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Health Q and A
Page 8

Difficulty Breathing

Mike answers in bolded type

Yawning Constantly: 4 examples

1. I have had this condition, where I have the constant urge to yawn, for over 7 years now. I am a healthy, physically fit 27 year old male. At first, doctors thought it was anxiety. I went to therapy for over 2 years and tried every medication known without any relief. It is so frustrating because every test that I have had (ekg, eeg, pulmonary function test, and so on) has turned out negative. The ONLY thing that has helped is when I DO NOT EAT sugar or carbohydrates. Sugar displaces the oxygen in the blood. I am about 50% better staying away from all sweets (candy, ice cream, cookies) and limiting my carbs. Let me know if you find an answer or medication. This is so frustrating.

2. I yawn hundreds of times a day. I cannot get a good, deep breath unless I make a big yawn. I must curl my tongue, open my mouth up wide and really breath deeply. This condition seems to come and go but has been really bad since the beginning of July. It started two and a half years ago. The feeling builds and builds until I can't take it anymore and must yawn to get relief. I want to know what this is, why this happens and if there is a diagnosis for this problem. Help!!!!!

3. Hi Heidi, - I think I have the same thing as you, I constantly feel like I don't quite have enough air, and so I constantly sigh and do big yawns but it never seems to satisfy! I've had a million tests and everything's normal - they say its anxiety but I'm a really relaxed person! The only diagnosis anyones given me is Hyperventilation syndrome, however I've tried breathing exercises and nothing seems to work. I also sometimes feel like theres pressure on my lungs or something, do you get that? have you had any success in treating it? please please reply! you're the only person I've found with anything similar!!

4. Babi, you have exactly the same thing I have. I try to get a deep breath but only get maybe 80%. It's a very unsatisfying breath and results in tension which then builds as the difficulty to get a deep breath mounts. Eventually when it's at it's worse suddenly my lungs involuntarily expand to 100% and I suck in a deep satisfying breath. I read that that it's called "bracing" of the intercostal muscles where because of stress, anxiety, etc. the muscles surrounding the lungs freeze. It doesn't happen much when I'm relaxed, only when I exercise or am stressed. I can force the lungs open (sometime) with inducing a yawn but it's not 100% reliable. Try relaxing techniques. That has helped me a little but I'm still looking for something (med) that will relax the lung muscles. So far, no word on anything that works that way.

From Mike:
I understand. I had this myself for over 30 years.  Get our Optimal Breathing Kit and practice the strapping technique and "side to side" included with the video.  This program is discounted and is a good combination for you.  Back off of sweets as well. You have me as a back up with a phone consult vand a visit here if needed. Consider Dr. Hyla Cass' AM-PM Brain Recovery formula

Question:  I have asthma, but it usually does not cause any problems for me; however, I currently take Serevento and use an albuterolo inhaler for sudden mild attacks. To me if you have to take inhalers that is a problem.  They only deal with the symptom and not the cause. 

For the past 3 years though, I still have had difficulties breathing and taking full breaths.  I am a very active person, but sometimes I cannot run for more than 5 minutes without being unable to breathe.  It's not like an asthma attack though.  Instead it's just as if I cannot take air all the way in. That is the foundation of a breathing mechanics aspect of an asthma-like attack. If it did not happen you probably would not have asthma symptoms. The problem is VERY annoying and I am worried that it might be a bigger problem. I agree. My peak flow is pretty low as well. Makes sense to me. I have been to a doctor and advised that it is nothing specific so now I do not know what to do.  I have noticed some swollen lymph nodes as well, but the doctor says they are not correlated with the problem.  I disagree.  I'll bet nutrition and elimination are significant components. What do you suggest? Get our Breathing Development program at http://www.breathing.com/sob.htm mike

Ritalin Article

Subscriber email. My comments in bold.

Dear Sir:
Actually your Edison article's negative attitude toward interventions with ritalin is more closely associated with those who believe ADD is a myth and Ritalin as an evil drug than those in the ADD world who in fact have to use the medication.  In fact Edison is cited by many ADDrs who try to inspire those with the affliction that they are in good company.  Not to mention if Edison wasn't beaten up so much in school he could have gone much farther!  Maybe maybe not. How do YOU know? Often adversity breeds inner strength.
We don't relegate kids to "just do the best you can...so sorry for you"  If fact we expect excellence....excellence....excellence!!!! Expectations are often a form of abuse.
Could you imagine how far Edison could have gone if he had the resources that we have today?  He actually had hundreds of inventions that he never finished because of his organizational and attention deficits (too bad for us).  "Many inventors, writers and creative people have several unfinished symphonies"    That does not mean they are ADDrs.  Looks like you may be suffering from  the hammer and nail syndrome.  If you are a hammer everything looks like a nail.

Also some of the "patents" he is credited for we now know he stole...remember Tesla?  You are REALLY getting off the subject. Is this ADD? That was so unnecessary!  He didn't have to steal because he really had abilities but he could not discover what his true limitations were!  The small percentage of Robin Williams, Thomas Edisons and Einstein's who make it are not enough just to say just "get tough with these kids and just kick em in the butts."  There is too high a prison population of ADDers already who will fall by the wayside unless we help!  This negative rhetoric isn't helping.  Sure, Ritalin is used too often like aspirin often is but "just keep breathing" is not the answer for those individuals who really need the treatment.  How do you know?  the issue is HOW they are breathing as that is the PRIMARY driver of their nervous system. it is not even THOUGHT about let alone looked into. I never even THOUGHT of kicking them in the butts. That is YOUR idea.  Projection perhaps? Abuse history perhaps?  Nutrition and breathing, family environments,  and gentle ways of encouraging AS WELL AS SMALLER CLASSES is my humble suggestion.

Not an easy subject BUT i BELIEVE Ritalin IS over-used TO THE MAX.  Back off and before usage or during TRAIN them in breathing fundamentals as you get their diets back to sanity. .  http://www.breathing.com/articles/classroomchaos.htm

Smoking Damage Revealed

I am/was a smoker, who saw your site, took your breathing test and have quit smoking (at least for 2 days and counting). To be able to take a breathing test and see first hand what smoking has done to my breathing capacity was tangible evidence (specific to me, i.e. no way to say that won't happen to me) that smoking is taking my life.

So I am referring this site to people that I know that smoke.

From Mike:
Wonderful. I strongly suggest you also get our Breathing Improvement program to regain as much lung volume as possible that smoking has cost you. It will also help keep you away from smoking. Many smoke to relax and smoke to energize. Breathing properly gets the same results without the tar and nicotine. YOU be the BOSS.

Hyperventilation - Exercised Induced

Dear Mike: 
"I am 59 and up to age 58 I was able to run 2 miles in 18 minutes. Suddenly one day I could not run 500 yards. I was on Atelenol and I went for Stress EKG and Asthma test. Conclusion was asthma. Re-prescribed CA channel blocker. I do not use an inhaler but discovered that if I warm up (sweat) I can run.  Could excess weight put pressure on diaphragm? and if this is indeed hyperventilation why could one not breathe into a paper bag to increase CO2 exhalations.

From Mike:
Yes excess weight can cause breathing problems. But hyperventilation is largely a breathing balance issue. It is often misdiagnosed. To the degree our breathing is properly developed is the degree we do not hyperventilate.  Gasping and breath heaving from exercise or even climbing stairs causes muscle constriction that can cause chronic shallow and/or unbalanced breathing  When we try to breathe it feels constricted, effortful or unsatisfying and does not go away without specific non drug breathing mechanics developing techniques.  Change your breathing sequencing with our Deepest Calm program and the hyperventilation will most likely go away.

Yes, weight can can cause breathing restriction. Best you develop the breathing and the way we approach it the weight often slowly falls off.

A Right Way to Breathe and Weight Loss? 

I have seen hundreds and heard of thousands of people start a daily breathing routine and  lose weight. The danger is that they may be doing a breathing exercise that actually locks up the breathing so that the long term effect can be harmful to the voice, thyroid, thymus, lungs and heart.

From a subscriber:
"I am curious as to knowing why you say certain breathing can lock up and that your breathing is
a better way? What is the difference? Isn't breathing a natural thing and something that can't mess up?"

From Mike:
"a natural thing and something that can't mess up?" Not in the slightest.  This is a common misconception even among medical professionals.

How can there be a right way to breathe and a wrong way?  There are at least 100-200 muscles and thousands of nerves that need to be working in balanced synchronicity for breathing to be good or optimal.   Tighten both fists , or stand on your toes or tighten your legs or bend forward and watch your breathing go a little or a lot shallower.  Posture and other various tensions and nerve restrictions strongly influence the natural breathing function.  Plus, anything you do the same way long enough will restrict its freedom. Your breathing is the same. Practice makes permanent, not perfect.

Think of singing. Some can. Some can not. Singing is nothing more than wind passing membranes causing them to vibrate and resonate in a consistent dependable way.  If you can breathe right you can learn to sing. But if you sing you do not necessarily breathe right.  Any high quality pop, jazz or opera singer will affirm that.

"This has me very worried. And are you saying that if I were to do your breathing that you teach that it would speed up my metabolism and help me burn fat off like an exercise without the sweat and all? "

I am saying that is has occurred hundreds to thousands of times. No guarantees. Just strong probability. Not necessarily without the sweat, but weight loss without sweat does often occur with proper diet over a the long term.  Metabolism is "heat" in the form of increased fire.  Sweat comes from heat. Fire comes from oxygen burning something... fat for instance.

"Yet if I were to choose to exercise with weights, walk, etc.. That it would just be like a added bonus? "

Get our weight loss program

Ozone Therapy and Irregular Breathing

"I'm from LA, but I'm going to be in Germany for the summer and I was going to enlist in ozone therapy to address the problems that irregular breathing causes. What is your advice? Do you know of any breathing/singing (I'm a vocalist) coaches in Germany or surrounding countries?"

From Mike: Ozone therapy is incredibly powerful but it will not address unbalanced breathing mechanics. It will only mask the cause. Side by side any need for ozone therapy, I suggest you address the irregular breathing using our program at http://www.breathing.com/energy-program.htm   Then take the ozone therapy for health and well being.

Asthma and Blocked Nostrils

Dear Mike,
Hi my name is Shaun J, I live in Australia and practice raw foods - How I found your site!!!! Raw foods have allowed me to rid myself of Asthma and have being eating 100% raw for just on 5 years. But other problems are becoming more in my face which I feel is greatly due to breath and old belief pattern doubts, fears and inability to move forward. I do have have extremely shallow breath when not focused on deeper breath, also a life of mouth breathing and very narrow nostril passages usually taking turns at been blocked - I have known people to have surgery for enlarging the inside diameter -not keen , though I'm very interested in hearing your advice. Also I feel that my breathing through the mouth whilst asleep or any time for that matter, would not be allowing proper cleansing.

I also suffered for many years depression and self doubt and very short attention span; focus not!!! If you could shed some light/ advice it would be greatly appreciated. kindest regards. Shaun J

From Mike:
Great, another raw foods success story but five years?  Our breathing development work can get results in five minutes to five days. It is interesting to me that every case of asthma I have heard of has a significant mechanical breathing component. Glad the wheezing part is over. I believe that asthma has four components. 1.Environment 2. Diet 3. Emotions 4. The way we breathe (or don't breathe) . When they all are present in varying degrees, asthma or what medical science calls asthma appears (its need for all components to be at its worst is misunderstood, misdiagnosed or overlooked).

What I see for you is that it has just backed away because you have handled ONE of the components, diet. I believe it is still there (under the surface) and may reappear in later years if you are athletic, highly stressed or grow old, older and or your posture gets poor.

I have hard that many surgeries are reversed in time by the re-qrowth of nasal membranes but would investigate surgery (get THREE opinions). Also get Shortness of Breath Program to learn how to optimally develop your internal breathing sequencing/coordination. 


Contraindications for Optimal Breathing?

Message: I am currently working on a proposal to our local hospital for Complimentary and alternative medicine. I want to know from a clinical/hospital base, is there any contraindications for optimal breathing? thanks

Applied properly, there are none. It depends on the situation. You must first learn what optimal breathing looks, feels and performs like then apply it to your special situation.  


From Mike:
Got your letter and was pleased to learn all that occurred. You have a wonderful spirit that shows as well in your writing as in person.

I do not like the idea the anyone, especially K--- who is your love and husband, who uses a CPAP unless they are at least learning how to breathe in the hopes of getting off it some day. I believe it forces an unnatural preset breathing rhythm not related to the ebbs and flows of one's moment to moment energy changes and that that is not good in the long run.  Though it certainly can be good in the short run for sleeping for many. 

I started to snore and feel borderline apneac in that I could not relax without "coming to" with a "start" having not breathed enough. I Transferred to a very hard massage table sleeping surface, a large pillow under my knees so I would stay on my back in a ribs-up position all night ( I train people to do that) with a small thoracic pillow . I also began swimming the breast stroke. In a week the snoring and apneac stuff went away to stay away.

I suspect that the position of the rib cage needs to be high so that the diaphragm can rise easily and if the bed is even slightly soft the body sinks down and inhibits effortless diaphragm rise (excursion) often enough that it gets used to staying down there at the bottom of the cycle. Sitting at a computer exacerbates the situation.  As great as it can be , too much of Tai Chi and Chi Kung is in partial flexion with out the ribs being up like a singer's. Or there is not enough emphasis from the teacher in the extension positions.
The breathing coordination system needs to be used more with the body in extension, hence http://www.breathing.com/secrets.htm

Stay well and the great person you and God have guided yourself to be. My best to your beautiful family.


Hello Mr. White, My name is Cathy, I am 46 years old. I have had COPD for 2 1/2 years that I know of. I have been smoke free for 2 years now. I have a question I would like to ask you about some of my breathing. It is hard to explain but here goes. When a baby has cried really hard and they are falling asleep, they sometimes make a motion in their breathing that is like about 3 little gasp in one inhalation. I ask my doctor what this was and she called it a "shudder" I do this several times a day now, it is something that happens all by its self. Do you know anything about these things called "shudders"? I have tried to find some information on the computer several times and have found nothing. I am not on 02. I do get real winded on exertion. My 02 stats are 94 to 96 at rest. Thanks for any help you can offer me. hope you had a good New Year. Thank you, Cathy

Dear Cathy

My advice would be to develop your breathing and not worry about the shudder. It may well go away pretty soon when the breathing improves and if not you have done yourself a great service by making your breathing better. www.breathing.com

Breathwork and Optimal Breathing


Thanks for the reference. I am wondering about how what you are doing and describing relates to shock, trauma, and emotional release.

Dear Doug

Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks PhDs focused a lot on pre and perinatal aspects in Radiance Breathwork trainings I took in 1990 and 1991. It mainly addresses what someone thinks was going on then. I am more interested in what is happening now. In present time and how we can manage that.

I am trained in, among others, Rebirthing, Radiance Beathwork (Hendricks) and Reichian techniques. I have been studying the breath for some 34 years. Too often these "breathwork" emotional releases come too quickly and cause the individual to suffer from over or under exposure to energy they have no way to process/integrate/deal with or never get to in the first place. You can't just tell someone to "integrate the experience" It might take years for some people. Some never integrate it and seem weird or too different. I can not, as an accountable professional, trust the process to so much luck or wide swings of results.

I find that when people integrate the mechanical breathing improvement approach with the energy work, the client transitions easier, smoother. with more groundedness, inner strength and peace. And the work sticks better because I have rearranged the way the hundreds of internal influences/mechanisms of the breathing drives the nervous system. Plus they "stay in their body" a lot more and they like that because it feels right and whole.

The body was was designed to breathe in a certain way. Some people believe I mean that in a mechanistic way. This could not be further from the truth. You must have the rhythm and internal coordination working to optimize breathing's flexibility and maximum potential. If you build a tuba and try to play it like a guitar you are going to have difficulty. Few really know what optimal breathing looks, acts, sounds and feels like. (The belly breath idea is a kindergarten level approach.)

Optimal Breathing's modality design implies sensitivity (without fragility), flexibility ( without overcompensation), expansion (at individual tolerable levels), spontaneousness, focus and internal strength. One must not only release the negative energy. One must also rebalance the nervous system. It does not rebalance by itself with just the emotional release process, though there is often progress in that direction. On the contrary, the release process often opens up energetic, respiratory psychological cans of worms that need professional assistance with, especially after decades of unbalanced breathing.

The mechanical breathing function either aids or inhibits emotional/nervous system balance, including catharsis. It absolutely must be addressed in a clear and accurate, non-hyperbolic fashion. Plus when it is improved quickly in the way it was designed to function optimally, the body stays in balance and is not so subject to wild swings of emotion. This helps ALL modalities as all modalities are in some way affecting or effected by the way we breathe. I am particularly fond of Optimal Breathing because I can replicate it from person to person. So could you too, with my training. www.breathing.com/school/main.htm    mike

Diaphragm Function and Healthy Chemical Releases in the Body

When practicing diaphragm type breathing is a chemical released in the body?   Thanks very much,   Dawn E

From Mike:

Interesting question. Endorphins relate to breathing quite a bit. So do respiratory neuropeptides.  Adrenaline as well if the breath is high chest or stressful. Whether they are directly related to the diaphragm function I do not know. I suspect the answer is yes. The breathing process causes them to proliferate but only if the breathing is done in a certain way. Optimal Breathing techniques and exercises create extra amounts of great feeling states so that makes the diaphragm a leading contributor .   mike

Lung Removal 

My husband had lung cancer surgery on 10/15, he is 57 years old. They removed his left lung, and repaired his pulmonary artery. He is in the hospital in Newport Beach California recuperating. He has a respiratory therapist every 4 hours, but is having a hard time getting enough air due to congestion build up in his remaining right lung. This then causes panic because he feels like he is suffocating. I am in need of help as to how he can strengthen his right lung, and for information as to how we can cope with his one lung once we get home from the hospital.

Do you have information for this ?

Thank you. Janel C

From Mike:

I can not get in the middle of his relationship with the respiratory therapist and a fresh surgery. When and if he no longer wants to work with that person or wishes to add self help is when I can get directly involved. I would suggest that in any event you get my Optimal Breathing Development program and see how it fits with his situation. www.breathing.com/energy-program.htm.  I am sure you will find many things to deepen your knowledge and approach to the problems he and you are facing. Blessings, mike

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