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One of The Most Important Ingredients to Healthy Lifestyles? [E022]

Without this vital ingredient, you would be dead! Oxygen is needed to sustain energy and live a healthy lifestyles that you can. Dr. Jason and Dr. Bryan share how you can make the most of this free ingredient and start to become more conscious of habits that limit the ability to fully oxygenate yourself.

Table Of Contents

An Introduction To Healthy Lifestyles

An Introduction To Healthy Lifestyles
Photographer: Marion Michele | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Bryan: Welcome again to the Wellness Connection Show. Each week we go through different topics and information, that’s real relevant on how you can live a healthy lifestyles, and stay healthy for many years to come. It’s funny, in today’s discussion, and we were having a discussion earlier, before we started the recording is, without this vital ingredient, or this one mineral, or vitamin, or whatever you want to call it, you would be dead. In all practical purposes, today’s conversation is about the most vital, most important ingredient, to being healthy lifestyles.

Dr. Jason: Yeah, and being able to have energy, that’s sustainable. I think this is one of those things, that when you don’t pay attention to it, it’s like heart disease in that with heart disease, it’s slowly builds up and you have cholesterol, that’s building up over a long time. When you don’t implement the strategies that we’re going to talk about today, you slowly over time lose energy. You slowly over time get fatigue, and you’re wondering why it is, and it’s something that you’re walking around with all day long, and you’re just not accessing it correctly.

Dr. Bryan: Here’s the wonderful part about it. This ingredient, this vitamin, this mineral, whatever you want to call it, is absolutely free and abundant, and it’s all around us. So, what we’re talking about is-

Dr. Jason: Oxygen.

Breathing as a lost art

Dr. Bryan: Breathing. We take it for granted. It’s such a vital, vital, vital, necessary thing, and we all breathe, unconsciously, but sometimes our breathing gets altered, and we need to focus on breathing more consciously.

Dr. Jason: Well said. Yeah, because yeah, if you don’t breathe, then you’re going to be unconscious. But at the same token, we’ve created unconscious poor habits, that actually limit our ability to oxygenate ourselves. So yeah, well said.

Dr. Bryan: We’re not talking about going to an oxygen bar, where you put vapor up your nose, or in your mouth. We’re not talking about injecting oxygen in to your bloodstream. We’re just simply talking about breathing. Learning how to breathe better.

Dr. Jason: Yeah, it’s like a lost art. It’s interesting, and I know that you could agree with this, Bryan. As a healthcare provider, as a chiropractor by our trade, when I put my hands on someone’s neck and their shoulders, when they’re laying down, and I can feel the tension, and the rigidity in their body, and then when I observe people, especially when they’re first beginning of their care, when they’re going through our evaluation process. It’s amazing how so many people breathe, from their chest and their shoulders. That correlates with a lot of the tension they’re having in their neck and their shoulders, as opposed to where we’re supposed to be breathing, which is through our diaphragm, and through our belly.

A natural way to breathe

Dr. Bryan: Yeah, whether we know it or not, there’s a natural way we should be breathing. There’s a normal way, that we should be breathing. There’s an ideal way in which we should be breathing, but just like anything in life, stress, or different threats come at us, and it changes the way that our body operates. Our physiology changes. We want to really have a discussion around that, because you think about it. I know we’ve referenced this on another podcast if I recall, but the body, just from a common sense standpoint, can go quite awhile without food.

Dr. Jason: Yep.

Dr. Bryan: Right? You hear instances of people fasting, and avoiding food for periods of days, weeks, and even months, and their bodies are still alive. So, we know although food is extremely important in many of these podcasts, we will talk about diet and food strategies If you can go that long without it, common sense tells us, that there’s probably maybe some more important things that have to be paid attention to also.

Dr. Bryan: You need to breathe. So, yeah, oxygen. We need to make sure that we’re taking in enough oxygen on a regular basis, and breathing to the best of our ability.

Why We Need To Oxygenate

Why We Need To Oxygenate
Photographer: AZGAN MjESHTRI | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Jason: I think that when we put that in a context, most people would get that. They understand that, but I think it’s lost on people, and it’s not anyone’s fault to recognize, well, yeah, you know, Doctor Jay, Doctor Bryan, I get that, but why would I not be oxygenating myself? What would be causing that?

Dr. Jason: One of the things that we have tried to do here in the office, when we we’re teaching our patients new things, is really just to create a scenario, where you can actually see how this shows up. So, we’ll play along for our listeners right now. So Bryan, if you and I were walking in the streets of say Manhattan right now, or in New York City, and someone jumped out of a dark alley with a gun pointed at you, are you breathing shallow, relaxed, your muscles relaxed, or all of a sudden is your heart rate going, and you’re now all of a sudden you feel like you’re breathing through, like your chest is about to pop out. Which of the two is going to happen?

Dr. Bryan: Yeah, undoubtedly I’m threatened, my heart’s going to start pumping, and yeah, I’m going to need to rush out.

Fight or flight breathing

Dr. Jason: Right. So, you’re breathing in a state, that your body needs you to breathe at that moment. It’s called a fight, or flight. Now, you and I know this, but many people don’t realize this, and the challenging thing is it doesn’t need to be a mugger on the street of New York, with a gun waved at you, for the body to have the same physiological response, to stress. Meaning, when you get cut-off in traffic. Meaning when you go to work, and you’re stressed with the deadlines. Maybe when you’ve got a bunch of kids you’re trying to get out the door for school. Meaning when you are doing too much sugars, or not enough vegetables or fruit.

Dr. Jason: All of those, are still physiological stressors, that your body will still call on, the fight or flight response, which in turn, gives us a shallow chest and upper back breathing, versus a nice deep, what we call a diaphragmatic breathing.

Dr. Jason: But the other thing is, is if that guy with a gun stayed in front of you for weeks or for months, you would see how it would actually change the pattern of your breathing, breathing unconsciously. Make sense? You’d actually create a bad habit in how you breathe.

Dr. Jason: This is the same thing that happens with people, and they’re just not aware of it. The stress is going on so much, that they’re actually creating bad breathing habits, and they don’t have any mechanism to stop, slow down, and retrain their body how to breathe again.

Let’s rewind the time for a little bit

Dr. Bryan: So very, very true. You think back to, and we have these conversations off the record a lot about like prehistoric time, or what was the man, or the woman, or what was the actual human physiology meant to do years ago? A lot of those threats used to be really, really significant. They talk about being in front of a saber-toothed tiger, or a wild animal, and you were trying to hunt, to gather food for your family, and you’re in a threatful situation. That’s when your body is designed to activate that fight or flight response, that he’s referencing, that you just brought up. But in today’s age, we’ve all moved in to this environment that’s so cozy, and comfortable, and easy. We’re not in the wilderness, and being threatened by animals, but we’re being threatened by a hangnail, or too many emails.

Dr. Jason: Right.

Dr. Bryan: Our prehistoric brains really aren’t able to, at this point, recognize the difference, between the threat of that tiger, and the threat of overwhelm or anxiety, in terms of too much going on digitally.

Stress Is The Trigger

Stress Is The Trigger - healthy lifestyles
Photographer: Christian Erfurt | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Jason: Well said, and if you recall, again, it’s the stress itself, is still the trigger. Saber-toothed tiger, a guy trying to rob us in Manhattan, or way too many emails, and a deadline at work. It’s still a stress. People oftentimes, I’ve found at least, in communicating, and talking, and educating people, is they think that there’s this variable like, oh, that’s just not the same type of stress. There may be a different level of response from a stress hormone release, but the body, the brain specifically, doesn’t see a difference between those stressors. It’s still a stress.

Dr. Jason: Now, the difference, as you and I have also talked about offline, is that back in the day, even as kids, we started our topic when you were talking about football, and talking about your numbers in sports. Even back in the day when we were stressed then, or as a kid, or a back in the day, if you’re talking about saber-toothed tiger, you had an option and that option was, okay, I got in an argument on the football field. I’m going to go smash this guy. I got the aggression out. We’re running. We’re sweating. We’re getting it out, or I’ve got to go fight for my life, and I’m going to literally expel these hormones out of my body. I’m moving, so I can release this stress hormones in my body.

Dr. Jason: The challenges today, we’re still getting those same levels of stress. They’re compounding, because we’ve got so much crap going on in our world, that’s creating all this stress. Yet, we don’t have an outlet, that will physiologically reset our breathing pattern.

Two parts involved in your nervous system

Dr. Bryan: But that’s the great point. I think it’s important to make sure that…Let’s explain. I’m going to explain this for a second. When you reference a nervous system, and I reference a nervous system, there’s a couple key components that we all need to make sure that we’re speaking and understanding the same language. Our brain is basically the power behind your nervous system, and then it extends down in this thing called the spinal cord, and then it sends messages out to all these different nerves. That whole network represents, what’s called your nervous system. Then what Doctor Jay just explained, and I loved hearing that, is that there’s really two components to this thing called the nervous system that regulates stress, and one of them is called your sympathetic nervous system, and one of them is called your parasympathetic nervous system.

Dr. Bryan: Well, your sympathetic nervous system is designed to help you in those scenarios, where you need to be activated to fight or to respond in a way of safety, if you will. If you’re threatened, you need to know how to run. Your parasympathetic is the opposite of that. It’s supposed to basically calm you back down and center you, and as you just referenced a second ago, if we don’t have that balance, or that harmony, or that way from going from sympathetic dominance, where we’re in this fight or flight stress response, back to a calm, parasympathetic state, then our bodies are way out of balance, and when they get that part out of balance, and we stay in that sympathetic dominance for so long, we’re altering our breathing so regularly, that we’re not even aware, that our body still thinks it’s fighting.

Techniques to get more oxygen in the body

Techniques to get more oxygen in the body
Photographer: Eli DeFaria | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Bryan: So, if you would do us a favor, and I know we’ve talked about a lot of different techniques that we like, and things that we’ve tried, and different methods to try to get our diaphragm involved, and oxygen in our body, but what is someone supposed to do? Just start taking deep breaths? Can you walk us through a couple of techniques, that someone can apply or try, to start getting more oxygen in their body?

Dr. Jason: Yeah, I’d love to, because it’s so important, and it’s also very easy, and yet, just because it’s easy, it doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be simple to follow through on. What I mean by that is this. You’ve got to create the intentional habit behind it, and if you recall, some of the listeners out there, on Episode 14, we talked a great deal about our morning routine, and we talked about how to start the day, or win the day, and part of it incorporated meditation.

Dr. Jason: The reason this is so important is, this is the time of the day, where you literally step off of the hamster wheel. This is where you literally start to tell your body, tell your mind, that I am going to intentionally get in to a parasympathetic, or a relaxed state, as Doctor Bryan said, I’m not going to start my day with a fight. I have to detach.

The “Anchor” Technique

Photographer: Lucas Sankey | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Jason: Okay. So, the same thing. That’s called an anchor. So it’s taking a specific event, and taking you back to a special time. I say this with everyone before I teach you the techniques, because in the morning if you do this correctly, it will be an anchor for you. So, in the middle of your day, when you’re stressed, you will be able to come back, and anchor yourself to the relaxation techniques that you did in the morning. It will literally stop and reset, almost as if you’re able to fight that email, or go to war like it was going to war with a bear, that guy in traffic, without actually doing it. It will literally stop, slow down, and re-anchor you.

Dr. Jason: So, really important to start your day off this way. So, what we’ll do, in the morning time specifically, for a breathing exercise, is I want to focus on deep diaphragmatic breathing. For those of you who are out there, that are unfamiliar with this, a diaphragmatic breathing means, you’re breathing from your belly, and not your chest like a baby.

Dr. Bryan: Like a baby.

Dr. Jason: Like a baby. Exactly. Again, here we go. Primitive. The baby doesn’t have any stress like we have, right? Majority of times, at least. So, the baby is automatically breathing the way that God and the body intended to, which is from the diaphragm for healthy lifestyles

Filling up your belly with air

Dr. Jason: One of the things that you can do if you’re unfamiliar with this, or this is totally new, or you’re not even able to access this concept yet, is tomorrow morning or even today at some point, put your hand on your belly, and take a nice deep breath. The goal, is to literally fill up your belly with air, in such a way that it pushes your hand away from your body.

Dr. Bryan: You know what Jay? As you’re saying that, a great test to see if your body’s really breathing right already is, prior to that, I always have people put their right hand on their chest, put their left hand on their belly button, and take a deep breath. Take a couple deep breaths, and as you do that, which hand is moving more? And if your answer right now, when you do that, if you take a minute to do this. As you take a couple deep breaths, if your hand on your chest is the one that’s moving more, then you’re not breathing properly. You’re actually in that chest breathing, or that stress breathing.

Dr. Bryan: If your belly hand is the one that’s actually moving, which I can promise you a lot of people listening to this, that’s not going to be the case, then you’re actually breathing from the diaphragm, and what you’re outlining there is basically, if you’re not breathing from the diaphragm, don’t freak out.

Stretch those muscles!

Dr. Jason: And just like a muscle, and no-one thinks it’s crazy that if I don’t stretch then it should… Yeah, it totally makes sense I’m going to get tight. I’m not gonna be able to move. That makes sense to people. Right?

Dr. Bryan: Right.

Dr. Jason: Listen, folks. Your lung tissue, and your diaphragm are muscles. If you don’t stretch them, by breathing appropriately through the diaphragm, guess what’s going to happen to those tissues? They’re going to become rigid. They’re going to lose their elasticity, and it’s like you’re going through your healthy lifestyles with a belt on your chest, and every year that you choose to not work on improving your breathing and breathing diaphragmatically, you’re literally taking it, and you’re giving yourself one less notch. You’re making that belt tighter, one notch at a time, and then you fast forward, and you’re in your thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, wherever age journey you’re in.

Dr. Jason: If you can’t move your lungs, you can’t move oxygen. If you can’t move oxygen, you can’t move your body. Like done.

Dr. Bryan: And that’s forcing your heart to work harder, and that’s another reason why everybody, as they age, talks about high blood pressure. Your heart is having to work harder, to send blood around your body, simply to keep you oxygenated.

Box Breathing Technique

Photographer: Pablo Orcaray | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Jason: The reason it’s called box breathing, I want you to think of just clearly a box, in your mind right now you’re drawing a box, four equal sides. What I mean by box breathing is, we actually want to inhale through our nose, and then as I do so, I want to feel my stomach get expanded. I want to breathe in for a four count.

Dr. Jason: So, I’m intentionally breathing in for one, one thousand, two, one thousand, three, one thousand, four. I’m going to hold my breath, for a count of four as well, and then I’m going to do a controlled exhalation through my mouth, for a count of four, and then did you do close a loop? I’ll do one more inhalation for the count of four, and the entire cycle starts all over again. That’s what they call box breathing.

Dr. Jason: You can do this for, whether it be a minute. You can do it for several minutes, whatever you you feel comfortable, or called to do openly. For those of you out there who this is really hard for, initially doing it for a minute may be a challenge, and that’s okay. It’s just like working on a muscle, you haven’t worked for a while. Give it some time, and if your goal could be, let’s say you shoot for five minutes of box breathing. I can assure you, because this is something I had to teach myself, in the middle of your day, when you are stressed, you can utilize this tool to reset your breathing, reset your parasympathetic or your relaxation system, and get your body to come down off of that chronic stress response, and that chronic stress hormone overload.

Just take deep breaths

Dr. Bryan: If you want to take even a more simple approach… I don’t want anybody to overthink this and be like, oh my gosh, I’ve got to measure this and try to figure out… It’s a phenomenal technique that you just described, but I don’t want anyone to not feel like you just can’t get started. All you really need to do is start taking deep breaths.

Dr. Jason: Leave it to me to make it a protocol.

Dr. Bryan: Take the counting out. Take the measurement. Take the rhythms out. Take the anchor out. Lets not overthink this. Let’s keep this super simple for you.

Dr. Bryan: There’s tons of proven science behind people out there, that have literally, just spent 30 seconds taking deep breathing. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Because if you’re just doing that, you’re going to be improving your body’s oxygen oxygenation levels, and you’re also going to be calming your body. So, don’t overthink it. There’s advanced techniques.

Get high on your own supply

Dr. Bryan: There’s ways that you can evolve anything, but let’s just say right now, more than likely, if you’re sitting as much as the American population does sit, you’re not activating the right muscle groups in your belly anymore. Your diaphragm is not doing what it is designed to do. We’ve got these threats, that we’ve kind of unfortunately, call a threat today a little bit differently, than what we used to call threat, and our body doesn’t deal with or process stress, nearly as well as it once did.

Dr. Bryan: The technique, there’s nothing to buy. There’s nothing to get. There’s no magic pill here. This is simply, just take advantage of what nature gave to us. There’s air floating around. Get in a nice environment, unless it’s tree pollen season.

Dr. Jason: Right, right, right. I like that term that you borrowed from the breathing expert. Get high on your own supply.

Muscles also need oxygen

Dr. Jason: Yeah. So in what way? What we were alluding to?

Dr. Bryan: Well, even for the people that aren’t necessarily the the desk warriors, that are sitting at their desk, and just trying to just begin some healthy lifestyles, but for the people that might be more advanced than they are performing in athletic competitions, or even trying to build muscle tissue. Where does oxygen come in?

Dr. Jason: Oxygen is huge. Clearly, in order for us to contract the muscle, we need sugar, but we also need oxygen. Without the two, it’s almost like trying to start a fire, and you need air, and you need gas, and you need kindling wood. Right?

Dr. Bryan: Well, let me ask you this. Why are a lot of these elite athletes using things like hyperbaric chambers?

Dr. Jason: Okay, got it, got it. So, hyperbaric chamber is a little different in that, but what we’re looking at, with the elevation masks and things of that nature. For those of you who are unaware, there’s some different gear that you can be wearing, if you are looking to take it to a different level. There’ll be a mass that you’ll literally wear. You kind of look like Bane. Ever seen that, you know, Batman?

Dr. Bryan: Oh, yeah.

Use Elevation Masks

Dr. Jason: Okay, So you kind of have this Bane-looking mask. It’s called an elevation mask, and it’s supposed to mimic, training at elevation. Intently, it really doesn’t, but what it does do, is it actually makes it harder for you to inhale. Think of a bench press. If I go in to the gym, and I can bench press the bar, which is 45 pounds. That’s the best I can do, but if I keep doing it over time, then I develop strength in my pecs and my triceps, to be able to push the bar easy. So, now I’ve got to add weight. Well, actually breathing, and the muscles around breathing, specifically diaphragm, but also the muscles around your rib cage, are they exact same.

Dr. Jason: So athletes, whether it be recreational athletes, or collegiate, or professional athletes, will utilize these tools to actually make it harder for them to suck air in. So, when you wear this mask, and you go for a run, the same run that was super easy, when you wear this mask, becomes extremely challenging, and you’re using more muscles of your chest cavity in your diaphragm, to actually bring air in.

Dr. Jason: That’s what we know like an exercise, if you will, hack, or healthy lifestyles, that you can actually improve your strength of your respiratory muscles.

The benefit of restricted breathing

Dr. Bryan: Tell me if this is way off, but can we look at that like a sponge, that’s been squeezed really hard, and all the liquid has come out of it, and then when you drop that in to a bowl of water, it’s just gonna soak up all the water real quickly?

Dr. Jason: Yeah.

Dr. Bryan: If we’re restricting our breathing, or if we’re doing these different auction techniques, I mean the whole idea is to saturate your body with this auction, so your muscles can recover.

Dr. Jason: Yeah, and yes. From that standpoint, with those devices there, the whole goal is to actually make it, so when you take the mask off, then training or exercise becomes much easier. That’s 100% there. Now, the hyperbaric chamber, is exactly what you just said. It’s a different approach, and in a hyperbaric chamber people are getting in to these chambers, either they’re exercising in them, or they’re recovering just laying in them, and they saturate the entire tube. It’s like a sealed tube. They saturate the whole thing with a concentration of oxygen gas. Therefore you’re super saturating your body with oxygen. So, Dr. Bry, that is for mainly for recovery, but the mass or event to actually create strength of the muscles around your lungs.

Dr. Bryan: The wild part, from what we’re seeing clinically, is a lot of conditions like cancer, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, burn victims, like the list is going on and on, in regards to people that are for getting prescribed treatment protocols to go spend time in a hyperbaric chamber, which is basically just getting oxygen all around your body.

Dr. Jason: Yeah.

Dr. Bryan: It’s wild.

Closing thoughts: Breathe in, Breathe out!

Photographer: Fabian Møller | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Jason: You’ve got to recognize… We come back to this often during our conversations, and because it’s a foundational premise. Dr. Bryan eluded to earlier, regards to our discussions a lot offline about, what we call primitive healing, but the really truly at the core of it, there really isn’t anything new. It really, truly, truly isn’t. We want to repackage things and yes, we’ve got new stressors in our culture, so we’ve got to have some new solutions, but we need nerve information from our brain, going through our spinal cord, to make everything work. You need oxygen to oxygenate the tissues, because that’s what they need to survive. We need proper nutrition, and you need to be able to move the body. If you devoid of any of those, then you’re not going to be able to function at the highest level to attain your healthy lifestyles.

Dr. Bryan: Alrighty, you’ve heard it. You can go out anywhere, and actually access to this vital tool, vital ingredient, vital mineral, vitamin, whatever you want to call it, but it’s by far, in a way, the fastest, easiest, most inexpensive way, for you to neutralize your stress levels in your body, and that is by accessing all the oxygen that’s all around you.

Dr. Bryan: Once again, thank you so much for joining us. Please share it with other people. That’s how the message continues to get out. More people like yourself who have been sharing, and it’s been benefiting other people, and we’re getting messages in regards to saying thank you, and for sharing this content, because other people are enjoying what they’re learning.

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