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kat_92

Best breathing techniques with O2

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Good afternoon!

with my headaches ramping up, I have been using my O2 tank more often. I have the cluster o2 mask , and a regulator that goes up to 25 lpm. I want to maximize my o2 flow, now only for getting rid of the pain, but I pay $78 out of pocket per tank; so I need to conserve as best I can. Does anyone find breathing it through the nose more affective than through the mouth? What about deep long breaths vs short fast breaths. I do it sitting up at the end of my couch. I appreciate any advice. I guess the summer months are my time for hell :/ 

pain free wishes 

Kat

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Many find that looking down toward your feet helps. If you are a 'rocker', this seems to come naturally. I tend to rock and stare at the floor with unfocused eyes. Just me perhaps.

When you first begin, exhale with force - add a crunch at the end. This gets repeated for several breaths. Push out the CO2 and suck in the O2 deep. Hold a few seconds and repeat. Fast, shallow breathing is usually not the fastest or best way to abort. You want that CO2 gone ASAP.

How fast you go just depends on you and how your head responds. I will start out fast and hard, then let up till I hit a sweet spot - one where I notice a significant reduction in pain. I will repeat that pattern for that hit. For me, it varies as to the time to find the 'spot' that is going to work with each hit. In short order, you will know what works for you. 

I use the tube as I cannot stand the mask on my face. If I see that the bag is filling too fast, I turn down the flow. I may go up or down a few times in a hit. Pain worsens, dial it back up and get to work. Pain lessens, begin to relax and go with the flow. I vary the flow from 25lpm to 5lpm. My post is at a rate that matches my relaxed breathing post hit. Often, if I am tired, it will be at 5LPM or lower.  

CHF will likely be along to direct you to a paper on how to use your O2. I haven't time atm to find it. But, the above will get you going. 

To conserve, adjust the flow on your regulator to match your breathing. That is all. To make you visit as short as possible, do the forceful exhale and deep inhale. If the bag is filling too fast, turn the dial down till you catch up. The focused technique is important to me. I usually get a good abort in about 5 minutes and then 5 minutes post. For a really bad one or one where I had to wait to hit the O2. that time can be doubled.

If you can, grab some caffeine on your way and chug it. It often helps speed the abort. Not sure if you use can caffeine or not, but if you can, it helps. Which conserves your O2.

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WOW!...what spiny says!...feels like we been peeking at each others homework!

...the only thing I would add to try is a technique a respiratory therapist (thanks Judy-Bob) once advised that has served me well....called pursed lip breathing...you make your lips real small and forcibly "puff" out air  causing back pressure...opens airways, improves oxygenation and CO2 expulsion....google it for a better explanation ....

OXYGEN ROCKS!!!!  image.jpeg.df843e34c3283bda1f07001f647966b1.jpeg

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Hi Kat,

This will interests you...

http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1313766756

Look for the entry from Batch (in its typical large bold font :)) and he explains that breathing method in detail. For me that last crunch as deep as possible to get the last part of CO2 out of your lungs before inhaling again is the most important part of the technique

All the best !

siegfried

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I think everything is well covered here.  As I understand it, Batch's recommendation from 2017 is different from what he recommended in the 2011 post linked to by Siegfried. The 2017 one (which seems like it would seriously save O2) is here: https://clusterbusters.org/forums/topic/4919-batchs-hyperventilation-red-neck-bag/

Here's what I understand him to be saying.  (1) For 30 seconds, hyperventilate using room air.  That's ten three-second deep inhale/full exhale events, deeply inhaling and forcibly exhaling during three seconds each time. He says, "On the tenth exhalation, hold the squeeze/crunch until your breath makes a wheezing sound for at least 3 seconds... or until you stop wheezing." (2) Then inhale a big lungful of O2 and hold it for 30 seconds, exhaling with a crunch.  (3) Then do another 30 seconds of hyperventilating with room air, followed by another inhale of O2 that is held for 30 seconds and exhaled with a crunch.  Although he's describing this in relationship to the "red neck bag," I assume there's no reason to think he wouldn't recommend it with an O2 tank and mask. You'd want your lpm setting to correlate with the one minute between inhales of O2, which I would think would mean that you could use a lower lpm setting. 

You should read fully what he says here and at the other post. I just found it a little difficult to figure out the basics, which is why I summarized them here. He says in the 2011 post that you should stand up while doing this, leaning against a wall. Doesn't say that here, so I don't know whether he still thinks it important or no longer does.  

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CHF, for many years I have done O2 breathing without benefit of O2. Think stuck in a store and trying to get out. Using the method I use with my O2 at home, I can hold off a hit for a while. With caffeine backup, I have aborted with this method. And I am referring to the hard exhale with a crunch and deep inhale portion. 

It really is a good skill to have for just about anywhere! :)

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I feel like I’ve finally mastered using oxygen and it’s made me less dependent on sumatriptan. I’ve learned everything from clusterbusters since my doctor was skeptical about oxygen. 
 

Here’s what works for me.  Headache is usually bearable in under 5 minutes but I continue for 10-20 until I can’t really feel it at all. 
 

Breath in as deep as you can and out at deep as you can before you turn on your oxygen for 30 seconds or so (slow really deep breathing). Turn on your oxygen.  I use the mouthpiece with no mask (Only breathing through mouth).  If you use the mask you can breathe through your mouth and nose. The pressure only needs to be high enough to fill the bag in between each breath. If oxygen is blowing out the mouthpiece between breaths, you’re waisting oxygen and can turn down your regulator a bit. 
 

I highly recommend the actual “Cluster O2” kit. I messed around with a cheaper version that looks similar that didn’t work. Here’s a video that I stumbled upon. Sounds like he’s also a clusterbuster member but I don’t know his name. It’s a great tutorial: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PtFHRIQN17s

Hope this helps.  Stick with it!  I’m glad I did. I almost gave up on oxygen many times but kept reading about it and trying different things. Good luck!

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.....thank you for the share.....it's delightful to hear when a clusterhead (so their family too!) finds success.....

....always breaks my heart when folks say "O2 doesn't work" when it might be, just might be, a matter of mask +/or flow +/or technique.....and some of them will miss the life changing miracle I know oxygen to be.....because they didn't pursue it.....

....good onya for keeping at it til ya found what works for you.....truly one of the problems with oxygen therapy is that there is no "right" way...beyond the basics, ya gotta find out some stuff on your own (incl right here).....

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