Category Archives: stress

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

The Greatest Threat to Your Life & the Planet – Livestock!


1. Over consumption of meat, fish and dairy produce is the main contributor to modern diseases; heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, strokes, obesity etc.
2. To meet the escalating demand livestock farming has gone industrial, factory farming is the main source of meat.
3. The environment is being destroyed by deforestation & soil erosion (to grow crops for meat production or to graze animals), rivers and oceans are being polluted with waste from factory farms and run off from intensive agriculture .
4. Fresh water shortages already a major consequence; it takes 3,000 gallons of water to produce the meat for one hamburger, and up to a 1,000 gallons for a quart of milk, 600 gallons to produce a pound of cheese. It is estimated that 70% of all water used in western states of America is used raising animals for food.
5. Depletion of fossil fuels, production of animal foods is a major consumer of oil supplies; animal produce needs over twenty times the energy input compared with plant food to produce the same calorific output.
6. Antibiotic resistant bacteria developing as a result of excessive and routine use of antibiotics in factory farming.
7. It takes sixteen pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat, more than 70% of grain grown in the west is fed to livestock.
8. All the above is serious enough without the moral and ethical problem of treating fellow mammals and other sentient animals as mere material to be processed for our unnecessary eating pleasure.
9. Famine and malnutrition is a major killer in the world despite an abundance of food being produced since much of this is fed to livestock rather than people.
10. There is an unspoken alliance between many commercial interests to pursue profit rather than provide for a healthier world. This includes, industrialised farming, the food industry, pharmaceutical industry, the health insurance industry and indeed much of the health industry that would cease to thrive with a healthier population.

Only a progressive shift in our eating habits, from high meat, fish, poultry and dairy towards a plant based diet can reduce the deaths from chronic diseases and world famine.
Current trends show an increasing shift towards more animal food based eating habits as people become more affluent, an un-sustainable road to global disasters that our grandchildren will have to suffer.
The solution is education of school children, adults, doctors and our leaders about the above, and what is on your fork at your next meal.

Visit for more information or if you are really interested in a healthy society & planet read “Connection” by Michael Lingard available from www.Amazon.co.uk, www.Lulu.com/spotlight/lingard or direct from www.TotalHealthMatters.co.uk.

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.

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

What’s the connection between your dinner and the health of yourself & the planet?

Globe
We have heard the saying “You are what you eat” that’s true, how else could it be, but did you realize “The planet is being changed by what you eat?”

We live in a world that is intensively connected, our individual lives impact on everyone and everything around the world. What is on your dinner plate might be contributing to pollution of the oceans, global warming, and world hunger or it just as easily could be helping solve most of these global problems.

If you are curious to discover what these these links are, visit The Food Connection . Then enjoy your dinner! Bon Appetit!

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.