The Return to Frolov

I have just had a 30-minute session with the Frolov respiratory training device, and I am surprised how well it went after a long break. I’m not sure why I stopped; perhaps it’s because I was feeling so right after the last run that I made the mistake of thinking I didn’t have to go any further. It is because I went on holiday and somehow being on holiday in a hotel room on the beautiful Greek island of Kefalonia did not seem compatible with spending time using this device.

The Frolov Respiratory Training Device

What device? I hear you say; The Frolov respiratory training device, an individual simulator inhaler. This is a Russian invention designed two retrain the medulla oblongata in the brain to allow you to retain more carbon dioxide say what question mark why on earth would you want to retain more carbon dioxide? Surely the point of breathing is to expel as much carbon dioxide as possible? Well actually, no, and paradoxically you can increase the oxygen into cells by retaining carbon dioxide hence the training to fool the automatic breathing centre in the brain to keep more carbon dioxide in the lungs and thus bloodstream. So as you can see from the photo, this device consists of a container, a flexible pipe and a mouthpiece. The idea is that you put some water into the pot and then breathe through your mouth a short breath in, followed by a natural long through the mouthpiece mouth so that you are breathing to a degree your carbon dioxide which increases the body’s tolerance carbon dioxide. Enough of the technical details at the moment, only to say that I am most pleased with my initial progress and my ability to oxygenate my cells has not been too severely compromised over the last 18 months. That is because I do other exercises, especially when I’m out walking, to naturally increase the amount of carbon dioxide in my lungs and my bloodstream.

Don’t waste your carbon dioxide!

Retaining carbon dioxide as a mechanism for getting more oxygen into cells is one of the Five Pillars of the Sakharoff Protocol and from my own experience has been clear that this is tremendously useful in enhancing one’s health.

For people who suffer from various lifestyle diseases such as bronchitis, bronchial asthma, COPD, hypertension, stenocardia and other chronic inflammatory conditions, this is a potent tool to use. Essentially the respiration training device is replicating the low oxygen conditions found at high altitude. Now, you may be able to remember that in the Soviet times the Russians were very keen to talk about the longevity of the residents in the Caucasian mountains and this has now been put down to among other things the fact that they live at high altitudes.

The benefits

What benefits have I had from this and what am I looking to improve? My blood pressure is normalised, I feel my metabolism is better, and I have more energy; I don’t get out of breath so quickly and cycling and walking fast is a great pleasure by using a technique called nose breathing where you keep your mouth closed when you’re doing exercise. I also feel that I am developing resilience and gaining strength. I have a gut feeling that I’m doing something that will keep me healthy for many years to come.

As well as measuring the periods of a respiratory cycle, that is, inhalation and exhalation compared to the amount of water I put in the container, I can also monitor my resting pulse. At this juncture, it is 51, although during the last period of using the device my resting pulse was as low as 41.

The Control Pause (CP)

I can also measure my so-called Control Pause, both in the evening and first thing in the morning. Let me define what the Control Pause is: if you breathe out and then try and refrain from breathing in, it is the amount of time in seconds that it takes for you to get air hungry and feel the need to inhale air. The interesting fact is that modern humans in western society have a Contol Pause (CP) of between 15 and 20 seconds whereas the records from 100 years ago show that the average CP was between 40 and 50 seconds. The Russian Doctor, Buteyko, observed that people who had cancer had a very very low CP of between 3 and 5 seconds. Conversely, healthy people have a CP of over 40 and it has been observed that cancer has a very hard time surviving when cells are oxygenated to the degree that there is enough carbon dioxide in the bloodstream indicated by a CP of over 60 seconds. At best, my CP was around 110 seconds 18 months ago, but alas, it has fallen back to about 60 seconds now. But I want to attain Super Health and build my CP up to 120 seconds and beyond. It seems that you can go all the way up to 240 seconds. If I get there, I will have attained Super Health. I don’t believe this; I know it. I have seen testimonials from those who were seriously ill and have transformed their health situation by learning how to breathe correctly and build up their CP to the Super Health level.

However, as I have mentioned in previous posts, this is only part of the story, and by combining breathing with the other factors in the Sakharoff Protocol, there can be a dramatic synergistic effect on the body and the psyche.

I will keep you posted on my progress with the Frolov respiratory training device.

PS: My average resting pulse according to my Fitbit, is 49, down from 51 yesterday and from 57 a week ago. My resting pulse last night before I went to bed was 42! Not bad for a 64-year old!

Can you cure cancer by holding your breath?

No! Well, not as far as I  know.

So what is all this with breathing and cancer and other lifestyle diseases?

It is about reverting to the way humans in the past used to breathe. How is that different from the way we breathe today? Many of us breathe using the top of our lungs only, we have our mouths open, we hyperventilate and we have a notion that taking in lots of air in a deep breath is good for us.

What is the connection? In a nutshell, we do not get enough oxygen into our cells, which leaves them vulnerable to common lifestyle diseases.

I will attempt to explain simply: Our cells need oxygen to function. Oxygen is carried in the bloodstream, and the catalyst that allows it to be taken up by cells is carbon dioxide. That’s right – CO2, the same stuff that is giving us global warming concerns. Only  in the atmosphere, the concentration is 0.04%, up from 0.o3% this last century. In the bloodstream, it should be 6.1%. You heard right. 6.1%. Even higher in the brain (7%) If you have less than 3% you are dead! Probably due to bad breathing, stress, bad diet and lack of exercise, many people are down closer to that level than the ideal.

Have a look at this diagram showing the effects of hypocapnia. This is where hyperventilation leads to a shortage of carbon dioxide in the body and results in hypoxia, which is a condition that sick people suffer. You can see this in the way sick people breathe – very mechanically – in,out,in,out – many times a minute.

Simple man’s conclusion? sick people breathe badly? Bad breathers are sick? Yeah, something like that.

The point is that their seems to be a correlation (to me) between cancer,diabetes, cardiovascular disease and breathing and the consequence of this: namely lack of oxygen to the cells.  There are many references to research that bear this out, but here are some interesting facts:

  1. People who are sick take more breaths per minute than healthy people. (between 18 and 30 breaths as opposed to 6-12 for healthy people.
  2. Even this healthy level is not ideal
  3. People had far better breathing performance 100 years ago.

The way to test for this is the CP (control pause). Breathe out and see how it takes before you need to take  a breath. If you are somewhere between 15 and 30 seconds, you are “normal”. However, “normal” was over 40 seconds 100 years ago. Under 10 seconds and you have very likely got a problem.

That is interesting: Why has the CP fallen over 100 years? I put forward these reasons:

  • Sugar. We consume a lot more sugar than 100 years ago. Also as corn syrup.
  • Wheat products. We eat a lot more of these. Bread, pasta, etc.
  • Crap fats. We don’t have the right types in the right balance.
  • Stress. Our wonderful modern lifestyle means we are pressed and it affects our breathing.
  • Lack of exercise.  Our forefathers (and mothers!) generally did a lot more manual work and walked a lot.
  • Obesity. The result of the above.

I am not going to document the above here, but in a later post, I will attempt to take each one and point to the research.

So, what else does good breathing do? It causes the blood vessels to dilate, thus allowing more blood flow. In my own case, my resting pulse rate is between 43 and 50 beats per minute and my blood pressure is 120/70. (I am male, aged 61). It also adjusts how alkaline your blood is (slightly) but more importantly, reduces the acidity of cells.

The link between cancer and breathing.

I have seen Micha Sakharoff’s data, and he thinks that cancer cannot exist in cells where there is a good supply of oxygen. This equates to a CP of 40 seconds. And no, there has not been any clinical research on this (to the best of my knowledge)*.  Along with the no-carb ketogenic diet, the acidity of the tissues is reduced, Again, cancer will not thrive in an alkaline environment.

Bring on Buteyko Breathing

What is it? It is a series of breathing exercises, originally designed by a Russian, Konstantin Buteyko, to help asthma patients. If you have asthma and you do the Buteyko training, you will most likely stop suffering asthma attacks. What are we training? We are reprogramming the brain (the medula oblongata, to be precise), to accept more carbon dioxide in the body (as bicarbonate and carbon dioxide gas). I have been doing this for 3 months now. I have improved from 17 seconds to an average of 35 seconds. Sometimes, in the evenings, especially after yoga, I can get to 60 seconds. Do I do this because I have cancer? I trust not – but I believe that prevention is better that cure. Given the latest research in the UK (“One in two people born after 1960 in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime“), I owe it to myself  to do something to protect myself.

Apparently, there are some great benefits to be had if you get to a CP of 90 seconds.

Unfortunately, Buteyko is a business franchise, so I cannot explain more. However, there are some excellent videos by an Irishman, Patrick McKeown  on Youtube and there is a lot more information by Artour Rakhimov on normalbreathing.com. Having said that, I really believe that Misha Sakharoff’s holistic approach is well worth giving attention to.

*Of course there are no clinical trials. There is no serious money for drug companies in teaching people to breathe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did Raimundas’s recovery mean to me?

I described the sequence of events that led to Raimundas’s “spontaneous remission” on the first page. 

As with anyone, I was very happy to hear this and then sceptical. How could he be cured when the best and most expensive treatment the Danish health system could throw at it fail? How was it done? What was I missing?

Vanessa asked me to do a simple test: She wanted to test my “CP”. I had to breathe in, breathe out, then see how long it took before I was forced to take another inhalation; 17 seconds. “Not bad”, she said ,”a cancer patient can do about 5 seconds” I was relieved – I must be OK, right? Like most people I know, I have a lurking fear of the Big C.  I know so many people who have been cut short in their prime because of it. And to cap that, a recent BBC article said that it is expected that half the UK population will get cancer. Hey, I am a Brit, so it is statistically even money!

Vanessa said that this CP is the test for how much carbon dioxide is in your bloodstream. Carbon Dioxide in my bloodstream? Surely, I don’t want that? I want oxygen – not carbon dioxide! (or so I thought). Well, yes, I do want oxygen, but what I didn’t know that I need carbon dioxide to be able to release the oxygen from the oxygen-rich blood into my cells. Why? Because essentially, cancer cannot survive in an oxygenated cell. I will explain that later.

So what had Raimundas done? He had, through careful monitoring of a training course, increased his CP (short for “control pause”) from the cancer-sufferer’s 5 seconds to 60 seconds. And according to Micha, cancer is unlikely to survive in someone with a CP of over 40 seconds.

And what does the training do? It is designed to reprogramme your medula oblangata (the control centre for the body’s automatic functions) to accept more carbon dioxide in your body. Up to 7% actually. Pretty fantastic considering the atmospheric concentration is  0.4%.

I have to say at this point that Raimundas also did other things, such as centering, calorific restriction and ketogenic diet. All this is explained on Micha’s web site.

Anyway, I wanted to find out more. Reading some of the theory behind this led me to adopt some of the practices, although not all. I figured that I was in pretty good shape, but I knew there was room for improvement.