Category Archives: stress management

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.

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

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

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

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.

It’s now official! We are a nation addicted to prescription drugs!

Drugs

 

 
At last the medical establishment is beginning to recognise the consequences of running a NHS on drugs with little regard for health promotion and teaching patients how to improve their own health with lifestyle changes and other non invasive healthcare support. See the article today on BBC website HERE
We have a NHS that spends most of its vast resources on disease diagnosis, treatment and management with scant regard for health promotion besides the rather simplistic advice to stop smoking , don’t drink alcohol, don’t eat too much and get some exercise.
We have had half a century of telling psatients that they are not responsible for their own health , that’s the NHS responsibility to fix you when you get ill. The result is a fairly sick , unhealthy nation and a ever burgeoning drug bill and hospital spend. The word “doctor” used to mean “teacher”, in other words the doctor was expected to teach his patients how to live a more healthy life but today his role is primarily dealing with diagnosis, referral and prescription of drug or other medical intervention. The public also want “a quick fix” rather than do much for themselves, that’s how they have been taught over the past two generations.
There is an obesity epidemic that has now been identified as a very serious threat to the nation’s health, there is also a stress epidemic that can be diagnosed by hyperventilation testing, since stress invariably leads to over-breathing. Teach people to improve their breathing and, would you believe it? They start to suffer fewer symptoms and illness from the stress that is part of our lives today. It costs very little to teach people good breathing habits and improved breathing with other lifestyle changes will vastly improve the health of anyone suffering from asthma, hypertension, sleep apnoea, panic attaches, depression and a host of other health problems. Less medication will be needed, quality of life will be improved and the patient has re-empowered himself. All good news I would have thought for a NHS strapped for cash, staff overburdened, GP surgeries under so much pressure that often patients will go straight to A & E, putting more demands on an already unsustainable service. Why has such an approach not been at least tested out in the system? Perhaps the answer is that medically trained people are not conversant with any alternative to drugs and perhaps the “drug addiction” extends to them as well as the general population. There are exceptions to this scenario but any doctor who dares break with the drug protocol puts his job in jeopardy. There are few incentives to break out of the drug box.It is up to each one of us to make the next move and try to become more self-reliant, more health conscious and be more restrained before taking yet another pill.

Stress Management – On Your Smartphone

phone

Stress Management can be literally in your hands today!

There are many systems and methods promoted to take control of stress in our lives, usually involving training courses away from the workplace at inconvenient times.

We at The Breath Connection have developed an App for smartphone or computers, the “MyButeyko  App” that you can use to train yourself to reduce the impact of all stresses you meet in your life.

The common factor that accompanies stressful situations is the triggering of the fight or flight response. This primitive automatic response puts the body on high alert physically and mentally ready to deal with the potential life threatening event. Usually the event is not in the least life threatening but our body does not take the risk and assumes any trigger could be a danger. The fight or flight response can cause over a thousand physiological changes in our bodies and most of them we have little or no control over such as release of adrenaline, increased histamine production, increased output of corticosteroids, increased sweating, raised blood pressure, suppressed immune system, etc. However, there are three reactions we can take conscious control over with practice and they are: muscle tension, mental tension and breathing.

By progressively learning to reduce muscle and mental tension and our breathing rate all the other physiological reactions are also reduced, so damping down the effect of any stress. Your training can be done wherever you are, on your smartphone or on a computer, each exercise may take less than ten minutes and is recorded on your smartphone.

If you are connected to a MyButeyko Registered educator they will immediately be able to see your results and feedback support and comments. You will also be able to track your progress yourself on a graph on your phone. Although you may use the app alone for training  we recommend you connect with  a qualified Buteyko Educator to receive support and monitoring to ensure rapid progress.

Go to our website HERE to learn more and to download the free MyButeyko App.

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