The Importance of Nasal Breathing.

I found this article on a forum I frequent now and again. They didn’t state their source or the copyright status, so I hope I don’t tick anyone off. If this article is yours, tell me and I’ll do what needs to be done!

Anyway, I’ve used the technique of nasal breathing for some time and I must say it really makes a world of difference, especially with weight lifting and other resistance training. This is a very good introduction to the technique.

Nasal Breathing – Secret Weapon
by Lisa Engles -track coach Silicon Valley Triathlon Club

I encourage everyone to use this month to begin the practice of
nasal breathing. You can think of nasal breathing as the `secret
weapon’ in your bag of training tools. Over the past five years,
I’ve used this technique both personally and with my athletes to
create incredible performance breakthroughs.

There’s one hook to nasal breathing: you have to be willing to set
aside your ego and allow your body to adapt to this technique. Which
means, for a short period of time it will seem as if you are getting
worse, instead of better with your running. This is precisely why I
introduce this technique during the off season. If you commit to
regular use of nasal breathing during every run that you do between
now and January, you will reap the rewards of this secret training

So what is nasal breathing and why is it so good for you? Nasal
breathing, just as the name implies, means to breathe only through
your nose during endurance activity (running and even cycling).
We’re all born into this world as nasal breathers which means that
we don’t possess the voluntary ability to breath through our mouth.
Mouth breathing is a learned response that is triggered by an
emergency stress. If an infant’s nose becomes obstructed, it begins
to suffocate and starts to cry. The crying forces air into the
mouth and through the lungs. Mouth breathing becomes a way to get
large quantities of air into the lungs quickly in order to deal with
survival. Once the emergency is over, the infant returns to
breathing through its nose.

We LEARN to breathe through our mouth as infants, and become
conditioned so that under the first signs of stress, including
exercise stress later in life we shift to our emergency mode of
breathing— through the mouth.

There are several important reasons WHY nasal breathing is so
beneficial to you and your overall performance in triathlon. They
are: 1. Our nose is made to breathe with 2. Nasal breathing
disarms the bodies stress response 3. There’s a direct correlation
between nasal breathing and heart rate (exertion levels). I’ll
discuss each briefly below.

Our Nose Is Made To Breath With

While this may sound like an obvious statement, the more important
implication is that our Mouth Is NOT made to breathe with! To give
you a quick anatomy lesson, the nose, with it’s intricate design,
allows for optimal respiration during rest and exercise. The inner
nose is made up of small ridges called turbinates which act as
turbines to swirl air into a refined stream that is suitable for
oxygen exchange. The entire passageway of the nose is lined with a
protective mucus membrane that keeps it moist and wards off
infection. The mucous membrane in combination with small hair like
cilia act to clean and filter incoming air. The air is warmed,
cooled, or moistened depending on the conditions, by our nasal

The mouth on the other hand, is a more direct emergency route. It
bypasses all preliminary phases, and the cold, dry, unfiltered air
is allowed to enter directly into the lungs.

The Nervous System Response to Nasal Breathing

When we breathe air directly from the mouth into the lungs, a
survival response is triggered in the nervous system. As a result,
a fight-or-flight reaction is activated causing the release of
adreneline and cortisol which are both degenerative hormones. They
contain waste products called free radicals, which are believed to
be the leading cause of aging, cancer, disease and death. In
addition, the body responds to this stress by Storing Fat and
burning sugar. So if we can train our body to handle more stress
without responding to it as an emergency (via nasal breathing),
we’ll have taken a huge step in the fight against fat, aging and

Breathing through the nose stimulates the parasympathetic nervous
system which calms the mind and rejuvenates the body.

The Correlation Between Breath Rate and Heart Rate

Probably the most frustrating and difficult aspect of nasal
breathing for beginners is that initially, it feels like you’re
breathing through two, tiny cocktail straws . The passage way from
the nose to the lungs is much smaller than from the mouth to the
lungs, so until you’ve developed a strong diaphragm that is able to
effectively pull air into the lower lobes of the lungs, you will
feel like you’re not getting enough air.

I see this as a blessing in disguise. By this point in the season,
most of us are over trained and NEED to slow down. Nasal breathing
will force you to slow down in the beginning, giving your body the
appropriate rest that it needs and deserves after months of hard
work. As with any muscle, the more you use it the stronger it
becomes. Through nasal breathing, the diaphragm will become a
stronger, more efficient muscle, making nasal breathing considerably
easier with time and practice.

Due to the need for longer, deeper breaths, one of the inherent
results of nasal breathing is a slower breath rate. There is a
direct correlation between breath rate and heart rate so that a
slower breath rate will entrain a slower heart rate. The average
athlete who consistently uses mouth breathing will have a breath
rate of anywhere between 30-40 breaths per minute during exercise.
During nasal breathing this number is generally cut in half! This
has an incredible amount of significance when you realize that
simply though nasal breathing, you can lower your breath rate which
will in turn, lower your heart rate at any given intensity. The end
result being that during a race, you’d have more in your energy
reserves to out-run your competitors!

So now that you understand why I’m such a proponent of nasal
breathing and how it will ultimately benefit you, I invite you to
spend this coming month playing with this technique.

This is one of dozens of video’s I have posted on my you tube channel “TheAWC” and “AskDrJohn” showing how my cranial treatment improves nasal breathing. Everybody deserves this treatment to improve oxygen intake which them improves health and brain function!


NeuroCranial Restructuring is a vital tool to assist patients to improve nasal breathing. Trust me even if you think you breath fine through your nose, once you’ve had NCR you will breath more effortlessly and for those that are restricted this technique could give you your life back! Call 941 330 8553 to find out how to set up a 4 day treatment that could change your life.

Your’s in Health,

John Lieurance,

Functional Neurology

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About NCR therapy. Endonasal Balloon Assisted Cranial Adjusting.

WHAT IS NCR?NeuroCranial Restructuring is the newest and most powerful therapy in physical medicine. NCR is a cumulative treatment process involving controlled release of the connective tissue tensions — resulting from traumas — to unwind the body and return it towards its original design. NCR utilizes careful analysis of the body’s “proprioception” (patterns of balance) to determine the precise areas of the skull needing to be unlocked during each day’s treatment. An NCR series consists of four treatments given on consecutive days. Each case is evaluated individually for the optimal long-term outcome. Repeat treatment series are usually scheduled between one and six months apart. 

This sounds very complex, but in practice it is relatively simple:

First, the patient receives customized NCR bodywork. This includes the limbs, abdomen, back and head. Next, the patient is specifically assessed to determine the cranial treatment pattern for the day. Then the patient is precisely positioned on the therapy table with the help of an assistant, including the support of pelvic wedges and sometimes a cranial pillow, for optimal treatment results and greater patient comfort. Then a small “endonasal” balloon is inserted into the nostril, briefly inflated, and quickly removed. Many patients describe the balloon pressure sensation as similar to getting water up their nose when jumping into a pool. Finally a recheck verifies that the treatment results have been achieved for that day.

“Endonasal” balloons in treatment are not new. They have been a valuable tool in practice since the early 1930s. Frequently these treatments, such as Bilateral Nasal Specific therapy, gave relief of symptoms and some long-term results. However these older treatment approaches were generalized and frequently painful.

In conclusion, NCR is different from these therapies. NCR creates incremental, cumulative, permanent structural changes to reverse the effects of the traumatic events of a body’s life. Birth trauma, accidents and falls, sports injuries, medical procedures, severe emotional and biochemical traumas are just some of the causes of musculoskeletal damage that are released with NCR.  Conditions like:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Arthritis, bursitis, rheumatism
  • Attention Deficit Disorder, dyslexia, hyperactivity and other learning disabilities
  • Autism
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Concussion and other head injuries
  • Depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Dystonia
  • Ear infection and deafness
  • Glaucoma, double vision and other vision problems
  • Headaches, head pressure, migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Low energy, Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue
  • Muscle spasms, neck and shoulder pain
  • Organ functioning
  • Orthodontic stress and bruxism
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s disease and tremors
  • Phobias
  • Poor concentration and focus
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Sciatica, kyphosis (hunchback), lordosis (swayback), scoliosis (spiral spine), military spine & other problems
  • Seizures
  • Sinusitis, sleep apnea, snoring, other breathing and sinus disorders
  • Strokes
  • Tinnitus
  • TMD, TMJ (mouth, head and jaw pains)
  • Vertigo and other balance problems
  • Whiplash Syndrome
  • Wrinkles (NCR replaces a face lift)

NCR helps these conditions (and more) because they all have either a structural cause or a significant structural component.

NCR is simple, painless and powerful. Call 941 330 8553 for a consultation with Dr. Lieurance.

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History and Research on Cranial Manipulative Therapy posted by John Lieurance, D.C.

By: William T. Jarvis, Ph.D.

Dural adhesions often cause health problems.

Cranial osteopathy — also known as craniosacral therapy — was developed by William G. Sutherland, DO, who published the first article on this subject in the early 1930s. Cranio refers to the head, sacral to the base of the spine. The “craniosacral system” encloses the spinal cord, cerebrospinal fluid, meninges, and bones of the skull and spine. Craniosacral proponents claim:

  • The human brain makes rhythmic movements at a rate of 10 to 14 cycles per minute, a periodicity unrelated to breathing or heart rate.
  • Small cranial pulsations can be felt with the fingertips.
  • Interference with the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid is a common cause of disease.
  • Freeing up these restrictions allow the body to return to normal. This is accomplished by tapping the the skull with fingertips (the “tap” is a solid, attention-getting, nonpainful blow to the side of the head).

Today’s leading proponent is John Upledger, DO, who operates the Upledger Institute of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Upledger has published several articles on craniopathy, but his work is not generally recognized as valid by the scientific medical community. The most comprehensive criticism was published in 1999 by the British Columbia Office of Health Technology Assessment (BCOHTA), which concluded that the theory is invalid and that practitioners cannot reliably measure what they claim to be modifying [1].

Dental Usage

Viola Frymann, DO, has promoted cranial osteopathy among dentists; and cranial manipulative therapy is now practiced by a small number of fringe dentists who refer to themselves as “holistic” practitioners. Following a continuing education course presented by Dr. Frymann, Stanley M. Sokolow, DDS, wrote an open letter describing the course that was published in the Santa Clara County Dental Society’s newsletter. Dr. Sokolow’s letter provides both insight and thoughtful criticism of cranial osteopathy:

I have just come home from the continuing education course by Dr. Viola Frymann, sponsored by the Mid-Peninsula Dental Society. Those of you who were there will remember that I am the orthodontist who asked all of those pointed questions. I would like you and the other members of our Society to know that am disappointed by the behavior of almost everyone there, with he commendable exception of Dr. Robert Lundquist.

By granting us a license to practice, the public trusts us to apply knowledge to treatment of their dental problems. This implies that we must critically examine new ideas, decide if there is rational evidence for them, reject the bunk, and apply the knowledge that sifts through.

After observing so many of the audience accept or not challenge the unsubstantiated, illogical statements of Dr. Frymann, I am shocked. Those who actually accept her arguments should read a book on epistemology and the philosophy of science, that then rethink her logic.

For those who have not heard about Dr. Frymann’s field, Cranial Osteopathy, here are a few of its tenets which I had to question.

  1. The human brain makes rhythmic movements at a rate of 10 to 14 cycles per minute, a periodicity unrelated to the breathing or heart beat. (The entire field of scientific neurophysiology, with all of its high-tech instrument, has not yet observed the fundamental rhythm, but cranial osteopaths can feel the small pulsations of the skull with their finger tips. They can’t explain the motive force, though.)
  2. The brain thus rhythmically moves the cranial bones. These movements at the most are on the order of .0005 to .0010 inch, but cranial osteopaths don’t need to measure or record them because their trained fingers are more sensitive than any instrument man can devise. (When I said that all sciences attempt to quantify, and that there are measuring instruments far more precise than any human senses, many in the audience came to Dr. Frymann’s defense.)
  3. Restrictions at the sutures, which interfere with the normal pulsation, are a common cause of disease, deformity, and dysfunction. Manipulation of the cranial bones by the trained osteopath’s hands can “free up” these restrictions and allow the body to return toward normal. (Her only evidence is anecdotal: isolated case reports; no pretreatment/posttreatment measurements, no statistics, no control groups.)
  4. Conventional orthodontic appliances (such as the Edgewise appliance) “bind” the halves of the maxilla together, thus restricting cranial bone motion and causing innumerable dysfunctions, including impaired vision. Dr. Frymann claims orthodontic retainers don’t bind the maxilla, os therefore, she recommends removal of orthodontic appliances as part of her osteopathic treatment. (Acrylic retainers are far more rigid than the transpalatal elasticity of the Edgewise arch. The force required to change the width of an archwire by .0005 to .0010 inch must be on the order of micrograms. She could not give any evidence of “binding.”)

Acceptance of these conjectures as fact, without challenge, is a professional disgrace. Even when asked, Dr. Frymann could not produce any scientific evidence to back up her claims. I’ll be delighted to buy any one of her disciples the finest meal in our area if he or she can show me any good experimental data that supports Dr. Frymann’s statements.

Cranial osteopathy, like applied kinesiology, has gained some degree of acceptance among dentists. Those who believe, do so with a religious fervor. Recognize it for what it is: faith healing, not medical science [2].

In 1992 and 2000, the Osteopathic Medical Board of California placed Frymann on probation for exdangering the lives of two infants whom she treated with cranial manipulation instead of appropriate medical care [3].

Chiropractic Usage

Cranial manipulative therapy is also practiced by a small faction of chiropractors. Chiropractors call their version craniopathy, but the mechanisms are the same for practical purposes. The osteopaths credit W.G. Sutherland, DO with the theory and application the technique. He presented it at a meeting of the American Osteopathic Association in 1932 [4] The chiropractors credit Nephi Cottam, DC, with discovery and development of the technique “in the 1920s.” His son Calvin Cottam, DC, acknowledged that cranial osteopathy and chiropractic craniopathy were essentially the same thing, but said that his father’s first professional seminar on the topic was on January 27, 1929, and Sutherland’s was eight months later on September 27, 1929 [5]. Chiropractic journals carry articles about craniopathy, but do not provide scientific information. Craniopathy was renamed Sacro-Occipital Technique by chiropractor Major B. DeJarnette, who associated with Dr. Sutherland in the 1920s.

New York chiropractor, Carl A. Ferreri, developed a version of cranial manipulative therapy that he named “Neural Organizational Technique” (NOT), for treating dyslexia, other learning disabilities, bedwetting, nightmares, scoliosis, Down’s Syndrome, cerebral palsy, color-blindness, and various other problems. According to Ferreri, the bones of the skull move with respiration through a complicated arrangement of connective tissue bands. He theorized that dyslexia is caused by faulty motion in three of the four motions of the sphenoid bone in the center of the skull, and at least one of the temporal bones. Learning disabilities, he said, involve only two sphenoid motions and no temporal bone faults. Misalignment of the skull bones can also result in “ocular lock” making reading difficult, according to Ferreri. Ferreri also described a “disequilibrium” involving a problem in the “cloacal reflexes” located in the pelvis which allegedly coordinate with the visual and labyrinthine righting systems. NOT relied on the invalid muscle-testing procedures of applied kinesiology to persuade people that improvement was occurring.

Despite an absence of scientific evidence, and lack of endorsement by any recognized organization that deals with learning disorders, Ferreri was able to convince the school psychologist, Roy Krause, of the Del Norte school district (Crescent City, Calif) that his method held promise for the learning disabled children of his district. Krause convinced the school board to allow Ferreri to set up a research project in which chiropractors would manipulate children’s skulls in an attempt to rid them of their learning difficulties. Rather than focusing upon a single type of problem, the children included a mix of disorders. The method involved holding the child in a headlock and pressing on the roof of their mouths with the hope a achieving a click. Thumbs were also pressed into the children’s eye-sockets. Parents were assured that the method would only possibly cause “momentary and temporary discomfort” in the consent forms they were asked to sign. The reality turned out to be far different. One parent, who helped restrain her child during therapy, testified that the chiropractors applied such tremendous pressure to her son’s skull and roof of mouth that they would break into a sweat and shake with exertion. Children were exposed to such pain that children who had never had seizures, had them now. Children with a history of seizures, were having increased episodes of these. A lawsuit brought against Ferreri by the parents resulted in a $565,000 judgment for damages, plus attorney’s fees.

The Del Norte experience is worthy of detailed study because it represents a classic example of how convincing a pseudoscientific procedure can be at the outset, coupled with how unacceptable can be its outcomes when records are kept. Unfortunately, most often, a pseudoscience’s reputation is built on the initial illusory personal experiences, and generally there is no systematic study done to follow-up. This was not the case at Del Norte, and the outcomes outrageous.

Osteopathic Attitudes

Several papers have been published on the alleged mechanisms of cranial manipulation, but fail to answer the important consumer health questions of safety and efficacy. In 1987, I mailed the following questions to researchers at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM):

  • Is cranial osteopathy a valid therapeutic procedure for any condition?
  • Should cranial osteopathy be marketed to the public as a preventive or therapeutic procedure?
  • Should cranial osteopathy be limited to experimentation only?
  • Are students at MSUCOM taught cranial osteopathy procedures?
  • If so, how are they directed to use the procedure? [6]

Having received no response from MSUCOM, I sent the following questions to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA):

  • Does the AOA consider cranial osteopathy to be a valid preventive or therapeutic procedure for any condition? If so, which conditions?
  • Should cranial osteopathy be marketed to the public as a preventive or therapeutic procedure (ie, as opposed to being classified as “experimental” meaning that patients should be informed of its unproven value and not charged a fee for the service?
  • Do osteopathic colleges teach cranial osteopathy procedures? If so, how are students directed to use them? [7]

The AOA also failed to acknowledge my letter or respond to these questions. Conversations with faculty members at two osteopathic colleges brought the commonly-held opinion that the mainstream DOs do not believe in cranial osteopathy, but do not want to make the matter an open issue. Apparently, cranial osteopathy is more a belief system than a science. This seems to support Dr. Sokolow’s view that it is a form of faith healing.


The term “cranial manipulative therapy” covers more than a single theory or application. Although cranial osteopathy can point to some basic research, it falls far short of what is needed to establish a scientific foothold. Chiropractic applications are woefully lacking in any substantive research. All lack evidence that they are safe and effective for specific conditions, and because of they involve intense physical contact by a practitioner, and expectations on the part of both the provider and patient, all have potential as a form of suggestive therapy. This has been pointed out to NCAHF by practitioners who have used the “skull tap” as a method of conditioning. Hands-on techniques seem to have a special ability to deceive both practitioners and patients.

Another factor to be considered is the nature of the conditions being treated. With behavioral problems, merely taking a new approach to them may change things. When attention is diverted from the misbehaving individual to an effort to improve the situation, good things may happen. If improvement is noted, the client is apt to accept the explanation offered. But do measurable improvements occur, and do they last? People often provide testimonials during the emotional “honeymoon” of a new approach, rather than waiting to judge the long-term effects that really count.


  1. Kazanjian A and others. A systematic review and appraisal of the scientific evidence on craniosacral therapy. BCOHTA, May 1999.
  2. Sokolow SM. An open letter on Dr. Viola Frymann’s course. Elevator, 1983;18(7):5, 1983.
  3. Barrett S. Some Notes on Viola M. Fryman, D.O. Quackwatch, Jan 26, 2003.
  4. Morey LW. Use of cranial manipulative therapy. Osteopathic Medicine, July, 1978, pp 43+.
  5. Cottam C. Use your head: the beginnings of cranial/facial adjusting– the original craniopathy,” The Digest of Chiropractic Economics, July/August, 1988, pp 30-34.
  6. Jarvis WT. Letters to Upledger and Retzlaff, June 12, 1987.
  7. Letter dated August 12, 1988.

Additional Resources

  • A study of the rhythmic motions of the living cranium (Frymann) Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 70:928-45, 1971.
  • A preliminary study of cranial bone movement in the squirrel monkey (Michael) Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 74:866-873, 1975.
  • Craniosacral mechanisms (Retzlaff) Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 76:288-289, 1976.
  • The detection of relative movements of cranial bones (St.Pierre) Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 76:289, 1976.
  • Uses of cranial manipulative therapy (Morey) Osteopathic Medicine, July, 1978, pp.43+
  • The relationship of craniosacral examination findings in grade school children with developmental problems (Upledger) Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 77:760-776, 1978.
  • Mechano-electric patterns during craniosacral osteopathic diagnosis and treatment (Upledger) Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 78:782-791, 1979.
  • Manipulative medicine in dentistry: a new potential for diagnosis and treatment (Harakal) J Craniomandibular Pract 3:63-68, 1984.
  • Craniopathy — A path to health (Ben-kiki) Health Freedom News May, 1984
  • Free cranial clinic for newborns (Ross chiropractic) promotional flyer explaining craniopathy, 1988.
  • Richard Bernard: craniopathist in Marin (Kester) Independent Journal, undated. (Feature article describing the claims of chiropractor Richard Bernard)
  • Hartman SE, Norton JM. Interexaminer reliability and cranial osteopathy. Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine 6(1):23-34, 2002.

Cranial Adjustments first discovered in Chiropractic profession.


In the modern era, cranial molding for salutary purpose – the improvement of health – begins with Nephi Cottam, DC and his life’s work of Craniopathy.  William Garner Sutherland’s work with Cranial Osteopathy shortly followed. Cottam’s chiropractic influence on my work is noteworthy for his contributions on the causes of dis-ease in terms of “traumas, thoughts and toxins” within our framework we speak of the neurological and metaboloic side. Sutherland’s Primary Respiratory Mechanism and Reciprocal Membrane Tension System provides one of the avenues from which I often explain the improved oxygenation of the brain and spinal cord which in turn makes everything else work better, organs, tissues, glands, muscles, joints, etc.. and you can then achieve the restoration of your health. Alfred Breig, MD, and Allan Terrett, DC with their research on the biomechanics of the spine and dura provides for irrefutable changes in the cranium and spine with my work.


Your’s in Health,

John Lieurance, D.C.

Functional Neurology

Sarasota, Florida

941 330-8553

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