Nose breathing brought me to the peak of Kilimanjaro

Mission completed!! One hundred percent nasal breathing practiced for the past six days. I climbed up the world’s tallest free-standing mountain — Mount Kilimanjaro, 5,895 meters above sea level (19,340 feet), in Tanzania, without any symptoms of high altitude sickness whatsoever. I traveled in the company of 13 men from across the world, including a physician and several ultra-marathon runners. Several experienced a variety of altitude sicknesses, such as memory disorders, hallucinations, vomiting, headaches, and heart problems. Everyone in the group succeeded in reaching the top, but three had to be carried back down.

After this 6-day hike, I still had a lot of energy and was able to run the last bit down without even experiencing any sore muscles. It should be noted that I am 50 years old, the second oldest of our group; the oldest was a few months older and had to be helped down.

Even though I haven’t run at all for more than three years, despite wearing hard, slippery boots, I didn’t experience any problems running for the last two to three hours. Once we were back at our hotel, most (of the climbers) wanted to rest and sleep. I would have liked to have danced all night! ?

I am convinced of the positive effect of nasal breathing

I am convinced that the effects of nose breathing together with sodium bicarbonate was the deciding factor in my positive experience! I also avoided sugar and didn’t speak much as we walked. My understanding is that there is a connection between poor breathing and altitude sickness. Those who breathed through their mouths and those who spoke the most definitely had the hardest time on the mountain.

I have, in my experience as a physiotherapist/certified massage therapist/spine specialist according to the Ackermann method, worked with breathing since 1986.

Torkel Idéhn
50, 
Lidköping, Sweden

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