Most Of Us Were Incorrectly Taught How To Breathe When Exercising…
A video from my Youtube channel discussing how to correctly breathe when exercising.
Based on the structure of the nose, lungs and the dynamics of how we deliver oxygen from the air in our lungs to our cells via the blood stream for energy production (these dynamics are explained by ‘The Bohr Effect’ which which Danish biochemist, Christian Bohr won a Nobel Prize, and is studied in all mainstream medicine, physiology and biochemistry courses), most of us breathe incorrectly. We certainly do not meet what are the accepted medical diagnostic norms for functional breathing – see also my video ‘Breathing Is Life’ linked here for more information on this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zulIZxuEUvw&index=31&list=UUGq51Ggda2H9na1z01KA5zQ
We were also taught incorrectly how to breathe when exercising.
This video will explain why, and will start to explain how to correct it. Stay tuned for part 2 (The Diaphragm) soon.
If you like this video, subscribe to my Youtube channel, my website, or book in for an appointment.
Or if you are a coach, or trainer, I’d be happy to come and train you and your group/team – firstname.lastname@example.org or 0425 739 918
Case Study Using Bio-Impedance Testing and Intermittent Fasting to Find an Ideal and Individual Nutrition/Weight Loss Program for Clients
The featured image for this post shows the Bio-Impedance test results of a client I have worked with recently on weight loss.
Whilst I have worked with weight loss for over 15 years since I began clinical work, and have seen some wonderful results, the challenge for clients has always been not necessarily in losing weight (I have some great programs that achieve that extremely well), it is in keeping it off or continuing to lose weight (if necessary) once they assimilate back into their normal lives.
Simply put, (as I’ve said many times) we have created a mismatch between the bodies we inherited from our hunter-gatherer ancestors, and the culture we have created. So we do not eat the way ‘we are built to’ which makes us fat and sick, deprives us of energy, we sleep poorly and die from chronic, lifestyle preventable, illnesses.
I have been looking for a solution for this for many years – the ‘so-called’ ideal eating plan. And intermittent fasting plays a significant role in this. Whilst no culture in evolutionary history has ever been exposed to the high levels of sugar and carbohydrates we now consume, every culture in evolutionary history was forced to adapt to famine, and therefore, fasting.
Ironically, when I was introduced to fasting over 20 years ago by the fantastic Russian doctor (who I now work with and learn from in my Sth Melbourne clinic) as a part of my recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS, I was told by many in the medical and wider community that fasting was dangerous and irresponsible. Yet when I recovered completely not long afterwards, they were either lost for words or denied that I was even sick in the first place. Grrrr…
Back to intermittent fasting. I believe it provides the perfect counterfoil for the hiccups we encounter when trying to eat well and lean in the modern world – the odd freedom meal/junk food meal, night out with a few drinks, business lunch, craving for sweet/savoury etc. The challenge lies in finding the program that works for each individual, as a program might have you lose weight, but you end up losing more muscle and water (or as much as) than fat, which is counterproductive in the long term.
Enter bio-impedance testing – a simple and quick, yet based on extensive research done, an accurate and objective measurement of body composition (muscle, fat and water levels), cellular health, biological age, and inflammation/toxicity status.
By comparing the results from bio-impedance testing to previous tests we are able to determine over time, the ideal nutrition program for each individual that provides a counterfoil to the challenges of the modern world, yet it suits the individuals lifestyle so it is more likely to continue long term.
The body composition results of the client in the featured image show that he made positive, yet very slow progress for the first month whilst we were determining a program that suited, whereas his progress in the second month has been fantastic. He lost roughly 2.3kg of fat whilst only losing 0.7kg of muscle (ATM). And in that time he did very little exercise due to work commitments, so increasing his resistance training again will increase his muscle mass. So his fat:muscle ratio dropped significantly, and that is the key body composition indicator we are looking at as research has found it is the number one body marker that contributes to ageing. For example, the average westerner will halve in muscle mass and double in fat mass between the ages of 20-60. Not good!!
I won’t go into too many other factors from the test today for the sake of time, however in the period of testing his biological age went from 37 down to 32 and, more importantly, in the last month it dropped from 36 to 32. So his nutrition is helping him feel younger inside, and he has more energy, sleeps better, improved mental clarity and feels better about himself and food in general.
In addition, via the Mickel Therapy and breathing work I do, I have learned a great deal about techniques we can use, including balancing our lifestyle more effectively, to reduce the negative impact stress has on ideal nutrition and weight loss. As such, I work with these techniques and a client’s lifestyle to support the program. These play a huge role in contributing to the results similar to above I have started to see more regularly in clients over a more sustained time frame.
If you would like to lose weight or explore intermittent fasting and bio-impedance testing further for weight loss or optimal living and performance, contact me at email@example.com or call 0425 739 918. Or go to the booking calendar on this site. I am in Torquay on Monday and Fridays, South Melbourne on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I offer consultations online via Skype or over he
Dr John Douillard Attempts to Debunk Some Myths About Wheat and Gluten
Further to a blog I shared recently (see below) questioning whether gluten and/or wheat is as evil as it is now suggested, I thought I’d share this video by Dr John Douillard as some further food for thought – http://timaltman.com.au/opinion-article-myth-big-bad-gluten/
I like this guy’s work. He’s also done some great work on breathing.
Dr Douillard offers a different perspective on the gluten/wheat subject and attempts to debunk some of the current myths about wheat and gluten – that wheat has only been available for 10,000 years; that there is more gluten in modern wheat; that wheat is indigestible; phytic acids in grain are toxins etc. etc.
He suggests that sugars and processed foods are a poison to the brain and body, not wheat or gluten as such, and that eliminating wheat maybe be going too far. We need to look at the bigger picture around this topic rather than focusing on the negatives about wheat and gluten.
For example, a lot of the foreign chemicals in modern wheat (pesticides, toxins in the environment etc) kill the microbes in our digestive system that are involved in breaking down wheat.
Also, whilst wheat is harder to digest that many vegetables and fruit etc., this may be beneficial, even necessary to our immune systems; and it this many of the other additives in processed foods (of which wheat is a major constituent) that make them so hard to digest. These include indigestible olis and fats that make the bread etc. stick together and not go off so quickly. These additives are indigestible and accumulate in our liver and arteries, so it is so often these that are the poisons or the toxins rather than wheat per se. The solution being not to eat processed wheat and grains, but to source high quality, whole grain, non-processed, even sour dough products that are as natural and low in chemicals as possible.
My 20 cents on this is that Dr Douillard’s point is definitely worth considering, and we have perhaps become far too hard line on wheat and gluten (unless you have Coeliac’s disease), however I still stick to my long held belief that the more wheat one eats, especially wheat in processed foods, the less vegetables and fruit one eats. And these are jam packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre etc. So, whilst I’m happy to include some good quality wheat and grain in my diet, I still focus on trying to eat as many vegetables and fruit (fruit in season for the climate I live) as I can – aiming for at least 9 whole handfuls per day of vegetables and fruit. That is where you will get bang for your buck in terms of nutrient value….
If you’d like to improve how you can optimise your nutrition, book an appointment via the calendar on this website or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0425 739 918.
Article: Anatomic connections of the diaphragm: influence of respiration on the body system.
The article linked at the bottom of this blog, by Bruno Bordoni and Emiliano Zanier from the Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, outlines the multiple roles the diaphragm plays in addition to being the primary breathing muscle.
It is quite technical, so if you enjoy that, then jump on. However, I’ve included the conclusion here, which summarises things quite simply.
“The diaphragm muscle not only plays a role in respiration but also has many roles affecting the health of the body. It is important for posture, for proper organ function, and for the pelvis and floor of the mouth. It is important for the cervical spine and trigeminal system, as well as for the thoracic outlet. It is also of vital importance in the vascular and lymphatic systems. The diaphragm muscle should not be seen as a segment but as part of a body system. To arrive at correct therapeutic strategies, we must see the whole and all the links highlighted in this paper. In presenting this review, we hope to have made a small contribution towards perceiving the patient as a whole and to have spurred new thinking.”
It is clear that breathing plays a role far greater than just sucking in air for energy!! And this goes a long way to explaining why breathing retraining works so potently in treatment of a vast range of ailments, including; asthma and difficulty breathing; chest tightness; anxiety and depression, IBS, reflux and other gastro-intestinal disturbances; headaches and migraines; fatigue; hypertension and high BP; poor peripheral circulation; sinusitis; dental issues and many more.
Natural Recovery From Anxiety and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Below is a testimonial from a lovely client of mine who made a full or complete recovery from a long term case of debilitating anxiety and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
She sent me a letter and some amazing chocolates also as thanks which was very nice – and yummy.
I’ve included part of the letter also as it gives a bit of an idea of the process we follow and the guiding and supporting relationship I play as clients navigate their way back to health. We worked initially via a one on one consultation in person, and then mostly via phone due to simplicity and to eliminate the need for Em to drive too far to consultations. At that stage I worked only in Torquay and Em lived in Melbourne. Nowadays I work both in Torquay and Melbourne.
“This is just a little something to show you my gratitude for having you as a guide over the last year. Your phone calls were often a light at the end of the tunnel for me. Not only did your support and insight get me through some rough days, but the tools you have taught me have become part of my everyday routine and have permanently transformed the way I live my life.”
“Looking back to where I was before I started sessions with you, I can’t believe how much has changed. My energy levels are sustained throughout the day, my anxiety attacks have subsided and I deal with my emotions in a much more healthy way. My life has reached a new level of balance that I did not see possible. Using this holistic approach and working from the root level has enabled me to resolve deep issues and create new habits and pathways for myself that I will use for life. For this, I can’t thank you enough Tim.”
Whilst it is very flattering to receive such kind words, I am constantly humbled by both the potency of the techniques I use with clients, and the openness, courage and persistence of many clients in implementing them. It is clients such as Em who deserve the most praise. It is so rewarding to see the transformation in them, and their recovery.
I won’t be falsely modest and say that I don’t need or enjoy some kind words occasionally however 🙂 And chocolates of course!!
If you suffer from anxiety and/or CFS, or know anyone who does, and would like to explore a natural, and permanent recovery, then contact me at email@example.com or 0425 739 918.
Diaphragm Breathing Explained
I often get asked by clients, “how do I breathe using my diaphragm?”
Or, “I can’t feel my diaphragm move during breathing.”
Watch this video to see how I answer this common question…..
If you would like to learn more, contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0425 739 918.
And if you like the video, feel free to subscribe to my Youtube Channel (Tim Altman).
Article: Why are doctors and patients still at war over M.E.? How the best treatment for the debilitating condition is one of the most bitterly contested areas in medicine.
Linked below is an article by Jerome Burn for the Daily Mail in the UK discussing the ongoing battles between doctors and patients over the cause and treatment for M.E., or CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).
Finally the highly controversial PACE (a combination of cognitive behavioral and graded exercise therapies) recommended by many medical boards has been seriously questioned due to what has now been revealed as a lack of supportive data compared to what was originally claimed. Whilst this is no surprise to anyone who has suffered from CFS/M.E. and has tried this technique, it took years and many law suits to get the doctors invested in the use of this technique to reveal the data to the public. In doing so, serious discrepancies were revealed. It doesn’t actually work that well. Well, most who have tried this technique would suggest that this is stating the obvious.
It is however, a win for those wishing to have CFS, M.E. fibromyalgia etc. recognised as an actual physical condition as well as a psychological condition.
Yet, the debate as to the causes and the most effective treatment still wages. All this reveals is that they still don’t have the answers.
The medical community, that is your local doctor, and the fatigue specialists, still can’t provide solutions for CFS. And I’m sure we all implore them to continue the research.
However I believe their search is guided by the wrong paradigm.
Their education and ongoing research is largely bound by the current medical/pharmacological paradigm that looks at individual chemicals and imbalances, and the site of symptoms and putting out spot fires, rather that focusing on whole systems and the whole organism. This is the pharmacological approach that works great for acute illnesses, infectious diseases and trauma. But not for chronic, insidious onset illnesses.
There are effective solutions out there yielding fantastic results – and most of them have been found by thinking outside the square.
The approach of evolutionary biology or medicine would suggest we predominantly suffer and die from chronic illnesses because we have created a huge mismatch between the bodies we have inherited from our hunter gatherer ancestors, and the culture we have created.
“We get sick from chronic diseases by doing what we evolved to do but under conditions for which our bodies are poorly adapted, and we then pass on those same conditions to our children, who also then get sick. If we wish to halt this vicious circle then we need to figure out how to respectfully and sensibly nudge, push and sometimes oblige ourselves to eat foods that promote health and to be more physically active. That too, is what we evolved to do.” Daniel Lieberman, ‘The Story of the Human Body. Evolution, Health & Disease’.
What inspired me to practice natural medicine, respiratory therapy and Mickel Therapy was a complete recovery from CFS. I had experienced the lack of belief and acknowledgement from many doctors, and the admission from those who did acknowledge as to their inability to help. As such, for a long time I also experienced the extreme helplessness, frustration and depression that all sufferers experience.
However I was fortunate to find a practitioner who, although he had a very esteemed scientific background, he did think outside the square. As a result, I experienced a level of health I had never felt even prior to my illness. My mission then became one of finding more effective solutions for this ailment. And to further explore the upper levels of optimal health.
Unlike many doctors, other than duty of care, I am not bound by expectations or guidelines that threaten to ridicule or cut me off should I stray beyond their boundaries.
Guided by the evolutionary biology approach, my approach over the last 20 years has been to explore any modalities that potentially offer solutions for CFS, M.E. etc. as I can find. Whilst I have seen many that did not work, or some that in no way met the bold claims made by it’s protagonists, I also found a few techniques that have offered fantastic and highly effective solutions for chronic illness – and performance for the same reasons, but used in reverse.
And these solutions are the ones I use in clinic now. Whilst the doctors and experts waged their debates, I, and some colleagues, started to see regular complete resolutions in clients suffering from CFS, M.E. fibromyalgia, IBS, anxiety, depression, auto-immune conditions and more.
If you suffer from any of these conditions and are sick of the bullshit, then feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 0425 739 918.
A Natural and Complete Recovery From Anxiety and PMS
Below is a text message received from a client who came to me suffering from anxiety since she was 8 (in her 30’s now), and severe PMS since the birth of her son 3 years ago.
Her doctors tried to prescribe her antidepressants and the pill, but she decided against this path, coming to see me instead.
The treatment protocol I used was 3 fold:
- A combination of herbs for PMS to regulate her hormones, addressing relative oestrogen excess.
- Diaphragmatic breathing exercises to help regulate her nervous system allowing her to be more relaxed, more often. The carry on effect of this is that it will deal with anxiety as it arises and make it less likely to surface in the long run.
- Mickel Therapy to address certain lifestyle and behavioural factors that were putting her hypothalamus in overdrive, or leading her to internalise stress. Given that the hypothalamus regulates endocrine glands, and therefore hormone balance; as well as the automatic nervous system, and neurotransmitter production, the imbalance in this system will contribute to both the anxiety and the PMS at higher levels – in fact, one could argue that this is the ultimate cause and the symptoms are the end result.
Regardless, of what is higher, or the cause, and what are the results, or symptoms, to be more thorough, we addressed both.
I saw her in person the first time and then via Skype/phone from then on (it was easier for her due to having a young child).
The result was fantastic, and achieved in only 3 sessions. I think the text speaks for itself. She gave me permission to use this as a testimonial, so here it is:
“Hi Tim, I’m well thanks….I’m actually doing really good…I don’t have a lot to go over with you tomorrow. My anxiety is at an all time low, my PMS has disappeared, and I’m feeling the best I have in years!. So, would you mind if we touched base in 4 weeks for a catch up?….You’re doing you job too well” Laura, Keilor
Well, I do say that my job is to ultimately make myself redundant by teaching skills for health and lifestyle that clients continue after treatment. It is a very thorough approach initially, but the rewards are worth it – more comprehensive results and the client is set free. So, I’m happy to have a client reschedule the session for this reason.
You might say that is a terrible business model for me, however it does create a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. And that makes one richer than any money can 🙂
Laura was an an absolute pleasure to work with, so she deserrved the results she earned.
Our Cortisol Slope, via Our Relationship to Stress, is The Greatest Predictor of Total Mortality
A fascinating video (linked at the bottom) from Food Matters TV during their recent Sleep and Stress Online Event chatting with Dr Alan Chritianson discussing the relationship with stress and mortality and highlighted some findings from the Whitehall II study in the UK, which revealed that for cardiovascular mortality, cigarette smoking was the number one predictor of mortality, with cortisol slope (via our relationship to stress) following closely behind. They also compares these with the usual health metrics such as exercise levels, blood pressure, cholesterol levels etc. etc.
Yet, for overall mortality, cortisol slope was the highest predictor of mortality.
The implications for this on how to prioritise your health incentives are huge – Dr Christianson, said these results hit him like a tonne of bricks. You could be a non smoker, non-alcohol drinking, clean food eating, exercise loving health nut, yet if your relationship with stress, or how you deal with stress is dysfunctional, it could make you ill or kill you quicker than a smoking, drinking, junk food eating couch potato who doesn’t get overly stressed too much. That sucks!!
These results basically suggest that, whilst it is important to focus on our nutrition, exercise, alcohol consumption, eliminating cigarette smoking etc. for our health, we should make how we deal with stress our number one priority.
Fortunately, two of the modalities I use with clients focus one exactly that.
- Diaphragmatic breathing – of all of the automatic functions that our body performs, breathing is the only one that we can consciously control, with ease. And the same nervous system that regulates our automatic functions (including breathing), the autonomic nervous system (ANS), is also the same nervous system that regulates stress. Moreover, most of us breathe in emergency mode, far too quickly, with an exhale to inhale ratio that is out of whack, so we end up in permanent emergency mode, or ‘fight or flight’ functioning. By learning how to diaphragm breathe in certain rhythms, we can get out of emergency, or ‘fight or flight’ mode, and restore a nervous system that is more restful and relaxed, than it is on the go.
- Mickel Therapy – this technique, which is far from therapy as you might think of it, is an ‘action based’ technique that focuses on restoring harmony and optimal function to the ‘hypothalamus’ gland in our brain stem, which is the gland responsible for regulating the function or our autonomic nervous system, and therefore our stress response, all automatic and endocrine gland functions of our body, our immune system, our sleep cycles, neurotransmitter levels and many other bodily functions. It is like the ‘general’ of our bodily functions and it’s job is to maintain homeostasis, or efficient, healthy functioning of our body. It is also like a link between our brain and our body. A healthy relationship with stress requires, at the highest levels of our functioning (in our brain) a healthy relationship between our instinctive, emotional brain (which registers threats to our system and, therefore, stress) and our thinking, or rational brain (which, ideally, interprets the signals of stress sent by the emotional brain, negative emotions, and creates actions to deal with them). This allows us to functionally deal with stress as it arises. However, we ‘modern’ humans have created a huge mismatch between the bodies we have inherited (from our hunter gatherer ancestors) and the culture we have created, and this mismatch leads this healthy relationship in our brain between our instinctive emotions and our thinking, to break down. The result being that rather than dealing with stress functionally, most of us, most of the time, suppress it; and the hypothalamus is the gland in the body that first deals with this suppressed stress, causing it to go into overdrive. The follow on effect of this is that homeostasis within our body is upset and our automatic functions start to go into emergency mode, resulting often in symptoms of acute and/or chronic illness.
Hopefully these explanations may shed some light on why our relationship to stress is the number one predictor of overall mortality.
If you would like to explore using these modalities to improve your relationship with stress, overcome any chronic illness that you believe stress may play a role in (CFS, Fibromylagia, IBS, Anxiety/Depression, Auto-Immune etc), or you would like to explore increasing your quality of life, or the duration between now and your inevitable mortality :-), then contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0425 739 918.