deleterious effect of this is that it washes out the reservoir of 6.5% end-tidal (after exhalation) CO2, therefore disrupting our ability to achieve the optimal pH in arterial blood (7.35 via 40mmHg of CO2) required for optimal oxygen release into tissues (based on the mechanics of the Bohr Effect discussed in my last blog). 

This means that mouth breathing if far, far less efficient than nose breathing, resulting in reduced energy production, and it can contribute to many common ailments.

Most people mouth breathe far more than they are aware of – especially at night when they are sleeping, which significantly reduces the quality of their sleep and energy levels the next morning.

Mouth breathing is a very obvious example of over breathing. Other examples include sighing, yawning, coughing, snoring, talking too quickly, laughing and yelling.

 

Breathing is a function that is vital for life - yet most of us completely take i8t for granted, and don't even though that we breathe way below optimal levels...

BREATHING FOR LIFE – OR DEATH!!

Introduction to Breathing Dynamics – Why is Proper Breathing So Important

Breathing is the most central process of our functioning that we have direct conscious control over and the area where we can have the most influence regarding whole health.

Breathing is central to all life – we cannot live without it for more than a few minutes.

It is the one thing we do more than anything else – the average person breathes up to 30,000 times per day on average.

BUT did you know that:

  • The quality of your breathing affects the quality of your life?
  • And that most of us OVER-BREATHE – both in rate and depth? For example, diagnostic norms suggest that we should breathe 12-14,000 times per day rather than 30,000 times.
  • Do you know what it means to breathe OPTIMALLY?
  • The limiting factor in OPTIMAL RESPIRATION, and therefore OPTIMAL ENERGY FOR OUR CELLS, is not a lack of oxygen that we inhale? It is a lack of oxygen released into cells (due to low levels of carbon dioxide) caused by OVER-BREATHING OR DYSFUNCTIONAL BREATHING!!!!

So why do most of us take our breathing for granted?

Why do we accept less than optimal breathing function?

Perhaps, until now, we have not been aware of the link between dysfunctional breathing and symptoms of ill-health or disease. Some of these symptoms include:

 

Fatigue & Lethargy Digestive upsets – IBS, constipation, diarrhoea. Irritability Waking un-refreshed
Anxiety Allergies Shortness of breath Headaches/migraines
Depression & emotional disturbances Skin irritations – eczema etc. Breathing difficulties – asthma, wheezing. Sinusitis & excessive mucus production
High blood pressure Poor  concentration Night-time toilet trips Frequent colds & flus
Dental problems &/or deformities Memory loss Poor sleep or leep disturbances Muscular or nerve chest & pains

Also, very few of us are aware that we could make significant changes to our health, stability, posture, attention, composure and sleep quality by learning how to breathe functionally. In addition to reversing the symptoms of ill-health or disease mentioned above, some more of these changes include:

 

Enhanced energy levels Greater endurance & stamina Improved focus & concentration
Improved immune system function Improved blood flow to extremities Improved responsiveness to stressors
Better posture & stability Delayed lactic acid onset during exercise Greater access to “Zone” states during exercise/performance
More relaxed muscles/joints Better focus & concentration Enhanced happiness/self image
Improved flexibility Improved mood stability Lower heart rates

 

Breathing Dynamics aims to restore optimal or functional breathing and therefore maximise delivery of oxygen to cells (for energy) by offering a variety of understandings and techniques that encourage:

 

  1. Breathing through the nose at all times.
  2. Using the diaphragm as the principal or primary muscle for breathing.
  3. Regulating breathing rate and volume.

 

We offer breathing retraining courses for individuals and groups, which usually run for 8-10 hours (broken up into a few sessions) plus ongoing evaluation. These courses have a strong practical focus. To facilitate learning, we use CapnoTrainer® biofeedback technology, which gives an individual information on their own functioning from their own body’s perspective rather than just relying on coaching or feedback from a another person. By the end of the course we give clients the knowledge and understanding, both theoretically and practically, for them to be able to breathe functionally or optimally in many of life’s varying circumstances.

We also offer online modules (purchased via the online shop) on breathing retraining to optimize function and facilitate healing for a number of ailments and purposes. These include:

  1. Asthma
  2. High blood pressure/hypertension
  3. Fatigue
  4. Anxiety/depression
  5. Snoring/sleep apnoea
  6. Eczema/skin conditions
  7. Stress management
  8. Allergies
  9. To facilitate dental corrections
  10. Enhanced sporting performance
  11. Enhanced work performance – artistic and business.
  12. Ability to hold the breath underwater (specific to surfers etc)
  13. Breathing for yogis.