The Anti-Snooze Webinar: March 30th at 12 Noon

I’m really looking forward to hosting Anti- Snooze Lunch Webinar: March 30, 12 pm
It will explore a variety of ways to beat the 3.30 slump. Understanding and managing fatigue. Preventing Burnout :
The MLT WELLBEING Team invite you to a FREE anti snooze Zoom lunch with Tim Altman, Kay Clancy and Jen Bishop.

We use a multifactorial approach to preventing and treating fatigue, burn-out and overwhelm in the work place and creating a balance between work and family life.

Our approach is based on the understanding and research that has stemmed from the field of evolutionary medicine, which draws from genetics, epigenetics and anthropology.

In short, we discuss the mismatch theory of human evolution with research suggesting that the assimilation of change in our environment takes tens of thousands of years for our body to assimilate.

As such,  we’ve created a huge mismatch between the body we have inherited from our hunter gatherer ancestors some 40,000 years ago or more, and the high paced, intense world we have created via rapid technological advancement over a comparatively much, much shorter period of time.

To quote world leading evolutionary medicine expert from Harvard University, Dr Daniel Lieberman:

Interactions between the bodies we inherited, the environment we create, and the decisions we sometimes make have set in motion an insidious feedback loop. 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.’

In this webinar we explore a number of aspects of how we live or interface with the world that dramatically influence our well-being, energy levels, immune system, and our mental health. In each of these aspects, we compare how we typically perform these functions in the modern world with how the body we inherited would ideally perform these functions – in an environment in which we thrived.

I will cover tips and strategies on how to manage all aspects that affect fatigue and energy levels including specifics on:

1. Breathing techniques to regulate your autonomic nervous system.
2. Daily nutrition strategies for peak mental/brain performance.
3. Sleep hygiene, managing airways and new dental approaches for fatigue prevention.
4. Movement, exercise and stabilising for energy.
5. Techniques and workplace tools for managing stress in the new pivot economy.

MLT colleague and super coach Kay Clancy, will discuss the PERMA model of well-being and how to apply this to your workplace and lifestyle.

Finally, MLT Wellbeing founder Jen Bishop will discuss the gut/brain connection latest research from the Florey Institute and the impacts on fatigue, sleep and function.

Come join us March 30 packed with deep info and insight on harnessing and your greatest resource – your energy. Bring loads of questions and lots of water !

Click on this link to register: http://bit.ly/MLTantisnoozeMar30

Take A Breath Podcast Interview with World Renowned Yoga Teacher, Simon Borg-Olivier

In the linked (at the bottom of this article) episode of the Take A Breath Health and Lifestyle Show, which I co-host with Matt Radford, we interview world renowned yoga teacher and physiotherapist, Simon Borg-Olivier.

Simon’s accomplishments in his field include teaching yoga for over 30 years, founding Yoga Synergy in Sydney, authoring the book ‘Applied Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga’, and he now trains yoga teachers all over the world.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Simon’s introduction to free diving as a 6 year old, and pranayama breathing techniques not long afterwards.
  • How Simon’s training as both a scientist & physiotherapist, and yoga practitioner allowed him to merge the scientific paradigm with yoga.
  • The clash between the ‘core training’ approach to posture and stability held by the physiotherapy and fitness professions for many years with the understanding of the importance of free movement of the diaphragm for correct breathing.
  • Simon’s belief that the first thing that should be taught to students for their long term well-being is the restoration of natural breathing as most people’s breathing is so inefficient that, if they are given specific breathing techniques, they will tend to over-breathe and over-tense.

  • And that natural breathing is most effectively learned by combining it with moving the body, especially the trunk in certain ways that improves breathing in many ways.
  • What is over-breathing.
  • How Simon teaches breathing to students – including restoration of natural breathing, as well as other specific pranayama techniques.
  • Simon’s 5 features of natural breathing:

  1. Inhalation is felt very low.

  2. Exhalation is passive.

  3. Breathing is minimal – no more than you need.

  4. It can run on automatic.

  5. Through the nose.

  • Simon’s views on the Wim Hof method, including the strengths and limitations.
  • An incredible experience Simon shared where he was recorded in a laboratory doing hyperventilation breathing techniques (similar to the Wim Hof techniques, but more complex) followed by a 6 minute breath hold, then a spontaneous 8 minute breath hold immediately afterwards.
  • Techniques for learning to increase breath hold time – including connecting with the 12 areas of the body that allow dual control between the conscious and sub-conscious – the ‘12 bridges’.
  • Why Simon believes that most modern yoga is no longer yoga – it involves over stretching, over-tensing, over-breathing, and over-thinking, and therefore blocks the natural movement of energy and information through the body. It is more like a work-out.

More information on Simon, and his yoga teaching can be found at www.yogasynergy.com, and the Yoga Synergy Youtube channel. Plus www.simonborgolivier.com

If you’d like to learn how to breathe correctly to improve your well-being, treat illness or improve performance, either sign up for my comprehensive ‘Breathing Dynamics’ online course on the home page of this website, http://timaltman.com.au/, or contact me at tim@timaltman.com.au or +61425 739 918.

https://www.takeabreath.com.au/post/interview-with-simon-borg-oliver

 

 

‘Take A Breath’ Podcast Interview with Dr Craig Hassed

Linked below is a great interview on the ‘Take A Breath Health and Lifestyle Show’ podcast that I co-host, with Dr Craig Hassed, world renowned researcher and lecturer on mindulness, meditation and psychoneuroimmunology, Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), also referred to as psychoendoneuroimmunology (PENI) or psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology (PNEI), is the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body.

Dr Hassed has written many books on mindfulness, meditation and mind-body medicine, including ‘The Freedom Trap – Reclaiming Liberty and Well-being’, and ‘Mindfulness For Life’ among many more.

His fantastic book, ‘New Frontiers In Medicine: The Body As a Shadow of the Soul’ was a huge inspiration to me many years ago during my studies into natural medicine and in my process to optimal health & living following my successful and complete recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Both myself, and Take A Breath co-host Matt Radford (https://www.takeabreath.com.au/) were super nervous prior, and a bit star struck during our interview as Dr Hassed has been such an inspiration to us. However, we was super friendly and relaxed, so we really enjoyed it, and his discussion on the podcast is brilliant. I highly recommend you take the time to listen.

https://www.takeabreath.com.au/post/interview-with-dr-craig-hassed

Podcast Interview: The Power of Correct Breathing with Tim Altman via Lionheart Workshops

Linked here is a podcast interview I did recently with Jenni Madison of Lionheart Workshops which offers Online courses for your health, natural and spiritual wellbeing.

The ‘Breathing Dynamics’ online course for correct breathing to improve your health & wellbeing, vitality and performance is now available on this website,  http://timaltman.com.au/ , and  the Lionheart Workshops website.

In addition, I am part of the Mindful Life Training team, who will be offering in person and virtual wellbeing/leadership courses to organisations and workplaces that are customised for your team. These will include courses on ‘Breathing for Anxiety/Stress’ and ‘Breathing for Peak Performance’. Enquiries or bookings can be made now on the website.

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Breathing is something that we do automatically it is the foundation for life. Learning to understand the dynamics of breathing within the body and to breath correctly can stimulate a depth from within you and transform your entire well-being. Yogi’s know this!

Due to the mismatch that has been formed withing our evolutionary biology (between the environment our body evolved to thrive in, as hunter gatherers, and the fast-paced, high tech world we have created) with regards to the bodies evolution, natural and unnatural stress responses and the way we actually see or perceive ourselves as human beings today.

This mismatch of evolution has led to an unnatural response to life through feelings of anxiety triggered incorrectly by stress responses. Hence the ‘mismatch’, and resultant common experience of compromised health, anxiety, fatigue, burn out, lack of performance, joy and fulfillment.

If you are feeling stressed, anxious or unwell, a powerful solution could be as simple as the way you take in your air.

Whilst we have evolved in so many ways, and it may not be right for us to return to hunter gatherer days, we must also understand what our body is naturally built for and that the flight or fight response is not a permanent state of being.

Breathing correctly and understanding the dynamics of correct breathing once again can help to mitigate the unnecessary, self created concept of ‘threats’ to our survival, that is the flight or fight response.

The approach to health, well-being and performance is more hands on, and takes some practice, but yields super potent and long term results.

Breathing Dynamics can help with:

√ deepening your meditation practice

√ improved quality of sleep

√ better digestion and immune system function (and therefore increased resistance to illness – including viruses).

√ less anxiety or the release of anxiety

√ improved mental clarity

√ better work and sports performance

We really do often over look such a natural autonomic physiological response to life in many ways. And we have far more potential than we realise that can be accessed via correct or optimal breathing function.

Testimonial: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Recovery

“Hi Tim, just wanted to say thanks for all the guidance over the last 12 months.  My physical health is at it’s best since getting crook, and my mental health, and my ability to handle stress has improved greatly. This has been from all the little things that I have implemented through your guidance. Looking forward to taking that next step in my health this year.” Brandon, Colac

Above is a lovely new year’s message from a client who came to me just over 12 months ago with chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS.

His main, or most prominent symptoms were chronic fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, anxiety and shortness of breath.

His program included a combination of

  1. Behavioural and lifestyle modifications based on the neuroscience principles of Mickel Therapy aimed at detecting the triggers that lead to or increase symptoms and lessening the impact of these, or changing the behaviours or subconscious habits that lead to symptoms. This aspect is grossly underrated, but essential in the recovery from any chronic illness.
  2. Breath retraining using diaphragmatic breathing rhythms taught in a 4-5 stage process over time to increase energy production, regulate the autonomic nervous system and increase blood and lymph flow throughout the body.
  3. Nutritional changes and optimisation, culminating in a comprehensive 7-10 day juice fast followed by 3-4 week re-introduction to food process.
  4. The use of a small range of specifically targeted herbs and nutritional medicines that are all pure extracts (derived directly from plants rather than being synthetically manufactured) for increased bio-availability.

If you or someone you know has chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS, post-viral syndrome, adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia, IBS, anxiety or any other chronic complaint, contact me via tim@timaltman.com.au or 0425 739 918.

My work is equally effective online as it is in person – in fact the client who is the subject of this post was an online client.

 

 

Use The Breath to Control The Mind

Breath and mind arise from the same place and when one of them is controlled, the other one is controlled.
Watching the breath is one form of pranayama (meditation/mindfulness).
Merely watching the breath is easy and involves no risk”

Ramana Maharshi

My comprehensive online course for correct breathing is available on the home page of this website – http://timaltman.com.au/

Also, at Mindful Life Training we offer evidence based diaphragmatic breathing and mindfulness courses to organisations both in person and online to help you optimise your wellbeing, performance and state of being. Details linked here – https://www.mindfullife.com.au/breathing-for-anxietystress

Take The Mind Out of Mindfulness – It’s Also a Physical Thing!

In my last post I described Meditation as Medicine courtesy the huge amount of research pointing to the physiological and psychological benefits, and the breathing is the centre or anchor of all meditation, and mindfulness is the objective.

If it is so good for us, why has it not caught on more?

Perhaps, because we are so engaged in our heads, or our minds are so busy all of the time, sitting to meditate and quieten the mind is just not that easy.

Many people struggle to quieten or focus their thoughts, or experience ‘mindfulness’, for more than a few minutes at a time. Some struggle to do this at all.

For so many sitting down to meditate or even practice mindfulness whilst going about their day can feel like mental effort, or be frustrating, or futile – people often say that ‘meditation is not for me’.

I dispute that. It’s just that they haven’t learn how to do it properly or consistently yet. It doesn’t have to be only a mental thing, or a mental effort.

The base of all meditation, mindfulness, yoga, martial arts etc. is the breath.

By relaxing and focusing on the breath, you firstly settle the nervous system.

By focusing on the breath, the mind focuses.

By settling the breath, the mind settles and quietens.

One experiences mindfulness.

We know from research on mindfulness and meditation, that when your nervous system becomes parasympathetic dominant, you experience the ‘relaxation response’ and you are more likely to experience mindfulness at a greater depth.

We also know that the nervous system that regulates whether we are relaxed or stressed, also regulates all of our automatic functions, and, of all of these automatic functions, the breath is the one you can consciously control or modify with ease – with training.

Therefore, by learning to use the breath correctly, using the nose, diaphragm and in certain rhythms, one can settle the nervous system, relax and increase the likelihood that you will experience mindfulness, or meditation, and as a result, you get the most potent medicine available to us – and all of the physiological and psychological benefits that go along with it.

What makes this even better is that meditation, or mindfulness is not a mental effort, or solely a mental process. It’s also a physical process. And this part is easy to learn.

If you find meditation difficult to do, or difficult to maintain for periods of time, then make it a physical thing more than a mental effort. Learn how to breathe ideally to create the physical state that will make you more likely to be mindful more often, and to either begin your meditation practice, or take your current practice to a much deeper level.

At Mindful Life Training, www.mindfullife.com.au, we offer both online and in person courses on both functional breathing for meditation/mindfulness, and mindfulness courses t businesses and organisations.

You will also find my comprehensive online breathing course on the home page of this website – http://timaltman.com.au/

MEDITATION IS MEDICINE

MEDITATION IS MEDICINE

After 20 years as a clinician working with health, wellbeing and performance both one on one or with groups, if, for some hypothetical reason, I were restricted to only having one modality/intervention to improve any of these outcomes, I have no hesitation in saying that it would be meditation.

I heard it described by a very wise person once that ‘Meditation is Medicine’, and if you look at the overwhelming amount of research evidence that points to the physiological and psychological benefits of meditation, mindfulness, and breath work, there can be no doubt about it.

Linked below is a research review I wrote on meditation that was written nearly 20 years ago, so the weight of evidence has grown significantly since – http://timaltman.com.au/meditation-is-medicine/

This evidence also applies to consistent practice of breathing rhythms and mindfulness, which are forms of meditation. Actually, breathing is the base or anchor for all meditation and mindfulness practice (as well as yoga, martial arts, tai chi etc), and mindfulness is the desired result, or ideal state of meditation practice.

At Mindful Life Training we offer online and in person breathing courses to organisations for stress management/relaxation/anxiety and for performance/flow states, as well as a range of mindfulness courses.

Also, my online breathing retraining course is available via the homepage of this website – www.timaltman.com.au

 

3 Top Health Tips For Surviving CoVid and Thriving Beyond

After having specialised for many years in treating people with chronic illnesses such as CFS, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive complaints, as well as working at the other end of the well-being spectrum with corporates and athletes to improve performance, here are my top three well-being tips for surviving/thriving during CoVid and lessons we can learn so we thrive, going beyond.
These draw from research in nutritional medicine, neuroscience, psychoneuroimmunology, epigenetics, evolutionary medicine, physiology and biochemistry.

1. Practice diaphragmatic breathing rhythms 3 times daily for 10 minutes ea.

Most people breathe nowhere near their full potential – twice as often as we should (according to diagnostic norms) using our chest and shoulders instead of our diaphragm, and with our mouth in addition to, or instead of our nose. This impairs energy production by the cells, upsets our nervous system putting us in constant low to mid-level fight or flight mode, and can significantly reduce our performance and contribute to many health conditions, including:

  • asthma and breathing difficulties
  • sleep issues – including snoring and sleep apnoea
  • fatigue and chronic pain
  • anxiety and depression
  • headaches and migraines
  • allergies and sinusitis
  • IBS and other digestive complaints
Breathing is also the central, or base practice in meditation, most martial arts, yoga, tai-chi etc. The volume of research on breath practice, and particularly meditation is now huge.
Enough to say that breath-work and meditation are medicine – both physically and mentally.
If you already have a meditation practice, incorporate the breathing rhythms into your practice, especially at the start, as it will settle your nervous system into relaxation mode more quickly, and take the practice to a deeper level.
If you don’t, start with the regular breathing rhythms.
To start, see my online breathing course via  http://timaltman.com.au/

2. Eat more fruit and vegetables.

The most common denominator from the last 100 years or so of nutritional research is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the better your quality of life, and immune system, and the more you prevent the chronic illnesses that account for 90% of medical expenses and deaths in the western world.

Aim for a minimum of 6 full handfuls (your handful) of vegetables and 3 handfuls of seasonal fruit to your climate daily.
That = 9 handfuls of fruit and vegetables daily. If you struggle to achieve it, reduce your intake of processed foods, grains, dairy etc. as they provide nowhere the bang for buck nutritionally that fruit and vegetables do, but fill you up so there’s less room for the quality stuff.
If you eat meat (read meat, fish, poultry etc), have no more than a palm size portion in each meal, and buy organic wherever possible as the quality of the meat and the fats is much, much better.

3. Get more variety and reward in your day.

Research in genetics, anthropology and evolutionary medicine tells us that it takes 40,000 to 100,000 years for change in our environment to be assimilated by our bodies at DNA level, meaning that our body evolved to thrive as we lived 40,000 years ago at least, as hunter-gatherers. The way we spend our days has changed dramatically since then, but we can learn plenty about what our bodies are built for, or what environments cause them to thrive or fail.
The average hunter-gatherer population spent 15-25 hours per week hunting and gathering. So they got far more variety, balance and down time in their day than we did. We are simply not built to work as much as we do, and it takes its toll on our physical and mental health in more ways than we may realise.
Whilst, for a number of reasons it may not be easy or realistic to reduce your working hours so much straight away, or at all, we can learn so much from what our body is built for and apply the following principles into each day. Some tips include:
  • Combine work with reward; i.e. 45 minutes on, 15 minutes reward, or 2  hours on, half and hour reward, 3 hours on, 1 hour reward etc.
  • In your reward time, gut up from your desk and do something different – that you enjoy.
  • On that note, spend more time each day on activities you enjoy for no reason – your brain and nervous system will love you for it. If the list of things you enjoy has grown small over the years of grinding at work, think back to what you used to enjoy or what you’d like to do more of, and start applying them.
  • Get more variety in the tasks you do each working day. For example, if you spend long hours at your computer, then schedule in work calls regularly, and get up from your desk if you can and move around or go somewhere else whilst taking the call.
  • Sit less. Find ways of working in different postures – a standing desk, ergonomic chairs etc. I often lie on the floor and work on my computer when working from home.
  • Spend more time outside every day.
  • Take time after work to transition from work to home/social life. The breathing techniques above are great for this.
  • These adjustments require a significant shift in attitude, but most people who take the leap and start to implement these changes find they get far more done in each day, in less time than they did previously. Plus they don’t experience the burn-out and lack of joy that so many of us do.
I work one on one in clinic and with corporate or sporting groups as a natural medicine practitioner, breath coach, wellbeing coach, and also coaching paddlers ranging from beginners to international level. See  http://timaltman.com.au/ and https://www.worldpaddle.com/
I also work with wellbeing and performance online and in person in the corporate sector (see https://www.mindfullife.com.au/?loaded), and now have an online breathing course available via  http://timaltman.com.au/   or   https://www.lionheartworkshops.com/breathing-dynamics-tim-altman

CoVid-19. We Are Far From The Innocent Victims of a Freak Accident.

We Were Overdue A Visit From a Pandemic!

“Whether currently-circulating avian, swine and other zoonotic (transferred from animal to human) influenza viruses will result in a future pandemic is unknown. However, the diversity of zoonotic influenza viruses that have caused human infections is alarming and necessitates strengthened surveillance in both animal and human populations”  World Health Organisation on influenza

The above quote, cited by Vybarr Cregan-Reid in his book, “Primate Change. How the World We Made is Remaking Us” (Octopus Publishing Group 2018) is an alarming warning or foretelling of the present circumstances we find ourselves on a global scale with CoVid-19, given the book was published in 2018, so this quote predates that time.

It sends us sobering message that we are not the innocent victims of some random virus. The virus is a bi-product of the world we have created.

Is nature biting us back?

Below is some further text from this book that really sends this message so strongly:

“Animals are now reared with such intensity that mathematically it is only a matter of time before one of the many mutated flu viruses becomes an epidemic that passes freely to, and between, humans.

Farming animals no doubt provided us with opportunities for survival and growth, but with the intensification of farming practices today which encourage food-borne illnesses and antimicrobial resistance, the scene is set for viruses to mutate, trading genes to become the next super-flu transmissible between humans. There are major flu outbreaks approximately every three decades. We are currently overdue a visit from one.

That is our inheritance. This is what we have done with agriculture; but it is not yet done with us.”

Vybarr Cregan-Reid; “Primate Change. How The World We Made is Remaking Us” Octopus Publishing Group 2018

This would suggest that, not only have we created our current situation, if we do not change our ways, even if we eliminate the current threat from CoVid-19, it is highly likely that similar circumstances will occur again. Perhaps it is time to shift our focus from trying to eliminate the threat of CoVid-19 so we can get back to ‘normal’, to addressing the root cause of this problem.

What has led us to this? Where have we gone wrong?

As a species, we’ve become the so-called ‘top of the animal kingdom’ as a result of having a highly sophisticated intelligence, or thinking brain, and our culture and education system over the last few hundred, or arguably thousand years, has encouraged us to think rationally all the time, and that emotions are unreliable and weak.

However, the down side of this skewed logic is that we are so ‘in our heads’, we have forgotten that we are an animal – we have completely detached from our instinctive, intuitive emotional brain that is as much a part of us, and how we process information as our thinking, or rational brain.

To ignore this intelligence leads us to disconnect from our bodies, our feelings, instincts, and the planet ecosystem that nurtures us.  It creates huge imbalance internally, both for our nervous system, and our body in general, leaving us in permanent low to mid-level ‘fight or flight’ mode (some more than low to mid-level), and creates discord in the external environment with which we interact.

Or basic needs as an animal are for happiness, safety and comfort. These are real biological, evolutionary needs, and cannot be ignored.

Our primary motivation as hunter gatherers may have been to create a more comfortable and secure existence, but the advent of the concept of economics (it might seem shocking to some that our economic system is not necessarily real – it is a concept), has seen us go way beyond having enough to be happy, safe and comfortable, and we have become increasingly disconnected from who we are as a species, and from the planet and ecosystem that sustains us.

Our religious adherence to this concept, or economic model has blinded us to what it is that sustains us, and allows us to thrive in the first place. A predominance in importance is placed on profitability, productivity and success over sustainability, yet these ‘concepts’ lead us invariably to sacrifice our basic needs for happiness, safety and comfort. And that is where the imbalance, both internally and environmentally begin.

 

I hear so many people complain that the lock downs we have faced, or are still facing, are destroying our economy, which are valid concerns for our present and future happiness, safety and comfort, but it is time we see that our ‘slavery’ to profitability, and ‘success’ has been the ‘root cause’ of the current problem, and what is also currently threatening our economic viability.

In other words, we are being given possibly the strongest reminder in history, that our economic model of existence is clearly not sustainable – both physically and economically. We will continue to pay for our short sightedness if we don’t start looking beyond our current concepts and way of living.

Is it possible that this time in history marks the moment that the mess we have created has tipped us, and the planet over the edge and either goes one way or another – we continue to face similar environmental and lifestyle challenges that ultimately bring down our economic system on its’ own, or we wake up and learn the lessons from our past, and we listen to the messages our planet is sending?

Whilst the agricultural, industrial and technological revolutions were an outstanding success from an economic perspective, and one might say an inevitable outcome of evolution (of intelligence as well physical evolution), it was an absolute disaster for our bodies, and the environments in which we live.

Research in the fields of genetics and anthropology has found that it takes 40,000 to 100,000 years for change in our environment to be fully assimilated by our bodies – at DNA level.

What that means, is that the bodies we now inhabit, still think we are wandering the land as hunter gatherers some 40,000 years ago, and the environment we lived in, and lifestyle we lived as hunter gatherers is that which makes us thrive.

Yet we now live completely differently from how we evolved to live – or how we evolved to thrive.

The changes impact us across all levels, from how we eat and drink, move and stabilise, sleep, breathe, the hours we work and type of work we perform, our exposure to radiation and new to nature chemicals, and how we process information and stress (the combination of how we think and emote).

The present circumstances have seen a huge increase in hostility, and confusion as to what is truth, and what is imaginary. There are so many conspiracy theories, and so many polarised opinions, and hostility throughout the community – perpetuated increasingly by mainstream and social media. It is growing extremely difficult nowadays to know who to trust anymore.

No matter what you believe; be it the information we are being given by mainstream media, or the myriad of conspiracy theories out there, the solution is unquestionably the same for us as individuals. That is, to raise your own frequency or increase your resilience by improving your health, simplifying your life, increasing connection to yourself, your family and friends, and to the immediate environment in which you live. That is all you can do. No point getting angry. Just nurture what nurtures you deep inside.

Whilst we cannot go back to living as hunter gatherers, as our planet would not sustain so many people living this way, plus there were also downsides to this lifestyle that threatened our basic safety on a day to day basis that we have overcome for the better, but we could do very well to understand how we lived then, and the environment in which our current bodies adapted to thrive in, and compare it to nowadays.

Nor am I suggesting we all become vegans as, whilst there are both arguments for this approach both physically and especially ethically, there are considerable questions as to the efficacy of this approach for long tem well-being.

Going to the opposite extreme will create its’ own problems given the world we’ve already set up.

It is an opportunity to shift the balance far more significantly from profitability to sustainability.

I do not have the whole solution, as I believe it is something we are going to need explore as a collective as it unfolds, however it is very clear to me that the current circumstances we are facing is are very strong warning from the planet that it is time we shifted our perspective and approach to living, or we will pay more and more dearly down the track.

Not just gradual change. It is a significant shift in our attitude that is required. Our priority must be to raise our frequency and connect more intimately with or bodies and ourselves, as well as the humans, animals and the environment around us.

Here are a few suggestions:

 

  • A massive focus on sustainability over profitability.
  • Reducing our working hours by at least 20% – research has suggested our hunter gatherer ancestors worked 15-25 hours per week hunting and gathering. The rest was spent with a combination of leisure, ritual, sleep, doing nothing (a lost art in our culture), social etc.
  • Following from the above point, creating more time in our days for family and social time, and also activities that allow us to experience joy. We are not built to smash ourselves with just working, eating and sleeping. It comes at a cost to our physical and mental health. We need more variety, and joy.
  • Spend more time outdoors – especially if you live in cities or towns.
  • Get more down time – time to self and those close to you.
  • Breathe gently in and out through your nose, using your diaphragm – most fail at this far more often than they realise, and it significantly impacts their well-being and performance.
  • Meditate – meditation is medicine; both physically and mentally.
  • Try to be present more often – check in regularly and be present with, and aware of what you’re doing at the time, nothing else.
  • Be open to feeling your feelings, and to communicating them – it’s ok to be vulnerable. It can be scary initially, but it’s ok.
  • Eat fresh food over packaged, and processed food – grow your own as much as you can.
  • Buy organic food (especially meat).
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables – lots more.
  • Fast occasionally to give your body a rest.
  • Sit less, walk more.
  • Reduce radiation exposure via wi-fi, phones, screens, artificial lighting etc.
  • Exercise daily, and enjoy your exercise. Don’t smash yourself all of the time (or at all) – vary it around.

www.timaltman.com.au – for in person, online consultation, group courses, or my online ‘Breathing Dynamics’ course.            www.mindfullife.com.au – for corporate training both in person or online.

 

5 Ways Mouth Breathing Can Cause Fatigue

The Mouth is For Eating, Drinking, Talking, Singing, Kissing, but Only For Breathing in Emergencies – Not All of the Time!!

 

Based on how the anatomy and physiology of our respiratory system is set up, and the biochemical principles that describe how oxygen in the air we inhale in our lungs, most efficiently arrives at the individual cells in our body (via the bloodstream) for energy production (described in intimate detail by ‘The Bohr Effect’, for which Danish biochemist Christian Bohr won a Nobel Prize in 1903), it is beyond question that the nose is specifically designed for breathing. Not the mouth.

Yet, most of us do not realise or understand how important this is. We take our breathing for granted thinking it is fine, yet the vast majority of us over-breathe using our mouth as well as our nose, breathing twice as often as we should (based on medical diagnostic norms) and with far too much volume.

The mouth is for eating, drinking, talking, drinking, kissing, but is only useful for breathing in emergencies. But not breathing.

Your breathing is as, or more important than nutrition for your health and performance, so there are consequences to mouth breathing:

  1. Too much volume of air leads to too little energy – mouth breathing allows up to six times the volume of air to enter our lungs and respiratory system, which seriously upsets the delicate biochemical balance that governs how efficiently we get oxygen to our cells for energy production (mentioned above). If you breathe with your mouth open or with parted lips, you will produce energy far less efficiently and therefore get tired more quickly.
  2. It kicks you into fight or flight mode – when you breathe with your mouth it puts you straight into emergency mode. For example, when someone gives you a fright, you take a big gasp which involves a big mouth breath using the chest and shoulders. This puts you straight into ‘fight or flight’ mode, but is only useful in short bursts. As such, mouth breathing a lot will wear you out. A lot.
  3. You by-pass an incredible air-conditioning process – for respiration to work efficiently, the air reaching the lungs needs to be filtered, disinfected, humidified and heated or cooled. Breathing through the nose does exactly this. The nasal hairs filter the air, the mucus in the nose and sinuses disinfect, humidify and heat or cool the inhaled air. If we by-pass this incredible air conditioning system by mouth breathing we make the lungs work harder, expose ourselves to higher risk of respiratory tract infection, minimise oxygen uptake in our lungs, and reduce energy production.
  4. Much less nitric oxide – nose breathing leads to 50% higher production of nitric oxide than mouth breathing. Nitric oxide acts as a neurotransmitter, immunoregulator and vasodilator, particularly in the gut and lungs. Some of its’ actions include: regulating blood pressure, boosting the immune system, fighting bacteria and viruses, fighting cancer, increasing blood flow to cells, in muscular control and balance, and protecting against cardiovascular disease, impotence, diabetic retinopathy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  5. Over breathing – nose breathing contributes to over-breathing, or breathing too often as well as with too much volume. The body’s reaction to counter this is either apnoea episodes or constriction and spasm of the smooth muscle surrounding our breathing tubes (this reaction is typical of symptoms seen in asthma and breathing difficulties). Unfortunately this can create a flow on affect and affect other systems in our body serviced by tubes contributing directly to, or predisposing us to a number of ailments: fatigue, asthma and breathing difficulties, snoring and apnoea, headaches and migraines, anxiety, IBS, reflux and other digestive complaints, chronic pain and many more.

Put simply, mouth breathing is far less efficient, and it will make you more tired – and sick. Don’t do it unless it’s an emergency.

Contact me via email tim@timaltman.com.au or phone 0425 739 918 to have your breathing efficiency assessed or to learn how to breath more efficiently to eliminate illness, enhance performance or increase relaxation and wellness.

 

5 Day Juice Fast: A Super Thorough Case Study

Article: “My Guided 5 Days of Fasting / Juice Cleanse (What Really Happened)”, by Cam Nicholls of www.bikechaser.com.au

Linked below is an article written by a client who embarked on a 5 day fast with me supervising him, as an experiment to improve his immune system and performance in criterium cycling races.

I won’t say too much here as the article, videos and podcasts say it all. He has certainly been thorough in his application, and documentation of the process. It was a pleasure working with him, and despite his difficulty in giving up coffee and his impatience to recommence, we are both glad he didn’t as it gave him an opportunity to experience some of the benefits of fasting, and therefore experience the level of health, energy and clarity that is inherent in us all – if we give our bodies a chance to show it 🙂

The benefits included:

  • Improved and sustained energy levels.
  • Great sleep.
  • His sinuses are the clearest they’ve ever been.
  • Dramatically improved concentration and mental aptitude.

Whilst it’s super thorough, if you’re interested in fasting or considering doing a fast/cleanse, I highly recommend you have a read, listen, watch as he covers just about everything you’ll need to know. Obviously, if this motivates you to act, then i can help you. I offer supervised fasts in my clinic addresses in Torquay, Sth Melbourne and Barwon Heads, or online.

Nutrition for energy and performance

Video: There’s Far More to Healing The Gut Than Correcting The Microbiome.

There’s Far More To Treating IBS, Reflux & Other Digestive Issues Than Correcting The Gut Microbiome

The gut has been topical of late – with terms such as ‘gut microbiome’, the ‘third brain’ etc. becoming very popular. It has certainly become evident that gut function plays a huge role in both our physical and mental health, and we have seen an increase in digestive issues such as reflux, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease, Coeliac’s Disease etc. etc.

In treating such conditions, and indeed in exploring optimal health and well-being, we need to focus on correcting and optimising the internal environment of our digestive system. Treatments have included stool analyses, detox diets, eliminative diets such as FODMAP, paleo and gluten free programs, antibiotic treatments, prebiotic and probiotic treatments, digestive enzyme therapy etc. have become extremely useful strategies. However, very often these treatments struggle to yield significant or complete resolutions.

Given this, it is worth considering that there are other influences on digestive or gut function, other than what goes on inside the digestive system, and that ignoring these can lead to less than complete resolutions. 2 other influences that have a significant impact on gut function, and must be attended to in order to treat the gut more completely, include:

1. Our breathing via the smooth muscle that surrounds the digestive tract – the average person over-breathes, meaning they breathe twice as often as they should, and with far too much volume (because they use mouth and nose rather than nose only). This upsets the delicate biochemical balance in our respiratory system that governs how we get oxygen from the air we inhale into our cells for energy production (the mechanism of which is known as ‘The Bohr Effect’). One of the compensations that result from the upset in the respiratory system by over-breathing is for the body to constrict the smooth muscle around our breathing tubes – and we experience symptoms of breathing difficulties and asthma as a result. Yet, the rest of the tubes that service our body are also surrounded by smooth muscle and over-breathing can lead to constriction and spasm in our digestive system, which is in itself a large tube, forcing it into lock down and preventing the peristaltic action of the digestive system to work effectively, leading to digestive symptoms. This is particularly highlighted by the fact that a vast majority of digestive symptoms and ailments are exacerbated by stress, are often see associated anxiety along with them (especially IBS or reflux). When we are stressed or anxious we over-breathe or hyperventilate even more, which can really exacerbate this constriction and spasm in the digestive system.

2. How we process stress – which is regulated via our hypothalamus. Our hypothalamus, in the brain stem, regulates the automatic bodily functions (including the gut, breathing, circulation etc.), endocrine function (glands and hormones), immune function, sleep cycle, neurotransmitters, some cognitive function etc. It’s job is homeostasis, and it really is the general in regulating our body and keeping it ‘purring’ along. But a hypothalamus that is ‘angry’ or ‘overdrive’ because it is working too hard as we live in constant low level fight or flight in this modern world, can then dys-regulate the function of many o all of our automatic functions – including digestion and the gut. How we process stress in the brain is governed by the healthy working relationship between our two intelligence systems: our thinking, or rational brain, whose job it is to allow us to interface with the world we live in by analysing and interpreting information, data processing, solving problems (the world of thoughts and rational – including our story of our past, and future); and the pre-thinking, instinctive emotional brain whose role is to keep us safe, happy and comfortable by constantly scanning the environment around us (in the now) and warning us of any threat, or stress, via emotions, which serve as a call to action to deal with the threat. If these two work together we attend to emotions as they arise, our thinking brain interpreting the call to action and activating action, then we process stress effectively and we go back to being happy, safe and comfortable. However, we have created a big mismatch between the bodies we have inherited (from our hunter gatherer ancestors) and the high tech, high paced world we have created, and we are taught to ignore emotions and discomfort (therefore the call to action to deal with stress) – be tough, don’t be so sensitive/emotional/irrational, don’t be a girl/sissy, push though, tough it out, don’t show weakness etc. As such we have become top of the animal kingdom, but have forgotten how to be an animal, so we internalise stress rather that dealing with it effectively. This sends us into permanent low-level ‘fight or flight’ activation, leading to symptoms.

We must attend to more than just the inside of the gut to treat it effectively!!

 

Research Suggests the Average Working Week Creates Too Much Stress and Fatigue, and Reduces Productivity.

People Over 40 Should Only Work Three Days a Week, Study Concludes

The linked article below from the University of Melbourne echoes what I have noticed so often in clinic when working with clients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, post viral syndrome, adrenal fatigue, anxiety, IBS, depression and auto-immune illnesses.

When looking at what we’ve learned from neuroscience and neuropsychology about how our brains process information, especially stress, in combination with what we’ve leaned from genetic and anthropological research on how we’re built to live (our body’s still think we live as we did as hunter gatherers), we know that our essential biological needs as an animal are for food and water, shelter, safety and love – or happiness, safety and comfort.

It’s also been determined from investigations of existing hunter-gatherer cultures, and what we can tell from previous ones, that the overage hunter gatherer cultures worked between 15-20 hour per week. Yet, the modern day human works, on average, at least double this in the name of economics, which is a concept. In other words, it’s not real according to the body’s we have inherited.

This essentially means that the average worker sacrifices a sense of our basic biological needs, including work-life balance, happiness, variety, and fulfillment in the name of a concept. Similarly, in pursuit of material or fiscal success, another concept that is learned, and therefore not real, we so often sacrifice our basic need for fulfillment, variety and leisure – and therefore happiness.

This ultimately leads to us being permanently in over-dive or constant, unrelenting low-level stress, which in turn leads to symptoms of illness that we see in the above ailments, and in the general symptoms most people seem to accept as part of life in the modern world:

  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Gut or digestive symptoms
  • Difficult sleeping
  • Lack of joy
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Brain fog
  • And many more.

Yet, as per the quote below from the linked article suggests, and many more studies appearing are stating to suggest, fitting with what we have learned about how our hunter gatherer bodies are built to live, our productivity, presence at work, work-life balance, sense of fulfillment and happiness all improve when we work a little less.

“After factoring in people’s quality of life, economic well-being, family structures and employment, economic researchers found that individuals who worked an average of 25 hours per week tended to perform the best. In fact, overall cognitive performance would rise until people hit the 25-hour mark, at which point cognitive test scores began dropping because of fatigue and stress.”

Hopefully one day the economic system will focus more on quality of work, and worker satisfaction, than being focused mainly on dollars and quantity of time spent working (at the expense of workers).

Nevertheless, there is still plenty we can do to reduce stress and create more balance in our current working life by understanding what our bodies are built for. More focus on work-reward ratio, work-life balance, variety at work, and a greater focus on worker well being all make a significant improvement in client’s symptoms.

In clinic when working with a client, it’s just a matter of strategy, and then trial and error, using the client’s bodily results (in terms of symptoms and emotions) to determine the effectiveness of changes made. It takes practice, and perseverance, but it works a treat. And allows the body to heal itself, which saves a fortune on medications, and supplements.St

If you would like to find more work-life balance, experience less stress, fatigue, pain, gut symptoms, sleep more soundly, or just experience more joy and happiness, then contact me at tim@timaltman.com.au or phone 0425 739 918. Working in this way with clients has yielded far more potent results than any approach I’ve seen; and it’s made a huge difference to how I, and many of my clients live – for the better.

https://theheartysoul.com/three-day-workweek/?utm_source=WUW&utm_content=72439-M78A

Tim Altman Talks Men’s Health @ Surfcoast Wholefoods, Torquay

Free Talk on Men’s Health Issues @ Surfcoast Wholefoods, Torquay

“Men’s Health Issues”

Free Talk by Tim Altman    www.timaltman.com.au

Surfcoast Wholefoods, Monday 9th of July @ 7.30pm – Bookings not necessary.  tim@timaltman.com.au or call 0425 739 918.

Over 20 years of practice these are the main complaints I hear from men, but most suffer in silence.

  • Fatigue, Burn Out or Lack of Joy

  • Stress, Anxiety or are ‘in your head’ a lot

  • Impatience, Irritability or Chronic Pain

  • Difficulty Sleeping or Poor Sleep

  • Breathing and/or Digestive Issues

Using an evolutionary medicine approach based on genetic, anthropological and neuroscience research, I outline simple and easy to implement solutions to this chronic issue by addressing not only nutrition, breathing and exercise, but also how we rest and rejuvenate, process stress, communicate, and find work/life balance.

mickel therapy

Video: Tim Altman Mickel Therapist

The Mickel approach is far from therapy in the commonly known sense. It is an action based technique derived from neuroscience research that teaches people to take their body out of pemanent, internal overdrive (or fight or flight mode) to achieve extraordinary health and performance results – especially with chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue and pain, post viral fatigue, CFS, fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, IBS, anxiety, depression, auto-immune conditions, and more, as it addresses the ‘root cause’ of illness higher in the body – specifically, in our hypothalamus and brain. It is also fantastic for eliminating blocks to performance in all fields.

I discuss how the hypothalamus, whose job is homeostasis, or maintaining balance in all automatic functions, ends up in most people, and especially in those with chronic illness, in chronic overdrive. Or, as what is often described as, in permanent ‘fight or flight’ mode of varying degrees. The hypothalamus goes into overdrive because of a breakdown in communication or cooperation (internally) between the two intelligence systems in our bodies – the thinking or rational brain (head mind) and the instinctive, pre-thought emotional brain (body mind) that uses emotions as a call to action to our bodies to deal with any stress or threat to our safety, comfort or happiness.

The unprocessed, or effectively dealt with emotions, become internalised, sending our hypothalamus into overdrive, eventually resulting in symptoms of illness, and syndromes. As such, fatigue and symptoms of illness are described as resulting from suppressed energy, or stuck energy, rather than lack of energy. If it were merely a case of lack of energy, then rest and sleep would fix chronic fatigue – in most cases, we know this is not the case.

This occurs as a result of a severe mismatch between the body we have inherited (from our hunter gatherer ancestors) and the world we have created. Our bodies do what they are adapted for, in a world we have not yet adapted to. This makes us chronically sick, or under-performing, which we then pass on to our children etc. In the modern world, we humans have become supposedly top of the animal kingdom by having highly sophisticated rational, or thinking brain, but we have forgotten how to be an animal – to tune into the messages our body sends us about stress, and threats to our happiness, safety and comfort.

The Mickel approach is an action based technique that uses a potent set of tools to reverse this suppression of emotional communication, or energy, by targeting the day to day patterns, lifestyle, and behaviours that send us into overdrive or ‘fight or flight’ in the first place. I have witnessed many complete recoveries in chronically ill clients who had been ill for many years, and had pretty much tried everything else. It has been very humbling to witness.

And has dramatically changed how I approach my own lifestyle, relationships and how I treat clients. It is also fantastic for performance and optimal living – as well as relationships. Go to www.timaltman.com.au for more information – including some videos by Dr Mickel himself.

12 Steps To Self Care

12 Steps To Self Care

Self Care is a huge part of what we teach clients through Mickel Therapy, as prolonged periods of putting everyone else first can lead to ill health.

We constantly see clients with illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, IBS, anxiety, depression, and auto-immune illnesses make huge improvements in the severity of their symptoms, very often complete resolution, by learning to make their needs as, or more significant as those of others.

If you would like some help to start treating yourself as you deserve, and repair your health, contact me at  tim@timaltman.com.au.

12 Steps To Self Care

Posted by Power of Positivity on Sunday, 4 June 2017

mickel therapy

Building Strong Social Networks Could Cure Your Illness

The town that’s found a potent cure for illness – community.

A great article (linked at the bottom) by George Monbiot of The Guardian in the UK, about a town in Somerset, Frome, which has seen a dramatic fall in emergency hospital admissions since it began a collective project to combat isolation.

Here (in italics) are a couple of extracts from the article, that highlight the importance of social relationships and a sense of community for our physical and mental health – previous research indicating that the magnitude of the effect being comparable with quitting smoking.

What this provisional data appears to show is that when isolated people who have health problems are supported by community groups and volunteers, the number of emergency admissions to hospital falls spectacularly. While across the whole of Somerset emergency hospital admissions rose by 29% during the three years of the study, in Frome they fell by 17%. Julian Abel, a consultant physician in palliative care and lead author of the draft paper, remarks: “No other interventions on record have reduced emergency admissions across a population.”

Remarkable as Frome’s initial results appear to be, they shouldn’t be surprising. A famous paper published in PLOS Medicine in 2010 reviewed 148 studies, involving 300,000 people, and discovered that those with strong social relationships had a 50% lower chance of death across the average study period (7.5 years) than those with weak connections. “The magnitude of this effect,” the paper reports, “is comparable with quitting smoking.” A celebrated study in 1945showed that children in orphanages died through lack of human contact. Now we know that the same thing can apply to all of us.

The contents of this interesting article come as no surprise to us at Mickel Therapy because joy / lack of joy are important Mickel concepts and areas of focus. In short, joy helps to lead us in the direction of health and well-being whilst lack of joy sends us in the opposite direction. And there isn’t a huge amount of joy to be found in social isolation.

Very often, when treating clients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, IBS, anxiety/depression and many more, using Mickel techniques, we see that clients have become socially isolated because of their illness, and rectifying this plays a huge role in the resolution of their health condition. Here are some links outlining more information on the Mickel approach, and a couple of cases of the Mickel technique in action.

If you would like to make an appointment, or find out whether Mickel Therapy can help you, email me at tim@timaltman.com.au or phone 0425 739 918.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/21/town-cure-illness-community-frome-somerset-isolation?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

More Evidence Linking Fibromyalgia to Childhood Stress and Unprocessed Negative Emotions Supports the Mickel Therapy Approach to Fibromyalgia

Article: Fibromyalgia is Linked to Childhood Stress and Unprocessed Negative Emotions

Linked below is a great article by Wyatt Redd from Medical Health News, outlining studies linking unprocessed negative emotions from childhood to fibromyalgia.

This is extremely similar to the way we approach fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), adrenal fatigue, IBS, anxiey/depression, and many other chronic ailments using Mickel Therapy – http://timaltman.com.au/services/mickel-therapy/.

This approach sees chronic symptoms as a result of long term suppressed or unprocessed stress or negative emotions, which send the hypothalamus in the brain stem into continuous overdrive, which then dysregulates, or sends into overdrive all of the automatic functions in our body (including digestion, immune system, liver, adrenals, breathing, the endocrine system, sleep cycles, many brain functions, neurotransmitters etc.) , ultimately resulting in chronic symptoms – almost like the body is running a permanent, internal biological marathon.

The process uses a unique technique that charts our responses to stress, our day to day negative emotions and symptoms in order to determine the nature, or theme, of the original unprocessed negative emotions – which are seen as the ‘root cause’ of the ultimate physical ailment.

Targeting specific ‘ideal’ actions to reverse this emotional suppression will then take the person’s hypothalamus out of overdrive and the body will correct, or heal itself. It often sounds too simple, or too good to be true (as I found in my first case – http://timaltman.com.au/mickel-therapy-case-study-fibomyalgia/  OR  http://timaltman.com.au/testimonial-post-viral-chronic-fatigue-and-fibromyalgia/ ), however the results are the most frequent, and complete results I have seen, or heard of for these ailments. I understand now that this is because the Mickel approach gets to, and rectifies the ‘root cause’ of the ailments.

It is very humbling to watch this process of recovery in clients – especially the joy they feel once they are free of ailments they had felt so helplessly trapped in.

I’ve included some quotes from the article that particularly resonated.

“When compared to healthy women, those who avoid strong negative emotions like anger and let it fester unprocessed are more likely to suffer fibromyalgia. In addition focusing on positive emotions does not appear to be a sufficient buffer. According to a report in the 2008 Journal of Psychosomatic Research, it is the lack of processing of negative emotions that precipitates the cycle of pain in fibromyalgic sufferers irrespective of the amount or duration of positive thoughts.”

“Conflict with parents and later with partners adds to the stress and contributes to the more negative perceptions of life by women with fibromyalgia  as indicated by the journal European Psychiatry in 2000.”

“Long term stress that is continuous and chronic affects the neuroendocrine system making it less effective over time.”

“The early chronic experience of stress appears to exert a much larger influence in contributing to the pain of fibromyalgia than any current stressful life event, as a 2006 study reported in the journalPsychoneuroendocrinolgy.”

If you would like to resolve your fibromyalgia, or know someone who suffers from fibomyagia, CFS, IBS, anxiety/depression etc, then email me on tim@timaltman.com.au or call 0425 739 918.

http://medicalhealthnews.info/fibromyalgia-linked-childhood-stress-unprocessed-negative-emotions-2/