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Health Q and A
Page 6

Can I learn to breathe optimally on the net?

Learn online? Not hardly. Perhaps to get interested enough to take proper action. Too many factors to address properly. Timing, repetition, inner sensing, visualizing etc. Like chocolate, breathing must experienced to know  and understand it.

Most any way one changes their breathing that feels better or relaxes will be beneficial, for a while. But only for a while. I am always concerned that if people tried one or two things and got,  none, mediocre or transient results they would think that breathing is not all that important.  Sleeping, breathing, food, exercise, attitude, ergonomics are ALL  important but in varying degrees depending on the individual. That is why we created the Free Breathing Tests so you can get a better fix on what to prioritize.  Don't shirk on ANY of them. 
Recommended Program

Bronchitis Can Deteriorate to Pulmonary Fibrosis

Question: My Mom has been treated by an HMO for 5 years for "bronchitis" After finally doing some simple tests, she has now been diagnosed with "pulmonary fibrosis" and given 40 MG Prednisone tablets and put on oxygen!

The prednisone was awful on her and an apparent allergic reaction to the dye for a test almost killed her.

In 1948, Mom was 17 and diagnosed with pneumonias. (I was born in 1951)and her father had arranged for her funeral and had even ordered the flowers! Some angel back then recognized the virus as being something she contracted from one of her friends who had been in the service in the Philippines. They sent to the Philippines for a vaccine which, seemingly miraculously, saved her life at the last moment. (Most pleasantly for me and my siblings!)

Now she is off the prednisome and we need another angel!

Do you know what this vitus and/or vaccine could be? Some say the microchrondia would still be there. (I'm a layman, obviously!) is that possible? What treatments would you recommend? Would Microhydrin and MMX help her breathe? What about systemic enzyme therapy? Bromelain?

I'm going to use information from your site to try to help. (Please help us any way you can! (Feel free to edit this letter for your site if needed)

Thank you! Charles & Mary H

From Mike:

It is interesting to see the progression from bronchitis to fibrosis. This is logical. Had the "medical" people used natural means initially she may well not have gotten worse and recovered. Now the "scars". I suspect that in this example PF is an extreme of bronchitis.  So my question is then can pulmonary fibrosis be reversed to bronchitis that we already know can then often be eliminated, without drugs? Answer. A little or a lot, depending.

You seem to be looking for a magic bullet (an alternative expression for some ONE thing that will make THE difference). I would address the problem on every level possible; holistically. Including coming to Charlotte.  
Begin here.  Good luck. She is lucky to have such caring children. No more bronchitis

Breaths Per Minute - Why is 16 good, a so-called norm?

It isn't.

Question regarding the http://www.breathing.com/tests.htm
In the medical field we see the rates of respiration as 16-20 in an adult as normal and anything above or below this norm is when we look for other things that might possible be the causes,  athletics vs trauma of any type
(from illness long or short term or immediate induction of stresses.)   T.S.

From Mike:
These "normal" people worry me.
Our tests statistics show a strong correlation with lowered reported illness and slower breath rate. Essentially the traditional medical field focuses on illness. The complementary/alternative holistic field on health.  Pay close attention to the clinical studies page relating to Cross Sectional Studies as opposed to longitudinal ones.  

Cross sectional studies often include undiagnosed sick people or those with diverse chest/trunk size. Sick from the standpoint of the "norm" being much too far from real healthy or "normal".  For example, the class average including 5 morons in a group of 5 geniuses is bound to lower the learning expectation.

Including those with non optimal health in a given group to establish clinical norms will lower the expectation of acceptable health quality and allow for increased undetected poor health to worsen because no one sees the need to take action.  Too-wide parameters instead of narrower ones in a blood test is another example. Here is a link a blood testing service with a much tighter window for health.

btw, there is ample evidence that athletics is good to a point but harmful after that.  Where is that point?  The wider the so called norms are the sooner the athlete develops signs of trouble that are overlooked by contemporary assessments.  Lots of sports/exercise induced asthma and heart attacks these days.  If the parameters were tighter they would be dissuaded or better counseled against the activity that is worsening or causing the problem.  For example I prefer using 190 beats per minute as the top heart rate deduct one's age from to measure exercising heart rates.  But that is just my own conservative approach. 

I view a 20 breath rate meaning that the person’s nervous system is constantly stressed and will need constant medical attention of some sort.  Like running a car engine at 5,000 RPM while at a stop sign or in the garage. The engine will burn out much sooner.

We shoot for 5 breaths per minute. Recommended program. mike

Chest Size

Dear Breathing.com:
I have heard that breathing exercises such as slowly in and out for 4 counts each way and holding in between for 10 counts will gradually increase ones chest size. I believe the term is a "barrel chest". I am just wondering about the mechanics of this. How effective is this and how exactly does it work and can be maximized? Would this be worthwhile for someone with a flat chest? Thank you for your time and expertise.

Dear Chris: Breath holding is not a good idea unless of course your head is under water.  One can increase chest size but it must be done with care not to create a large stiff "barrel shaped high-chest lest the lungs and ribs be restricted in their expansion/contraction, the diaphragm in its excursion (rise)  and the heart and organs not massaged enough by the reduction of this expansion contraction. The chest must be certain shape that we teach in our primary self help program and school. The  self help program will greatly add to chest size without breath holding.  Recommended Program


Asthma - Right Side Only

One more question I didn't think to ask as am so used to living with it. One of my lungs doesn't seem to "work right". I think there are distortions to that side, to the muscles and the bones, possibly from the birth process but at least from infancy. That side can't expand as much, and I get 'asthma' on only that side. I've never gotten any doctor or chiropractor to figure it out, or actually even acknowledge it.

Any thoughts?

From Mike:

Asthma has a lot to do with physical breathing restrictions as well as autonomic nervous system energetic imbalance.

The diaphragm shrinks irregularly up and down like a one half football (curved portion upward) turning from a half of a plum to a wrinkled prune with shrink lines up and down from top to bottom like a pin striped suit. As it shrinks it is reduced in height, irregularly like from a football's oval to the skyline of several hills. The more it shrinks the more it puts stress on the entire nervous system.

I suspect that the shrink pattern has something to do with trauma to the excessively shrunken area. When the body gets traumatized it gets stiff. For example, being tackled with a helmet in the kidney area in football or falling out of a crib or down stairs creates stiffness in the muscles and connective tissues surrounding the immediate area of impact as well as perhaps hundreds of other muscles and tendons. Optimal breathing coordination is hindered. And if the stiffness is not softened by proper exercise or bodywork or whatever, then the body, in that area, will become more dense and less supple and tend to not expand or contract as well as it could. Children can even grow up with that bias and the traumatized area and imbalance gets larger and more significant as they grow older and larger.

This throws the entire breathing balance into a more or less erratic function and if the imbalance is chest dominant then asthma, which is primarily a high chest breathing dominant malady, may appear.

See if the below page gives you more insight on this.


I cover it more clearly in the Shortness of Breath.

Religions and Breathing

Why is it more spiritual leaders don't emphasize the breath?  I can't even visualize going on without this work.  I realize the Tao & QiGong ad yoga people talk about it but many western people who turn to teaching just ignore it.  I can only surmise that it's just not in their experience and therefore not important.  It's almost as if they see the stressed out radical ups & downs as somehow valuable to the seeker as a 'lesson' of some sort or as a way of encouraging one to abandon the ego because of the painfulness of it all.  I find this a potentially dangerous approach and now that I'm working on my breathing I will never take that road again.

From Mike: Many religions have breathing in the form of chanting, chorals, singing, toning, as an integral part of their activities. Some do not. I suspect that less emphasis is on the breathing and more on the thinking because the thinking supports the way of being and doing that support the specific religion; Paradigm, dogmas etc.  I have not experienced  any successful religions that do not have some sort of extra-breathing included.  I find breathing for a purpose more often in the "spiritual" world but as you say, not nearly enough.  Bottom line is that if we just learn to breathe better we can bypass spiritual concepts we are not in agreement with and get much of the same benefits.


From Phillip;

In vipassna you just watch the breath and bodily sensation without trying to alter or judge looking at all with non attachment.

It is hard to really compare to your work.. although maybe to say that "when one is really able to watch the breath, one notices that the breath self regulates... when we let go into just what is, without attachment and surrender to that... then the truth is able to move through us without
inhibition, whether that means better breathing, better digestion to ultimately deep peace with all of life, we can see the beauty in everything."

Going to order new Better Breathing Exercise #2 from the website .. I gave mine away.

I have missed practicing and feel drawn to practice again.

Phil M.

From Mike:

Very nicely put. Sounds friendly and familiar.

Lately I've been using a combination of computer and digitally based breathing training devices as carbon dioxide and oxygen measuring tools that also function in a biofeedback way. I have seen that many do not breathe right even when they appear to the visual look, sound and feel, to do so.

I had long ago learned that many people can not just watch the breath independently of influencing it. There are distorted "physical", "mentally driven" and or "biochemically altered", breathing patterns that have been almost "set in cement" that alter the "natural eb and flow of optimal natural breathing" in all phases of mechanical breathing, gas exchange, and intercellular chemistry.

Some of this breathing pattern disorder relates directly to carbon dioxide and uptake/distribution of adequate oxygen.  It also influences intake of cosmic and chi forces and emotional experience(s).  This UDB or Unbalanced Deep Breathing breathing must be addressed to ensure the balance, ease and flow of ALL other mental and biochemical activities. Back to the autonomic nervous system again.

I have created several training methods that use these insights to help train the person into a more optimal breathing pattern. This is making a HUGE difference in the way they see, feel and react to their world. Problems with anger, fatigue, seizures, palpitations, somatics, mental clarity and focus and a host of others are reduced or eliminated. Very quickly, by comparison, to anything I have ever experienced, including Vipassna.

So I strongly suspect this new use of technology will be an aid to those having any difficulty with vipassna.

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