Other/Mixed Original Strength + Buteyko

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)
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Chris Hall

Level 4 Valued Member
I am a long time lurker here, not someone who makes a habit of forum posting, and have learnt a huge amount from this site. Over the last few years I have had a lot to do with Original Strength (have done the level one and two courses) and with Buteyko breathing (hope to do an instructor course but so far I just practice it myself). I have started thinking that there are some interesting links between the two systems, and have started writing a blog series looking at this.

As there are lots of people who practice one or both of these systems here on the forum, I thought some people here might be interested in reading it. And as I have a huge amount of respect for the amount of knowledge around here, I would definitely like to get peoples opinions on my musings.

Anybody interested?
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Yes, would be interested to read it! I think you can provide a link here.
 

Oscar

Level 7 Valued Member
+1. I'm not yet familiar with Original Strength, it's something I want to learn in the near future. But I do practice Buteyko
 

Chris Hall

Level 4 Valued Member
I will put in a link when I work out how. In the meantime the site is Fitstrong Brisbane. Go to the blog and the articles are 'babies breath' 'breath like your ancestors' and 'eight benefits of optimising your breathing' while you are there you could also check out 'are you a nose breather or a mouth breather ' by Jamie Hunter (it is actually his blog, I'm just doing a guest series).
 

Al Ciampa

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Good stuff.

My only critique, because you would like to instruct, would be to change your language when describing "more" air from "deep breathing" to "larger breathing", or some such thing.

You quickly get into a argument of terms when using deep to describe more, when it also describes "into the lower (deeper) lungs". I can and do breathe deep without breathing big. Many people breathe both shallow and breathe big (the problem you identify in the blogs).
 

Chris Hall

Level 4 Valued Member
Good stuff.

My only critique, because you would like to instruct, would be to change your language when describing "more" air from "deep breathing" to "larger breathing", or some such thing.

You quickly get into a argument of terms when using deep to describe more, when it also describes "into the lower (deeper) lungs". I can and do breathe deep without breathing big. Many people breathe both shallow and breathe big (the problem you identify in the blogs).
Thanks for the feedback. I generally try to avoid the term deep altogether due to the multiple meanings - got clumsy - glad you noticed.

Could I get your thoughts on the use of reduced breathing for relaxing/releasing skeletal muscles. It seems to hardly be mentioned in Buteyko circles, but it seems like a hugely promising area to me. In particular I find that reduced breathing prior to (and during) OS resets does amazing things (relax muscles - then remind them how they should move)

I also find that the head clearing exercise (nodding head while holding breath) can do a lot to release tight neck muscles. (Local carbon dioxide concentration in the working neck muscles super high during breath hold)
 

Oscar

Level 7 Valued Member
Interesting articles.

There is one thing I have noticed lately regarding abdominal breathing and posture, I think this is the right place to share it. I have reached a reasonable CP with Buteyko breathing, but I still struggle to have an automatic abdominal breathing.

So this is the thing: I sometimes catch myself with the chest inflated. I work seated mostly, and I have noted that if my posture is not upright while seated, and my spine is curved forward, I'm not able to breathe to my abdomen. If I sit upright, I give room in my abdomen to breathe, and I manage to exhale the chest air and start breathing to my abdomen.

I noted the same happens when standing up: if my head is ahead of my body, my abs are contracted and my chest has fallen forward and downwards, I can't breathe to my belly. If I bring my head upwards and tuck my chin, I find myself able to exhale chest air and breathe diaphragmatically. I read this "tuck the chin" cue from a post by @mprevost for running technique, but I think it still applies to standing.

So my point is that the chest breathing might be related to slouching over a keypad, amongst other things. Does this make any sense? Sorry if I'm diverting the thread BTW.
 

Chris Hall

Level 4 Valued Member
Oscar, Definitely not diverting the thread, just jumping ahead of where I am up to in the articles.

I think this issue (reverting to chest breathing) could be helped by doing the Original Strength resets. In the articles I wrote a bit about how Buteyko can improve the practice of OS, but I also believe that OS can help your Buteyko practice in regard to the chest breathing issues.

Two main ways:
1. Improvement in automatic posture as your reflexive stability improves. Better posture will become your default without you needing to think about it. (To paraphrase Tim Anderson 'Posture is a reflex you have, not a position you hold') So if poor posture is causing your chest breathing, this is going to help.

2. The focus of OS breathing is to put diaphragmatic breathing on autopilot. It involves consciously practicing diaphragmatic breathing in a wide variety of positions. This could easily be done at the same time as reduced breathing exercises. This could help to prevent lapses to chest breathing even when your posture is not great.

Hope that helps.
 

Al Ciampa

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Thanks for the feedback. I generally try to avoid the term deep altogether due to the multiple meanings - got clumsy - glad you noticed.

Could I get your thoughts on the use of reduced breathing for relaxing/releasing skeletal muscles. It seems to hardly be mentioned in Buteyko circles, but it seems like a hugely promising area to me. In particular I find that reduced breathing prior to (and during) OS resets does amazing things (relax muscles - then remind them how they should move)

I also find that the head clearing exercise (nodding head while holding breath) can do a lot to release tight neck muscles. (Local carbon dioxide concentration in the working neck muscles super high during breath hold)

Actually Chris, I think that this is one of the most important areas, and relevant here. I've personally and clinically found the same, and I no longer place any focus on stretching as a result. In fact, I have two new students now who are both seeking to solve trigger point/hypertonic muscles through breathing.

So this is the thing: I sometimes catch myself with the chest inflated. I work seated mostly, and I have noted that if my posture is not upright while seated, and my spine is curved forward, I'm not able to breathe to my abdomen.

Of course posture plays into breathing, but it is also the chicken/egg thing here too: if you're diaphragm was strong enough, you probably couldn't sit slouched.

FYI, auto-belly breathing was probably the last improvement that I noticed, even though I had been consciously practicing it for far longer.

Two main ways:

As with other detrained/divorced muscle tissue, there is likely a period of adaptation that you need to wait out before seeing any positive results.
 

Chris Hall

Level 4 Valued Member
Al, totally agree about the trigger points. I have found that during a massage some really nasty muscle knots will melt away if I do a relaxed breath hold while they are being worked on.

I used to find that stretching massage and chiropractic work were things I needed just to 'tread water' and maintain the same level of movement. Now I find that each of those three things are about making progress and improving movement functionality. The benefits seem to be 'locked in' afterwards.

I am starting to think that reduced breathing - trigger point release- OS resets (performed in that order) could be a super effective modality for treating movement issues. (Trigger point work can be awesome but sometimes it can be a game of 'whack a mole' where the triggers just return in the same place or somewhere else)
 

Al Ciampa

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Al, totally agree about the trigger points. I have found that during a massage some really nasty muscle knots will melt away if I do a relaxed breath hold while they are being worked on.

I used to find that stretching massage and chiropractic work were things I needed just to 'tread water' and maintain the same level of movement. Now I find that each of those three things are about making progress and improving movement functionality. The benefits seem to be 'locked in' afterwards.

I am starting to think that reduced breathing - trigger point release- OS resets (performed in that order) could be a super effective modality for treating movement issues. (Trigger point work can be awesome but sometimes it can be a game of 'whack a mole' where the triggers just return in the same place or somewhere else)

Chris, my breathing practice has shown me the magical beauty of being a living thing as opposed to an inanimate object. I mean, I've always known this, cognitively, but now I know it through my being: life adjusts and responds to it's environment. With the relative quickness that reduced breathing causes positive change, you are able to enjoy the sharp contrast of physiological remodeling.

I believe that most of what we think we know is set in the context of overbreathing, and the relative dysfunction that is associated with it. I first scoffed at breathing as a practice; I now can't ever cease to focus on my breath.
 

Groove Greaser

Level 4 Valued Member
In fact, I have two new students now who are both seeking to solve trigger point/hypertonic muscles through breathing.

I struggle with a particularly pesky trigger point in my right trap. This is the first I've heard of breathing being used as a treatment. Is there any specific protocol apart from Buteyko?

I work on diaphragmatic breathing and practice box breathing throughout the day, but have not yet taken the Buteyko plunge. Curious about others thoughts/experiences/anecdotes.
 

Al Ciampa

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Is there any specific protocol apart from Buteyko?

I have an article waiting in the queue on this topic... Diaphragmatic breathing is how you should breathe: the mechanics, the primary muscle used, etc. The Buteyko method is about how much air you move--the idea is to reduce it, and to do so in a prinicple-based manner. Box breathing is a form of moving less air (perhaps), but it is instruction-based, so, how do you progress?

There are several methods to moving less air; but it is the user who must ultimately do it.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
http://AdvancedButeyko.com - lots of good information there, and note that you will find both Al and me as teachers listed there, with whom you can sign up for instruction.

Not knowing what Box Breathing was, I just Googled. In this article

Box Breathing Technique

I found this:

"One of the goals of boxed square breathing is to bring the respiratory system back into alignment and end the shallow breathing that results from the fight or flight response mode the body enters when feeling stressed."

This is an oversimplification. That Box Breathing wants to help you control your breathing is, however, a good thing, but most of us take in too much air under almost all circumstances, including stress. My guess is that box breathing helps some people some of the time when those people combine a slower respiration rate with a reduction in overall air intake volume over time. IOW, if box breathing causes you to breath 50% more slowly but take in 20% more air per breath, overall you'll be taking in less air per minute, and that is a good thing.

-S-
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Interesting articles.

There is one thing I have noticed lately regarding abdominal breathing and posture, I think this is the right place to share it. I have reached a reasonable CP with Buteyko breathing, but I still struggle to have an automatic abdominal breathing.

So this is the thing: I sometimes catch myself with the chest inflated. I work seated mostly, and I have noted that if my posture is not upright while seated, and my spine is curved forward, I'm not able to breathe to my abdomen. If I sit upright, I give room in my abdomen to breathe, and I manage to exhale the chest air and start breathing to my abdomen.

I noted the same happens when standing up: if my head is ahead of my body, my abs are contracted and my chest has fallen forward and downwards, I can't breathe to my belly. If I bring my head upwards and tuck my chin, I find myself able to exhale chest air and breathe diaphragmatically. I read this "tuck the chin" cue from a post by @mprevost for running technique, but I think it still applies to standing.

So my point is that the chest breathing might be related to slouching over a keypad, amongst other things. Does this make any sense? Sorry if I'm diverting the thread BTW.

All diaphragmatic breathing depends on shifting viscera to some extent, so posture always a factor.

The chin tuck cue is identical to one I came across when learning breath meditation to imagine the head suspended by a line attached to the back of the skull - pulling the chin down.

The other cue that really stuck with me was to sit "like a general on his horse inspecting his troops" - along with other cues and phrases I interpreted as slight lumbar tilt. This tilt is not really important, but not slouching is. Diaphragmatic breathing while leaning forward increases respiratory pressure and force required to shift viscera out of the way.

The more you do it, the better you can apply to awkward body positioning and even during activity that requires a lot of trunk shifting.
 

Chris Hall

Level 4 Valued Member
Groove greaser, I am working on a protocol for trigger points, so far only tested on myself, so if you want to me my first test subject....

About to go to work so no time to describe now. I am sure there must be other people somewhere who have figured out the reduced breathing for trigger points connection, But hearing from Al on this thread was the first time I heard of someone else doing it beside me, so no idea whether a fully developed, protocol exists somewhere.

Al, your 'magical beauty' post was awesome. Is it ok if I quote that in an upcoming article?
 
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