Breathing Dynamics For Optimal Health and Performance

BREATHING DYNAMICS FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH AND PERFORMANCE

 Do you want to know how you can influence your quality of life by understanding the role of breathing in rest, activity, attention and composure?

Breathing is central to all life.

It is the one thing that we have conscious control of that we do more than anything else – 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.

Normal breathing is 4-5 litres of air per minute at 8-10 breaths per minute (as opposed to 14-20 breaths that most of us take!!).

And breathing should always happen through the nose driven by the diaphragm. Most of us alternate between mouth and nose breathing using predominantly the chest and shoulders, causing us to breathe too much volume of air, with poor postural strategy using far too much effort in breathing.

This over breathing, or dysfunctional breathing, when repeated up to 30,000 times per day can result in significant compromises in optimal functioning.

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? We breathe in 21% oxygen and exhale 16%, so we only use less than one quarter of the oxygen that we breathe.

It is a lack of oxygen released into cells due to low levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) caused by OVER BREATHING OR DYSFUNCTIONAL BREATHING!!!!

Yet most of us OVER BREATHE or MOUTH BREATHE.

In 1903 Danish physiologist Christian Bohr won a Nobel Prize for his discovery that the lower the partial pressure (and therefore concentration) of CO2 in the arterial blood, the tighter the bond between circulating haemoglobin (Hb) and it’s bound oxygen (O2). The tighter the bond between Hb and O2, the less the amounts of oxygen released into tissues for energy production.

What causes low arterial concentration of CO2? 

OVER BREATHING!!!!

OVERBREATHING/DYSFUNCTIONAL BREATHING CAN RESULT IN:                                      

  1. Snoring, sleep apnoea, waking un-refreshed         

  2. Asthma, breathing difficulties  

  3. Anxiety, panic attacks

  4. Hypertension, high blood pressure

  5. Eczema, dry skin, skin irritations

  6. Fatigue/lack of endurance or stamina

  7. Allergies, sinusitis, excessive mucous production

  8. Teeth deformities

When you reduce oxygen release to cells, those cells lose functionality or under perform.

 

OPTIMAL BREATHING CAN RESULT IN:

  1. A full night of quiet sleep. Waking refreshed. 
  1. Controlled, easy breathing (even when exercising). 
  1. Greater energy levels and vitality. 
  1. Greater mental concentration and clarity. 
  1. Significantly improved work, sporting and/or artistic performance. 
  1. Clear skin. 
  1. A well formed set of teeth.                                                                               

 

When you optimize oxygen release, you optimize cellular performance. Cells flourish!!

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF MEASURING AND MAINTAINING OPTIMAL CO2 LEVELS.

Over breathing causes hypocapnia (low partial pressure of CO2 in arterial blood) which results in both vaso- and broncho- constriction. And if the required ‘reservoir level’ of CO2in the lungs after expiration (namely ETCO2) is too low there will be constant interference in smooth muscle tube function and fluctuations in oxygen concentration at cellular level – causing sub-optimal cell regeneration with the accompanying chronic tiredness, sleep disordered breathing, poor concentration and lack of energy and stamina.

THE CapnoTrainer™

This is a sophisticated bio-feedback monitoring instrument that optically analyses the exhaled breath, establishes the ETCO2 and displays it in various graphic formats along with measurements of breathing rate and heart rate variability. It connects via USB and works on most PCs and laptops.

 

 

 

ETCO2 consistently below the horizontal line which represents 35mm Hg pressure – minimum level for functional breathing.

 

 

 

 ETCO2 above the horizontal line showing 40 – 45mm Hg pressure which is the correct level for optimal functioning.

 We are the only clinic in Victoria to use this new CapnoTrainerTMbioefeedbacktechnology to assess your breathing levels and retrain you to breathe optimally.

For athletes and business people, the benefits of breathing retraining can be both surprising and life changing. Both performance and efficiency of movement will improve dramatically.

We focus on training you to:

  • Nose breathe at all levels of exertion.
  • Use your diaphragm (rather than the chest and clavicles) as the main driver of breathing.
  • Reduce the rate and volume of your breath at all levels of exertion.
  • Manage stress levels by regulating your autonomic nervous system – specifically by reducing sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) dominance and increasing parasympathetic (relaxation) function.

 

This will result in the following benefits:

  1. Use of a greater surface area of your lungs for gas exchange.
  2. Increase oxygen release to tissue and cells of your body.
  3. For athletes – delay onset of lactic acid.
  4. Reduced heart rates even under pressure or at higher levels of exertion.
  5. Greater relaxation at all levels of stress or exertion via increased parasympathetic nervous system activation.
  6. Greater access to ‘Zone’ or ‘alpha’ states during performance, exercise or racing.
  7. Increased deep system stabilization (postural) via diaphragmatic control.
  8. Relaxation of nerves prior to stressful events or races.

We teach Breathing Dynamics to the public both one on one in clinic or in courses for groups.

 

Tim Altman B.Sc.; B.H.Sc (Naturopathy) www.timaltman.com.au

Ph: 0425 739 918

 

 

ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY OF MUSCLES INVOLVED IN BREATHING

ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY OF MUSCLES INVOLVED IN BREATHING:

I ran a Breathing Dynamics course for Surfers and Sports people over the weekend, (details linked here https://www.facebook.com/events/2083394425213514/) and a question came up about the muscles involved in breathing, and their relationship to posture. One of the attendees, Torquay myotherapist, Gary Javoneva was able to contribute some fantastic information. He followed up with this fantastic article on the ‘Anatomy and physiology of muscles involved in breathing.’  I have included the full article, including Gary’s contact details here.

“I have prepared this article to explain you the principle and the relation between breathing and your muscles and on how can your posture mess up with your training. I tried to keep it simple and brief.

BREATHING PUMP MUSCLE:

The breathing pump muscle are a complex arrangement that form a semi-rigid bellows around your lungs.

Essentially, all the muscles that attach to the rib cage have the potential to generate breathing action. Here are the main muscles involve in breathing and that can be treated during a myotherapy session:

INSPIRATORY MUSCLES:

The principle muscle of inspiration is the diaphragm, it attaches to the lower ribs and the lumbar vertebrae.

Diaphragm contraction induces the lower ribs upward and forward, increasing the thoracic volume.

The muscles of the ribs: The Intercostal muscles located in the space between the ribs. Contraction of the intercostals cause the ribs to move upward and outward.

Intercostal muscle contractions also stiffen the rib cage during lifting, pushing, and pulling movement.

Some muscles in the neck region also have an inspiratory function, the Scalenes and Sternocleidomastoid muscles are attached to the top of the sternum, upper two ribs and clavicle (Collar bone). When these muscles contract they lift the top of the chest, but the scalene muscles are also involved in flexion of the neck.

EXPIRATORY MUSCLES:

The most well known and visible expiratory muscle is the rectus abdominis (6 pack), the other muscles less visible, but arguably more functionally important in any sports with their primary actions are the transversus abdominis and the internal and exterior oblique muscles.

The internal intercostal which slope backward, when they contract the ribs move downward and inward. Both internal and external intercostal muscles are also involved in flexing and twisting the trunk.

HOW POSTURE CAN MESS UP YOUR BREATHING:

If you sit down and lean over, stretching your hands toward the floor in front of your feet, your breathing is far more difficult, because your lungs cannot be filled as easily with air.
What does this extreme example tell us? Quite simply, the more restrictions you place on your breathing, the harder it becomes. Leaning over squeezes your lungs, making them smaller, and decreasing your breathing volume. Shallow breathing means less oxygen into your system. Less oxygen means less energy support.
Sitting or standing straight for a few minutes after slouching most of your life is not good enough. Your muscles, tendons and ligaments become trained by constant slouching. You need to train them with an entirely new habit. You need to create a new “upright” lifestyle.

If you would like to learn more about your posture or you breathing muscles, feel free to contact me 0456074732-

gary@torquaysmc.com.au, or come in a for a chat at the clinic which is located in the heart of Surf City in Torquay. Torquay Sports Medicine Centre.

Gary Javonena – Myotherapist”