As I Live and Breathe

Our Tai Chi and Mediation Classes have started back up!  We began with a discussion of the optimal way to breathe then worked on bringing awareness to our breathe.  Here is a chart to give you an understanding of what we touched on.EBF

Mouth Breathing Vs Nose Breathing

– Uses less respiratory muscles and can be related to slouching and muscular tension

– Hypocapnia – reduced carbon dioxide content in alveoli (tiny air sacs in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide take place) of the lungs

– Hypocapnic vasoconstriction – constrictions of blood vessels due to carbon dioxide deficiency

– Suppressed Bohr effect – oxygen binding to hemoglobin for transport in the blood

– Reduced oxygenation of cells and tissues of all vital organs of the human body

– Biochemical stress due to cold, dry air entering into the lungs

– Biochemical stress due to dirty air (viruses, bacteria, toxic and harmful chemicals) entering into the lungs

– Possible infections due to absence of the self-immunization effect seen with nose breathing

– Pathological effects due to suppressed nitric oxide utilization, including vasoconstriction (blood vessels get smaller), decreased destruction of parasitic organisms, viruses, and malignant cells (by inactivating their respiratory chain enzymes) in alveoli of the lungs, inflammation in blood vessels, disruption of normal neurotransmission and hormonal effects

– Keeps respiratory muscles healthy

– Delivers nitric oxide produced in various body tissues to lungs, blood, and cells which dilate blood vessels

– Destruction of viruses, parasitic organisms, and malignant cells in the airways and lungs by inactivating their respiratory chain enzymes

– Regulation of binding-release of oxygen to hemoglobin (found in your blood and transports throughout the body)

– Vasodilation of arteries and arterioles (regulation of blood flow or perfusion of tissues)

– Inhibitory effects of inflammation in blood vessels for repair

– Regular hormone secretion

– Neurotransmission in memory, sleeping, learning, feeling pain, and many other processes only possible with nitric oxide

– Humidifies, cleans and warms the incoming air flow using a thin layer of protective mucus

– This thin layer of mucus in the nasal passages moves like a long carpet from the sinuses, bronchi and other internal surfaces towards the stomach where the stomach acid either kills or weakens any invading bacteria

Breathe for Thought:

“Upper chest breathing is most common in those with diseases and illnesses
The textbook, Respiratory Physiology (West, 2000), suggests that the lower 10% of the lungs transports more than 40 ml of oxygen per minute, while the upper 10% of the lungs transports less than 6 ml of oxygen per minute. Hence, the lower parts of the lungs are about 6-7 times more effective in oxygen transport than the top of the lungs due to richer blood supply mostly caused by gravity.”

If you are interested in joining our classes please contact us at or give us a call at 416-679-9255!

Michelle Teves
R.Kin, NeuroChangers Program Director

Young model’s journey living with Locked-in Syndrome.

In 1995, at the young age of 21, the beautiful up and coming model Kati Lepisto suffered a stroke that left her completely paralyzed with only the use of her eyes. Kati suffers from a condition called Locked-in Syndrome which is usually described as being locked in the prison of your own body. Although her brain is fully functioning intellectually, the connection from her brain to her muscles is damaged leaving her paralyzed.


Although it has been over 20 years, Kati continues to set goals for herself all the while staying positive. She has learned to communicate with her loved ones using her eyes and a letter board. You can see her demonstrate in this TedTalks video.

Kati was angry, depressed and frustrated when she first suffered the stroke. However, she has found ways to adapt and move forward in her life in a fulfilling way. Each and every day she wakes up, gets dressed in nice clothes, does her makeup and hair and enjoys the day to the fullest. Here are the seven ingredients Kati lives by to prevail and progress in spite of being paralyzed:

  1. Positive attitude – Come rain or shine always have a positive attitude! Your life is in your own hands, you cannot control the world and what others say and do but you can control your own actions. Always be positive!
  2. Passion – Whatever you do, put your heart into it and do it with passion. Do not waste your time waiting for motivation or a miracle to come your way, get up, dress up and show up, no matter what, this discipline will get you to where you want to go.
  3. Determination – Dream big and do not hold anything back. Keep focused on the possibilities and do not let boundaries define your life. You cannot be the best at everything but you can always be the best you can be. Always aim high but never forget to be humble.
  4. Perseverance – Your dreams are waiting for you so do not ever give up! Life is full of problems and difficulties, we always try our best to change what we can but there are times when this is just impossible. We need to be able to accept, adapt, and reinvent ourselves out of such obstacles.
  5. Communication – Speak out and express yourself but remember to also listen and do your best to understand what is being expressed to you. Share not just your thoughts but also your emotions.
  6. Humor – Laughter is the best medicine not just for the body but also for the soul. Aside from love, humor is the best remedy to heal a human soul. Humor is like air; it is free and can be found in any situation. The ultimate remedy is to learn to laugh at our silly selves and at the silly things we do.
  7. Take action – Be flexible yet steady, be firm but still compassionate. There may come a time when you ask yourself, what is the meaning of life, well the answer is very simple – the meaning of life is to live a meaningful life! How to do this? Well, stop dreaming about what kind of person you want to be and what kind of life you want to live and start taking action! Start being the person you want to be and start living the life you want to live.

Michelle Wolfe

Wheelchair Stunt Man


Aaron Fotheringham, aka Wheelz, is inspiring people around the world, especially people who use wheelchairs to mobilize. He travels with Nitrus Circus riding WCMX (Wheelchair Motocross.) Wheelz was born with Spinabifida and his doctors told him he would forever need assistance from others to get around and to survive. He has definitely showed them wrong and created his own destiny and legacy. As Wheelz says, “you’re only as disabled as you feel” which is surely the attitude that enables him to hit so many ramps and jumps while using his wheelchair. The way he goes about his day to day is equally as inspiring. He’s able to go up and down stairs with his chair, take escalators and hop in and out of a vehicle without hesitation. There are endless videos of him training and performing dangerous jumps all over YouTube. Here are a few videos that would inspire anyone with any type of mobility!

Wheelchair skatboarding trickster.

His story,

Michelle Wolfe