Home

 Free Newsletter

 Store

 Office Visits

 Practitioner Trainings

 Voice Clinic

 Articles
  * Articles Index by
      Category

  * Articles Index A-M
  * Articles Index N-Z
  * Allergies
  * Anxiety, Panic, & Stress
  * Asthma
  * Breathing Development
     and Rehabilitation

  * Breathing Education
     and Research

  * Breathing Measurement
     Instruments

  * Breathing Mechanics
  * Breathing Methods
     and Breathing Work

  * Breathing Problems
     and Dysfunction

  * Children's Health
  * Chronic Illnesses
  * Emotional Issues
  * Energy
  * Environment, Pollution,
     and Toxins

  * Exercise and Athletics
  * General Health
  * Holistic Medicine and
     Alternative Modalities

  * Internal Cleansing
  * Lung Diseases
     and Ailments

  * Men's Health
  * Mental Health & Function
  * Miscellaneous
  * North Carolina
  * Nutrition and Digestion
  * Personal Growth
     and Life Skills

  * Physical Pain
  * Posture and Ergonomics
  * Relaxation
  * Respiratory Chemistry
  * Singing, Speaking,
     and Voice

  * Sleep and Sleep Apnea
  * Smoking and Other
     Substance Abuse

  * Spirituality
  * Traditional Medicine
  * Weight Loss and Obesity
  * Women's Health

 Health Q & A

 Health Tips

 Testimonials

SURVEY:
What do you want to know about breathing? Answered in our newsletter

.

Breathing Lessons
including a video excerpt from the Optimal Breathing Mastery Kit

Magazine Article:
Woman's Sports and Fitness  November 1998

Mike's comments at bottom of article

Several months ago I found myself unable to take a deep, satisfying breath.
Frequently. It usually occurred when I was on deadline or around the second mile of my daily run. I consulted my doctor, who took some blood tests, listened to my heart, ordered a chest X-ray and ultimately diagnosed stress. He prescribed a lighter workload. Brilliant man.

Still, my breathlessness persisted. So rather than treat the stress, I decided to take on the breathing and I paid a visit to Michael G. White, a.k.a. the Optimal Breathing Coach of Charlotte, North Carolina, who teaches athletes, professional singers, asthmatics and stress cases like me how to "open, deepen and balance the breathing".

I was hardly expecting that "breathing therapy" which happens to be the latest trend in mind-body healing, was all it was cracked up to be. Despite the impressive fan-fare—more than a dozen books on the subject published last year alone, as well as tapes, videos and workshops at the Learning Annex—1 was skeptical. How could anything so simple reduce stress and fatigue, improve athletic prowess, aid digestion, lower blood pressure, increase circulation, conquer insomnia, enhance memory, boost sex drive, increase metabolism and relieve depression?

When I demonstrated my idea of a deep breath, White was visibly dismayed. "Many people—particularly women—suck in their stomachs, puff out their chests and draw up their shoulders when they breathe, producing shallow and irregular inhalations," he explained. "Our society values a flat stomach, but holding it in limits the movement of the diaphragm and prevents you from taking full advantage of your lung capacity. In the end, you expend more energy breathing than necessary, which stresses out the body and the immune system."

White continued his evaluation: He checked my armpits for pressure (not light touch type) ticklishness, (to loosen any muscles that were tense and restricting full lung expansion); squeezed excess air out of my chest by pressing down on my sternum, Heimlich-style (to create a reflex so my rib cage would bounce back and suck in more air); and had me pull out my tongue with a piece of gauze while singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (to relieve any blockage of the windpipe).

The ideal breath, he said, should feel something like this: Place one hand on your stomach between your rib cage and navel, then sniff. (That's your diaphragm.) Place the other hand on your chest and concentrate on using your diaphragm to make the hand on your stomach rise higher than the other. Extend your exhale to twice the length of your inhale. Techniques for perfecting this rhythm vary among coaches, I later found, from breathing through a straw while seated upright on a rolling pin (to teach you how to suck in smoothly), to lightly tapping the upper chest and intercostal (rib) muscles to stimulate the lungs. Although I left White's studio feeling relaxed, I wondered if I really stood to benefit from the diligent practice of born-again breathers.

Turns out there's ample evidence that deep breathing, such as the type practiced in yoga, can relax the mind and relieve stress and muscular tension. "When an emotion is very painful, our first reaction is to stop breathing," explains Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., a Santa Barbara psychologist and author of Conscious Breathing. "It's a protective fight-or-flight reflex triggered by the nervous system. Immediately after, you're flooded with adrenaline, and the sympathetic nervous system, which controls blood circulation, kicks in, making your heart beat faster and your breath quicken. "

Slow breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system-mission control for relaxation—which can slow heart rate and dilate the blood vessels, says Benjamin Levine, M. D., a cardiovascular physiologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Psychologically, too, deep breathing helps the mind focus on a single activity, so you don't obsess about the problems that are causing you stress, adds Ralph Fregosi, Ph.D., an associate professor of physiology at the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Anyone who has used Lamaze or Bradley breathing techniques in childbirth knows how focusing on breath can distract you from pain.

More controversial, however, is whether learning to inhale can help athletic performance. Some breathologists claim that deep breathing saturates the blood with extra oxygen (which is transported to the muscles for energy during exercise). Although a recent study of cardiac-failure patients has shown that breath therapy has helped those with respiratory problems to maintain healthy blood-oxygen levels, the benefits for the rest of us are ambiguous.

"It's true that taking deeper breaths puts more oxygen into your blood, but if you're healthy and in a resting state, your cells aren't going to use it. You'll simply exhale the unused oxygen back into the air along with carbon dioxide," says Fregosi. Once you start exercising, he adds, the system does need more oxygen. But the body takes care of that itself.

Athletes can benefit, though, by strengthening their diaphragm and intercostal muscles to make it less of a strain when they have to breathe hard, says David Brennan, an exercise physiologist and president of the Houston International Running Center. "Using the abdominal muscles and breathing into the lower lobes of the lungs will increase the amount of air you bring into your body, lower stress and increase respiratory function."

Since my session with Mike, I'd been practicing his exercises daily and felt little more than an occasional head rush. But on a recent run, when I focused on breathing deep into my abdomen, feeling my diaphragm go in and out, I ran three times my normal distance—and felt none of my usual breathlessness afterward. Was it just the distraction from my tired quads that kept me going? Is there more to deep breathing than hot air? Who knows? Who cares? My shortness of breath has disappeared. —Julia Bourland

From Mike: Breathing Exercises are good tools but they are largely temporary. To ensure lasting benefits most people need repeated re-establishment of their breathing balance depth and ease. This is best effected by our video called the Art and Science of Optimal Breathing Development   Recommended program

Refer this page to up to 25 friends
Receive our FREE report on the Benefits of Better Breathing
 From (e-mail):
 To (e-mail): Up to 25 addresses. Add a comma(,) after each email address. Exclude person's name. Email address only.
 Subject:
 Your name:
 Message: Use this message or one of your own
Security :
5 + 3
Please enter sum of above.
   

 

 

About the Optimal Breathing
Self Mastery Kit


 

An MD recommends  Optimal Breathing®


 

Optimal Breathing 
Self Mastery Kit

3. Energy, stamina, recovery, sports, gentle yoga, breathwork, Pilates, Qigong, Tai Chi
   4. Focus, Concentration, Learning
   5. Meditation
   6. Smoke or Smoking Recovery 
   7. Shortness of breath including  Asthma   Bronchitis   COPD  Emphysema
  
   8. Singing, Speaking, Acting, Personal Power 
 
 9. Sleeping, Snoring 
  10. Weight Management

  11. Most other goals or chronic challenges are Control-Find searchable in the Supplemental material CD included in the Kit.
INCLUDES SPECIAL THEMES TO ENHANCE:
   1.
General breathing development
   2. Deepest Calm for: emotional regulation, 12 Steps, anxiety-panic,  headaches, high blood pressure, pain reduction, stress management, immune strength

   


Free Breathing Tests

Undetected Unbalanced Breathing

Private one on one  training on Skype and in Charlotte

Practitioner training

Oxygen Enhanced Exercise, Rest & EWOT

click here

Guaranteed Weight Control

The Optimal Breathing Times 

Free Gift and Email Newsletter

Subscribe now

The Optimal Breathing Store 
Products and self-help program sets

Browse our catalog

"He who breathes most air lives most life."

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
 


"Mike's Optimal Breathing teachings should be incorporated into the physical exam taught in medical schools as well as other allied physical and mental health programs, particularly education, and speech, physical, and respiratory therapy."

Dr. Danielle Rose, MD, NMD, SEP
 

.


 



Home


Overview


Free Breathing Test


Free Newsletter


Store


Office Visits


Practitioner Trainings


Voice Clinic


Seminars


Articles


Health Q & A


Health Tips


Testimonials


Miscellaneous


Affiliate Program


Contact Us


About Us


Links

mike@breathing.com  1820 Sunhaven Ct, Charlotte, NC, 28262 USA
USA Toll-Free Phone: 866 MY INHALE (866.694.6425)  International Phone:
1 704.597.6775  Fax: 704.597.3927

© Copyright 1997-. All text and images on this web site are protected by international copyright laws and may only be used by consent of Michael Grant White.

Terms & Conditions   |   Privacy Policy  |   Return Policy  |   Translate  |   Currency Converting  |   Report Deadlink  |   How can we better serve you?

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.

.