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Health Q and A
Page 3

Surgery - General - Before and After
About six years ago, I had heart surgery. After the operation my breathing was good. I was only taking one aspirin a day.

Somehow, other medications were added. Now when I bend over, move or walk fast I get out of breath.  I have started taking herbs, adding one at a time, and my condition is getting better. I can't understand why my breathing got so bad, when my heart was what they operated on?

From Mike:

There is good reason science calls it the heart-lung system. Surgery is traumatic. Often helpful but traumatic nevertheless. General anesthesia shuts down the entire body. Suppresses every function there is. Breathing is one of those functions. It happens to be a very important one. More so than the heart but few people realize that.  http://www.breathing.com/articles/oxygen.htm

I believe that surgeons should be having their patients given breathing training before (when possible) and after a surgery.  I would study the breath and nutrition if I were you. Get our kit that has specific exercises both effective and safe  for most pre and post surgery. Make sure you clear them with your MD first. Recommended Program

CPAP, Cancer, Weight Loss

Dear Mike, Do you ever do any workshops on the west coast? Do you train people to assist others in learning how to breathe properly?

I am looking for some help in correct breathing. I use a CPAP machine and am overweight and have not had any energy to exercise. Watching my food intake without exercising does not produce fat loss. I am encouraging my husband to stop smoking and he is listening. I am looking at your Mastery Kit as a possibility for us but knowing myself, personal support and training work better.

I am starting a water exercise program and from what I have read proper breathing techniques may be what I am looking for. I am serious about doing something about my weight and energy and don't believe in "diets". Four years ago I had terminal cancer and healed myself without the doctor's prescribed radiation and chemo. So I know I can do this.

Unfortunately I have a limited budget at this time, so I am carefully choosing where I put my money. If I had an unlimited budget I would invest in a personal appointment. Thank you for any help you can give me.   Selma

From Mike:

The CPAP is most likely weakening your internal breathing coordination. It may be necessary for you now but i strongly suspect it is causing long term dependency and eventual weakening of natural breathing.

Breathing will help you change your metabolism but with the CPAP confusing the issue It is trickier to guide you but not impossible and even to get you off the CPAP .

I admire your cancer grit and believe you are in the right place with nutrition.

Almost no one. Repeat. No one that eats properly will gain excess weight. But make sure you take the thyroid test at http://www.breathing.com/articles/thyroid.htm .  But proper nutrition will handle the thyroid issue as well.  Stress of course will negate some or all of every attempt towards health.

I tried to get my mother to lose 30 pounds for 40 years and she went into a rest home and three months later was down 30 pounds and stabilized.  

I can not help you change your breathing without personal sessions. The CPAP is too difficult to "compete" with by just exercising. The weight loss may be critical to getting off the CPAP. Do not overlook the oxygen generator . Oxygen burns fat, hates cancer and helps sleep.

Access http://www.breathing.com/sleep-program.htm.

Asthma - Exercise Induced

I am a freshman distance runner at Columbia University in New York. Our team is Division I-A so needless to say I have been running very hard. A couple years ago I was diagnosed with slight exercise induced asthma. For three years I have been taking a pill that has pretty much kept it suppressed. Lately, however, I seem to be maybe getting a little nervous before workouts and my breathing has been pushed to the limit far before my legs. This is certainly inhibiting my training and I'm not sure what to do. I would appreciate any help you could give. Thank you.

From Mike:
Breath heaving, or straining to breathe during the final moments of a long distance race or the entire time during a sprint causes the breathing coordination “lock up”. The accessory breathing muscles that ordinarily support the breath become overactive and actually get in the way of an easy full deep breath. Sort of like having 10 people hold your hand while you try to sign your name. There are two people that work on these muscles and integrate techniques to improve breathing coordination that I know only of myself in North Carolina. 
  Recommended product


I have been suffering with chronic hyperventilation for years....I'm 5 weeks postpartum....it disappears during pregnancy....any ideas?

From Mike:

Several reflex triggering exercises in the Breathing Kit work quite well.

Panic Attacks

I am interested in the connection, if any, between anxiety (panic) attacks and proper breathing. I have the book by Gay Hendricks. It seems very good. But I have no baseline.  I have done many of the exercises, but do not see any improvement. Therefore, I do not know if there is a connection.

From Mike:
Yes,  GH's work is often helpful but in many ways not foundational enough. There is a DEFINITE connection with breathing and panic attacks. It is tied to your breathing patterns and the underlying support (pelvis, legs, feet) to the way you breathe.    Recommended program


Mike, the bad emphysema has me in its grip. I can barely walk 200 feet. Can you help me?

A few months later.

"I read all of your information and pretended I was on the beach watching the ocean just like you said.

When I received your breathing kit I tried each exercise. I visualized my lungs as hard and crusty and the only way to improve was breaths from my knees to the top of my head with long exhales.
With a little improvement each day I am attempting to stomach breathe while walking. The more I convince myself that the cause of my improvement is deep breathing -----the more I extend the time I deep breathe each day. I am walking up to one mile daily now. Many thanks Mike."

From Mike:
This man found what satisfied his particular needs. They vary among individuals. Go to
  Emphysema and COPD


Running and Sports in Youth

Dear Mike:
I am 14 years old and I play little league baseball. The other kids say I don’t run fast enough and I never get a hit that will take me past first base. What are some tips on running faster and sprinting longer and faster?

I suggest you join the school choir (whether you think you can sing or not) and it will help you with your running. Take the Breathing Tests for hidden signs of breathing blocks. Purchase the Sports Performance Program.

Panic Attacks

I am interested in the connection, if any, between anxiety (panic) attacks and proper breathing. I have the book by Gay Hendricks. It seems very good. But I have no baseline.  I have done many of the exercises, but do not see any improvement. Therefore, I do not know if there is a connection.

From Mike:
Yes,  GH's work is sometimes helpful but in many ways not foundational enough. There is a DEFINITE connection with breathing and panic attacks. It is tied to your breathing patterns and the underlying support (pelvis, legs, feet) to the way you breathe.    Recommended program

Weight Loss by Body Flex

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the info on your web site. The feedback on your personal coaching sessions is impressive.  I live in Massachusetts.  I bought the Body Flex video on breathing exercises. How does your program differ from it? Thanks.  Vicki

From Mike: I do not advocate the breath and body constrictions. They energize initially but eventually lock up natural breathing.  Optimal Breathing is far superior. I recommend integrating the Weight Loss Program.


Hi Mike,
It was an interesting article about snoring in your website articles page. Funny enough, I woke up this morning around six. My wife has some snoring problems and I think that can be one important reason why she wakes up tired. I checked her breathing and it seems as her in breath is double length of her out breath. I know I snore some too, but if this is the case, the opposite of how to breathe, it must be of vital importance, I think, to breathe the proper way at daytime to improve at night-time. Is this correct Mike?

From Mike:
Absolutely! To consciously change one’s breathing can be like learning to play the piano. You struggle some and the more you practice it the easier and more “spontaneous” it can become. But you must practice properly. Practice makes permanent, not perfect. Also, sleep on a hard bed. Recommended approach

Low blood pressure

Does breathing help to raise low blood pressure ? What is the different between high and low blood pressure as far as breathing goes ?  
From Mike:
Low blood pressure causes poor breathing/oxygenation rather than low oxygenation causes low blood pressure. That  makes Low PB even more important that we develop our breathing.

Blood Gases

From a respiratory therapist head of department with 25 years experience:
Mike sorry not to get back to you sooner but here goes. Blood gases can show many things , the one thing I'm interested in is the PO2 which is the oxygen level (shown in mmHg not a percentage). The critical value for a PO2 is 40 mmHg. There are people who "compensate" or are able to tolerate lower levels than that because of their lung disease process. Pulse oxymetry shows the amount of oxygen level as a percentage. This is done with light diffusion, where light passes through the nail bed and is picked up by a microprocessor and is displayed on a screen as a percentage, along with the patients pulse. I've seen levels as low as 57%, right before someone dies. As far as the life support thing, any of these lab values certainly warrants ventilator support and supplemental oxygen would be given with the vent. Fine tuning the oxygen level would be done after the patient has been placed on the vent for while not very long). I'm not good with vents as I have very little call for them nor the experience due to the low volume of critical patients kept here in a small hospital. Hope this has helped.

The manual, disks and downloads are easy, step by step self directing teaching and training tools. Some seem to need clarification at some time or other. Email me with any questions.

Sacral Breathing

I tried something different with my patients today. With those that had an anterior sacral base (top of sacrum tilted >anterior) I had them do your ssss exhale exercise. I was looking to see if with this exercise the sacral base would right itself, without my chiropractic intervention. Results: Yes! In all but one of the 10 or so cases. It usually took repeating the exercise twice to get the sacrum back in alignment. And the pts often commented on how much breath they then had, and more fully realized the adverse affects of not having full, deep breath.
Just thought you'd like to know :)
What originally brought this concern to my attention was seeing your retirement community workshop attendee’s sacrum so jammed up. I was concerned that day that she couldn't begin to get benefit from your work when her sacrum was so jammed anteriorly. But after you worked with her, her sacrum had let go some of its adverse tenacious hold.

From Mike:
The way I explain the breath to many is that it is connected to every part of the body. I series f tubes, pouches, rings and sphincters, all interconnected and interdependent in varying degrees. . As you get in touch with the various parts you can reestablish the interconnections and allow one to let go of excessive tensions and restrictions in optimal ease and flow. A tight body part when loosened will reflect itself in a deeper breath.
   Recommended product

Weight Loss #3

I found your web site today when I did a search on "breathing;" I watched an infomercial last week about losing weight and firming up via deep breathing! This is a new concept to me and am interested in reading more. You stated you'd like to hear from readers as to what interests they'd like to read about. Please add some articles about weight loss via breathing!

From Mike:
I bought that tape to check it out. The exercises I observed will cause accessory breathing muscles to hyper constrict and probably though they will provide extra energy now they will eventually cause restricted breathing. Yes breathing more, if it is a relaxed sort of belly breath can help weight loss. Even the videoed exercises can do some of that. But the cost in terms of breathing muscle tensions are great.

Make your breathing bigger and easier and become more aware of it and you will naturally, and in a more healthy way, change your metabolism and be inspired to increased activity which along with fewer fats and refined sugars, is the best weight loss program there is. When you metabolism changes you burn your fuel more efficiently, eat less and move more. Change over to more raw foods too. They help the oxygen function better.

Recommended product

Bag Pipes

Hi Mike,
I received my manual today. Thanks. Remember me? I am the piper? I was wondering which is more effective-attending the 2 day group workshop or getting individual telephone consultation. Thanks a lot. I have a bit of bronchitis. Do you know if I can breathe correctly and blow my pipes at the same time?

From Mike:
Please get rid of the bronchitis. NOW. Let me know how you are doing.

Tuberculosis and Plural Effusion

Question. I am suffering from plural effusion (tuberculosis). Please suggest me some breathing exercises.

From Mike:
To me, nutrition is the key to TB. Address the breathing development during a strong nutritional program. Without nutrition any TB breathing program will probably fail. See a clinical nutritionist or someone like Raymond Francis at http://www.beyondhealth.com or a highly experienced ND - Naturopathic Doctor- for the nutritional portion.  http://www.breathing.com/sob.htm

Allergies - Airborne

My wife has developed severe reactions to many perfumes and cleaning chemicals. Trying to find some sort of a device so she can get a "shot" of clean air so she can get out of the area of the offending smell. We can't leave home for more than several hours as most public restrooms use "bad" chemicals. Many times when we try to eat out someone will walk in with an offending perfume and she needs a "shot" of clean air to get out of the area.

Is there something other than a face mask or "bubble" that could deliver an intake of air into the mouth from a small pressurized canister or small device?

Would appreciate any suggestions or ideas. Thanks Dale

From Mike:

Get an appropriate product from ETS. Click here and call Fred and let him advise you.


Message. Been suffering from stress/mild depression for several months and this has caused my breathing to become bad - feeling as though out of breath a lot, not taking a full breath. Tight abdomen, chest. Just bought Conscious Breathing by Guy Hendricks and although some of the exercises are good does not seem to be helping a great deal. What would you suggest?

Go to http://www.breathing.com/deepest-calm.htm

Depression, for the most part, does not cause bad breathing.  Bad breathing causes depression. Depression is to me a depressed breath.  There has never been a depression that I have not been able to lift with lots of extra breathing.  But is is best as well to address the diet and whatever in your environment that is causing you concern. 
Recommended Program

Nutrition Basics

Dear Mike

I see in your most recent edition of the newsletter, you mention that you will include the topic of nutrition from time to time. I think that is a good idea, but I would like to give you some feedback on that...from a consumer's perspective. 

Firstly, just exactly what are the nutrition basics? Let me give you a quick example of how confusing this is to many of us. Today on tv, I happened to be watching a program about dieting...I think I would categorize it as an infomercial program. The program was discussing why the official FDA recommended diet....20% protein, 25% fat, and 65% carbohydrates ...was all wrong. There are so many claims of what is right and what is wrong that the average person is nearly defenseless.

Even when one understands the basics, the next problem is how does one apply the basics. Trying to read food labels is next to impossible, not because the food labeling isn't clear, but because different words can be used to confuse truth. Fruit juices, for example, that say they are 100% fruit conjure up a certain image, but when you read the label carefully, you often see that the product contains 27% fruit juice.

We are bombarded by commercials extolling the virtues of orange juice, yet you, yourself, point out the amount of sugar in orange juice.

I know we have truth in advertising laws, but for practical purposes, they mean nothing. IF you want to help, give us some concise about the basics. Should we drink 8 glasses of water a day? For practical purposes, should water be our beverage? Is grape juice really good for the bladder and kidneys? Is grape juice too full of sugar?  

Claim after claim after claim, many in conflict with one another bombard us every day. The often used basis for extolling the virtues of something..."studies show"... I am amazed that the number of well-educated people who have apparently forgotten their Introduction to Research Methods class in college and are ready to believe any claim based on studies they know nothing about other than what someone says about them.

The traditional medical industry, the health food industry, the alternative treatments and therapies industry, YOUR industry, are all making claim after claim, but most of us are totally in the dark  about these things. Yes, I think we should all know and practice the basics, but I ask again, what are the basics?    


Larry H

From Mike:

Well said Larry.

Add multilevel hype to that and you have quite a challenge. I will be adding my own comments and links to various health professional colleagues from time to time.  For starters, if you are not super thin and obviously suffering from severe mal nutrition, do a cleanse. Get the  Breathing Kit

And stay subscribed to the Optimal Breathing Times. http://www.breathing.com/subscribe.htm

Airplanes and Bronchitis

Dear Mike:

I have retired early from the airlines. I have contacted bronchitis,  I'm sure , from the years of breathing bad air full of cigarette smoke. I have gone into acting on the local stage, and am in a play that starts rehearsals today, Monday. I need to know if there is an over the counter remedy that I can use. Like maybe a spray, or even something new like that , that I can get from my doctor. I would visit the doctor, however, I'm always told that there is nothing they can do. I refuse to take a steroid. That  would knock it out, I took it before, but don't want to again. I need to stop my coughing, which isn't as bad this year, an allergy, since I have stopped flying. I have to be able to perform at the end of October. I will try oregano, and geranium oil, which I have. Antihistimines just make my nose bleed, don't seem to help the cough. Do you have any other suggestions? I will try Flax Seeds. Can you help?

From Mike:

If the oregano oil below does not work and it probably will, you better get here to my office. Whether the oregano works or not, with your airline connection you are in an enviable position to be able to fly here and get some real serious speaking and breathing work done.

Stay away from the quick fixes or you will just dig a deeper hole that leads to over the counter junk, steroids, surgery and confusion.  Remember, even opera singers develop breathing problems.  See sick-buildings for deeper understanding of poor breathing environments.  Airplanes are often effectively sick buildings with wings.  I recommend http://www.breathing.com/oregano-oil.htm.

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The breathing improvement techniques, practices and products outlined in this publication are extremely gentle, and should, if carried out as described, be beneficial
to your overall physical and psychological health. If you have any serious medical or psychological problem, however, such as heart disease, high blood pressure,
cancer, mental illness, or recent abdominal or chest surgery, you should consult your health professional before undertaking these practices.