I know that this is not a subject that is very esoteric but I do feel that it is relevant to quite a few who probably have no idea that they have this symptom and I have had many questions asked about it. Esoterically I think it is very important because we are breathing the life force in – without breathing we would die.
I am going to explain the anatomy/physiology of it in the 3D world and then address the energy side.
Apnoea comes from the Latin word apnoea – ‘a’ means without and ‘pnoea’ means breath.
I will put this in very simple layman’s terms which will make it easier to understand and this is how I explain it to my patients.
There are three physiological causes of apnoea – weight, wide base of tongue and narrow high arched palate.
Weight - a band of muscles ring the inside of the throat. When we put weight on, the weight packs on the outside pushing in on the throat muscles, making them work extra hard to keep the throat open during the day. When we climb into bed at night and finally reach the sleep stage of deep sleep (when the body rejuvenates and regenerates) the body relaxes completely. The muscles of the throat are so tired from working extra hard during the day to keep the weight from closing the throat that they either partially collapse or completely obstruct. This obviously stops the person from breathing.
Oxygen is very important for the body at any time but especially during this time. At this stage your body is so relaxed that the energy can concentrate on rejuvenating and regenerating bits of you that need replenishing. Without oxygen the body has difficulty doing this. Our oxygen levels should be above 96% all the time. In fact 100% is perfect but this doesn’t always happen.
During the day, many of us breathe very shallowly anyway – we are stressed and therefore because we are stressed we don’t breathe well. As soon as we start taking deep breaths we feel ourselves relaxing. Thinking about problems then tenses us up again and we stop breathing properly.
This is why most disciplines such as meditation, yoga, etc. always make you breathe properly. Breathing also takes you out of your mind and into your body. We have difficulty thinking when we breathe and helps us to get out of our own way, thereby allowing the inner you to come to the fore. This is also why physical activity is important – because you are breathing deeply and exercising your body.
Snoring tends to go hand in hand with sleep apnoea. When your throat obstructs (imagine it like an old fashioned tent and we let the guy ropes down – it collapses), you stop snoring and breathing. The brain realises after a while it is not getting the oxygen it needs. Being very selfish (thank goodness) the brain then sends messages to the body to partially awaken it and you will see that someone with sleep apnoea starts to twitch or the chest is moving up and down trying to breathe. It is very scary for a partner to observe this. Suddenly they will take a deep snorting breath. This is when they are out of the deep relaxing rejuvenating state.
There are different types of apnoea – hypopnoeas are less than ten seconds of stopping breathing. Full blown apnoeas can last from ten seconds to a minute and a half – a long time to have no oxygen and very detrimental to the body. When we wire a patient up the different belts give us an idea whether it is central or normal apnoea. That’s another whole long story – won’t go into that. We have seen patients go down in oxygen to 25% and they are blue.
Once the person is breathing again the body starts to relax once again to do its work, but the throat then collapses…again. And so it can go on all night - your body and the oxygen is see-sawing all night and you are not getting what you need. Some people obstruct once or twice in an hour – others can obstruct every few seconds. In other words – they take a breath and go straight into obstructing.
The energy needed for healing the body is then constantly being used to wake the person and move the body.As a result when we wake in the morning we feel like crap even though we should feel good. Darn we’ve had eight hours ‘good’ sleep, why are we feeling yuck. We, in fact, have not had any deep sleep and our body is exhausted. Sleep deprivation can make you feel depressed.
It also leads to, as you can imagine, a deterioration of the body. Sleep apnoea has been linked to cardiac problems, high blood pressure and diabetes to name but a few.
If you have had this kind of breathing for years - it is understandable that the body is struggling. Lack of breathing is hindering its ability to rejuvenate and regenerate – hence the illnesses.
The second contributor is a wide base of tongue. The tongue is attached to the front of the jaw. When we sleep at night the jaw muscles relax and the tongue flips back into the throat, partially obstructing and once again not allowing us to breathe properly.
The third is a narrow high arched palate into which all the adenoids, tonsils and a tongue is crammed. These are mainly tall thin people.
What the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) does is the job of the throat’s muscles. It simply keeps the tongue out of the way and uses air pressure to keep the throat open so that you may breathe properly. It doesn’t give a special mix of air – it simply keeps the throat open so that you, on your own, can breathe properly. It is like pumping up a bicycle tyre.
This is why I don’t mind being a CPAP therapist – there are no drugs involved – although many patients wish there was. It is sometimes easier to pop a pill than wear an intrusive mask every night.
But on the plus side the mask gets you breathing properly and helps your body to do its thing at night, thereby giving you the energy during the day to make the lifestyle changes needed to lose the weight (if that is the problem). Of course lifestyle changes are also important such as having a healthy diet and exercising, so it is an all encompassing change.
But…and this is a big but…we have very healthy fit rugby players who are on CPAP. Why? Because they have built up huge muscles on the outside of the throat, which again presses in on the muscles of the throat. Body builders suffer with the same thing. It is making your body an extreme of what it is that causes the problem for the majority of patients.
I often get asked the question – ‘is this for life?’ Mostly yes. As we get older our ‘bits’ get floppier and have difficulty returning to their youthful state. We have had some who have returned the machine and mask because they have lost huge amounts of weight but they are few and far between.
Surgery is a no-no. It is called an uvulopalatoplasty – hehe…quite a mouthful – I shall abbreviate it to UVPP. This laser surgery is expensive, very painful, takes a long time to heal and doesn’t work. We have had so many patients come through the doors who have gone this route only to have the symptoms return.
What we are seeing these days is patients being referred to us because surgeons and anaesthetists are refusing to operate on people with apnoea. Obviously the problem with stopping breathing is forefront in their minds. They want the patients treated by us first before they will even consider touching them. Quite a few of our patients go on to have bariatric surgery.
There are many other illness that contribute to it such as muscular dystrophy, fibro myalgia, etc. But it is difficult to know whether these came first or after. Chicken and egg situation.
I might add as an aside – that as a CPAP therapist I have used the machine and mask myself. I decided to use it for a while because I would like to know what it feels like and also to be able to understand problems that patients have. I don’t have apnoea – one of our technicians does and she swears by it. Says if she doesn’t use it one night she definitely knows it the next day.
For quite a few patients, it is the difficulty of wearing this intrusive equipment all night. As one said – it is definitely a passion killer :) But my question to them is this – would you rather deteriorate faster than normal, take drugs to keep you going which have side effects and create a vicious cycle or live longer with a better quality of life. It is their choice ultimately. I don’t hold a gun to their head – the only gun being held is by them – which they point at themselves, even though they are unaware of it.
Frankness does help – no punches held back! I do this mainly because patients need to be FULLY informed and make their own decisions with a battery of information, rather than be told ‘you must do this’ and then not know why. It is not fair on them at all – they need to have a say in their treatment plan. If someone decides not to proceed with the treatment at least they are fully aware of the implications.
Some people take to it instantly - others it takes a while to get their head around it. Perseverance is the key to building up a tolerance to using the mask. Mindset is another obstacle.
What I have also discovered is that unless someone sees themselves on video and watch themselves stopping breathing and all the intrusive snoring - they don’t believe anyone. Obviously, they are sleeping and so don’t know what is going on. Actually, seeing yourself makes a huge difference to an outlook.
Energetically most of this is caused by stress and emotional traumas. Once we clear these emotions and address the reason for the stress, the apnoea ‘should’ resolve itself.
Each illness that we pick up is a lesson in itself. What is our body telling us? There is no harm in using the machine while you resolve these lessons. It does not have side effects like drugs do.
I also feel that if a person’s HS wasn’t wanting a person to deal with it – they would never have been pointed in our direction. Whoever comes through the door of the Sleep Centre is not there by coincidence. It could be simply to get them informed so they can do something about it. I don’t know what each patient’s HS wants, but all circumstances unfold for a reason and I, for one, would never stand in a patient’s way with regard to their decision, and if they can find an alternative, so be it.
P.S. Amazing how synchronicity works. I had half heartedly written this up for an article in a magazine and then forgot about it. Get a nudge of questions from people and vaguely remember it. I fleshed it out a bit with regard to the esoteric side and then uploaded it here.
I sit down to start on a new unit in the course I am doing and guess what - a question with regard to the blog I just wrote...hehe...what an easy unit to complete - of course I had to make it more medical and add a few diagrams but hey...mostof it was done :)
Thank you universe and those who asked the questions.
Shows you can have fun doing something you normally view as 'dry' in the 3D world.
I do so love the interplay between 3D and 5D.