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How I Learned To Breathe All Over Again

General, Recovery January 25, 2022

In a prior post, I discussed how I am seeing more and more patients come in with post-Covid symptoms of general de-conditioning, difficulty breathing, fatigue, brain fog and overall poor energy levels. 

In addition to the tips and FREE REPORT I provided to help build your immune system I want to give you another way to help you recover. 

I have also broken down some of the breathing  basics here as well as how HRV can affect your health.

Most of the people I talk with have their backs against the wall. They know they don’t feel good, think they should “be over it by now” and their doctor is telling them they are ok. Meaning they don’t have any heart or lung issues yet they still struggle to make it through the day without feeling so out of breath and tired. 

Some know they need to move and exercise but the thought of spending more energy seems daunting since they are so tired to begin with. 

Others are fearful of getting sick again that they have chosen to lock themselves up in their house. This can lead to further declines in their health, endurance, strength as well as mental state. 

A lot of people also think that if they just give it enough time then everything will be ok. Now I can be optimistic but I am also very pragmatic and realistic. Doing nothing about your problem is not the way to handle it. I talk more about handling your day to day problems here.

“Breathing pattern disorders affect 9.5% of the studied adult population,  rising to 29% among people with asthma and 75% of those with anxiety.” -McKeown, Patrick (2021-07-27). THE BREATHING CURE (Kindle Locations 273-274). Humanix Books. Kindle Edition. 

People seem to be more anxious now over many things including Covid. This can subconsciously lead to faulty breathing patterns which can affect any organ or system producing symptoms that include: 

General: fatigue, poor concentration, poor performance, impaired memory, weakness, disturbed sleep, allergies 

Respiratory (breathing): breathlessness after exertion, tight chest, frequent sighing, yawning and sniffing, irritable cough, inability to take a satisfying breath 

Cardiovascular (the heart and blood vessels): irregular or fast heart beats and palpitations, Raynaud’s Syndrome, chest pain, cold hands and feet 

Muscles: muscle pain, cramping, twitching, weakness, stiffness and tetany (muscles that spasm and seize up) 

Gastrointestinal (the digestion): heartburn, acid regurgitation or hiatus hernia, flatulence or belching, bloating, difficulty swallowing or feeling of a lump in the throat, abdominal discomfort 

Neurological (the nervous system): dizziness, headaches and migraines, paresthesia (tingling or numbness, pins and needles) of the hands, feet, or face, hot flashes 

Psychological: anxiety, tension, depersonalization, panic attacks, phobias

-L. C. Lum, 1991

-McKeown, Patrick (2021-07-27). THE BREATHING CURE (Kindle Locations 294-303). Humanix Books. Kindle Edition. 

So what can you do to recover from an illness, injury or surgery and improve your dysfunctional breathing patterns? 

I have talked about the importance of nasal breathing before but today I want to dive a little deeper into some new information I recently read. 

When I drive to and from work I am utilizing that time as efficiently as possible. What the heck does that mean? 

If you are old enough then you will know who Zig Ziglar is. If you don’t then google him. Zig was a motivational speaker who coined the phrase “Automobile University”. Meaning as you are driving around or stuck in traffic you can feed your mind with positive helpful information. 

I use my 25 minute commute to do just that. Sometimes it is an audio book, other times a podcast. 

Most recently I was listening to a podcast with Patrick McKeown. I have read his first book The Oxygen Advantage and have utilized some of his breathing tips to improve my exercise performance. 

On this show he was talking about his new book THE BREATHING CURE. In it he breaks down 3 fundamental factors that influence the way breathing functions. 

  1. Biochemical. The exchange and metabolism of oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). 
  2. Biomechanical. The physical aspects of breathing; the functioning of the respiratory muscles, including the intercostal muscles (which run between the ribs and help form and move the chest wall) and diaphragm (the major breathing muscle, located below the lungs). 
  3. Psychological. The mental and emotional aspects, which may manifest as stress caused by poor breathing or poor breathing caused by stress.

McKeown, Patrick (2021-07-27). THE BREATHING CURE (Kindle Locations 133-138). Humanix Books. Kindle Edition. 

Now you are probably thinking, breathing is so natural why should I learn to change the way I breath now? Or I have tried different breathing techniques or yoga and it didn’t make me feel better besides I look terrible in those yoga pants. 

I felt the same way, this seems hokey, what can a change to my breathing actually do for me? Well I can say it made a big difference not only in my performance on the bike but also in the quality of my sleep and how rested I feel the next day. 

See changing the way you breath while challenging, can help with your clarity of focus, sleep and nasal congestion. 

Isn’t breathing better simply taking bigger breaths? 

Taking big breaths is not the answer. While the volume of air increases it leads to chest breathing and poor oxygen exchange. 

When we were babies we naturally breathed through our nose but as time went on most of us subconsciously switched over to mouth breathing for various reasons.  

By continuing to mouth breath you are setting yourself up for poor air exchange, poor postural control, stress, anxiety, poor HRV and sleep apnea. 

After listening to the podcast and buying the book I thought I would share some of his tips for better breathing and better health. 

He breaks it down into things you can do to address the 3 factors mentioned above. 

Biochemical – we need to address our body’s sensitivity to CO2 (carbon dioxide). Most of us have been taught that CO2 is just a waste product and that O2 (oxygen) is what we are after, however having CO2 in the blood actually helps to make O2 readily available. 

How can we train this? 

LSD–no I am not talking about the popular drug from the 60’s. Breathing light, slow and deep

To address the biochemical component you should breathe light, meaning lower volumes of air passing in and out of your nose. 

Biomechanical is addressed with deep breathing, not to be confused with taking a big breath. 

Psychological is addressed by slowing your breathing cycles to 4-6 per minute. 

Breathe light exercise – the goal is to lighten your breath volume to create “air hunger”. This is the point at which you feel as if you want to take a larger breath or that you are not getting enough air. This signals that you are building up CO2 in the blood which in turn helps to release oxygen from the red blood cells..this is a good thing. 

Try to perform this exercise for up to 4 minutes, however feel free to increase your breathing for 20-30 seconds if you feel stressed or that the air hunger is too strong. Remember it should be a light sensation 

  • Sit up in comfortable position
  • Place your tongue to the roof of your mouth
  • Slowly start to breath in through your nose with your mouth closed
  • Work to breathe in a reduced volume of air to create a mild air hunger
  • Slowly exhale through your nose
  • Continue for 4 minutes
  • During the exercise you should have a slight air hunger

Deep Breath Biomechanics. Most people breathe through their mouths. When this happens the air travels to the chest and upper part of the lungs. 

A proper deep breath should be felt in the lower ribs and diaphragm as the air is pulled in through the nose. To practice this technique 

  • Sit up in comfortable position
  • Place your tongue to the roof of your mouth
  • Place your hands on either side of your lower ribs 
  • Slowly start to breathe in through your nose with your mouth closed
  • Feel the ribs expand into your hands 
  • Slowly exhale through your nose
  • Continue for 4 minutes

Psychological  this involves changing your breathing cadence by slowing it down to 6 breaths per minute. This helps to regulate the balance of your sympathetic (fight or flight response) and parasympathetic (rest/digest) systems, which leads to greater mental and physical resilience. 

  • Sit up in comfortable position
  • Place your tongue to the roof of your mouth
  • Place your hands on either side of your lower ribs 
  • Slowly start to breathe in through your nose with your mouth closed
  • Feel the ribs expand into your hands 
  • Breathe in for a 4 count, pause then exhale for a 6 count
  • Slowly exhale through your nose
  • Continue for 4 minutes
  • During the exercise you should have a slight air hunger

Work on these breathing exercises several times a day, especially when you are feeling stressed or anxious about something. Over time your natural breathing patterns will change leading to improved health, endurance and quality of life. 

If you are suffering with post covid complications including difficulty breathing, poor energy, lack of strength, endurance or motivation and are looking for help then I have something for you.  

You can download my FREE Report “The Covid-19 Survival Tool Kit: What Your Doctor & Media Are Not Telling You”. 

 In it you will learn:

  • The harmful effects of lockdown
  • ​How you can combat these effects by building immune boosting healthy habits
  • ​How to build these healthy habits into your daily life with my simple 3 step process
  • ​Easy, anyone can do it, movements to restore balance, well-being, and mental health.
  • ​The ONE THING you must do to recover from Covid-19 without long lasting effects.

To receive your free report simply CLICK HERE or call the office at 817-220-6677 to request your report.  

“A healthy man has thousands of wishes, a sick man has only one”. –Agnes Karll Schwest Krankenpfleger

Remember the KEY is to start so small that it is impossible to fail. Kaizen  

If you would like to learn how we are helping the Springtown community recover from COVID by incorporating these tips to help them improve their health, recuperate quicker and get their endurance back then give us a call at 817-220-MOSS (6677). 

We love helping everyday people get back to doing the things they love to do.

At MOSS Rehabilitation Center we make it easy for you to get started. We even have a simple 3 step process. 

1. Schedule a FREE NO Obligation, Discovery Visit with one of our experts. During this visit, you will talk with one of our friendly experts about your issues. This is a safe and confidential visit, you can trust that your safety and privacy is important to us. We are taking extra measures to ensure that you remain safe during this pandemic. 

2. Receive a Customized (Individualized) Treatment Plan. Based on your free discovery visit, we will put together a custom, unique to you plan that will address all of your nagging pains and issues. The goal is to get you back to your healthy self as soon as possible while also addressing your issues for the long term. 

3. Get Your Life Back and Do What You Love. The best result for us is a patient who tells us they can finally do what they love without the constant pain, stress, or issue they were facing. Together we can get you back to living life without worry. 

So what do the most successful people do when they have health concerns? They address their problem. 

I call it The 3 D’s Principle (™) for handling any problem in life: 1. Don’t Ignore it, 2. Don’t Mask It, 3. Do Something About It. 

NEXT ACTION: If you are really serious about recovering from COVID start by calling 817-220-6677 today to schedule your FREE NO OBLIGATION Discovery Visit. 

To your health,

Dr. Robert Moss PT, ScD, OCS, FAAOMPT 

Get Your Life Back So You Can Do What You Love. Call Today!
817-220-MOSS (6677)