As we close the door on this very unusual year, with the coronavirus as much a problem as ever as we wait for a widely-distributed vaccine, I thought I would recap helpful breathing advice that's seemed to meet the test of time.
1. Boost naturally-occurring, germ-killing Nitric Oxide gas in the nasal passages -- either with a high-tech medical device or low-tech humming. It's shown promise for both preventing and recovering from COVID-19.
Nitric oxide (NO) is released by the paranasal sinuses when we breathe with our noses. It sanitizes germs, including viruses, by stopping their ability to replicate and grow. Humming increases air movement between the sinuses and the nose, raising the concentration of NO from 17 parts per million (PPM) during silent nasal breathing up to potentially 252 PPM, doctors in Stockholm, Sweden reported in 2006.
In multiple current clinical trials, NO concentration above 150 PPM has been shown to act as a potent antimicrobial agent, with administration of a high dose up to 250 PPM considered safe and well tolerated, according to research from Israel.
In one from Massachusetts General Hospital that appears to still be ongoing, nurses caring for COVID patients are being administered 150 parts per million of NO two times a day -- 15 minutes before and after their work shifts.
The good news is that we can all experiment with this on our own for free. Studies have shown the most effective way to increase NO concentration naturally is to hum for 5 seconds over and over again to the C3 note on the piano (130 Hertz).for 15 minutes at a time, two to five times a day.
I find this totally inspirational. I believe it can offer hope to poor, marginalized peopl and essential workers who feel like powerless sitting ducks. Please start humming!
Here is one of several fantastic videos on the topic from Dr. Irminne Van Dyken, a Kaiser Permanente surgeon in Hawaii. There are links below to all the scientific research too.
Here is the note it's recommended to hum:
2. Disover "Four TipsTo Manage Breathlessness After Non-Hospitalised COVID-19 Infection" from the Buteyko Breathing Association in the United Kingdom.
Here's a simple, compassionate and informative resource for post COVID-19 patients on how to start rehabilitating their breathing as part of their recovery.
It explains how the virus can disrupt our breathing pattern and offers some ways to get it back to normal, with introductory tools to improve breathing efficiency and control. It's a one-page PDF at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CfQF2bgjkP51JIYNnuKUiMjw8c_jaQDS/view?usp=sharing As a breathing coach in the San Francisco Bay Area, I received this in an e-mail in early Fall after the British association held a webinar for doctors on this important issue.
I believe they're saying "non-hospitalized" to specify non-acute cases. We breathing educators work with people on lifestyle habits. Our work should not be confused with the therapeutic recovery protocols of respiratory and physical therapists in a medical environment for people who are still recovering from acute illness.
Videos on Nitric Oxide:
Nitric Oxide in the treatment of Covid-19: https://youtu.be/m6Kk8GjWho4
Nasal Nitric Oxide: https://youtu.be/6v-nTRLEXFk
Nitric Oxide Review: https://youtu.be/bis1gvjxmpQ
36 clinical trials Re Nitric Oxide and COVID 19: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?cond=Covid19&term=nitric+oxide&cntry=&state=&city=&dist=
Eurpean Respiratory Journal https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/22/2/323.figures-only
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Breathing Retraining Center LLC offers individual and group training and coaching on self-management techniques to identify and correct poor-breathing habits.Breathing Retraining Center LLC’s educational products, courses and coaching are designed to improve breathing skills for people whose issues may be related to habits that have the potential to be improved, as a self-care/wellness activity. Breathing difficulty may be a warning sign of a life-threatening heart or lung condition, infection or other illness. Always check with your doctor about your own situation.
The Buteyko Breathing Technique and other breathing-retraining strategies we teach are an alternative approach and are not the practice of medicine, psychology or a form of psychotherapy, nor are they a substitute for seeking medical or psychological advice from an appropriate professional health-care provider. We want to make the important distinction between using the Buteyko Breathing Technique and other breathing-retraining strategies for health and well-being and the practice of medicine, psychology or any other licensed health-care profession.
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