Take a Deep Breath, and Do it Right!
Alive Magazine—November 2, 2012
From the moment we enter the world we breathe without giving it any thought. It’s one of those things that we know is important, but we can just do. However, poor breathing can lead to many problems. The good news is those problems can be addressed.
In my last column, on the importance of the pH of blood to your total health, I briefly mentioned that, in addition to diet, breathing properly is vital. One of my practices is in the field of “TMJ” which stands for Temporomandibular Joint, a rather poor term considering the multiple causes of the head, neck and jaw pain that must be diagnosed. The better term would be TMD which refers to Temporomandibular Dysfunction. The temporo stands for the temporal bone of the skull and the mandiblular stands for the lower jaw. Even at that, the name does not even touch the complexity of the problem.
What brought up the TMD syndrome was that several years ago many of my most severe cases were not really improving, but just dealing with the dysfunction. I found that these patients suffered other diseases such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and obesity.
Few people, including doctors, understand that breathing directly regulates body chemistry, including blood flow, oxygen availability, electrolyte balance and kidney function. How we breathe is a behavior and is subject to the same principles of learning as most behaviors. This is where Capnometry and Capnotraining come in. Capnometry is part of the science which studies the effectiveness of how you breathe.
I became licensed to do Capnotraining years ago at a center in New Mexico. Ultimately, I discovered that the center with all its experts can do a better job than I, teaching you how to breathe properly in your own home over the computer. All the information you need can be found at www.betterphysiology.com.
One very serious problem is that many dysfunctions caused by low blood CO2 mimic diseases that fool doctors into calling for expensive tests and even to false findings, leading to an unnecessary treatment plan that could have serious side effects. A basic Capnometer test could have avoided that. One of my pediatric cases had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder when the underlying cause was simply oxygen deprivation.
Given the life changing drugs used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, one can see how important it is to prevent the use of these drugs to treat symptoms that should not have existed at all and can be addressed with simple breathing therapy.
Luckily many physicians are taking a more holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment planning. From this refreshing approach has evolved the Society of Orthomolecular Medicine which has a rapidly growing worldwide membership.
It is well worth looking up orthomolecular medicine on the net. There is an incredible amount of information that could answer many of your questions. By no means is this a criticism of doctors. Our society has become dependant on instant gratification and most people feel someone else should solve their problems.
If patients can get a pill to take the symptoms away, even partially, that’s what they prefer. Among my patients probably only one in ten, or even fewer, will totally commit to doing their part to get well. Many are taking at least 15 prescriptions per day.
It is very difficult for a doctor to get excited about helping to find the total cure for what is causing symptoms when so many patients will not do their part to help. I will not treat a patient who won’t commit to getting off unnecessary drugs. My team includes a professor of pharmacology that helps with that step.
What I learned after many years of practice is if I listen long enough and encourage the patient to open up, ask the right questions, plus remain very observant to what their body is telling them; many times the patient will diagnose themselves.
I have even recruited some of my most enthusiastic, successful patients to talk to new patients when they desire to learn more. The reward I receive in giving them their enjoyment of life back is well worth the effort.
Robert Brown, DDS has a TMJ and sleep apnea practice in Danville and thoroughly enjoys discussing holistic medicine. You can contact him at 925-837-8048, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his web site at www.aodtc.com.