Help With Breathing

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Mikie, Jun 17, 2003.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I am pasting part of Dr. Cheney's article where he describes his breathing exercise technique. There have been several posts here regarding breathing problems. This exercise will help with proper breathing and will increase the body's efficiency in utilizing oxygen.


    The very simple breathing technique Cheney is recommending to all his patients can be found on Andrew Weil's tape of eight different breathing methods. This particular method is Weil's favorite - he says it's the most powerful way to treat chronic illness that he knows of. Ayurvedic physicians developed it 3,000 years ago. And 30 years of clinical experience now back it up.

    Here is how it works:

    1) Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds

    2) Hold your breath for 7 seconds

    3) Exhale through tightly pursed lips for 8 seconds, creating "back pressure" (you should be able to hear the air being forced out of your mouth as you do this.)

    Do this 8 times in a total of two and a half minutes. Do this twice a day - a grand total of 5 minutes a day. That's all it takes. (If you feel lightheaded, just do it 6 times or until you begin to feel lightheaded, then build up to 8.) You must be very faithful and consistent for this to work, and it takes weeks for the body to adjust the 2,3 DPG levels. But your oxygen transport will get better and better over time.

    What does this breathing exercise do? This method is based on the same principle at work in the marathon runners from Kenya who frequently win the Boston Marathon. They live and train at a high altitude. They run at 12,000 feet. To compensate for the lack of oxygen at higher altitudes, their bodies make a physiological adjustment, raising 2,3 DPG levels so more oxygen is released. The higher the 2,3 DPG goes, the easier it is to run. Then the Kenyans go to Boston, which is at sea level (with more oxygen in the atmosphere of course), and run their race. But their bodies are still set for high altitude, so they end up with more oxygen being transported into their tissues than other runners. They are superoxygenated, transporting oxygen like crazy.

    Dr. Cheney's goal is to “trick” our bodies into thinking we live at a higher altitude, thus raising our 2,3 DPG levels, thereby transporting more oxygen from our blood into our tissues. How is that done? By not breathing! This method is actually regulated breath holding. As you regularly breath hold, your O2 drops. You induce a state called desaturation. And for those five minutes a day of desaturation, your body panics. It believes it's high up in the mountains and it spends the rest of the day compensating for that (by raising 2,3 DPG), even though you're not actually up in the mountains. The body is so concerned with desaturation that even though you live in Dallas, for example, it will program your body as if you live in Denver (at a higher altitude).

    Love, Mikie
  2. mamafurr

    mamafurr New Member

    wish i had this 7 days ago.....printing as we speak..thought i was gonna die. but on the mend as back on the old methadone horse...trotting slowly.LOL
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Actally, Madwolf, this is one of my standby posts which I have referred to or described in my own words on numerous occasions; however, it's been some time since I have mentioned it. I think this is the first time I have cut and pasted. It's probably a lot better coming from the horse's mouth too. Cheney explains it so much better than I. I grew up in Boulder, CO at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just NW of Denver. I'm one of the lucky ones Cheney describes.

    Problem is that in the wintertime, the pollution in that area backs up against the mountains when temperature inversions stay for days at a time. Pollution in dry, thin air is the worst on lungs, especially when it's cold. I had asthma and was sick all winter with that, bronchitis, sinusitis, and even penumonia. When I had had enough, I decided to move to FL. I've always felt better here, but I miss the mountains sometimes. I just make up for it by going to the beach.

    If you had trained as a respiratory technician, you would have been taught this technique. I don't know why they keep it to themselves.

    Love, Mikie
  4. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Marilyn keeps telling us how to breathe to stop panic attacks, I guess this would do the same thing.

    Have printed it out. Did not know how often to do the exercises.

    I am so short winded, I will probably have to start slowly and work my way up to the desired amount of breaths.

    Shalom, Shirl
  5. lease79

    lease79 New Member

    That's pretty much the same exercise my doc gave me for Panic Attacks. I am going to print this out for future referance ;)

  6. PaulMark

    PaulMark New Member

    i just got back from my annual visit wtih dr. Cheney he wasn't a lot of help, but it's not his fault he was worreid about my wght. l30 at 6 l new lymp nodes reflux, but not digesting food per CDSA says s. inestine too alkaline

    stomach hurts alltime tongue throat mouth sores the snadpaper dry dry fire ant like burningin biting unbearable, he was sick with bronchitis and very very thin,

    I WAS taken aback i told him i had trouble taking the immunocplus or cal cause of stomach hurtin gnad fitting it in as much as bedridden suffering nutritinally even reflux ing veggie juice, he said alternative to whey protein

    is l tylenol M onday Wed fri with l50 mg. twice daily of milk thistle,

    haven't tried yet, cuase i'm so med senstivie even when health tylenol made me feel kind of disoconneted and bad i said i thought ty. was bad on liver he said not at that dose and i can't remember al lthe explain. but he said it helps intracellar and extracelluar, he said he should have thought of it last yr. and has several patients doing it,

    i hate to put anohter drug in my body, i don't believe you can drug a body back to HEaTLh

    ANyone tohte point ON BReathing, 3 yrs. ago, when i started having NMH symptoms he put me on gookinaid erg (i can't take it anymore due to glucose sends me into allergic reactions as most everything does now)
    and the hale clinic (london) breathing exercise the opposite from the ayruvedic

    and very taxing , based on book breathing free by teresa hale of hale clinic, take 20 minutes and i can't do them anymore ,

    based on research of russian professor,
    much harder than ayruvedic which cheney got from dr. andrew weil not cheny's orig ideal

    i've talked wtih teresa hale personally on phone, in london twice a yrs. ago, she said we stand by our technique which is basicall breath out gently , hold nose (control pause) breath very very shallow for 5 minutes another CP, 5 more minutes, do 4 - 5 times, very hard to a sick person, seemed to help my dry burning cough though but i got too sick to do for 20 min. sometimes do for l0 minutes, i asked cheney last yr. the weil or ayrvedic. techn. is quite opposite from the breath connection tech. he said they do same thing yet they are diffent heck if i understand any of that,

    just like i don't udnerstand how tylenol a drug along with m. thistle can raise intra and extra gluathinthiane

    i also went to carolin health center in asheville they have MD and a masters in orien. med. ancunpunturis who uses VEGA testing to see whtat is going on and then they put you on rife machine biowave frequencies some of you are familiar

    and run freqnecies i'm still very ill and they are sending homepathics in mail to detox, chemicals, bacteria visus etc.

    hope they help they were very nice and all very releigoius i like the caring attitude time wil ltell and they take medicare, and Cheney doesn't but my disability looks to him so i continue to to go annual appt.s l700 buckc my dad had to give me to see him.......

    I WAS AGAIN taken abake when the MD at CHS, recommended a trail of prevacid for reflux, another med, i tried them in early 98 prior to cfs dx and after scope and couldn't take prolsec or tagament or zantac later nausea headache

    CATCH 22's is my middle name , many of you deal wtih that too, I just don't think adding more drugs is the answer,

    reflux is caused i think by my overating cause i'm bedridden the acid alkaline imablance Pete K at CHS said in chornic illness is common, even dig. enzymes are catch 22 i think the protease in many of them i've read can irritate the stomach,

    OH well sorry to go on maybe this will help you all about hte breathing and the tylenol etc.

    i can't remember how tyenol helps the glutathine i was stunned.

    thanks much for listening Paul M.
  7. Dara

    Dara New Member

    and hopefully it will help. I have breathing problems plus anxiety.

  8. kaths

    kaths New Member

    Dr. Weil says to press your tongue against the roof of your mouth as you inhale through your mouth, hold and then audibly blow out through your mouth. Use the 4, 7, 8 count as Mikie said. My therapist taught me to do this about 8 years ago to shift out of an anxious mood. Today I learned that there is a medical reason for me to do this. Thanks! I'll be more diligent in my practice.

  9. Suzan

    Suzan New Member

    My yoga teacher taught this same technique...Nice to know that other specialists see it's benefit as well! I think it is VERY relaxing!
  10. joyce1107

    joyce1107 New Member

    Thanks so much...I'm going to give it a try. I've done meditation breathing but this seems to happen even while I'm meditating. I'm new to all this on line chatting.

    Also where (what state) is this Dr Cheney that you got this info from? Is this breathing problem connected to CFS and Fibro?

    Thanks for all you help - anyone else who can help - please do.

  11. tansy

    tansy New Member

    but I think this sounds even better so I'm switching over to see if it makes a difference. He sussed early on that my body was not getting enough oxygen.

    Thanks for that valuable info.


  12. zestytx

    zestytx New Member

    technique is wonderful. I could not believe how it woke up the muscles I use to exhale. My breathing is improving and I don't get those spells of feeling Like I can't get a full breath.

    He does guided lessons on a CD called BREATHING - The Master Key to Self Healing. I highly recommend it. I found it amazing.
  13. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Joyce, Dr. Cheney is near Asheville, NC; he used to be in Charlotte. I do not believe he is taking new patients at this time. He is prominently featured in the book, "Osler's Web," about the fight to get CFIDS recognized. Dr. Cheney and his partner Dr. Dan Peterson were practicing in Incline Village, NV during the cluster outbreak during the '80's. Not everyone agrees with all of Dr. Cheney's theories and treatments, but he is considered an expert in our illnesses. He nearly went broke trying to campaign with the NIH and CDC for our cause. We owe a great deal to him, Dr. Peterson, and all the other docs who have borne the public professional scorn of the govt. and other members of the medical community to help us. Another such doc is Dr. Garth Nicolson who discovered how stealth chronic mycoplasmas make us so sick.

    Kathy, I don't think they are talking about making a lot of noise when doing this exercise, but when you do it right with a lot of back pressure, if it is very quiet, you may actually be able to slightly hear as the air passes through pursed lips. This is more likely to happen when you are really using a lot of back pressure.

    Three years ago, when my friend Richard and I went to Asheville on vacation, he was amazed that he couldn't keep up with me walking uphill on the grounds of the Builtmore Estate. He's ex-military and still gets up early every morning to work out. Despite this, my body is a much more efficient machine from all my years of hiking and skiing in the CO mountains.

    Unfortunately, it was the thin, dry, polluted air in Denver which started causing my asthma, bronchitis, and even pneumonia. I also had a lot of allergies there. I moved to FL where I only have allergies without the rest of the respiratory problems. Even my allergies don't bother me too much down here except for the Red Tide.

    Love, Mikie
  14. shell

    shell New Member

    I have noticed my lack of breathing and have tried breathing through one nostril at a time - suggested in a stress book I have. It has not done much but I can't wait to try this one!!! I did it just now and made quite a bit of noise in my cube at work exhaling ;) but I am going to try it all afternoon maybe a little quieter. I do believe that we can adjust our bodies little by little to help ourselves.
  15. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I learned a trick in college for oxygenating the brain during tests. Most of what happens in our brain controls our physical bodies on the opposite side. Seems that breathing is the exception, according to this theory, which may be bunk for all I know. Anyway, if you are taking a math or scientific test requiring left-brain thinking, stop in the middle of the test or when confounded by a questions. Hold the right nostril closed, and take a couple of deep breaths through the left nostril.

    I don't know if it helps because the theory is true or whether it just brings in oxygen to the brain and helps relax one when in a pressure situation. I went back to college in my 40's and felt I needed all the help I could get. A lot of my success was knowing how to take tests. Don't get me wrong; I studied my ass off, but I also took advantage of everything else I could. I even learned the odds of the various answers in multiple choice and T/F tests and used them when I was completely stumped. But, I digress.

    I believe in trying to heal, take tests, or do anything else difficult, the more things we use to our advantage, the better our odds of being successful.

    Love, Mikie
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Thanks for the reply. I believe there may be a difference between the involuntary functions controlled by the brain stem and those we actively induce. Otherwise, the breathing exercise would be useless amd respiratory technicians would not be teaching them for better oxygen utilization in the body.

    I do not know if there is anything to the breathing through one nostril or not. I do know that when one is stressed in the middle of a test, stopping to do this does refresh the brain and lessen the stress. It's just another of those chicken soup things I do. It can't hoit and it might help.

    Love, Mikie
  17. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    I leave for my dr appt in about 1/2 hour.
    I feel so nauseated and I am exhausted.
    Had about 1 and 1/2 hour sleep. When I
    called this a.m. to get the appt she thought
    had a terrible cold. I am extremely hoarse
    from no sleep. I hope I don't dry heave on the way.
    Life is so frustrating.

    Thanks for your kindness.