Breathing to Live Longer

Published on July 18, 2022

The most challenging part of my Natural Allopathic protocol is breathing because it is not something you take. It is something you have to do. Taking medications, sleeping on Biomats, doing hydrogen inhalation, and getting your chlorine dioxide dosages right is a piece of cake compared to the commitment one must make to slow down the wild stumbling horses of our breathing.

Wild in that most of us are off to the races regarding our breathing speed. Stumbling in that too few adults do abdominal breathing. Stumbling because few can wait for even half a second after exhaling before starting the next breath. Desperation and anxiety are carried on the breath.

Breathing is crucial for keeping us alive. It is also vital for health recovery. Saying it’s important is an understatement because it is impossible to be or stay healthy and breathe too fast. So I tell my patients that their next breath is the most crucial thing in life. If you don’t take it, you’re dead in minutes, so how you take that next breath and how you breathe is more than important.

I also tell my cancer patients that the best way you can prove to yourself and your loved ones that you want to live and that you want to beat your cancer is to spend more and more time devoted to taming your breathing. It is ridiculous that doctors and even alternative practitioners ignore the most important thing their patients are doing: breathing.

Breathing is simple, but somehow most of us manage to mangle it, and we pay excessively health-wise because of it. Nothing is more important to our life or health than our breathing, but not many people see it this way. When we breathe correctly, we tend to live longer and be much healthier.

Your breathing or respiratory rate is defined as the number of breaths a person takes during one minute while resting. Studies suggest that an accurate recording of respiratory rate is essential in predicting severe medical events. Since many factors can affect the results, understanding how to take a precise measurement is necessary. While watching the clock, count the times you breathe in two minutes. Make three trials, and find the average. Divide by two to find the average number of breaths per minute.

The rate should be measured at rest, not after someone has been up and walking around. Being aware that your breaths are being counted can make the results inaccurate, as people often alter how they breathe if they know it is being monitored. Nurses are skilled at overcoming this problem by discretely counting respirations and watching the number of times your chest rises and falls — often while pretending to take your pulse.

Lung expert Dr. Lynne Eldridge says, “In general, children have faster respiratory rates than adults, and women breathe more often than men. The normal ranges for different age groups are listed below:

  • Newborn: 30-60 breaths per minute
  • Infant (1 to 12 months): 30-60 breaths per minute
  • Toddler (1-2 years): 24-40 breaths per minute
  • Preschooler (3-5 years): 22-34 breaths per minute
  • School-age child (6-12 years): 18-30 breaths per minute
  • Adolescent (13-17 years): 12-16 breaths per minute
  • Adult: 12-18 breaths per minute

Medical textbooks suggest that the regular respiratory rate for adults is only 12 breaths per minute at rest. Older books often provide lower values (e.g., 8-10 breaths per minute), but as Dr. Eldridge and others have noted, most modern adults breathe much faster (12-15 breaths per minute) than usual. Respiratory rates in cancer and other severely ill patients are usually high.

Don Campbell and Al Lee, authors of ‘Perfect Breathing: Transform Your Life One Breath at a Time,’ say, “We all come to the world with the ability to take full, unencumbered breaths, but as we get older, we forget how to breathe properly.”

When we breathe faster than we should, we lose too much CO2 from the blood, thus reducing body oxygenation due to vasoconstriction and the suppressed Bohr Effect caused by hypocapnia (CO2 deficiency). The faster we breathe, the lower our oxygen levels, and the more our cells suffer from hypoxia (reduced cell oxygenation).

Slower, easier breathing improves cell-oxygen content. We call this abdominal Breathing or diaphragmatic Breathing because the diaphragm pushes down, and the belly swells out just as we see when babies breathe.

Ideal Breathing Rates

The best regular breathing rate noted by contemporary medicine is eight breaths per minute, and that is the golden standard to shoot for. But, are even eight breaths ideal, or is something even slower up for the offering that takes us to heavenly health?

I have recommended the Frolov breathing device for years because it breaks our breathing rhythm. When using the Frolov, I generally practice at three to a maximum of four breaths a minute after years of using it. When not practicing, my regular breathing rate is about nine breaths a minute. However, when I get serious about my breathing, I can reduce my rhythm to two breaths a minute for a few moments. 

Dr. Sheldon writes that “breathing is the most critical thing you do in your life. And breathing correctly is the single most important thing you can do to improve your life.”

So what is the difference in our health when we breathe less? Michael White has put together the following chart from information that 85,000 people who filled out his questionnaire on his site yielded the following vital information:

Stare at this chart and let its information sink in. You can see that slow breathers have health, and fast breathers are having a tough time with their bodies and life. Fast breathers suffer from much higher anxiety, depression, sleeping disorders, and high blood pressure levels than slow breathers.

Dr. Fred Muench says, “Once you go below ten breaths a minute, you start to engage the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body relax when it has been injured. Slow breathing activates the vagus nerve, the primary cranial nerve, associated with a recuperative state.” Perhaps more”important, slow breathing tends to increase heart-rate variability, a measurement of the fluctuation in a heartbeat during an activity. The way to increase variability is to breathe slowly.

Too Much Breathing is Tiring

A person who is breathing at four breaths a minute will only breathe about 5,760 times a day. At the “normal” of eight breaths a minute, that count doubles to 11,520 breaths daily. At 16, that rate reaches 23,000 breaths a day. At 25 breaths a minute, we are clipping along at 36,000 breaths a day.

Dr. Buteyko found that virtually all sick people (asthma, bronchitis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.) have accelerated respiratory patterns. During rapid breathing, carbon dioxide becomes deficient, oxygen delivery to the cells is reduced, breath-holding time is reduced, and the natural automatic pause is absent in each breath. Buteyko appreciated that breathing controls and modulates the body’s cardiovascular, immune, nervous, and digestive systems.

Our breathing rate is a predictor of health, illness, and longevity. After thirty years of studying over 5,000 patients in what was called the Framingham studies, doctors from the Boston University School of Medicine said they could predict both long-term and short-term mortality based on peoples’ breathing. Dr. William Kannel said with a person’s breathing, we can “Pick out people who are going to die 10, 20, or 30 years from now.”

Fast Breathing is Cancerous.

Breathing deserves our closest attention when our state of health is challenged, as with cancer. I have always recommended the Frolov breathing device to get started. It makes it easy for newcomers to breathe retraining but will not take you to the end or ultimate in breathing.

This is the machine to use for your breathing retraining. It is lovely to blow bubbles as one increases the oxygenation of one’s cells and tissues. But unfortunately, it is from Russia, so it might be hard to come by in the West.

The Breather is second best. Many brands look and operate like this.

Slow, Steady & Easy Breathing

Seriously ill people with dangerous acute infections will benefit immediately from controlling the quantity of air going into and out of the lungs using a simple breathing device—based on CO2 physiology—in the space of 20 minutes daily. One can begin, quite quickly, to get control of several critical medical parameters, the most important of which is oxygen delivery to cells and tissues.

For some people, breathing retraining is like standing on a chariot with four wild horses pulling back on the reins. The idea is to limit the airflow by slowing everything down. Doing that increases electron flow and raises cellular voltage, pH, oxygenation, and carbon dioxide levels.

When we allow CO2 levels to rise to normal levels, we also allow oxygen levels to return to normal. When we deal with a person’s breathing, we can quickly intervene in the most basic physiological parameters that affect the health of the cells.

The second we pay attention to our breath, our breathing changes, and when we are emotionally upset, we can see how quickly conscious breathing can bring us back to emotional tranquility.

Less is More

Medical studies have shown that the more we breathe, the less oxygen is provided for the body’s vital organs. Does that sound upside down to you? Well, it’s true. However, idea breathing corresponds to prolonged, light, and easy abdominal breathing (diaphragmatic or belly breathing), which most people need to relearn.

It is difficult to recover from anything when we are breathing wrong. Diaphragmatic breathing allows one to take normal breaths while maximizing the amount of oxygen that goes into the bloodstream.

The Chinese and ancient Indian civilizations developed hundreds of breathing techniques. Now modern science has gotten into the act with breathing devices that, when used only 20 minutes a day, increase one’s oxygen and cellular voltage, especially when one harnesses bicarbonates to assist in this process. Chlorine dioxide will also help raise oxygen but in a more targeted fashion.

When looking to recover from disease, especially cancer, we cannot afford to overlook the central question of oxygen and its efficient delivery to our cells,  which is partly governed by a person’s breathing. But unfortunately, most doctors have no idea that people can go a long way toward solving their health problems by retraining their breathing because they are trapped by the pharmaceutical paradigm that rejects the natural world.

Mantak Chia wrote, “For thousands of years, Taoist masters have taught natural breathing. We can improve the functioning and efficiency of our heart, lungs, and other internal organs and systems. We can help balance our emotions. We can transform our stress and negativity into energy we can use for self-healing and self-development. And we are better able to extract and absorb the energy we need for spiritual growth and independence.”

We breathe every day, so we might as well do it right.

The American Academy of Cardiology says, “Stress can cause shortness of breath or worsen it. Once you start feeling short of breath, it is common to get nervous or anxious. This can make your shortness of breath even worse. Being anxious tightens the muscles that help you breathe, and this makes you start to breathe faster. As you get more anxious, your breathing muscles get tired. This causes even more shortness of breath and more anxiety. At this point, you may panic.”

Learning to “void or control stress can help you avoid
this cycle. You can learn tips to help you relax and learn
breathing techniques to get more air into your lungs.
                                                            American Academy of Cardiology

Healthy Breathing

  1. Breathingdetoxifies and releases toxins.
  2. Breathing releases tension.
  3. Breathing relaxes the mind/body and brings clarity.
  4. Breathing relieves emotional problems.
  5. Breathing relieves pain.
  6. Breathing massages your organs.
  7. Breathing increases muscle.
  8. Breathing strengthens the immune system.
  9. Breathing improves posture.
  10. Breathing improves the quality of the blood.
  11. Breathing increases digestion and assimilation of food.
  12. Breathing improves the nervous system.
  13. Breathing strengthens the lungs.
  14. Proper breathing makes the heart stronger.
  15. Proper breathing assists in weight control.
  16. Breathing boosts energy levels and improves stamina.
  17. Breathing improves cellular regeneration.
  18. Breathing elevates moods.

Even Readers Digest wrote about breathing saying, “What could be more basic than breathing? Inhale, exhale, repeat, right? Not exactly. While western science and medicine focus on breathing as a bodily function integral to survival, eastern health sciences approach it as nourishment for both body and spirit. The Chinese believe that mindful breathing or breathwork has numerous benefits, including improved focus and efficiency, increased positivity, and greater physical and mental energy.”

Breathing for Dummies

Emergency room and intensive care professionals understand the importance of respiration. Oxygen and carbon dioxide are what stand between life and death, so our next breath matters. However, it is only when we get close to death’s door that doctors finally pay attention to respiration.

Bottom line—the quicker we breathe, the sooner we are going to die. The more our breathing races, the less oxygen we get, and the faster our bodies begin to suffer from one chronic ailment or another. Eight breaths a minute is very healthy though few breathe today slower than 12. Cancer patients tend to breathe at 15 to 25 breaths a minute.

Vernon Johnston cured himself of cancer (prostate and bone) with a good diet and sodium bicarbonate to get and maintain his urine pH at eight and four hours of conscious breathing a day. I have not talked to anyone in all the years since that has equaled his accomplishment. It took him only one month to be cancer-free.

Pain and Stress Control

Yoga goes with breathing. You can do many things to relax, and yoga postures are one of them.

Warning: Depending on the severity and type of the condition, patients can worsen their health if they go into intensive breathing sessions too aggressively. Some critically ill patients can develop even higher blood pressure, panic attacks, and migraine headaches from aggressive and rapid changes in breathing.

Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Professor of Natural Oncology, Da Vinci Institute of Holistic Medicine
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine
Founder of Natural Allopathic Medicine

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