Breathing Development

An interesting link that looks at research on scientific research on breathing and breathing development. Including the first study that indicates that breathing volume is the primary predictor of how long you will live.

It it worth taking your breathing for granted any longer?

I don’t believe in using exactly the same methodology as the author of the linked website, but I do admire and share his passion for this subject.

Junk foods and depression

Fast Food and Despression

A ripper article outlining a study that shows a strong link between both commercially baked and junk foods, and depression. Definitely worth a read. Given the widespread prevalence and growth of depression, if you enjoy an occasional or regular bakery or junk food hit, it’s perhaps time to consider cutting back intake of these foods also.

Effects of too much sugar

What Eating Too Much Sugar Does to Your Brain

This article explores the effects that added sugar can have on more than just our waistlines.

“Overeating, poor memory formation, learning disorders, depression—all have been linked in recent research to the over-consumption of sugar. And these linkages point to a problem that is only beginning to be better understood: what our chronic intake of added sugar is doing to our brains.”

Nutritional & Physio Genomics

“The future of preventative health care”

Have you ever wondered why there are so many individual differences in people’s health despite fairly similar nutritional, lifestyle or exercise advice for everyone? For example:

  • Why some people lose weight or put on muscle easily whilst others struggle?
  • Why some people find it easy to get motivated to exercise yet other’s struggle?
  • Why some people have great endurance, yet others have poor endurance but are great at sprints or power exercises?
  • Why some people seem to have endless vitality despite having a poor diet?
  • Why one person may suffer from one ailment yet another has a completely different ailment despite a similar diet and lifestyle?
  • Etc. etc. etc.

The answers to these questions for all of us are now available and lie in the genetic blueprint contained in DNA in every cell of our body.

A new technological development known as Nutritional or Physio Genomic testing offers us a window into our unique genetic blueprint and explains why your body and mind functions in it’s own unique way.

Physiogenomics has been described as “the future preventative health care” by offering, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, a personalised approach to health care, where a personalised lifestyle program including diet, nutrition, stress management, exercise and sleep is developed according to your unique genes.

Epigenetic research has indicated that our environment – not our DNA – shapes the development of our cells. Our genes offer the blueprint, but it is environmental influences that determine how these genes are expressed.

Using a simple saliva sample, physiogenomics offers a view of your unique genetic profile. The test looks at 90 different gene variations that can impact you health, including:

  • Lipid (fat) Profiling
  • High Blood Pressure risk
  • Diabetes Profile
  • Body Composition
  • Sports and Exercise Profiling – peak performance
  • Anti-ageing – liver detoxification (phase I & II), oxidative stress and inflammation
  • Brain Health – stress responses, mood, addiction, seasonal sleep and metal binding
  • Fertility Profiling (for men and women) & Oestrogen Profiling
  • Environmental Toxins
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Your personalised lifestyle and health care strategy is then tailored from this unique window into your genetic disposition to health or disease

A great way of describing how physiogenomics works is by describing your unique genetic blueprint as your “loaded gun” with respect to health, and especially disease, and the physiogenomic report as your window into this blueprint. You will learn your weaknesses (or potential predispositions to certain diseases) and strengths (leading you to optimal health).

It is your environment and your interaction with it that determines whether you “pull the trigger” and turn your dispositional weaknesses into health issues and/or disease.

Alternatively, and preferably, you can you use this insight to live your life in a way where these weaknesses never see the light of day and you optimize your strengths and your understanding of your unique genetic profile to experience health and vitality at levels you haven’t previously felt and are rarely seen nowadays.

The incredible potential of this testing lies in the information and understanding provided. The choices you make based on this, will allow you to optimise your own human potential.

You need only do the test once. The information you receive will last you your lifetime.

We are now proud to announce that we offer Physiogenomic testing and subsequent health and well-being programs based on the test.

As mentioned, testing requires only a simple saliva sample, and testing packs are available from Tim Altman via the shop on this website. The saliva sample is then sent to smartDNA (details with the pack), whereupon a report will be sent back to Tim, who will then translate and create a summary of this report which is outlined in a one hour consultation.

Tim will also liaise with any trainers or coaches you may have regarding all aspects of your report that pertain to your training and physical well-being.

The whole procedure takes approximately one month (for the test to be done) and will give you abundant amounts of information to embark on your unique preventative health and wellness mission.

The total cost for the test, report and summary is $750. You need only do the test once. The information you receive will last you your lifetime – out aim is to extend your lifetime and improve it’s quality exponentially!!!

The report and summary can be done as either a consultation in person, via email or via a Skye consultation.

If you are interested in this ground breaking technology, please contact Tim via email or call on 0425 739 918.

Alternatively, go to the shop section of this website and book in your Physiogenomics test. You will be sent a test kit that has full instructions of how to prepare the saliva sample and where to send it. Once the results have been sent to Tim, he will contact you about the report on the results and subsequent programs.

For further information on Physiogenomics see

De-stress your life

How to de-stress your life

By Tim Altman – published by minx, 17 April 2012

There are two ideal approaches to de-stressing your life, one involves a practice and the other is a remedy.

Number one:

Do anything you can to relax i.e. increase parasympathetic nervous system function, which sounds complicated, but is really quite simple.

The stress response and all automatic functions of the body (being those that work whether you are aware of it or not – digestion, heart beat, breathing, etc.) are controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which has two components.

An excitatory component – the sympathetic nervous system, which is what predominates when we experience stress, and is responsible for the ‘fight or flight’ response. Heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, adrenaline and cortisol levels all rise and digestive function, immune system function, and blood flow to the brain all decrease.

And a relaxing component known as the parasympathetic arm, which creates the ‘relaxation response’ – the exact opposite of the stress response. We see greater relaxation, lower heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels, plus greater levels of serotonin and melatonin (happy hormones) as well as improved digestion, immune system function and cognitive function.


  • meditation
  • deep muscle relaxation
  • breathing exercises
  • yoga
  • massage
  • reading

Number two:

Use adaptogenic herbs that help reverse the damage done by stress (or sympathetic nervous system dominance). These work in a number of ways depending on the herb. Essentially they increase the body’s ability to adapt to stress, and often come from herbs or trees that are exposed to extremely harsh or stressful environmental conditions themselves.

The best adaptogen I have used by far, both clinically and personally, is Siberian Fir (Abies siberica) needle complex. These trees are exposed to -55 degrees Celsius and periods of constant darkness during winter, yet remain vibrant, green and disease free all year round. The herb is extremely effective in maintaining energy levels, treating fatigue, boosting the immune system and building endurance and stamina.

Other great de-stressing processes include the following:

Exercise – we were made to move. Movement (combined with sweating, the increase in endorphins, and release of nervous tension) is great for stress release.
Take some time off every week for yourself, where you have no commitments to others or life responsibilities. You can spend this time with others if you choose, but make sure you get a chance to totally “chill-out”.

Snoring Treatment and Prevention

Breathing Dynamics for Treatment and Prevention of Snoring

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 incidence of snoring can vary, it is estimated that at least 30% of adults snore and the impact of snoring occurs both for the snorer and those who sleep with or near them. Research on snoring has confirmed an association or correlation of snoring with a number of diseases, including heart attack and stroke.

Breathing Retraining to Prevent and Treat Snoring

Note: it is recommended you read the comprehensive Breathing Dynamics or Respiratory Therapy information 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.

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.

Another published article…

7 Ways To Prevent Fatigue

Another ‘Tim Altman’ article has been published, this time in Shesaid online magazine, which has a distribution of 80,000+.

7 Ways To Prevent Fatigue by Tim Altman

Admit it, you’re tired, right? You’re not the only one – between work, a social life and family responsibilities, life can wear you down. Leading naturopath Tim Altman shows us how to deal with fatigue and get more energy every day.

  1. Eliminate or dramatically reduce dietary intake of the following:
    Sugars – including sugar, sweets, chocolates, added sugars, refined carbohydrates (white flour/rice in bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits, cereals, muesli bars etc.) and alcohol. Processed foods – foods containing chemicals or that have been refined in any way. Stimulants – coffee, energy drinks, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs.
  2. Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks daily and include protein in each meal and snack (especially breakfast).
  3. Exercise regularly.
  4. Breathe through the nose at all times, using the diaphragm (even during exercise) rather than using the mouth, chest and shoulders.
  5. Cleanse your gut and liver via detoxification processes.
  6. Learn to relax and balance your nervous system via meditation and yoga.
  7. Use a herbal adaptogen such a Siberian Red to assist in undoing the damage caused by over stimulation of the nervous system and the resulting adrenal fatigue.

Asthma Prevention and Treatment


by Tim Altman B.Sc. B.H.Sc. (Naturopathy)

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 the comprehensive ‘Breathing Dynamics’ or ‘Respiratory Therapy’ information 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 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 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.

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 asthma and subsequent breathing retraining techniques and rhythm development can be purchased via the shop section of this website.