Scientific discovery revolutionizes breathing

Dr Buteyko discovered a revolutionary secret to breathing better. Although of course nose breathing techniques are not news (yoga, qi gong, etc.) Dr. Buteyko proved them to be true scientifically. His research provides a starting point for explaining why we can improve the ventilatory respiratory quotient of the lungs. While people are beginning to realize the power the breath has to restore health and vitality, the surface of what’s possible has only just been scratched, here’s my response to a recent article by Dr. Mercola (view link).

DSC01527Until we identify exactly what pattern of breathing and movement supplies all tissues evenly with just the right amount of oxygen regardless of exercise speed, intensity, or duration, we miss the mark. We either hypo-ventilate producing an alkalotic state that wastes energy because oxygen supply exceeds demand, such as  breathing faster while sitting still. Or if we’re moving faster than we’re breathing hyperventilation kicks in to catch up (demand exceeds supply). All that huffing and puffing during exercise is commonly thought of as overbreathing, however the opposite is actually happening, a lack of oxygen is making blood pH acidic, that’s why you’re hyperventilating. Hyperventilation itself isn’t a bad thing, it’s critical as a default survival mechanism during exercise, that when suppressed, can cause more harm than good.

Yes the drop in CO2 and pH levels does have a depressive effect on the neural and immune systems. As long as you exhale completely, nose breathing does help the lungs to absorb oxygen, and breath holding does help create a high altitude training effect that conditions lung capacity over time, but this isn’t nearly enough to potentiate the anaerobic threshold in real time during a workout. At a certain point of intensity the hyperventilation in and out through the mouth will take in more oxygen then trying to inhale through the nose if you can even suppress your natural impulse. Before the need to hyperventilate can be rendered null and void, the mechanics of exercise must be precisely engineered to continually normalize 02/ C02 ratios at the juncture of the lungs as well as in the tissues.

Several factors aren’t currently being considered regarding equitable distribution of blood to organs, glands and tissues, including pressure changes in the chest and abdomen which fractionalize the ventilation/ perfusion ratio of the three lung segments. A dynamic synergy between speed of breath, duration of breath holding, lung position relative to gravity, direction of movement, rhythm and centrifugal force, sequencing of large and small muscle groups, V02max requirements and much more is necessary to coordinate the whole spectrum of anatomic physiologic mechanisms. That’s what it takes to effectively balance chemical changes that cause hypoventilation and hyperventilation under all circumstances. You can exercise upside down in every possible position till you’re blue in the face but it won’t make a wit of difference if you haven’t understood the complete parameters of the body’s physiological need to maintain pH balance under all circumstances. And of course simply incorporating Buteyko nose breathing alone won’t optimize gas exchange with the precision necessary to achieve true homeostasis during exercise once you really get going.

Some of more important physiological stressors (cortisol, overheating, build up of metabolites, etc.) which Dr. Buteyko didn’t resolve are the variable imbalances that occur at different degrees of exercise intensity. His technique is unable to account for the required compression in terms of time, nor the specificity of hormonal and neural stimulation that facilitates circulation to bones and deep tissues in equal measure with large working muscles (which otherwise hog all the blood). You know the pre-requisite homeostatic balance for optimal cellular metabolism is being maintained when you have no urge to hyperventilate even when the body is at  maximum training heart rate. This is pHx™.

Take for example, the BreatheEasy which is performed between most of the 24 exercises in the pH fitness series. To maintain the acid-alkaline balance achieved by each set of repetitions during the routine, one of the things we do during the routine is inhale through the nose to the count of six and exhale thru the mouth to the count of six, with an additional three counts added at end-inspiration and end-expiration to facilitate deeper breathing and stimulate the upper respiratory tract. However this specific breathing pattern would have almost zero benefit if it wasn’t for the precise corresponding movement which complements it.

The specialized pHx warm-up cool down workout eclipses rudimentary techniques to surpass the typical benefits of any kind of exercise by ensuring that all organ systems remain fully balanced at all degrees of performance intensity. To achieve this the breathing-specific and movement-specific sequence uses the fastest way to neutralize pH acidity and raise the anaerobic threshold. It goes far beyond what was previously achieved with Buteyko style techniques, to match the body’s need for oxygen exactly. The advantage here is that by utilizing complete range of sequence-specific functional movement through range of motion (repetitive restricted range even with the core engaged can cause injury) it’s now possible to balance V02max equally in all muscles without draining the deep organs, and within minutes prior to sports training. Because the pHx technique also builds unprecedented oxygen reserves in deep organs permitting longer hours of concentration, it truly does prevent cognitive decline. The remarkable routine integrates the different parts of the body as a cohesive coordinated unit, it’s the complete expression of body and mind under the integrating conditions of pH balance with the least time and effort. Naturally efficiency yields the best result.

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