Alligators and crocodiles have almost no senescence. Senescence is a degradation of cells over time or with age. Basically, they would not die if it wasn’t for poisonings or injuries. They can hold their breath for up to 2 hours, and they haven’t evolved in about 200 million years. They are doing some things right!
Humans take about 17,000 breaths a day. That is 12 breaths a minute, times 60 minutes an hour, times 24 hours, and yet so many of us have so little control over our breath.
In November 2019, when I was camping in the Ocala National Forest, a couple of nights it was in the upper 30's, and low 40's, and damp. At that time I started doing the Wim Hof Method of breathing, and I have felt myself push away the cold. I have had a problem of getting cold, and staying cold my entire life. Iodine has helped, but there was still something missing.
Many people have been injured, whether emotionally, or physically, and that may set them into shallow patterns of breathing in the upper chest. We may even be having the breath of a fight or flight response. If we are shallow breathing, we can end up retaining ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species), like carbon dioxide, or some other toxic substance. This can set our body up for an anaerobic food fest, where our bacteria starts fermenting, rather than feeding our bacteria oxygen that keeps predominantly in an aerobic state.
Ron Hruska is a breathing practitioner that helps people breathe by adjusting their sternum, and gets them to use diaphragmatic breathing.
Lets say we have a shoulder injury, and we can blame the shoulder for the problem, but it may be our sternum where we hold onto that injury. Here is an article about Ron. He is the practitioner’s practitioner.
We need oxygen coming in to get the ROS (reactive oxygen species) out. No matter what I ingest, without pulling out the ROS I won't be firing on all cylinders. This is like expecting the fireplace to make a nice hot fire when the chimney is plugged up. The house will fill with smoke, and I will be going into 911 mode because the alarms are going off, I'm having trouble breathing, etc.
You may want to try Breath of Fire. I don't know if this is how the name was developed, but while lighting campfires I began to realize that the breath of fire, the hard fast exhales with NO focus on inhale was helping me get a new fire started from the smallest of embers.
For six months I have been practicing the Wim Hof Method, first thing in the morning. However, I also find myself practicing it throughout the day. Our center of gravity is about 3 inches below the navel, and this is the same for just about anyone, no matter their weight, height or body shape. When doing Wim Hof, I have found visualizing my diaphragm being pulled down hard towards my center of gravity has be taking in wonderfully deep breaths. I pull my diaphragm down as if it will touch my center of gravity, and maybe even bounce off of it.
This video interview with Joe Rogan is 2 1/2 hours long, but it is so worth it! Wim Hof explains how his high aerobic breath work raises the ph of his body, and that this keeps him in a more natural aerobic state. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hauwCHPRaRI
Regarding the Wim Hof breathing method:
I get panic attacks almost every time I do these breathing exercises. The key is to get over 90 seconds with the breath held. Wim says that we have to go over 90 seconds to get our 'reptile' brain to trigger, and this is when we cause ourselves to create adrenaline. This creation of adrenaline is the same as if we were running a marathon, or going up on stage, or into a fight ring. However, we are controlling it with our minds.
My update on my Wim Hof practice.
1. Get 30 deep breaths in, down into your pelvis, as far down as you can go. This is breathing properly through the diaphragm. Try to get the oxygen down into your ovaries or testicles. Try taking in more than you put out. Go really fat when breathing in, then let some of it out, but not all of it. Try to make yourself dizzy, or see stars, or go purple. It’s best to do this lying down, before getting out of bed, and especially before eating.
It doesn't matter whether you are breathing through your nose or mouth. Just get the oxygen down into your belly. Albert probably has just about 30 breaths right now.
2. Breathe it all out. I aim to hold my breathe for 120 seconds. Mentally I count it out. 1000 one, 1000 two, and get up to 1000 15 or 1000 20, and then just count normally and slow, twenty one, twenty two.
It doesn’t matter whether you hold your breath for 15 seconds, or 37 seconds, the point is to develop a habit of doing this every morning. This exercise puts to work the cells of our body. The cells are no longer sitting on the couch, complaining about their lives. They are now required to perform.
Wim Hof says that this is the equivalent of running 3 to 5 miles. I have lost about 20 pounds in 6 months.
After 6 months of doing this, this is far better than any meditation I have ever done. Sometimes, I am finding myself incredibly still for many seconds at a time. My brain becomes relaxed, and that constant train of thoughts goes away. My body isn’t twitching, and I’m not consciously, or unconsciously triggering movements in my body. However, the opposite can happen, and it often does for many people just starting this habit.
Between 90 seconds and 120 seconds, even after 6 months of doing this, I can and often do experience moments of extreme terror.Like I’m going to be smothered, or I will never breathe again, or I will die.I will never come out of it.Its so strange that on average each person on the planet takes about 17,000 breaths.That’s 12 breaths a minute, and 720 breaths an hour times 24 hours.
3. When you can't hold it out anymore, then let a big breathe in and hold it for 20 to 30 seconds. I do this actively, where I consciously put pressure into parts of myself, and in distinct locations. It feels to me like I am pushing oxygen there.I squeeze it into parts of myself that I previously thought I might burst. I push it into my ears, or brain, or down into my testicles, wherever I feel like it needs it. I can feel the pressure in my eyes, or the veins bulging in my neck. I have heard some call this Isometrics, but to me it feels deeper.
Here is my version of the Wim Hof method of breathing. Vanessa Wilking narrates.