Site Map Home Contact Us Shopping Cart Free Newsletter Sign Up
Order Online Shopping Cart
Tools Success Community Our Program
What is
Oxycise?
Products
FAQ
Intro Special - Get Started Now
Click here to see Oxycise! success stories.

Don't go it alone!
Meet new friends and get the support you need to reach your goals in our message room
Message Room
Sign up for our weekly newsletter to receive tips, motivation, and special offers.Free newsletter
Oxycise! and Body Flex

Articles 

General Comments
University Studies
Oxygen Shown to Cut Surgical Infections
Deep Breathing Rids the Body of Toxins
Breathe Away Hot Flashes
Fat Metabolism
Doctors Empowering Patients by Promoting Belly Breathing 
The Best Anti-Stress Medicine We Have May Be Right Under Your Nose 
Stress and the Art of Breathing
Study:  Sodas linked to Obesity
Facts on Fat
Solutions


General Comments

Oxycise! is a new development in the field of weight loss and health. The validity and success of this program is evident in the reports received almost daily from Oxycise! clients who are amazed with their results after following the Oxycise! program. (See Success Stories)

Oxycise! causes a tremendous increase in the body's metabolic rate. The vast majority of Oxycise! patrons report weight and inch loss as well as increased muscular strength and toning. In addition, most clients report a positive difference in their emotional outlook as well as increased energy level after doing Oxycise! for a very short time. Various individuals have reported numerous other health benefits which they have attributed to Oxycise! 

As the scientific and health communities become more aware of the benefits of Oxycise!, it is hoped that researchers will take a greater interest in carrying out further studies of the physiological effects of Oxycise! on the body.

Back to Articles index


University Studies

Studies performed at several universities have explored the caloric expenditure and oxygen consumption of Oxycise!  In one study, gas analyzation equipment was used to measure the caloric cost of Oxycise! and to compare Oxycise! with a traditional form of exercise, namely a stationary bicycle. This study did not explore all the ramifications of the Oxycise! program but was intended to indicate whether the caloric expenditure and oxygen consumption were comparable to exercise on a stationary bicycle. The results were dramatic! Oxycise! was found to raise the metabolic rate to approximately four times the resting rate.  In addition the caloric cost of Oxycise! was 140% higher than pedaling a stationary bike unloaded. 

Back to Articles index


Oxygen Shown to Cut Surgical Infections
Boosting the level appears to bolster body's immune system
by Lee Bowman

from the Thursday, January 20, 2000 edition of Rocky Mountain News
__________________

Rates of infection from surgical wounds can be cut in half simply by giving patients more oxygen during and after anesthesia, according to a new study.

Researchers report today in The New England Journal of Medicine that giving patients more oxygen appears to boost the immune system's ability to fight infections.

"Increasing oxygen levels during and just after anesthesia provides the immune army with more ammunition to kill bacteria at the wound site," said Dr. Daniel Sessler, a professor of anesthesia and perioperative care at the University of California-San Francisco and senior author of the study.

Immune cells called neutrophils normally kill invading bacteria by exposing them to a highly reactive form of oxygen. This is the immune system's most important tool against germs associated with surgery. Other research has shown that the number of bacteria killed is directly linked to the amount of oxygen found in tissue near a wound.

The very act of cutting through skin and muscle to perform surgery causes the tissue surrounding the wound to get less oxygen, since blood vessels supplying the area have been disrupted.

The research was carried out at three European hospitals that make up the International Outcomes Research Group, which Sessler leads.

The same team reported several years ago that post-operative infection rates could be cut three-fold by keeping patients warmer during surgery.

Maintaining patients' normal body temperatures during operations has since been widely adopted in surgical suites worldwide.

The team has also found that increasing oxygen can help reduce by half the incidence of nausea and vomiting after surgery.

Back to Articles index


Deep Breathing Rids the Body of Toxins

"The human body is designed to discharge 70 percent of its toxins through breathing. Only a small percentage of toxins are discharged through sweat, defecation, and urination. If your breathing is not operating at peak efficiency, you are not ridding yourself of toxins properly. If less than 70 percent of your toxins are being released through breathing, other systems of your body, such as your kidneys, must work overtime. This overwork can set the stage for a number of illnesses."

"People who need to lose weight don't take in enough oxygen.  Someone with a weight problem also has a breathing problem. I have seen hundreds of people start a daily breathing routine and lose weight."

(From the book "Conscious Breathing," by Gay Hendricks, Ph.D.)

Back to Articles index


Breathe Away Hot Flashes
Carol Krucoff,  BodyWorks

Source: http://www.allhealth.com/neversaydiet/afew/gen/0,4260,1316_125502,00.html 

They strike unexpectedly, heating up the face, neck and chest. The pulse races, the skin reddens and sometimes drenching sweats occur.

Hot flashes are the main signal of menopause in Western cultures, experienced by an estimated 80 percent of American women around the time their menstrual periods end. While some women have two or three flashes a day, others power surge as often as once an hour. Annoying and embarrassing in the daytime, they can awaken women at night -- contributing to the insomnia and moodiness that can be troublesome during this stage of life.

The standard treatment for hot flashes -- and many other health concerns associated with menopause -- is hormone replacement therapy. Yet these drugs are inadvisable for some women at increased risk of cancer, and concern about side effects makes many women reluctant to take them.

New Alternatives
So as the first of the 38 million female baby boomers reach menopause, the generation that pioneered natural childbirth is searching for nondrug treatments for hot flashes. One of the most promising treatments is called "paced respiration," an abdominal breathing technique adapted from yoga.

"Our studies show that slow, deep breathing can reduce the frequency of hot flashes by about 50 percent," says psychologist Robert Freedman, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. "Women who've been trained to use this technique as soon as they feel a flush coming on are often able to abort the flash or at least reduce its severity.

"The average breathing rate is 15 to 16 cycles (inhaling and exhaling) per minute," he notes. "But with training, women can slow their breathing down to seven or eight cycles per minute, which can significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes."

Known in yoga as "belly breathing," the technique involves sitting quietly, focusing on the breath and slowly allowing air to completely fill the lungs right down to the abdomen. Many women discover that only their chest expands when they breathe, often because they've been taught to hold in their stomachs. One way to teach these shallow "chest breathers," to become deep abdominal breathers is to have them lie on their back and place a book on their belly. When they breathe deeply, the book will rise and fall.

Working with a yoga instructor is the most effective way to learn this technique says Freedman, who admits "we just don't know" why deep breathing can cool down hot flashes. Some experts point to the stress-reducing effect produced by the calming breath.

Other Techniques Psychologist Alice Domar, director of the Center for Women's Health at Harvard Medical School's Mind/Body Medical Institute, says that many stress-reduction methods can help cool hot flashes. In her book, Healing Mind, Healthy Woman, she encourages women bothered by menopausal heat waves to try a variety of relaxation techniques -- including visualizing cool mountain streams and listening to relaxation tapes.

Regular aerobic exercise may also cool flashes. A widely-quoted Swedish study showed that women who exercised for one hour, three times a week experienced a significant decrease in the frequency of hot flashes. "I've had countless patients tell me that they walked their way through menopause," says physician Sadja Greenwood, an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California at San Francisco.

Nearly three-quarters of women responding to a recent survey in Runner's World magazine said running has made a difference in the way they've experienced menopause. More than 30 percent said it improved their mood, nearly 25 percent said it decreased their symptoms and about 12 percent said running helped them "feel better in general."

Regular exercise can help relieve many of the health problems women have in midlife -- from hot flashes to weight gain, sleep disturbances and psychological issues, says Greenwood who is chairman of the education committee of the North American Menopause Association.

"Exercise is the key ingredient that's missing in most women's midlife health," she says. "Unfortunately we live in a society where everyone wants a quick fix and a pill. But the first step should always be lifestyle modification, because regular exercise and proper diet can go a long way to helping make this life transition as healthy as possible."

©Carol Krucoff, 1998. All rights reserved.

Back to Articles index


Fat Metabolism

"The body's normal physiological response to a deep-breathing program will be to increase the metabolism of fat.  There may not be a study yet on the connection between breathing and weight loss because the simple and obvious is often discovered last.

"I have observed the positive and permanent results from Oxycise! for several years and definitely recommend it for anyone who desires to lose extra weight in an effective and safe manner."

-Dr. Robert W. Rigg, M.D.

Back to Articles index


Doctors Empowering Patients by Promoting Belly Breathing
Carol Krucoff 
Washington Post

From the "Health & Fitness" section of the Cleveland, Ohio newspaper, "The Plain Dealer", 
June 19, 2000

Think you know how to breathe?  Try this simple test: Sit or stand wherever you are and take a deep breath.  Then let it out.  What expanded more as you inhaled, your chest or your belly?  If the answer is your chest, you're a "chest breather." and like most people you're doing it all wrong.  You're also putting your health in jeopardy.  For more information, take another deep breath -- and keep reading.

The technique is so powerful that physician James Gordon teaches it to nearly every patient he sees, from people with advanced cancer to those crippled by arthritis to school children struggling with attention deficit disorder.  He's taught it to refugees in war-torn Kosovo, to anxiety-plagued medical students at Georgetown University and to hundreds of health professionals who have attended his workshops on mind-body-spirit medicine.

"Slow, deep breathing is probably the single best anti-stress medicine we have, " says Gordon, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine and director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington.  "When you bring air down into the lower portion of the lungs, where oxygen exchange is most efficient, everything changes.  Heart rate slows, blood pressure decreases, muscles relax, anxiety eases and the mind calms.  Breathing this way also gives people a sense of control over their body and their emotions that is extremely therapeutic."

Obviously, everyone alive knows how to breathe.  But Gordon and other experts in the emerging field of mind-body medicine, say that few people in Western, industrialized society know how to breathe correctly.  Taught to suck in our guts and puff out our chests, we're bombarded with a constant barrage of stress, which causes muscles to tense and respiration rate to increase.  As a result, we've become a nation of shallow "chest breathers," who primarily use the middle and upper portions of the lungs.  Few people -- other than musicians, singers and some athletes -- are even aware that the abdomen should expand during inhalation to provide the optimum amount of oxygen needed to nourish all the cells in the body.  

"Look around your office, and you'll see so little movement in people's bellies that it's a wonder they're actually alive, " Gordon says.  "Then watch a baby breathe and you'll see the belly go up and down, deep and slow."

With age, most people shift from this healthy abdominal breathing to shallow chest breathing, he says.  This strains the lungs, which must move faster to ensure adequate oxygen flow, and taxes the heart, which is forced to speed up to provide enough blood for oxygen transport.  The result is a vicious cycle, where stress prompts shallow breathing, which in turn creates more stress.

"The simplest and most powerful technique for protecting your health is breathing," asserts Andrew Weil, director of the Program in Integrative Medicine and clinical professor of internal medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson.  Weil teaches "breathwork" to all his patients.  "I have seen breath control alone achieve remarkable results: lowering blood pressure, ending heart arrhythmias, improving long-standing patterns of poor digestion, increasing blood circulation throughout the body, decreasing anxiety and allowing people to get off addictive anti-anxiety drugs and improving sleep and energy cycles."

Unlike any other bodily function, he notes, "breathing is the only one you can do either completely consciously or unconsciously.  It's controlled by two different sets of nerves and muscles, voluntary and involuntary.  An it's the only function through which the conscious mind can influence the involuntary, or autonomic, nervous system," which is responsible for revving-up the body to fight or flee.

"Western medical education at the moment doesn't include information of this kind, " ways Weil, who teaches breathing and other nontraditional techniques to what he calls "doctors of the future" through a  variety of programs at his institution.

"In the four years I spent at Harvard Medical School and a year of internship in San Francisco, I learned nothing of the healing power of breath.  I learned about the anatomy of the respiratory tract," he says.  "But I learned nothing about breath as the connection between the conscious and unconscious mind, or as the doorway to control of the autonomic nervous system, or about using breathwork as a technique to control anxiety and regulate mental states, or the possibility that breath represents the movement of spirit in the body and that breathwork can be a primary means of raising spiritual awareness."

Relief Under Nose

Eastern healing techniques often prescribe conscious breathing to help restore health to people who are overly stressed. "In Japan, a diagnosis of autonomic nervous system imbalance is common, but in the medicine of the West we don't have this diagnosis," he says.  "Western medicine typically tries to blunt the overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system or deal with its consequences at a more superficial level by giving drugs to suppress or control it."  In contrast, relaxation breathing works to increase parasympathetic tone, slowing down the heart rate and decreasing blood pressure, bringing the two systems into balance.  And unlike drugs, he says, "it's free of toxicity, it's free of cost, and it's literally right under our nose."

Techniques that use focused breathing to affect the nervous system, change physiology and connect the body with the mind can be traced back to ancient India, notes Weil, who learned the breathing techniques he uses through the study of yoga and by working with osteopathic physicians.

"In many languages, the word for breath is the word for "spirit", he notes, citing the Latin spiritus, Hebrew ruach, Greek numa and Indian prana.  We lose this linguistic connection in English, he says, except with the words "respiration" and "conspire".

Many systems of meditation and numerous spiritual practices also center on conscious breathing, Weil notes in his recently released CD, "Breathing: The Master Key to Self Healing" (Sounds True, 1999).  "By simply putting your attention on your breath without doing anything to change it," he sys, "you move in the direction of relaxation."

Or as yoga master B.K.S. Inyengar explains in his classic guide, "Light on Yoga" (Schoken Books, 1966): "Regulate the breathing, and thereby control the mind."

Few Studies on books

There is little scientific research documenting the healing power of breathing, in part because its practice is so new in Western medicine.  And unlike drugs or devices, breathing has no manufacturer who must sponsor studies to support its use.

Increased interest in studying the effects of nontraditional healing therapies such as relaxation breathing led to the founding in 1991 of the Office of Alternative medicine, now the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, at the National Institutes of Health.  As a result, more medical scientists are beginning to examine the health impact of a variety of mind-body therapies such as meditation, guided imagery and Eastern exercise -- yoga, tai chi and qi gong -- which typically incorporate focused breathing.

One of the few studies to examine a clinical application of yoga "belly breathing" found that menopausal women who learned the technique were able to reduce the frequency of hot flashes by about 50 percent.  "The average breathing rate is 15 to 16 cycles [inhaling and exhaling] per minute," notes Robert Freedman, a professor psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.  "But with training, women can slow their breathing down to seven or eight cycles per minute, which can significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes."

Mind-body approaches have been reported in scientific studies to be effective in the treatment of a variety of stress-related disorders, says Herbert Benson, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute in Boston.  As an example, he points to research showing that chronic pain patients who learned mind-body self-care techniques in a 10-week outpatient program reduced clinic visits by 36 percent for more than two years after the classes.

Slow, deep breathing is central to most mind-body techniques, says Benson, who estimates that "up to half of doctor office visits could be eliminated with greater use of mind-body approaches."  Stress causes or exacerbates a host of medical conditions that lead to 60 percent to 90 percent of visits to physicians, he says, adding that training Americans to use self-care techniques could cut U.S. health care costs by billions of dollars.

Deep diaphragmatic breathing and other mind-body techniques can significantly reduce symptoms of severs PMS as well as anxiety, depression and other forms of emotional distress, according to research by Alice Domar, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical and director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health.

In addition, her studies suggest that these practices can combat infertility.  After completing a mind-body group program for women with infertility -- where 284 participants learned a variety of self-nurturing techniques such as deep breathing -- a surprising percentage of women, 44 percent, conceived within six months.

"These were women who had averaged 3 1/2 years of unsuccessful efforts to get pregnant," writes Domar in her book "Self Nurture" (Viking, 2000).  "Though we're still trying to ferret out the biological mechanisms that explain this high percentage, I am convinced that nurturing mind and body has a powerful effect on hormones and other [physiological] parameters, and can stimulate healing in a range of medical conditions -- including infertility."

Proper breathing is the first thing Domar teaches virtually all her patients.  "I start with something I know will work," she says.  "When they breathe diaphragmatically, they'll feel better within 15 seconds, so they're hooked."

Teaching methods

To teach the technique, Domar has patients make a fist and squeeze it tight.  "Then I ask them what happens to their breath, and they realize that they've stopped breathing," she says. "When we get anxious, we tend to hold our breath or breathe shallowly." Domar then shows patients how to breathe deeply into the abdomen, a process most women tell her runs counter to the "hold in your stomach" breathing they've done all their adult lives.

Domar's favorite stress-reduction technique is a short version of this breath-focus exercise, which she calls a "mini-relaxation," or "mini."

"You can do a mini when you're stuck in traffic, at a boring meeting, whenever you look at a clock or any time you pick up a phone," she says. "I have patients who do minis 100 times a day." minis are also helpful for people with medical conditions who can do deep breathing when they're having an IV started or undergoing chemotherapy.

At Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., nurse Jon Seskevich has taught "soft belly breathing" to most of the more than 15,000 patients he's worked with since he became a full-time stress and pain management educator for the hospital in 1990.  About half the patients he sees have cancer, and the others have a wide variety of ailments including heart disease, cystic fibrosis and lung disorders.

One of his most dramatic cases involved a lung cancer patient.  "I walked into the room to find this very large man literally fighting for breath." Seskevich recalls.  "His pulse oxygen was 74, and you want it to be 90 or above.  I sat down next to him and started talking in a calm voice.  I asked him if it was OK if I touched his belly.  He nodded, so I put my hand on his belly and told him to breathe into my hand, to let his belly be soft and to let his abdomen rise into my hand."

After about six minutes of this, the man's pulse oxygen was 94 and he was breathing comfortably.  "I didn't tell him to relax," Seskevich notes.  "All day people were telling him to relax, and it seemed to make his struggle worse.  I just told him to breathe softly into his belly.  We didn't cure his cancer, but we may have saved him a trip to the intensive care unit."

Back to Articles index


The Best Anti-Stress Medicine We Have 
May Be Right Under Your Nose
Carol Krucoff 
Washington Post

From the "Your Health" section of Reader's Digest, December 2000

Think you know how to do it? Try this simple test; sit or stand wherever you are and take a deep breath, then let it out. What expanded more as you inhaled, your chest or your belly? If the answer is your chest, you’re like most people and you’re doing it wrong. Take another deep breath-and keep reading.

The technique is so powerful that physician James S. Gordon, director of the Center for Mind/Body Medicine in Washington, D.C., teaches it to nearly every patient he sees-from people with advanced cancer to school-children struggling with attention-deficit disorder. He’s taught it to refugees in war-torn Kosovo and to health professionals who have attended his workshops.

"Slow, deep breathing is probably the single best anti-stress medicine we have," says Gordon, also a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine and author of Comprehensive Cancer Care: Integrating Alternative, Complementary and Conventional Therapies. "When you bring air down into the lower portion of the lungs, where oxygen exchange is most efficient, everything changes. Heart rate slows, blood pressure decreases, muscles relax, anxiety ceases and the mind calms."

Breathe Like a Baby. Obviously, everyone alive knows how to breathe. But Gordon and other experts in the emerging field of mind-body medicine say that few people in Western industrialized society know how to breathe correctly. We were taught to suck in our guts and puff out our chests. At the same time, we’re bombarded with constant stress, which causes muscles to tense and our respiration rate to increase. As a result, we have become a nation of shallow "chest breathers," using primarily the middle and upper portions of the lungs. Few people-other than musicians, singers and some athletes-are even aware that the abdomen should expand during inhalation.

"Watch a baby breathe," says Gordon, "and you’ll see the belly go up and down, deep and slow." With age, most people shift from this healthy abdominal breathing to shallow chest breathing. This strains the lungs, which must move faster to ensure adequate oxygen flow, and taxes the heart, which is forced to speed up to provide enough blood for oxygen transport. The result is a vicious cycle, where stress prompts shallow breathing, which in turn generates additional stress.

Dr. Andrew Weil, director of the Program in Integrative Medicine and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson, teaches breath work to all his patients. "I have seen breath control alone achieve remarkable results: lowering blood pressure, improving longstanding patterns of poor digestion, decreasing anxiety and allowing people to get off addictive anti-anxiety drugs, and improving sleep and energy cycles."

Unlike any other bodily function, he notes, "breathing is the only one you can do either completely consciously or unconsciously. It’s controlled by two different sets of nerves and muscles, voluntary and involuntary. And it’s the only junction through which the conscious mind can influence the involuntary, or autonomic, nervous system," which is responsible for revving-up the body in times of crisis.

Techniques that use breath control can be traced back to ancient India, says Weil, who learned some of the methods he uses through the study of yoga.

Super Stress-Buster. Pamela Peeke, clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and author of Fight Fat After Forty, also incorporates breath work into her practice, in part by getting patients to exercise. She often takes them out for a "walk and talk." And when she does, they tend to breathe correctly, says Peeke. "It’s very hard to walk and take little shallow breaths."

In our stressed-out world, the fight-or-flight response that kept our ancestors alive has turned into a "stew and chew," says Peeke. If no physical response occurs after stress revs the body up, chronically elevated levels of stress hormones can stimulate appetite and encourage fat cells deep inside the abdomen to store what she calls "toxic weight." Peeke also encourages yoga and tai chi, which rely on taking deep abdominal breaths.

In hospitals, breathing techniques were once taught only to women for use during childbirth. Today, some institutions are teaching breathing to patients being treated for many conditions. At Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., nurse-clinician John Seskevich has taught abdominal breathing to most of the 18,000 patients he’s worked with since 1990. About half the people he sees have cancer; the others have differing ailments, including heart disease, cystic fibrosis and various lung disorders.

One of his most dramatic cases involved a lung-cancer patient. "I walked into the room to find this large man literally fighting for breath," Seskevich recalls. "His pulse oxygen was 74, and you want it to be 90 or above. I had him sit back in his chair and place his feet on the ground. I then asked if it was okay if I touched his belly. He nodded, so I put my hand on his belly and told him to breathe softly into my hand, to let his abdomen rise into hand."

After about six minutes for this, the man’s pulse oxygen was 94 and he was breathing comfortably. "All day people were telling him to relax," says Seskevich, "and it seemed to make his struggle worse. I just told him to breathe into his belly. We didn’t cure his cancer, but we may have saved him a trip to the intensive-care unit."

On the Research Front. One of the few scientific studies to examine "belly breathing" found that menopausal women who learned the technique were able to reduce the frequency of hot flashes by about 50 percent. "The average breathing rate is about 15 to 16 cycles (inhaling and exhaling) per minute," says Robert Freedman, professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. "But with training, women can slow their breathing down to seven or eight cycles per minute."

Deep diaphragmatic breathing and other mind-body techniques can significantly reduce symptoms of severe PMS as well as depression, according to research conducted by Alice D. Domar, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Mind/Body Center for Women’s Health.

In addition, her studies suggest that these practices can also combat infertility. After completing a mind-body program for women with infertility-in which 132 participants learned a variety of techniques including deep breathing, stress management and lifestyle changes-a surprising 42 percent of the women conceived within six months.

PHYSICIANS and other health care professionals are flocking to continuing-education courses being offered by mind-body medicine experts. As graduates of these programs bring breathing techniques-and other aspects of self-care-to their practices, teaching breath work to patients may become common part of American medical care. "Not only do these strategies work," says the University of Arizona’s Andrew Weil, "something like breathing is a pretty cheap intervention."

Back to Articles index


Stress and the Art of Breathing
Relaxation: Modern medicine is giving nontraditional breathing principles a closer look.
By CAROL KRUCOFF, Special to The Times

(Los Angeles Times,  July 10, 2000)

Think you know how to breathe? Try this simple test: Sit or stand wherever you are and take a deep breath. Then let it out. What expanded more as you inhaled, your chest or your belly? If the answer is your chest, you're a "chest breather," and like most people you're doing it all wrong. You may also be putting your health in jeopardy.

The technique is so powerful that physician James Gordon teaches it to nearly every patient he sees, from people with advanced cancer to those crippled by arthritis to schoolchildren struggling with attention deficit disorder. He's taught it to refugees in war-torn Kosovo, to anxiety-plagued medical students at Georgetown University and to hundreds of health professionals who have attended his workshops on mind-body-spirit medicine.

"Slow, deep breathing is probably the single best anti-stress medicine we have," says Gordon, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine and director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in the District of Columbia. "When you bring air down into the lower portion of the lungs, where oxygen exchange is most efficient, everything changes. Heart rate slows, blood pressure decreases, muscles relax, anxiety eases and the mind calms. Breathing this way also gives people a sense of control over their body and their emotions that is extremely therapeutic."

A Nation of 'Chest Breathers'
Obviously, everyone alive knows how to breathe. But Gordon and other experts in the emerging field of mind-body medicine, say that few people in Western, industrialized society know how to breathe correctly. Taught to suck in our guts and puff out our chests, we're bombarded with a constant barrage of stress, which causes muscles to tense and respiration rate to increase.

As a result, we've become a nation of shallow "chest breathers," who primarily use the middle and upper portions of the lungs. Few people--other than musicians, singers and some athletes--are even aware that the abdomen should expand during inhalation to provide the optimum amount of oxygen needed to nourish all the cells in the body.

"Look around your office, and you'll see so little movement in people's bellies that it's a wonder they're actually alive," Gordon says. "Then watch a baby breathe, and you'll see the belly go up and down, deep and slow." With age, most people shift from this healthy abdominal breathing to shallow chest breathing, he says. This strains the lungs, which must move faster to ensure adequate oxygen flow, and taxes the heart, which is forced to speed up to provide enough blood for oxygen transport. The result is a vicious cycle, where stress prompts shallow breathing, which in turn creates more stress.

"The simplest and most powerful technique for protecting your health is breathing," says Andrew Weil, director of the Program in Integrative Medicine and clinical professor of internal medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Weil teaches "breath work" to all his patients. "I have seen breath control alone achieve remarkable results: lowering blood pressure, ending heart arrhythmias, improving long-standing patterns of poor digestion, increasing blood circulation throughout the body, decreasing anxiety and allowing people to get off addictive anti-anxiety drugs and improving sleep and energy cycles."

New Focus on Alternative Therapies
There is little scientific research documenting the healing power of breathing, in part because its practice is so new in Western medicine. And unlike drugs or devices, breathing has no manufacturer who must sponsor studies to support its use.

Increased interest in studying the effects of nontraditional healing therapies such as relaxation breathing led to the founding in 1991 of the Office of Alternative Medicine, now the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, at the National Institutes of Health. As a result, more medical scientists are beginning to examine the health impact of a variety of mind-body therapies such as meditation, guided imagery and Eastern exercises--yoga, tai chi and qi gong--which typically incorporate focused breathing.

One of the few studies to examine a clinical application of yoga "belly breathing" found that menopausal women who learned the technique were able to reduce the frequency of hot flashes by about 50%.

"The average breathing rate is 15 to 16 cycles [inhaling and exhaling] per minute," says Robert Freedman, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. "But with training, women can slow their breathing down to seven or eight cycles per minute, which can significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes."

Deep diaphragmatic breathing and other mind-body techniques can also significantly reduce symptoms of severe PMS as well as anxiety, depression and other forms of emotional distress, according to research by Alice Domar, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health.

To teach the technique, Domar has patients make a fist and squeeze it tight. "Then I ask them what happens to their breath, and they realize that they've stopped breathing," she says. "When we get anxious, we tend to hold our breath or breathe shallowly." Domar then shows patients how to breathe deeply into the abdomen, a process most women tell her runs counter to the "hold in your stomach" breathing they've done all their adult lives.

Domar's favorite stress-reduction technique is a short version of this breath-focus exercise, which she calls a "mini-relaxation," or "mini."
"You can do a mini when you're stuck in traffic, at a boring meeting, whenever you look at a clock or any time you pick up a phone," she says. "I have patients who do minis 100 times a day." Minis are also helpful for people with medical conditions, who can do deep breathing when they're having an IV started or undergoing chemotherapy.
Pamela Peeke, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland, incorporates breath work into her practice, in part by getting her patients to exercise.
"It's very hard to walk and take little panicked breaths," says Peeke, who frequently takes patients out for a "walk and talk."
In our stressed-out world, the fight-or-flight response that kept our ancestors alive has turned into a "stew and chew," contends Peeke, who studied the connection between stress and fat at the National Institutes of Health. If no physical response occurs after stress revs the body up for battle, chronically elevated levels of stress hormones stimulate appetite and encourage fat cells deep inside the abdomen to store what she calls "toxic weight."
For this reason, Peeke says, "I'm an absolute crazy person about getting people to move." She encourages Eastern movements, such as yoga and tai chi, which rely on taking deep abdominal breaths. But she particularly urges patients to do aerobic activity to help neutralize the effects of stress.
"When people learn to breathe properly, they can calm themselves," she says. "Then the stew doesn't have to turn into a chew."

A Technique With Many Applications
In hospitals, breathing techniques once were taught only to women for use during childbirth. Today, some hospitals have begun teaching relaxation breathing to patients of both sexes and all ages being treated for a wide range of conditions. At the Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia, nurse Julie Oliver incorporates breath work into support groups she leads, including one for people with congestive heart failure and another for parents of babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.
"Using the breath to quiet the body can be very powerful," says Oliver, who is clinical manager of the hospital's guided imagery program.
"Babies, especially premature babies, can sense how the mother and father feel," Oliver says. "If the parents go in full of muscle tension and start jiggling the baby, the baby gets too stimulated, and the staff may need to tell the parents to back away, which adds to everyone's stress."
Oliver had a chance to practice what she preaches recently, when her newborn stayed in intensive care for three days of observation.
"I was so anxious to see Joseph, I found myself getting all wound up," she recalls.
So Oliver took a minute to do several relaxation breaths, combined with positive thoughts.
"I was able to go in and take Joseph in my arms in a much quieter state of mind," she says.
Conscious breathing also was a part of her delivery.
"Focused breathing pulls your attention away from pain and what's going on in your body," says Oliver, who teaches the technique to heart patients about to undergo procedures in the cardiac catheterization lab. She also teaches breathing to staffers.
"It's an ideal form of stress reduction," she says, "because it doesn't take any time away from work, and you can do it anywhere."

Copyright 2000 Los Angeles Times

Back to Articles index


Study:  Sodas linked to Obesity

February 15, 2001
Web posted at: 6:57 p.m. EST (2357 GMT)

From staff and wire reports

LONDON, England -- Children who drink sugary soft drinks are at higher risk of becoming obese, researchers in the United States report.

Their work, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, is the latest in a string of studies warning that American teenagers are increasingly putting their health at risk by consuming too much junk food.

"We found that for every additional serving per day of soft drink consumed, the risk of becoming obese increased by about 50 percent," researcher David Ludwig of Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, told Reuters.

Obesity can lead to heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

The U.S. government has become so concerned about overweight children that last year it issued new growth charts to help parents and doctors identify kids at risk of becoming obese.

The Boston researchers studied 548 children with an average age of 11 in four Massachusetts communities. They monitored the kids' intake of sugary drinks like soda, sweetened tea and fruit drinks, and noted changes in their Body Mass Index, or BMI, a measure of body fat.

Even when they accounted for factors like physical activity and other diet choices, the relation between obesity and drinking sodas remained, Ludwig said. He stressed that more research is needed to back up the findings.

In a statement on its Web site, the National Soft Drink Association refuted Ludwig's study, citing other research that found no link between obesity and soft drink consumption.

The trade group also took issue with Ludwig's methods. "The age group of the children studied typically experience major changes in body type and Body Mass Index, and the sample does not represent a valid cross section of the American population," said Richard Adamson, vice president of scientific and technical affairs.

"Childhood obesity is the result of many factors," Adamson said. "Blaming it on any single factor, including soft drinks, is nutritional nonsense."

But there is evidence that children are increasingly choosing sodas over more nutritious beverages like milk, water or natural fruit juices.

Ludwig and his colleagues found that 57 percent of the children in the study had increased their daily intake of soft drinks, many by nearly a full serving. Boys drank the most soda.

"The average teen-ager is getting 15 to 20 teaspoons a day of added sugar from soft drinks alone," Ludwig said. "Consumption rates among children have doubled in the last decade."

Indeed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that American teens drink twice as much carbonated soda as milk.

And that can lead to another problem: calcium deficiency. A study in the February 2001 issue of the Journal of Nutrition found that girls who drank more sodas got less calcium in their diets -- a situation that could lead to osteoporosis later in life.

To help combat the trend, USDA called for greater control of the foods and drinks provided in American schools. Although the agency currently requires lunches and breakfasts to meet nutritional standards, it does not regulate snacks and sodas sold outside school cafeterias -- in vending machines and concession stands, for instance.

Ludwig said the United States isn't the only country seeing an increase in soda drinking and the problems associated with it.

"The U.S. is probably consuming more soda than some European countries but unfortunately, this is a trend where America may be leading but the world is rapidly following."

He added, "The study does suggest that public health efforts aimed at limiting consumption of soft drinks in children may help prevent and treat obesity."

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Back to Articles index


Facts on Fat

How does our body burn fat?

This question-and-answer was featured on the Nutriquest website April 17, 1999 and helps explain the role of oxygen in the fat-burning process. (Nutriquest is Cornell University's nutrition question and answer service, provided by the Division of Nutritional Sciences)

Dear Nutriquest...

How does our body burn fat?

How does our body burn fat?

Wondering

Dear Wondering,

Well, we think you mean: how does our body convert the fat from our diets into a form of energy that can be used by the body? We can think of the human body as a machine that is fueled by carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Different tissues in the body use different fuels - for example the brain normally only uses carbohydrates (glucose), while the heart muscle gets about 60% of its energy from breakdown of fat, and 40% from breakdown of glucose. Other muscles can also use fat as a fuel.

The amount of fat you burn also depends upon what type of activity you are performing (for example, sprinting vs. walking), how long you are engaging in the activity, and what kind of shape your body is in. If you are engaging in a long-term low intensity activity, such as walking, this allows aerobic metabolism to proceed and therefore your body utilizes fatty acids as well as carbohydrates for fuel. But, if you sprint for 10 seconds your body must rely on anaerobic metabolism and can only use glucose and stored glycogen (the storage form of glucose) for fuel.

Fat accounts for most of the body's stored energy. By weight, the adult body averages about 15-25% fat. Fat is a very compact energy storage substance and provides 9 Calories per gram weight, making it an excellent source of energy. This is more than twice the amount of energy that you can get from the same weight of carbohydrate or protein. When we don't eat, this fat is mobilized to provide the fuel the body needs to keep alive. Note however, if we diet by not eating, the body adjusts its needs (by decreasing its metabolic rate, that is, the rate at which it burns fuel) so we don't need as much fuel to keep alive.

Okay, let's say you that decide to spend a lazy Sunday sitting in front of the television munching on a cheese pizza (don't do this too often!!), the fat from this meal can either be stored in fat reservoirs (cells called adipocytes) in the body or used immediately to supply fuel for the body. If you are not exercising, the fat will go into storage fairly quickly.

Under normal circumstances, burning fuels requires oxygen. The process is called aerobic metabolism. You take in the oxygen for aerobic metabolism when you breathe. In this form of metabolism, fats (and other fuels) are broken down into carbon dioxide and water, and in the process, a high energy compound, adenosine triphosphate (otherwise known as ATP), is produced. ATP is the immediate source of energy for all your body's functions.

Now, before the fat stored in your body can be used to produce ATP, the triglycerides in your fat reservoirs must be broken down into fatty acids and glycerol. This process takes place in the adipocytes, and is known as lipolysis. The adipocytes release the fatty acids and glycerol into the bloodstream and is brought to tissues that can use these chemicals.

The glycerol and fatty acids are then metabolized by separate pathways. Glycerol, which contains three carbon atoms, is oxidized to yield 2 ATP's, as well as carbon dioxide and water.

The fatty acids (either from fat you have just eaten or from fat from storage) travel through your bloodstream where they are directed into the mitochondria of your muscle cells. Mitochondria are small compartments in every cell which contain very efficient ATP-producing machinery. In the mitochondria, fatty acids are broken down into 2 carbon units, acetyl groups, by a process called beta-oxidation. These acetyl groups are bonded to a chemical called coenzyme A to make acetyl CoA. Acetyl CoA is metabolized using oxygen to produce ATP, water, and carbon dioxide. A fatty acid of 16 carbons can yield 129 molecules of ATP! Because fat metabolism can produce so much ATP per molecule, you don't need a lot fat to keep other metabolic processes going. This is another reason (in addition to the slowing down of metabolism) that fat loss is so slow with dieting...

We know that this is a lot of fat to swallow (we're sorry, but we couldn't resist!), but we hope it helps! If you are curious about the other fuel sources for the body please write.

The Nutriquest Team

 

The facts on fat are in . . . and they are frightening.
  • In America alone, the number of people over ideal body weight is up 20% from 10 years ago.
  • The obese suffer from greater levels of hypertension, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, high cholesterol, diabetes, osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction, immune dysfunction, birth defects, cancers, and depression than the non-obese.
  • Extreme obesity (more than 100 pounds overweight) is double the rate of 10 years ago.
  • More people in the United States die of too much food than too little.
  • One out of every five U.S. youngsters aged 12 to 17 is overweight. Nearly 10 million American children are too fat. The number of overweight children and adolescents has doubled in the past 30 years, with most of that increase occurring over the last 12 years.
  • Obesity is becoming a worldwide problem.

 

THE FACTS ON FAT ARE CLEAR:

This is not a little problem . . .
this is not a diminishing problem . . .
this is not a cosmetic problem . . .
or a problem of just getting into a smaller dress or pant size.

This is not a little problem . . .
this is not a diminishing problem . . .
this is not a cosmetic problem . . .
or a problem of just getting into a smaller dress or pant size.


"America's obesity epidemic has reached crisis levels. Being overweight is one of the most pervasive health threats facing America today."

Dr. Everett Koop, former U.S. Surgeon General

The world's fat problem, as literally thousands of scientific studies have demonstrated, is getting worse -- much, much worse. The associated health problems of overweight, obesity and morbid obesity are getting worse, already costing hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars yearly . . . with these costs constantly rising.

Right this minute the overwhelming majority of you are overweight and suffering from a host of terrible weight-related problems. You have tried everything, including starvation, pills, surgery, jumping up and down, and exercise equipment of every kind . . . but the weight won't stay away. You blame yourselves . . . you are blamed by others . . . you suffer from hopelessness, despair, confusion, and anger.

The weight loss industry is already a $35 BILLION dollar a year business in America alone--who can calculate the dollars spent worldwide each year? These numbers keep rising . . . and so do the percentages of overweight men and women, suffering from more and more fat-related problems. . . and the solutions currently offered not only haven't worked, but have made the problem far worse!

Back to Articles index


Solutions

IS THERE ANY SOLUTION TO THIS MESS, where there are more and more people with fat problems and a weight loss industry that keeps on growing but cannot solve the problem?

There certainly is . . .

The Solution is Literally All Around Us . . . IT'S OXYGEN!!!

In simple terms, the right kind of breathing, delivering the right amount of oxygen to your cells, helps you get rid of excess fat, boost metabolism and increase energy!

 

Back to Articles index

 



Guarantee & Return Policy   Shipping Charges

Customer Service: info@oxycise.com

Copyrightę
Oxycise! International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.