Category Archives: breathing

The Leaning Tower of Pisa & The Thirty Second Pelvic Exercise


After thirty-five years in practice it struck me that I didn’t know why the vast majority of my patients presented with the same structural problem, a pelvis with a torsion anterior right & posterior left.
It was then that I thought about Pisa’s leaning tower.
If the builder had notice the first signs of leaning soon after the construction he could have advised the mayor of Pisa to send out a bunch of strong citizens every day with long poles to push it back, in which case there might never have been a tourist attraction three hundred years on! A decade or two ago engineers started doing just that; not with poles but hydraulic rams!
So maybe it was gravity that was causing this torsion?
But why was it always the same way? Was it because of the asymmetry of a heavy liver compared with lighter organs on the left? I thought I had the reason, but then couldn’t understand why most people in under-developed countries had good posture and not much work for an osteopath, yet they had the same internal organs!
I had to find another explanation.
We humans are upright and most would agree that is what is special about humans.
There are two forces acting on us all that achieve this; “gravity” that is heavy, dark, grave and pulls us down, and an opposing force, shall we call it “levity”, that is light, uplifting, and happy that lifts us upwards. Some would call the latter spirit or positive emotions. If gravity is stronger than levity we are bowed down, if levity is stronger than gravity we are no longer grounded and have our heads in the clouds, but when balanced we are upright and balanced.
To finish the concept let’s assume gravity is an anti-clockwise torsional force
and the levity a clockwise torsional force.

Thus in the West the gravity being stronger than our levity (because of stress of finance, work, environment, consumerism, etc.) we develop the anterior torsion of the pelvis, and once started gravity takes over just like the Pisa Tower. In less developed societies levity is stronger and maintains their good posture.
Could I find anything to substantiate this hypothesis?
To try to put an observation to this concept I noticed that everyone has a clockwise hair growth, could this be due to the torsional levity force?
How could we increase our levity force in the West?
This could be a tough challenge for most practitioners but maybe teaching patients to breathe better would reduce the effects of stress and make a difference. We can’t be stressed if we breathe calmly.
If patients are not interested in sorting out their stress, how else could we help?
From the Pisa problem I hit on an exercise to help eliminate them developing a pelvic torsion.
I decided to try to help them with a very simple thirty second exercise, despite the fact I find exercises are boring and rarely recommend them except in a very small percentage of patients. I guessed a thirty-second exercise couldn’t be too boring!
The Thirty Second Pisa Pelvic Exercise
The exercise involves lying on your back, taking hold of your right knee and pulling with both hands towards your chest sufficient to stretch the posterior ligaments on your pelvis for just thirty seconds then release. End of exercise! I began by trying this on myself and have maintained a level pelvis this way for over ten months, which is good for me. No adverse side effects, except it might affect your business adversely as patients are able to go longer between treatments! Simple to do in bed or lying in your bath, so why not try it yourself and even tell your patients about it, I do?
Remember this is intentionally an asymmetric exercise, just on the right side.
Who knows, perhaps from an osteopathic standpoint if we can keep our pelvis from torsioning mechanically; as “structure governs function”, it should even help us increase our levity!!

Michael Lingard BSc. DO. BBEC. Cert WPN. M.DOC Orthopath

What You Eat Affects How You Breathe & How You Breathe Affects What You Eat!

“We are what we eat!” & “Breathing is the most important activity in our life.” are two facts we cannot dismiss but did you know that what you eat will change the way you breathe and how you breathe will change the food you eat?
This is the conclusion I have reached after gathering a sample of over a hundred of my patients over the past year. It came as a surprise to me even though I have been working in the field of breath training for over fifteen years as a Buteyko Educator and as a Whole Plant Nutritionist for the last two years.
Since a poor diet can lead to many modern diseases from Allergies to Cancers and poor breathing is a major factor in the development of Asthma, Hypertension, Panic attacks, ME, Heart problems, Gut problems and many more conditions, even orthodontic problems, this link between the two needs far more attention. To explain the physiological connection between poor diet and poor breathing is easy; a diet comprised of too much meat, dairy, soft drinks, processed foods often leads to metabolic acidosis (the body becomes too acid) & to correct this the body can either draw calcium from your bones or cause you to hyperventilate to get rid of carbon dioxide to neutralize the acidity. Thus it is important when teaching people to breathe normally and stop hyperventilating to ensure they are eating a good diet.
The connection between good breathing and diet is more subtle; when we breathe normally the body is optimally oxygenated and we are usually calm and free of stress, this appears to cause us to be more thoughtful of what we eat and we tend not to snack on junk foods.
The chart below shows my most recent results of this research. You can easily check your own stats by visiting and go to “Check your own breathing” to get your Control Pause CP on the chart. Go to either and go to “Check your own diet with the 4LeafSurvey” or

Connection – Discover How You & Your Health are Connected to, well, Everything!


After over a century of reductionism in medicine we need to relearn how our health and wellbeing are connected to the functioning of our body mechanics, the food we eat, the way we breathe, our mental state, our family and community life, the environment we live in and much more. We need to restore “Wholism ” or “Holism” to our teaching and practice of medicine if we are ever to have a sustainable health service. “Connection” by Michael Lingard gives a brief insight and practical advice as to how we can start to regain a deeper understanding of health and sickness that goes beyond “Pill for Every Ill”.
Review or buy this book here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

or from Amazon.co.uk <HERE> or direct from the Author, contact by email: lingard@totalhealthmatters.co.uk.
Visit our website for more information and details of “The Real Health Assessment” as a pdf to download HERE . This Health Assessment is aimed at checking the key factors that lay the foundation for your health: your body structure, your diet, your breathing and your stress unlike standard Health Assessments that are designed to identify pathologies; you can usually get the medical tests from your doctor if necessary free of charge on the NHS.

Is it Asthma? – “Third of asthmatics may have been wrongly diagnosed”​

KKrinhaler
What is asthma, are we diagnosing it correctly and are the drugs prescribed needed?

Doctors using observations and not proper tests, study warns.
‘Sufferers’ had allergies or heartburn
By
Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
ONE third of people with asthma have been wrongly diagnosed, or their condition is no longer active, a study has suggested.
Researchers selected more than 700 adults at random who had been diagnosed with asthma in the last five years and checked
them again
.
They found 33 per cent of people did not appear to have the condition, and nine in 10 of these were able to stop their
medication completely. Most had minor conditions such as allergies or heartburn, and 28 per cent had nothing wrong with
them at all.
“It’s impossible to say how many of these patients were originally misdiagnosed with asthma, and how many have asthma that
is no longer active,” said the lead author of the study, Prof Shawn Aaron, senior scientist and respirologist at the Ottawa
Hospital and the University of Ottawa, Canada.
“What we do know is that they were all able to stop taking medication that they didn’t need medication that is expensive and
can have side effects.”
Around one in 12 adults in Britain, some 4.3 million people, has asthma, with the study suggesting 1.4 million of them do not
have an active condition.
A similar study carried out in The Netherlands last year also suggested that more than half of children are misdiagnosed with
asthma.
The new study found that doctors oftendid not order the tests needed to confirm an asthma diagnosis and in nearly half of
cases based their diagnosis solely on the patient’s symptoms and their own observations.
In the UK, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence is drawing up new guidelines advising doctors to use more clinical
tests to back up their judgement and avoid the danger of wrongly labelling someone as asthmatic.
What is asthma? This question was posed in the Lancet (Vol. 368, No. 9537, 26/8/06) which clearly demonstrates there is no consensus to the answer.
Re-evaluation of Diagnosis in Adults With Physician-Diagnosed Asthma
January 17, 2017JAMA. 2017;317(3):269-279. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.19627
To further support this finding, research done a decade ago suggested that up to 40% of those diagnosed with asthma had been wrongly diagnosed and should not be on the medication prescribed. (Middlemore & Green Hospitals March 25th 2007)
Is it not time that a proven clinically tried and tested approach should be offered patients?
That approach involves teaching patients better breathing habits to reduce the very common condition of chronic hidden hyperventilation. One such training system that has stood the test of time is the Buteyko Method another is The Papworth Method. Both are clinically and cost effective, giving patients better control of their symptoms and better QOL as well as saving millions of pounds in medical costs worldwide.
AsthmaCareKent HERE or TheBreathConnection

The Great Asthma Debate Continues on and on……..

BTSLOGO

British Thoracic Society
GINALOGO copy
Global Initiative for Asthma

There are many questions that need answers for all those millions diagnosed with asthma.

Fact: both these respected organisations have endorsed the breath training as an important aid to asthma management because of the high grade clinical research.

Question 1. What is asthma?

as strange as it may seem this is still an area of debate. In 2006 an article in the Lancet discussed this very point “A plea to abandon asthma as a disease concept” and recent research has indicated that up to 40% of those diagnosed with asthma should not be and should not be on the medication prescribed. (Middlemore & Green Hospitals March 25th 2007) “Asthma” seems to have become a “popular” diagnosis.

Question 2. Is current treatment working?

With over 5 million people in the UK alone diagnosed with asthma, approximately 1 in 13 adults and 1 in 8 children, the incidence is increasing. There are over 1,200 deaths from asthma each year just in the UK and up to 86% of those could be avoided according to recent research. It is unusual to find any class in any school without three or four children with asthma inhalers, thirty years ago there might have been just half a dozen in the whole school. What has caused this increase?

Question 3. Could emergency admissions to hospital be reduced?

Most emergency hospital admissions of asthma patients may be because of poor compliance with their treatment, failure to recognise just how serious their breathing was in time to take early action, lack of out off hours help from their GP surgeries or a widespread ignorance of how to help themselves.

Question 4. Is there anything asthma sufferers can help themselves to manage the condition?

The answer to this question is a categorical “Yes!” The vast majority of asthma sufferers can be taught better management of their asthma in a matter of days using breath training, better breath monitoring and simple lifestyle changes. Not only are they on average able to safely reduce their reliever medication by up to 90% and preventer medication by up to 50% but they enjoy less wheezing, less coughing, better sleep and overall better QOL. Even more importantly the fact that they learn to monitor their asthma more efficiently and can seek additional medical attention before an emergency strikes, the risk of death could be dramatically reduced.
From SIGN 153 2016 “British Guideline on the management of asthma” Section:6.2.13
BREATHING EXERCISES
Behavioural programmes centred on breathing exercises and dysfunctional breathing reduction techniques (including physiotherapist-delivered breathing programmes such as the Papworth method, and the Buteyko method) can improve asthma symptoms, quality of life and reduce bronchodilator requirement in adults with asthma, although have little effect on lung function.
These techniques involve instruction by a trained therapist in exercises to reduce respiratory rate, minute volume and to promote nasal, diaphragmatic breathing. Trials that include more than five hours of intervention appeared more likely to be effective. They can help patient’s experience of their condition and quality of life although do not affect lung function or airways inflammation. They should ideally be provided as part of integrated medical care.
Surely as an asthma sufferer if you could a)Reduce your asthma symptoms, including breathlessness, b) Reduce the incidence of attacks and /or have better warning of them, c) Reduce the amount of reliever medication by up to 90%, d) Reduce the amount of steroid or preventer medication on average by 50%, e) generally improve your quality of life , f) suffer fewer chest infections as you learn to use your natural defence system- nose breathing, would you be very upset that your peak flow measures had not improved greatly? Remember the Peak Flow Meter is perhaps unique among scientific measuring instruments; the forced breathing always affects the lung function by causing constriction of the airways. Many asthmatics performing this strange test have severe coughing bouts or even an asthma attack!
If there was one more point to encourage our overstrained NHS to adopt breath training for asthmatics it would be the enormous potential saving on drugs, medical consultations, hospital admissions, economic loss to the country of days off work not to mention the improved quality of life for the patients. Two GP’s did trial the Buteyko Method training for a group of their asthma patients and claimed to have saved the NHS thousands of pounds a year. The best estimates at present would suggest up to half a billion pounds a year savings that could be better spent elsewhere in the NHS. £500,000,000 savings is a small price to pay to overcome deep seated prejudices and poor health outcomes. We would have though that NICE would take greater interest unless there are vested interests that can apply pressure? The pharmaceutical industry perhaps, who could lose a large percentage of their income from asthma drugs?
For more information visit: TotalHealthMatters!, ButeykoKent or AsthmaCareKent

The Real Health Assessment

THMBuildiong
Most health checks are focused on pathology, screening for diseases or markers for possible future health problems and little information or advice is offered the client on health promotion and possible therapies that would help them.
Our Health Assessment is primarily designed to identify areas of your lifestyle that you can change to improve your health and fitness and to reduce the chances of serious diseases in the future.
Doctors are not trained in health promotion; most of their training being devoted to pathology and medical treatment with drugs or surgery; it is this neglected area of healthcare that we focus upon.
“Health promotion” is about far more than simply the prevention of disease or sickness. It seeks to give individuals the kind of health and zest most of us only experienced when we were very young.
There is a widespread view that we should all feel less healthy as we get older but this is not necessarily true, some of my “youngest” patients are in their eighties!
So what is so different?
We check your mechanics, the Body Connection.
We check your diet, the Food Connection.
We check your breathing, the Breath Connection
We check your stress, the Mind Connection.
You then will receive practical advice in a report as to what you can do yourself to improve your health and reduce the risk of future serious diseases based on the best research information currently available.
Download our leaflet HERE

Meat consumption raises mortality rates, analysis of more than 1. 5 million people.

A review of large-scale studies involving more than 1.5 million people found all-cause mortality is higher for those who eat meat, particularly red or processed meat, on a daily basis. Conducted by physicians from Mayo Clinic in Arizona, “Is Meat Killing Us?” was published today in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

The authors analyzed six studies that evaluated the effects of meat and vegetarian diets on mortality with a goal of giving primary care physicians evidence-based guidance about whether they should discourage patients from eating meat. Their recommendation: physicians should advise patients to limit animal products when possible and consume more plants than meat.

“This data reinforces what we have known for so long — your diet has great potential to harm or heal,” said Brookshield Laurent, DO, assistant professor of family medicine and clinical sciences at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. “This clinical-based evidence can assist physicians in counseling patients about the important role diet plays, leading to improved preventive care, a key consideration in the osteopathic philosophy of medicine.” More HERE

Go to “The Food Connection” to learn more of some off the research findings HERE

Could it be Your Back that’s causing your Health Problem?

yourspinalnerves
Did you know that all your internal organs, your heart, stomach, kidneys, bladder, liver etc. get their nerve supply from your spine? Did you realise that if you have a restriction or minor problem in your back it may be causing or at least contributing to your internal problem? If you didn’t you are in good company as many doctors ignore this vital connection too often. In fact this connection was the foundation of osteopathy and chiropractic therapy over a century ago but over the years we have come to disregard the mechanical relationship and rely more and more on medication to deal with our health problems. As usual life is a bit more complicated than this and if we are seriously interested in the origins or a health problem we must check out the individual’s structure, their diet, their breathing, their stress and emotional state, their work and general physical activity. Much of this is not given adequate attention in modern medicine that seeks to diagnose the pathology then treat it with medication or surgical procedures. The chart above is your guide to how your health may be affected by problems in your back and if you want to learn more about the other factors visit “www.totalhealthmatters.co.uk” to learn about “the Body Connection” ,”The Food Connection”, “The Breath Connection> and “The Mind Connection”

Do all mammals, including us, have a fixed number of breaths in a lifetime?

IMG_1252All mammals appear to have a given number of breaths in a lifetime, about half a
trillion. As a rough approximation divide the breathing rate in breaths per minute into
700 for lifespan in years.View the chart of mammal lifespans & breathing rates HERE

“Better Breathing Means Better Health”
“The perfect man breathes as if he is not breathing” Lao Tzu (4th century BC)
Lao Tzu is claimed to have lived to a 150 years old. Perhaps he only breathed about
five breaths per minute
“The more you breathe the closer you are to death. The less you breathe the longer
you will live.’” Konstantin Buteyko 1923-2003.
We don’t promise great longevity when you train with the Buteyko Method but you
will have better health, more energy, sounder sleep, fewer symptoms and a calmer
life if you breathe better.
With humans, one of the major factors that cause chronic hidden hyperventilation is
stress. Stress triggers the primitive fight/flight response repeatedly eventually
causing the CO2 receptors to accept a lower level of CO2 and thereby establishing a
over-breathing pattern for life if left unchecked.
For more information regarding breathing and health, visit: The Breath Connection

TotalHealthMatters! Health Workshops for 2016

THMWorkshop
A series of Health Lifestyle Workshops are planned for 2016 held on the first Thursday evening of each month from February at 6pm to 7.30pm at TotalHealthMatters!, Hawkhurst, Kent.
Each workshop is designed to give you the information needed to help yourself to better health by learning more about each topic from body mechanics to mind training and by giving you practical advice you can use in your everyday life.
This is a great opportunity to learn from three very experience health workers with over seventy years combined practice supporting their work.
It is also an introduction to tomorrow’s healthcare, based on health promotion, holism and sound scientific research.
Your understanding of the driving forces for a long healthy life will not only benefit yourself but all your family and friends with this added knowledge and experience you will derive rom these workshops.
Book the whole series of eight at the discounted fee of £295 or select the individual workshops that interest you the most, at £45 each. Spaces are limited to only ten participants per workshop but if a space is not available you may be added to a priority waiting list for future workshops.
The Full Course (Eight workshops over eight months) view HERE
The individual workshops are shown below:
The Body Connection Part One HERE
The Body Connection Part Two HERE
The Food Connection Part One HERE
The Food Connection Part Two HERE
The Breath Connection Part One HERE
The Breath Connection Part Two HERE
The Mind Connection Part One HERE
The Mind Connection Part Two HERE