There’s a “Right” and a “Wrong” Way to Breathe?

A Right and a Wrong Way to Breathe?

While it may seem you certainly know how to breathe, most of us actually breathe in such a way as to put our health in jeopardy.

In fact, the whole field of breathing and breath-work has enormous potential for improvement.  As breathing techniques are promoted in yoga, Pilates, and meditative methods, they all tend to focus on taking big, deep breaths-which is actually the opposite of what you should do.

Right Way to Breathe
Right Way to Breathe

According to Patrick McKeown in the Buteyko Breathing Method in his book, The Oxygen Advantage: The Simple, Scientifically Proven Breathing Techniques for a Healthier, Slimmer, Faster, and Fitter You, two of the most common problems are over breathing (hyperventilating) and mouth breathing, both of which have adverse health ramifications, and can have harmful consequences if done during exercise.

As Patrick wrote the habit of over breathing is set in place, it tends to become and remain chronic, and to recover you need to use some sort of relearning technique, such as the one devised by Russian doctor Konstantin Buteyko.  While in medical training he noticed that the sicker the patient got, the heavier they breathed.  Later, he also recorded he could lower his blood pressure simply by bringing his breathing toward normal, and in this same way he successfully “cured” his own hypertension.

Effects of Hyperventilation Syndrome

So what exactly is hyperventilation, or “over breathing?”  Hyperventilation is defined as “breathing in excess of metabolic requirements of the body at that time.”  Some symptoms are:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Frequent sighing
  • Noticeable or audible breathing during rest
  • Yawning with big breaths
  • Sleep apnea
  • Missed heart beats
  • Cold hand and feet
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness, tingling, and pins and needles
  • Irritable cough
  • Anxiety, panic and phobias
  • Allergies
  • Acid re flux, heartburn
  • Gas, belching, bloating, and abdominal discomfort
  • Weakness; exhaustion
  • Disturbed sleep, including nightmares

What is Normal Breathing?

Normal breathing equates to 10 to 12 breaths per minute.  Interestingly, breathing for people with asthma tends to be more breaths per minute.  Asthmatics and those with sleep apnea breathe far too much-as much as three times more than normal- and this dysfunctional breathing pattern is part of their disease profile.

So, what causes this dysfunctional breathing in the first place?  Most dysfunctional patterns are rooted in the modern lifestyle.  Factors include:

  • Overeating
  • Stress
  • Excessive talking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Asthma
  • High temperature indoors

Over breathing not only reduces carbon dioxide, it also reduces the delivery of oxygen to the tissues and organs in your body.  It can cause severe constriction of your carotid arteries, and can reduce the amount of available oxygen to your brain by half.  This is why you feel light headed when breathing too hard.

The Buteyko Breathing Method

Dr. Buteyko discovered the level of carbon dioxide in your lungs correlates to your ability to hold your breath after normal exhalation.  Repeat the following exercise several times in succession, waiting about 30 to 60 seconds in between rounds.  And do the exercise on a regular basis.

  • Sit up Straight
  • Take a small breath in through your nose, and a small breath out.
  • Pinch your nose with your fingers and hold your breath. Keep your mouth closed.
  • Gently nod your head or sway your body until you feel that you cannot hold your breath any longer. (Hold your nose until you feel a strong desire to breathe.)
  • When you need to breathe in, let go of your nose, and breathe gently through it, in and out, with your mouth closed.
  • Calm your breathing as soon as possible.

I strongly recommend integrating it into your lifestyle, and into your exercise. To learn more, check out,

The Oxygen Advantage,  is a powerful tool that can help improve your health, longevity, quality of life, and athletic performance.

I am Shirley Noah, I teach the 9 pillars for health.  A step-by-step approach to good health.  Let’s connect to see how I may best serve you in the near future.

Is Your Bottled Water Really Pure?

Clean Pure Water

Although water is so important to our survival, much of it isn’t fit to drink.  According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over 4 percent of US rivers and lakes are too polluted for swimming or fishing.  Pollution of our drinking water also appears to be reaching crisis level.

Antidepressants, antibiotics, fertility drugs and  angina medications, hair care and skin products, lawn chemicals, industrial waste, agricultural waste, nitrates, herbicides and pesticides ALL make it into our water supplies.

Bottled Water
Is Your Bottled Water Safe?

Therefore, bottled water is more and more popular.  American Water Works Association estimates consumers are paying an average cost of $7.50 per gallon for bottled water ALMOST 2,000 times the cost of an average gallon of tap water and twice the cost of a gallon of gas).  Water is the second most commonly purchased drink in America after sweetened carbonated sodas, with sales topping $15 billion in 2015.

Bottled Water Does Not Mean Safe

Bottled water companies go to great lengths to present their products as pure and from mountain springs and ancient glaciers.  Yet according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed a far from pristine picture.  Most contained at least eight different pollutants, including heavy metals, radioactive isotopes, caffeine, chlorine, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, solvents, plasticizes and propellants.

To date, the EPA has estimated there are 87,000 mostly man-made chemicals capable of causing endocrine disruption, which can cause cancer.  And, if that is not reason enough, the plastic used in single-use bottles contain #1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET) also poses a cancer threat.

Not What You Think

Today 43 percent of consumers are interested in enhanced vitamin water and energy sounding “smart” waters.  Many vitamin waters contain sugar or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, which has been linked to neurological dysfunction.  And, in many cases these products are just filtered tap water.

So, where does this all leave us?  Drinking bottled water as a substitute for tap water is not the answer because of the wide variety of pollutants as they contribute to the body’s overload of toxins.  If drinking bottled water is a necessity, such as during travel, don’t leave bottles in the sun or in a hot car, as heat and UV radiation contribute to an even greater release of toxins as does microwaving and running plastic bottles through the dishwasher and reusing them.

Here are some options for cleaning up your water:

Faucet mount filters:  Most are activated carbon filters.  They help remove chlorine, sediment and VOCs. Costs $20-$50.

Filter Pitchers:  Granular activated carbon and resin filters bond with and trap contaminants.  Most remove or reduce organic compounds (VOCs).   Cost $20-$50.

Refrigerator filters: They filter out minerals, slats or dissolved inorganic compounds.  Costs $25-$150.

Reverse osmosis Units:  Units force water through a semi-permeable membrane under pressure.   Costs $200-$500.

I would recommend checking out the costs of the replacement filters when comparing these units.  Many of the filters are  expensive and add to the overall expense of the unit over the following years.

I am Shirley Noah, I teach the 9 pillars for health.  A step-by-step approach to good health.  Let’s connect to see how I may best serve you in the near future.

Improve your Heart Health, Alzheimer’s and Cancer Prevention with EXERCISE

Lack of Exercise Linked to Heart Failure

Low levels of physical activity, put you at risk for heart disease, including high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

People who exercise at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week had a 33 percent lower risk of heart failure than inactive people.

Couple Cycling
Coupling Cycling

Exercise May Slow Memory Loss

Exercise can also reduce your risk of the disease as well as help with treatment.  In a study of patients diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s who exercised had significantly fewer neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with the disease.

Among the participants, a walking program also led to improvements in cardio respiratory health.

In a study of seniors 60 to 80 who walked 30 to 45 minutes, three days per week, for one year increased in volume of their hippocampus by 2 percent.  Higher fitness levels were also associated with a larger prefrontal cortex.

Breast Cancer Recurrence, Reduced by Exercise

In terms of cancer, exercise is also important for both prevention and treatment.  In a study that examined lifestyle factors to help prevent breast cancer recurrence, exercise was on top.  Those who exercise regularly reduced their risk of dying from breast cancer by 40 percent compared with those who do not exercise.

High levels of cardiorespiratory fitness in middle age also helped men survive cancer, reducing their risk of dying from lung, bowel and prostate cancer by nearly one-third.

Why Wait?

If you have an exercise program now, good for you.  If you’re looking for some motivation to get started, look at the benefits you gain from exercise.  Concentrate on the rewards, such as being able to think more clearly and improving your mood.  You can avoid heart disease and cancer, and weight gain.

Next, block your calendar like you would any other appointment, and JUST DO IT!  The more you move the more you’ll reap the benefits and the highs that go along with it.  Remember, also, that exercise is only one part of staying physically active.  It is equally important to keep from being sedentary during your non-exercise time.  Replace your sitting time with active movement.

I am Shirley Noah, I teach the 9 pillars for health.  A step-by-step approach to good health.  Let’s connect to see how I may best serve you in the near future.