When I attended the breathing course four years ago, I was a chronic mouth breather. My mouth was open all the time and my breathing was loud and labored. I have lived with constipation problems for many years. A significant number of hospital visits using X-rays and rectoscopy didn’t reveal anything that could be causing the problem. I had my suspicions that when I was stressed and my tension increased, I would hyperventilate, and pull a large amount of air into my stomach.
My own explanation was: “The digestive system is like a waterborne heating system in a house. If any air enters the system, the heat ceases to circulate, and the bubble needs to be dispersed for the system to work again.” I think these air bubbles caused problems such as stress symptoms, decreased stomach functionality, dry heaving, the urge to vomit, and anxiety.
My diagnosis wasn’t shared by the physicians, who insisted that the problems originated in poor eating habits. I thought that my knowledge as a certified physical training director could create an interesting discussion, but apparently not.
My problems with
For the last four years I have taped my mouth shut at night, and I practice with the Relaxator for about an hour a day. My problems with constipation disappeared almost immediately when I started to breathe lower, which put my diaphragm to work, and stimulate my stomach and intestines at every inhalation.
Using the Relaxator, which promotes low diaphragmatic breathing, it became very obvious, because first my stomach began to rumble, then I became gassy, and finally I’d sit on the toilet, most often within 30 minutes. Today I have a well-functioning stomach and I use the toilet every day. I never have problems with dry heaving anymore.
sleepiness is gone
I still have my CPAP mask because of my sleep apnea diagnosis; in other words, I stop breathing while sleeping. Previously, these breathing interruptions, which lower the efficacy of your deep sleep, caused me to be very tired during the day. I could barely stay awake during the afternoon, and had to stop the car on the way home from work to take a pause.
I don’t have any problems at all with daytime sleepiness anymore. I am convinced I could quit using the breathing mask if I tried. However, the mask feels like a safety measure, so I haven’t tried yet.
My “snore belly,” as I call it since most people who snore have large stomachs, has disappeared. Even if I rarely weigh myself, as my weight and girth could change in a couple of days, I notice from my clothes that I’ve lost weight and have less fat around my waist since I began training my breathing.
My blood pressure
is now stable
In my mid-thirties I developed high blood pressure. The cause of my high blood pressure was my snoring and too many breathing pauses which caused obstructive sleep apnea.
I still take medicine, since my doctor doesn’t want me to stop, but instead of having high blood pressure, which could sometimes be 200/95, it’s now stable at 135/80 thanks to my improved breathing.
All of the kids in special
education had their mouths open
I used to work as a gym director, but I am now retired. For 15 years, my job included working with children with various learning disabilities. We did different BrainGym exercises, among other things, with good results.
Several of the exercises involve crossing the body’s midline, which leads to increased integration between the right and left brain hemispheres. When I look back, I realize that practically all of those children had their mouths open 100% of the time. If I had the knowledge I have today on the impact of breathing, I would have focused more on getting them to close their mouths.
I am convinced that these children’s mental abilities would improve if they closed their mouths and breathed through their noses. When you think about it, the brain uses 20% of all the oxygen you inhale, and the brain’s weight is only about 2-3% of our total body weight! That should be considered in any form of education.
— Bertil Kristiansson, 71 years old, retired physical training director, Växjö, Sweden