Category Archives: mouth breathing

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ONE third of people with asthma have been wrongly diagnosed, or their condition is no longer active, a study has suggested.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is no longer active,” said the lead author of the study, Prof Shawn Aaron, senior scientist and respirologist at the Ottawa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
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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

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

Beautiful & Healthy Children and Adults Eat Starch & Nose Breathe!

Healthy children
It is always fascinating when two pieces of a puzzle fit together; what has nose breathing and eating starch got to do with our health and beauty?
Slowly I am coming to the conclusion that everything connects with everything!
Many of you already know why nose breathing as opposed to mouth breathing leads to a beautiful well formed face and consequently a good posture and fine structural integrity. For those who still don’t know you can look up previous blog “Beautiful Children Breathe Through Their Nose” or do a simple experiment on yourself.
Let’s start with a simple fact you can check with your dentist or orthodontist; a pressure of 3 grams applied 24/7 to a tooth will cause it to move to a new location – this is how braces work.
Now begin the experiment: open your mouth and breathe through your mouth for a minute. Note mentally where your tongue is.
Now closer your mouth and breathe through your nose for a minute and once again mentally note where your tongue is now.
Unless you are a rare exception you will have discovered that your tongue rested on the lower teeth when mouth breathing but pressed up onto the roof of the mouth when nose breathing. When pressing on the roof of the mouth it is applying about 30 grams of pressure that keeps the upper jaw wide to comfortably hold all the teeth in good position, if the tongue fall to the lower jaw the upper jaw will usually narrow and the teeth will crowd and be crooked. This in turn affect the development of the whole facial features.For the detail go to TheBreathConnection
Now about the starch!
The human body is designed to eat starchy foods, all societies that get most of their nutrition from starch based vegetables are almost free from obesity and many of the diseases of modern affluent societies. Whether its rice, potatoes, wheat corn or what, they all are the great staples of the large proportion of the world’s population who enjoy good health and fine bodies. The increased proportion of animal based food and refined foods are the downfall of modern societies, giving rise to obesity, cancer, heart disease, strokes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and more. Visit TheFoodConnection for the science & detail or read “The Starch Solution” by Dr. John A. McDougall
So for you and your children: always nose breathe and enjoy the carbs (unrefined), fruit and vegetables but eat with less of the food with faces.

The Basics of Stress Management with The Buteyko Method

stockexchange
Occasionally it is a good exercise to try to condense a big idea into a few lines. We have E=mc2 (A. Einstein), “Structure governs function (A T Still- Osteopathy), “Eat a Whole Plant Diet” (Dr C Campbell), “The perfect man breathes as though he is not breathing” (Lao Tzu) so here is a slightly longer summary of the amazingly powerful Buteyko Method.

The Basics of Better Breathing & Better Health

1. The first step is learning the fact that most of us suffer some degree of CHHV or chronic hidden hyperventilation, over-breathing in simple terms.
2. Secondly CHHV makes us ill! Anything from low energy, poor sleep to serious health problems such as asthma, hypertension, sleep apnoea or panic attacks.
3. Most of us arrived at this state because of the many stressful events in our lives, emotional, physical, illnesses, chemical or whatever. Any stress triggers a primitive response called the “Fight or Flight Syndrome” that once protected us from sabre toothed tigers but today is not so useful and more often has an adverse effect on our health.
4. The Fight or Flight response produces over a thousand physiological changes in our bodies preparing us for emergency action, all but three of these responses we have little or no control over, histamine, adrenaline, corticosteroid production etc.
5. We can however take conscious control over three of them; our muscle tension, our breathing and our mental tension.
6. The neat thing is that once we start to take control over muscle tension, mental tension and our breathing all the others are reduced.
7. There is a very detailed physiological explanation for the benefits of better breathing that you can learn about later. Right now all you need to know is that CHHV causes us to lose carbon dioxide (carbon dioxide far from being the deadly gas many of us have been led to believe, it is the essential stuff of all living things, we would be dead without it! We need around 6% in our bodies to function well)
8. Carbon dioxide is so important to our life our breathing is governed by the level of carbon dioxide in our blood, and not oxygen. Receptors in the brain measure the level of carbon dioxide and adjust our breathing accordingly, if too much we are made to breathe more to “wash out” the excess, if too low we are made to breathe less to conserve it.
9. With CHHV our receptors have been set at too low a level of carbon dioxide and much of the breath training will be to correct this, returning them to normal.
10. Low carbon dioxide levels cause: a) Spasm of smooth muscle wrapped around all hollow organs in our body, blood vessels, airways, bladder, gut, etc. b) The blood’s ability to deliver oxygen to all our tissues is impaired and c) the pH, or acid/alkalinity of the body is changed affecting every chemical reaction in our bodies adversely.
11. There are many other effects associated with poor breathing but you can learn about them later.
12. So to correcting your breathing, if you need to! First you need a measure of your breathing. This is based on two very simple checks you do yourself, namely, the control pause and pulse measurements.
13. The control pause (CP) is a measure of your maximum COMFORTABLE breath hold in seconds after a normal exhalation while at rest. Effectively it measures how well your body is oxygenated, if you’re well oxygenated you don’t need another breath for a some time, if very poorly oxygenated you will want to take the next breath almost immediately.
14. The Pulse is measured on your wrist or neck by counting the number of beats in 15 seconds and multiplying by 4 to give number of beats per minute.
15. The table below gives a rough guide as to how good or bad your breathing is related to your CP, your pulse may add more information about this.

Control Pause CO2 Your Breathing State
45-60 seconds 5 – 6 % Excellent normal breathing.
35-45 seconds 4.5 – 5% Good but slight over-breathing
25-35 seconds 4 – 4.5% Moderate hyperventilation
20-25 seconds 3.5 – 4% High hyperventilation affecting your health
15-20 seconds 3 – 3.5% Serious hyperventilation
10-15 seconds 2.5 – 3% Severe hyperventilation
< 10 seconds < 2.5% Critically poor breathing As you improve your breathing you will find your CP increases and your pulse decreases for a while until your normal base level pulse rate is reached. Start Training:

Disclaimer: Please note, breathing has a powerful effect on our entire body and therefore any exercises should be done with caution. If you have a history of any serious condition including, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, psychotic conditions, severe asthma, etc. you are advised to only do breath training with the support and supervision of your doctor health professional or Buteyko Educator. This also applies to anyone with a CP of under 15 seconds.
Continue reading The Basics of Stress Management with The Buteyko Method

A Guide For Parents – Another Five A Day!

Healthy childrenEvery parent has become increasingly aware of the need for good nutrition, good exercise and a supportive home and school environment for the health and wellbeing of their children. The government campaigns have advised “five a day” and more sport in schools but as yet there has been no recognition of the equally vital matter of good breathing for good health. Poor breathing has been the hidden, silent factor responsible for many childhood health problems that can lay the foundation for a wide range of modern diseases in later life.
Here is another “five a day” recommendation to help your child:

1. Ensure your child is a good breather.
A simple test is the “Step exercise” : Get your child to take a normal breath in then a normal breath out, then while they hold their nose see how many steps they can do, keeping their mouth closed before they need to release their nose to take another breath.
This is a simple measure of how well oxygenated their body is:
100 to 80 steps indicates excellent breathing
60 to 80 steps is very good
40 to 60 steps is good
30 to 40 steps is poor and may be impairing their heath
20 to 30 steps is very poor with almost certain adverse effect on their health
Fewer than 20 steps is a dangerously low result and efforts should be made to correct this.
Older children may be able to measure their breathing with a “Control Pause”
Keeping their mouth closed, take a normal breath in then a normal breath out and see how many seconds they can hold their nose for before taking another breath in. This exercise should be easy and stress free, it is a measure of their maximum COMFORTABLE breath hold.
45 to 60 seconds Excellent, 35 to 45 Very good, 25 to 35 Good, 20 to 25 Poor,15 to 20 Very poor, 10 to 15 Seriously poor and Under 10 suggests an urgent need to correct this.
Why not check your own breathing with a Control Pause as well?

2. Help teach better breathing habits.
Encourage quiet nose breathing all the time. Set an example by improving your own breathing.
Set a good example by improving your own breathing!

3. Watch for signs of bad breathing habits.
Mouth breathing, upper chest breathing, breathlessness, snoring at night.
Set a good example by being aware of your own breathing faults!

4. Encourage relaxation and quiet when stressed.
Teach quiet relaxation, breathing as gently as possible with all the body relaxed.
Set a good example by learning to relax yourself!

5. Tell them why they need a nose & how to make it work well.
The nose is for breathing & the mouth is for eating and talking.
“They should breathe through their mouth as often as they eat through nose!”
Teach nose-clearing exercise: Breathe in then out through the nose, keep the mouth closed, hold the nose, gently nod the head until they need to breathe in, release the nose and take a breathe in. Repeat two or three times.

Check their progress from time to time with (1) above.

Does Your Child Mouth Breathe?

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If your child, whatever age, mouth breathes rather than using the nose to breathe most of the time they could be heading for many health problems that could be easily avoided.
To be brief: anyone that habitually mouth breathes is at risk of multiple healthy problems from orthodontic to heart disease.
Children who habitually mouth breathe will usually develop crooked, crowded teeth and fail to develop normal facial features. They will be more at risk of developing asthma especially if there is a family history of asthma. They will probably suffer more throat and chest infections than others simply because they are not using their first line of defence; nose breathing that kills most airborne bugs and aids the immune system.
As they get older and continue to mouth breathe they will begin to suffer the many health problems of chronic hidden hyperventilation, anxiety, panic attacks, hypertension, heart diseases, angina,hay fever, gastric problems, breathlessness, low energy, and the list goes on.

Don’t take our word for this why not watch and hear children who have trained this way HERE This is a great video of a number of children from a Glasgow school who are telling their own story.

This is not a new idea but the dangers of mouth breathing were brought to the attention of the medical profession over a hundred years ago in a book published, not by a doctor, but by an artist who recognised the problem while painting the indigenous population of the Americas. “Shut your mouth and save your life” PDF
Or if you prefer a modern scientific explanation visit the notes on connections with many health problems on The Breath Connection website,or watch this video by an Australian dentist HERE

For more information on the orthodontic side visit The Clinic, an Orthoptropic site where I help with teaching normal breathing HERE

Meanwhile, here’s wishing you all a Happy Prosperous and Healthy New Year and remember ” You should breathe through your mouth as often as you eat through your nose!”

As an experienced Buteyko Method Educator and member of the BBEC I can offer any help you may need to learn better breathing, whatever your problem improved breathing will have a significant benefit for you.