Tuesday, February 24, 2009

There’s a Reason Things Happen: Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Lately I had noticed that I was tired all the time even though I was getting quite a bit of sleep, but noticed with alarming frequency, that I would be roused out of sleep by a disruption in breathing, usually accompanied with a very dry and sore throat.

One night, after experiencing that same situation again, I realized it was brought about by the constriction of the airway produced by the acute angle to accommodate a pillow, and so I immediately threw the pillow aside and lay flat on my back, with my head tilted back and chin up at the highest point sensing that my brain needed the blood flow benefit of being lowest to the heart, while noticing that in that position, the airway was completely open and relaxed -- as is usually required for successful artificial respiration, which in fact, was the position I had adopted to optimize breathing and blood flow.

I hadn’t really researched snoring and sleep apnea before, but although there is a near universal agreement of its clinical cause, there is no practical recommendation for curing that problem except for the many exotic treatments on sale by medical professionals as well as others.

Nobody seemed to suggest that the major reason for snoring and sleep apnea (obstructed breathing), is the acute angle adopted by the neck to accommodate a pillow -- that is not a problem if one fully lies flat on their back with the head tilted back so as to ensure an open airway -- as they do prior to giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

It should be obvious to any casual observer that an acute angle created by the pillow, creates an angle that constricts the airway -- rather than allowing a straight, open, relaxed passage -- and in this position, it is impossible to create the snoring sound -- while it is assured, if the head is tilted forward, with the chin tucked in.

But prior to definitively determining this effect and result, I went and bought a drinking cup with built-in straw that is used so successfully in hospitals to administer water to lying patients, since I had no idea I would find such a quick fix to my tortured and parched throat -- by sleeping in the position that does not produce a constriction (obstruction) of my air passage, which is the cause of snoring and sleep apnea -- for probably most people without a genetic defect.

And that's the simple solution -- don't cause it in the first place, but rather, optimize one's breathing position to the well-proven standard.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Seeing the Light

A neighbor told me she was having great health calamities that seemed to emanate out of her brain, and after being scheduled for the MRIs and CATscans, she mentioned Vitamin D deficiency as a possible suspect, which I happened to note, has overlapping similarities to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and fibromyalgia (autoimmune diseases), and so it struck me that despite being lactose-intolerant, I don’t have the symptoms or concerns of Vitamin D deficiency, SAD, FMS, and innumerable dysfunctions as I frequently do, and even my main concern of late seemed to have corrected itself, and the reading of this blog http://www.fightingfatigue.org/?p=1220 , seemed to be deja vu of my reading of the fibromyalgia blog, on learning that a doctor had claimed that his “guaifenesin protocol” cured that condition.

In short, just as guaifenesin (the active ingredient in (Robi)tussin) seemed to work wonderfully and reliably at liquefying the mucous so one could breathe comfortably and cough out clotted mucous from the lungs during a cold, flu or other respiratory episodes, that liquefying of the mucous occurred throughout the body, and so as the body’s main medium and lubricant, it was logical that a lot of functions would be impaired in every cell, tissue and organ in the body -- with some being more notable and problematical than others.

I went on to observe that that seemed to be a familiar aspect of aging and all deteriorative conditions noted through literature and medicine -- a condition called “phlegmatic,” or lifeless/unresponsive.

Medical people don’t like such panaceas, or universal explanations as to why things can go wrong universally -- because the specialists orientation, is their belief that each thing is totally unrelated to any and every other.

But there’s also a very modern understanding of cause and behavior which identifies the “critical path” -- that if things go wrong there, nothing else can go right subsequently, and so the hundred things that go wrong, are really only one thing that needs to be solved for every other thing to be right.

Vitamin D deficiency seems to be another one of these “critical paths,” much as I found guaifenesin to be a few years before. But even prior to that, I noted living in the Pacific Northwest that I was particularly susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which I noted, was cured by my purchasing a season’s pass for the tanning booths during the winter months -- and in all seasons, felt a need to get a fair amount of exposure to maintain my well-being.

However, this year, because of the economy and a move back to the Pacific Northwest after ten years in Hawaii, I wondered if I would have to take up another tanning pass because one of the great bargains I discovered was that full spectrum compact fluorescent bulbs could be purchased at the same price as the standard ones many find to be substandard about conventional fluorescent lighting,

There is a huge difference between low-spectrum (soft-white) and full-spectrum (daylight) bulbs): the former illuminates at 2400K while full spectrum is 5000-6500K, and at the 100 watt equivalent of only 23 watts, seems to have a demonstrable therapeutic effect -- and particularly because I replaced all the bulbs, and keep them on all the time, which has the effect of transforming my entire living area, into a quasi-tanning booth or light therapy unit, and so haven’t felt the need to use a tanning booth.

but the thing that had me perplexed as of late was that my need for reading glasses (aging eyes) had disappeared, and I wondered which of the nutraceuticals I had been taking had that effect on me -- until my neighbor broached the subject of her Vitamin D deficiency and I hastily replied, that the most effective means of deriving this vitamin seems to be in high intensity (at least 23 watts) of full spectrum (daylight) compact fluorescent that Walgreens sells cheaper than anybody else at 3 for $9.

And so unlike everybody else around me being susceptible to all kinds of afflictions in this year’s particularly light deficient season, relative to everybody else, I seem to have resisted the depression quite well and have improved.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thinking Fitness (Wholly)

You hear people talking a lot these days about integrating the mind and the body into one -- after first dividing it as separate in functioning and nature. Very seldom is it thought, except maybe in older classical traditions of wholistic development, that it shouldn’t be divided in that way in the first place, and that it would be quite practical for exercise for the mind (brain) is best achieved using the same physiological principle it works for other parts of the body.

It should be quite obvious that breathing and circulation are two highly critical functions that have to be maintained at a minimum for life to be possible at all -- and many will note from diseases and disfunctions, that this same lack of circulation is associated if not caused by this impairment, while quite the opposite happens with enhanced circulation to those areas. They seem to develop, or hypertrophy (grow large and proficient).

The condition most often associated with deterioration in humans (and other animals) is this quality of hypertrophy and atrophy (shrinkage) of the noticeable muscular development of individuals. One can tell basic health and robustness by this indication alone. In modern life, we no longer measure another’s capacity by the number of cords of wood they can chop, but can make those assessments just in those areas still left exposed by clothing (and expression) -- at the face, hands and feet, which actually contain most of the muscles of expression of the human body.

Most people with tremendously atrophied muscles in their hands, or feet, quite predictably suffer from arthritis (pain, lack of comfortable movement, disfigurement), that those with full development and expression maintain. Yet in the typical fitness programs, the underlying premise is the working of the heart muscle, which is a wholly automatic function, and then, the working of the largest muscles of the body, to increase the work of the heart -- while no, or little thought is given to the maintenance and development of the critical muscles of expression that is supported by everything else.

But the primary function are these expressions at the face, hands and feet -- and not the supportive functions, that are not as easily seen, and measured. But the vitality and robustness at the readily visible face, hands and feet are obvious -- and the movements they produce. These differences become even more pronounced with age and disease.

The primary implies the secondary, but the secondary, does not imply the primary, and so in the early days of weight-training, it was often feared that the development of these large muscles interfered with the fine motor development of the muscles of expression for that activity, and so trainers were loathe to build such muscle during the competitive cycle of their season.

However, there is no such impairment or compromise in developing the muscles of expression as the highest priority -- which is the major mistake many fitness programs have taken in their zeal to burn the most calories by working the largest muscles as a priority, if not exclusively. Without this completion or fulfillment of movement at the ends of expression, there can be no fulfillment of purpose, satisfaction and enjoyment that is self-reinforcing -- and so such behaviors become extinguished quickly because they are not reinforced by the normal movements (expressions) of daily living, but are confined strictly to these specially contrived times, places and duties -- as a diversion and drain from primary purpose, and will be abandoned and extinguished, as soon as there is a reason for disruption or distraction.

It’s not natural but needs constant attention, cultivation, maintenance and resolve -- which dooms any enterprise over the long run.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Creating Space

Critical to developing a program of effective exercises, is the proper understanding of what is most important to do -- and not simply thinking that the object of their activity is to "burn as many calories doing so," which means having no idea of what the true objective actually is because one is simply wasting as much time, energy and resources doing so -- as an end in itself. That is the unfortunate strategy of current “conditioning” exercises and programs -- which is all about wasting one’s resources, and not how to best manage them for maximum use and benefits. It is simply about “waste,” and who can do that better than anybody else.

Obviously, that is a very destructive way to conceptualize human behavior, motivation and purpose, and not from the beginning, emphasizing the meaning and purpose of one’s activities, so that one has a standard by which there can be improvement -- and not just arbitrarily doing whatever one is told because that’s what one ought to be doing -- with no understanding of those objectives at all.

That is particularly a poor model for personal conditioning programs -- which should be to optimize the functioning one has to do in the real life of their world. We’re not conditioning everybody to be their own cardiologists or brain surgeon. We’re trying to establish a connection between what one is doing, and how one can improve one’s functioning in doing that -- and in doing that, one will have created a remarkable difference in one’s life, rather than merely creating unrealities and fantasies of what one is doing, and hopes to accomplish doing it -- with no obvious and logical pathway from here to there.

That gap is merely filled in by wishful thinking, as though if one does enough of it, success is assured. It is not unlike the kind of thinking that has resulted in the latest bursting of the financial bubbles that have come into the light -- which supported the “good” times many thought was the new entitlement. In that worldview, they were going to take cruises around the world several times a year, buying multiple homes all around the world, and in that manner, live happily forever after.

But alas, that was not to be -- and so they have to get back to reality and reintroduce themselves to the fundamentals of what they are doing -- at its most basic understanding. The best conditioning for that, is a program of conditioning that makes that connection to those realities -- and not that success is guaranteed by just “going through the motions.”

With effective and productive exercise, that is the realization that one is not working to get the heart pumping -- but to create space by the working of the complementary skeletal muscles so that there is room for blood to flow into -- which tremendously enhances the circulatory function and its effectiveness, assuring the highest functioning and health of cells, tissues and organs throughout the body -- which is very different from the thinking that the objective of what one is doing, is simply to “burn as many calories doing so.”

Such people, obviously have no idea of what they are doing, and in everything they do, they are wasting the most time, energy and resources doing whatever they’re doing.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Right Understanding Produces Right Effort

If you’ve ever been among models (performers) up close, what is noticeable is that not only are they sleek, but they have very little excess weight -- that enables them to exaggerate subtle differences in proportion to much greater effect than one is used to encountering in the general population.

For that reason, one seldom sees most such specimens in an average small town population -- because they congregate in the major cities where those truly freakish proportions are highly selected, prized and rewarded. For the most part, one already has to be gifted from birth with such genes, but among those gifted, the ones who further differentiate themselves among that subset, provide great insight beyond comparison.

Except in the fashion capitols and athletic competitions, most people aren’t exposed to those of freakish abilities and those who are left in the general population, usually try to hide their great abilities for fear of standing out too conspicuously. That is usually the conditioning required for survival in the mass education institutions -- that invariably insist and teach a regression to the mean, as determined by peer conformity guided by instructional manipulation and coercion.

From the very beginning of instruction in such institutions, one is taught what the average expectancy is -- and not the fullest range of possibility, which instructors at that level are trained to discourage. So it is not surprising that most people grow into adults feeling they’re not the person they really are -- but have been molded by “knowing” others, what those persons should be. More often than not, most suffer in the various competitions to achieve the ideal conformity and model of what they ought to be -- to become somebody else’s idea of the ideal, rather than decidedly their own.

Unfortunately, many people never recover from those indoctrinations to go on eventually to find out the persons they truly are, and are tormented all their lives in that way. People tend to become those that they have role-models for, including the cultural ideals embodied in art forms. Here again, the highest concentration of such manifestations tend to occur in well-known aggregates -- such as bodybuilding competitions, and to a less pronounced extent, health clubs.

That is also what exercise machines further tend to standardize -- in forcing everyone to perform a certain movement, which may not be the ultimate of that development. But it is the easiest and most practical machine to design and build for that general purpose -- as well as for safety. Such machines however, can only provide a very general idea of the activation of such a movement -- because the range of movement far exceeds any machine to illustrate and especially to enhance resistance -- which is not necessary!

The fullest range of movement, provides its own ultimate resistance, so that once that is realized, machines are neither necessary or desirable; they get in the way, and distract one from the real focus of the movement, which is to effect the greatest change between relaxation and contraction. Machines are never necessary to produce this change. It is the range of movement itself that produces this effect.

And the range of movement that makes the greatest difference occurs at the furthest extremities of the musculature that then contracts back towards the origin of all muscular development back at that point just below the sternum. Conveniently enough, that is approximately where the heart is, and so any greatest contraction, will cause a compression of fluids back towards the heart and the other organs of filtration and purification before being recirculated towards the extremities again by the pumping action of the heart.

In this manner, enhancing the circulatory effect has this miraculous manner of ensuring the overall health and functioning of the body for any and all activities. But this “big picture” of the circulatory effect is necessary to properly achieve this -- and not just a specialist’s limited perspective that a small but essential part, is the whole of the phenomenon.

With that right understanding, it becomes entirely possible for one to take on the shape that want to -- because that is the function and purpose of the musculature -- that in most people are either untrained or untapped. These functionings, can be maintained with daily activation of the neuromuscular impulses to do so -- not requiring exhaustion of such capacities to remain intact. It is enough merely to remind the body each day, that such a range of movement is entirely possible, and that conditioning, predisposes one to exercise it frequently throughout the day with no further thought or effort required to do so. But it has to first be deliberately activated in such a manner of exercise.

This is the real meaning of conditioning exercises that predisposes one to behave in such a manner with no further thought and effort required for doing so -- rather than that one should be consciously forced and preoccupied to persist in doing so, which will obviously be extinguished as soon as such extraordinary effort is no longer applied, which explains the logical abandonment of such conditioning activities at precisely those conditions in which they would be highly desirable. They are obviously counterproductive and explain the well-proven abandonment and extinction of such participation among those populations most needing the improvement.