“Breathe through your nose, not through your mouth”
Bart Eigenhuis is a breath expert and health trainer at Bridge2Cross. It is his mission to make people fitter and more vital, through cold training and respiratory therapy.
“Over the past century we have created bad living and eating habits. Wealth has made us forget how we challenge our bodies, which is so important to keep your body healthy. One of the things you can do to make your body more To challenge is to breathe better. This can have major, positive consequences for your health. On the other hand, incorrect breathing causes problems.”
But what exactly is ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ breathing? “In short, someone breathes incorrectly when he or she breathes too heavily or too quickly. It is also not good to breathe through your mouth: it belongs to your digestive tract and is intended for food. Your nose, on the other hand, is made to breathe through This automatically ensures that the air you inhale and exhale is filtered, purified and used as best as possible.”
The buteyko method
Eigenhuis uses the Buteyko method in his treatments. “In 1952, the Ukrainian doctor Konstantin Buteyko discovered that he could lower his blood pressure through breathing exercises. As a medical student, he was interested in the relationship between breathing and health and studied the breathing of both healthy and sick people. He noticed this. that many sick people breathe heavily. When he himself started to suffer from high blood pressure, he started experimenting with breathing less and more slowly, so he discovered that he could lower his blood pressure.”
Through his experiments, Buteyko increasingly realized how great the influence of breathing was on health and he started to investigate. Based on his findings, he developed the Buteyko method. “There is a link between wrong breathing and health problems. Because we breathe too much, we lose too much carbon dioxide, while we need it so much in our body. A shortage of carbon dioxide or carbonic acid, abbreviated CO2, can cause unhealthy reactions in our body, such as fatigue, poor sleep, hyperventilation, or cramping in your airways, resulting in asthma and shortness of breath.”
lack of oxygen
According to Eigenhuis, many people are initially afraid to breathe less, because they think that they will suffer from a lack of oxygen. “I like to reassure these people, because oxygen deficiency does not arise because we breathe too little, but because we lose too much CO2 when we breathe too much. Because we have started breathing faster and more, we have become more sensitive to the ‘carbon dioxide tolerance limit’ Fortunately, you can train this with breathing exercises. These help us to make the breathing small, calm and light again.”
With the right time and attention, you can become increasingly aware of your breathing during the day. Something that also benefits your breathing at night. “Some people breathe as if they are exercising intensively while they are in bed. This indicates that your breathing is restless. Check with yourself whether you regularly breathe through your mouth, when you are not moving intensively. answer ‘yes’? Then there is work to be done.”
How do you solve ‘wrong breathing’? According to Eigenhuis, it all starts with awareness. “It is only when you are aware of how you breathe that you discover whether your breath is right or wrong.”
That sounds easier said than done. Eigenhuis therefore has a few useful tips. “Put a picture of a nose everywhere you go. On the background of your phone and laptop, or print out a picture of a nose and hang it in different places in your house. Everywhere you go you think about breathing and you are made aware that you have to breathe through your nose.”
Check how your breathing is doing with the control pause. This is the speed at which your respiratory impulses come.
Begin the control pause exercise by breathing in and out slowly. After an exhalation, stop breathing and close your eyes and start the stopwatch, which you run until you feel a signal to breathe again. That’s your breathing stimulus. The time it takes from the moment you stopped breathing to the first respiratory stimulus says something about your breathing.
The best thing is to have a check-break time of 35 to 45 seconds. Is your time 30 seconds or less? Then there is something to improve on. The closer to 0, the more that indicates a (too) rapid breathing.
After awareness, treatment follows, if necessary. “There are various situations in which a respiratory therapist works with a patient by means of breathing exercises. These exercises help to calm the breath again and reduce your breathing. In this way you can increase your carbon dioxide tolerance limit and this ensures ultimately for that you learn to accept the carbon dioxide better. You then need a breathing stimulus less quickly, so that you start to breathe more calmly.”
According to Eigenhuis, there is still a lot to be done in the field of good breathing. “Some people go in and out of the hospital because of certain complaints, but nothing is found. Afterwards, these people can often be helped with respiratory therapy, also for mental complaints. We always say: ‘When the breath is steady, so is the mind’. Just look at yoga, mindfulness or other breathing exercises. They calm you down and that feels good, because your breathing should always be calm.”
A good practice to calm your breathing is to inhale slowly and then exhale very slowly. For example 5 seconds in – then 15 seconds out.
The Epiphora Method
Steven Zwerink uses the power of the breath during his work as a respiratory physiologist. He applies facets of the Buteyko method – and he also focuses on another technique: the Epiphora method.
“The Epiphora method is a treatment method in which it is possible to cure long-term health complaints by means of the correct body posture and blood flow,” says Zwerink, who experienced this himself four years ago when he accidentally fell during a bicycle ride in Mexico. . He suffered a severe concussion and whiplash.
For a long time no one could help him with his recovery, until he met hapto-breath therapist Hans Timmerman. “Timmermans is the founder of the Epiphora method. He then treated me. Contrary to my expectations, I was back to my old self within a few treatments. In fact, I felt better than ever,” says Zwerink, who started working with his hands this year. got together with Carpenter. “Together, we have successfully treated almost 50 people with this method in a short period of time.”
Restore blood flow
Zwerink explains that the Epiphora method restores blood flow to your brain. “This is important, because a wrong blood flow causes your body to go into a state of stress. You can then have it massaged, take medication or take rest until you weigh an ounce, but as long as that blood flow cannot take place properly, you will achieve little result. Buteyko is also looked at for good blood circulation, but less focus is placed on the posture of the whole body through physical movements.”
If you apply the Epiphora method, you perform a number of exercises. “One exercise is aimed at bringing your body back into balance, and the other focuses on your breathing. The breath is, as it were, the engine behind the whole method, so this step is crucial. The right breathing ensures for blood vessel dilation. This is necessary to get blood to the right places and to remove waste products.”
To determine whether the Epiphora method can work for your health problem, Hans Timmerman made a list of 8 symptoms. “Do you have three of these eight symptoms? Then there is a chance that the exercises will have a positive effect. The more symptoms you have, the greater the chance that the method will work. But even if you do not have serious health problems, it can be good to Try the Epiphora method. It resets your body and returns it to the correct position and condition, creating a liberating and very relaxed feeling.”
In general, it takes two to three treatments to help someone with the Epiphora method. “In addition, we think it is important that someone is referred to the right specialist after our treatment, to ensure that they receive good guidance in the continuation of their recovery. Buteyko breathing exercises can also help to accelerate and maintain recovery.”
Good breathing is important, says Zwerink. Even if you do not experience any serious health problems. “With just one breath, you can change the physiological state of your body. Just breathe in and out through your mouth as fast as you can. Your body will heat up and your fingers will start to tingle. Every breath you take changes. something. The trick here is to breathe as consciously as possible,” says Steven, who, like Eigenhuis, is a big proponent of nasal breathing. “We regularly use this with the Epiphora method, depending on whether the client is able to do so.”
Until now, the Epiphora method has proved useful in people with fibromyalgia, aura migraine, concussion or whiplash, but post-covid syndrome patients are also positive about it. Zwerink is pleased that more and more serious attention is being paid to this treatment method. “We are fully committed to scientific validation and the first discussions have taken place at the University Medical Center in Groningen. More and more medical specialists are starting to delve into this. That is a great development, which I hope will continue.”
Healing from whiplash
On February 4, 2021, Elisa (14), Linda Genovese’s daughter, fell from her horse. “The horse ran and threw Elisa off her back. She landed on the ground outside the arena. Because she landed on her head, she had a severe concussion. All her organs and her left shoulder were bruised and she was slightly traumatized. brain injury.”
As a result of the accident, Elisa could no longer tolerate light, sound or movement and all day long she had severe pain in her head, which made normal functioning impossible. Concentration and attention were also a problem. “Even having a conversation became more and more difficult,” said Linda, who was deeply concerned. “Three days after the accident, Elisa suffered internal bleeding and we went to the pediatrician. After failing to recover, Elisa referred her to the rehabilitation department, after which she rehabilitated for nine months in the rehabilitation department of the hospital.”
There was no recovery and eventually Elisa was referred to an observation group for children with acquired brain damage. “She made no progress there either, so I started looking for solutions myself. I came across the Epiphora method through a Facebook page. At that time, Elisa had all eight symptoms that indicate whether the method will work or not. took the plunge and opened up about it. After a short contact, Elisa could be treated online.”
Against all of Linda’s expectations, the treatment worked almost immediately. “After the first session she no longer had any pain. That sounds almost unbelievable, but it is true. She was still tired, but the exercises allowed her body to relax again and her neck was back in the correct position. in a second session, the dots were put on the i’s and not long after that, after 17 months of struggling, Elisa was finally as good as complaints free again. However, she still suffers from her neck and she has to keep thinking about her posture.”
Elisa still does the exercises twice a day to prevent her from relapsing. “Twenty minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the evening before going to bed. They are fairly simple exercises. I’ve tried them myself and it completely relaxes your body. I recommend it to everyone to try it, especially when you’re stressed or having trouble falling asleep.”
Linda tries to reach as many people as possible with her story. “It sounds like a miracle, but it isn’t. It really is a life-changing method. Do you recognize yourself in this story, or in the phenomena associated with the method? Then definitely give it a chance. We are so thankful we found this out. Elisa has her life back and that was completely unimaginable a year ago.”