Oct 062015
 

A recent article on Mercola.com got me thinking about the Buteyko breathing method.

I first read about the Buteyko method in 2010, when I was diagnosed with cancer. I made a short-term effort to learn it based on Internet tutorials and then abandoned it in favor of other tactics.

But I’m reconsidering it as a long-term, sustainable therapy. Not only does Mercola cite general health benefits like lower blood pressure and reduced stress, but a study showed the Buteyko method reduced three-year breast cancer mortality from 24.5% to 4.5%. That’s amazing for an hour or two of breathing per day!

I strongly encourage you to read the original study here (translated from Russian):

http://www.normalbreathing.com/nb-word/A-Paschenko-ENG.pdf

In addition — and this is really awe-inspiring — the study seems to state that Buteyko breathing also eliminated lymphedema in the test group. Almost nothing works for lymphedema! (Caveat: I’ve found a few things that helped me).

So if the Buteyko method helps lymphedema, then it shouldn’t matter that the study was originally published in Russian: Therapists should look into it!

Here’s the source from the study:

“Seven (13.2%) of the patients in the control group suffered from edema in their upper extremities. The same symptoms were present in 9 (13.4%) patients of the main group. However, unlike the control group, their edema disappeared with the elimination of deep breathing.”

If this is true, it could be a revolution for lymphedema patients worldwide. If I had lymphedema (I don’t, but I struggle with high altitudes and believe I’m at risk for it), I’d be trying this right now, today, starting this second.

Have you tried the Buteyko method? Let me know in the comments or via private message.

Sep 112015
 

Something I called an “Hour of Power” was key to my cancer recovery in the first couple of years.

The reason why is that when I started my alternative program with my great doctor-ally, I was working full-time in an office, so time at home was limited. And my morning schedule was peppered with to-dos: take supplements; eat a giant breakfast; do qigong; exercise; do skin brushing; breathe deeply. Add to that the usual routine like showering and getting dressed, and I was overwhelmed.

So I developed the “Hour of Power.” When I woke up, I started my day with an affirmation. I’d look out the window and yell, “It’s GREAT to be alive!”

Right after that, I’d take pancreatic enzyme supplements and then spend the next 60 minutes before breakfast doing everything I could think of that was healthy. I crammed it in like a student studying for finals.

Exercise, Tea and Hydrotherapy

First I’d do a 15-minute qigong routine while staring out my window at the sky and the trees below in the courtyard. This routine learned from my tai chi teacher consisted of eight different positions that I held for about 2 minutes each while breathing deeply.

Then I’d hop on my mini-trampoline and rebound for another 10 minutes to get my lymphatic system moving.

After that I’d boil water for tea and brew a pot of Chinese Sencha (it was still too hot to drink, but I wanted to make sure it would be cool enough to drink when I was ready to drink it!).

I’d use a natural bristle-brush on my skin as a quick lymphatic massage and then hop in the shower. After showering for 15 minutes with alternating hot and cold water (hydrotherapy!), I’d get dressed, cook the rest of breakfast, and pack my supplements for the day.

The Breakfast Scramble

At the end of the Hour of Power was the Half Hour of Frantic Eating. I’d wolf down as much breakfast as possible (I couldn’t always finish everything!). If I wasn’t in a serious rush to make it to a meeting, I’d catch up on news and email while eating. If I was in a rush, I’d eat standing at my breakfast bar, inhaling 14-Grain cereal, yogurt mixed with flax oil, a soft-boiled egg, an apple, and raw almonds.

Lastly, I’d take all of my breakfast supplements, from liver powder to vitamin C, and then rush out the door: well fed, well exercised, and ready to heal another day.

My point in describing this routine is that YOU CAN DO IT. Even if your time is limited, even if you work a full-time job, one hour a day doing good-for-you things can have huge benefits in your life.

What would your own Hour of Power look like? How would you design it for maximum benefit?

Apr 052011
 

This post is in initial build-out status and may change.

General Information: Wikipedia entry

Studied Uses: Cardiovascular. (More will be added here in the future.)

Cardiovascular

Qigong Evidence Summary - Cardiovascular - http://sheet.zoho.com

Overall Score: 5.06

Behind the Score: The score is significantly positive based on evidence from several small and short-term but relatively rigorous studies. Most of these studies involved fewer than 100 individuals, divided into at least two groups: a control group and a qigong group. One study also compared qigong plus medicine to medicine alone 1, while another compared a control group, an exercise group and a qigong group. 2 In both of these studies, qigong showed significant benefits. In another study, qigong and exercise proved to be equally effective in lowering blood pressure — both worked well over a period of 16 weeks. 3

A drawback of the studies is that, although randomized and controlled, most trials were by their nature not blinded.

Warnings and Special Notes: One case report described a 65-year-old woman who frequently practiced qigong. Following a stroke, her blood pressure when performing qigong was erratic, despite normal status when resting. 4 Although this was a single case report, it indicates that caution and monitoring may be warranted in people with truly precarious health who want to participate in qigong.

What Now? Most studies spanned less than a year, and in the majority of cases only a few months. These studies illustrated clear short-term benefits of qigong, especially for lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels. The long-term benefits of qigong appear to be relatively unexplored. It is possible that these benefits could be even more striking.

What Can I Do? You can find a qigong teacher in your area by searching the Qigong Institute’s database of teachers, or by visiting a holistic health practitioner or center and asking if they can provide a referral.

 

Mar 052011
 

Possibly the most important step, since emotional shocks and pain may underlie 1 many physical 2 and mental symptoms. This “mind-clearing” can take many forms such as tai chi, qigong, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). One form of meditation that is helping me is The Healing Codes. If you can get past the authors’ religious overtones, the technique they describe really works for me — and they do provide non-religious “focus statements.”