by Dr. Andrew Lipton
Narberth Family Medicine
Breathing is vital to healthy living. Here’s how you can improve your breathing:
4 Steps to Optimal Breathing
Oxygen (O2) is the number one nutrient in the body. Many of our cells start to starve within 4 minutes of not receiving O2. The Next most important nutrient is water. We can only live a few days to a week without water. Then comes food. Protein, fat and carbohydrates are the caloric “macro-nutrients. We can live, in some cases, up to a month without food. Many animals that hibernate and store fat can even go longer. The “micro-nutrients” are the non-caloric nutrients that we need in small amounts that help our bodies perform correctly. These are the vitamins and minerals that work with our bodies macro-nutrients as co-factors and co-enzymes. We can sometimes live for years without the proper micro-nutrients, but we may have dysfunctions and ailments that can be corrected by the ingestion of proper micro-nutrients.
None of these other nutrients matter as much to our moment to moment well-being as much as oxygen. O2 is delivered to the cells of our bodies through the exchange of carbon dioxide in the lungs. We breathe in air which is approximately 20% O2, and our lungs allow the O2 to interact with our blood and then we exhale the CO2. As the oxygen rich blood is circulated around the body the cells then exchange CO2 (as a result of cellular waste) for O2. The CO2 is then delivered through the veins back to the lungs to repeat the exchange process.
2. Deep Breathing
We breathe in and out over 17,000 times a day at rest and even more if we are active. The average resting breathing rate is 12 times per minute. The more lung tissue exposed to oxygen, the better the exchange and more effective the process. People with lung damage need to breathe at a faster rate to exchange the same amount of oxygen. The same is true for people who do not breathe deeply. Poor lung exposure to O2 may require 2-3 extra breaths per minute which adds up to 1,400 to 2,100 extra breaths per day.
Both exercise and meditation stimulate us to take deeper breaths, which in affect delivers more oxygen and removes more toxic carbon dioxide. The need for faster breathing is stimulated both by the tissues need of oxygen and the need to get rid of excessive CO2, which our body makes faster when are muscles are working harder.
When we deep breathe at rest, which is a central process to all meditation, we get rid of excessive CO2 and deliver more healing oxygen to the tissues. This makes us feel more relaxed, but also allows our cells to functions more effectively. These functions are collectively known as metabolism and, when stimulated by oxygen, called oxidative metabolism. Oxidative metabolism stimulates healing, repair, growth and immune function just to name a few. Effective oxidative metabolism is necessary for optimal health but it is a double edged sword. It helps us live in so many ways but its byproducts cause harm, through oxidative stress. Oxygen heals us but also causes us to age. Oxygen gives us the fuel that we need but also through its consumption gives toxins that can harm us. Too much oxidative stress without the proper repair will cause tissue damage. Similar to leaving a piece of metal outside to rust, our tissues exposed to too much oxidative stress will rust as well.
Fortunately our bodies have mechanisms to repair rust using vital micro-nutrients called antioxidants. Any process that delivers more oxygen to the tissues can be labeled an oxidative process. As mentioned earlier, exercise and meditation are two effective natural processes to stimulate oxidative metabolism.
4. Oxidative Therapies
Many medical conditions respond very well to increased oxidative metabolism. Medical processes designed to deliver more oxygen to the tissues are called Oxidative Therapies. OT includes oxygen supplementation, Ozone, Intravenous Peroxide therapy, Peroxide inhalation, Photoluminescence, Prolozone injections, EWOT (Exercise While Oxygen Therapy), and Hyperbaric Oxygen chambers.
Narberth Family Medicine offers many oxidative therapies including Peroxide Therapy, Photoluminescence, and Prolozone Injections. To find out if one of these oxidative therapies may be right for you, call or email me today.
Dr. Lipton has taken advanced training in OMT and is Board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of NeuroMusculoSkeletal Medicine.
Dr. Lipton completed his residency in Family Medicine at Suburban General Hospital, Norristown, Pennsylvania and is Board Certified in Family Medicine. Dr. Lipton was trained in Chelation Therapy by the American College for Advancement in Medicine, a group of physicians dedicated to being open to new alternatives in medicine. Dr. Lipton is also Board certified by the American Board of Chelation Therapy.