Freediving Techniques - Why Do Freedivers Pinch Their Noses?

May 21, 2022 3 min read

Most free divers perform a compensatory maneuver known as the Valsalva Manouvre, which forces air from their lungs into their middle ear. It is an oxygen-consuming practice, so freedivers tend to use it only at relatively shallow depths. There are various techniques and maybe you will opt for wearing a nose clip. Anyways, this maneuver is ineffective at depths deeper than 30 meters. This article will discuss the different techniques that freedivers can use.

Lowry Technique

A freediver may use a technique called the Lowry technique to equalize pressure in his or her ears. Freedivers often pinch their noses, blow against them, and swallow in order to perform the maneuver. This technique can be tricky because it requires extensive training and can have adverse consequences, such as infection of the nostrils and ears. This technique is not as effective as breathing through the nose in the case of locked tubes.

Frenzel Technique

A frenzel equalization is a method used by free divers to equalise their buoyancy. This technique uses less forces and causes less stress, and is an effective way to increase your overall experience while diving. To practice the technique, you can watch a video to learn the proper way to do it. If you don't want to take up the video course, simply practice it in the water. The more you do it, the more confident you will become when it comes to doing it.

Toynbee Method

A diver can open their airway by doing a voluntary tubal opening, which opens the Eustachian tubes by pushing the jaw forward and tensing the muscles in the throat and soft palate. However, many free divers find that pinching their nose is easier and faster. Another option is to blow gently into their nose, which will open their airway without pinching the nose. Free divers can also perform the Toynbee Manoeuvre by pinching their nose and blowing air through their ears. To maintain their oxygen levels, divers use the nose clip.

Toynbee Manoeuvre

The Toynbee Manoeuvre is a common technique used by free divers to equalize their buoyancy. The maneuver involves pinching the nose shut while swallowing. By doing so, the muscles in the back of the throat are allowed to relax and open up the Eustachian tube, thereby equalizing the pressure in the middle ear. If this maneuver is not effective, divers should try to pre-equalize by performing it on the surface. This will warm up the muscles used in the Toynbee Manoeuvre.

Reverse Lung Packing

While practicing the process, it's important to remember that the exercise can cause a blackout and should only be attempted in a controlled environment. It's not advisable to try it standing up. The most effective lung packing technique involves breathing normally, without hyperventilating or counting breaths. Begin with a deep breath through your mouth and end when your stomach fills.

Toynbee Maneuver

The Toynbee maneuver, also known as the "Valsalva maneuver," can help divers equalize their gas and air pressure while free diving. The technique works by increasing pressure in the throat and forcing air up the Eustachian tubes. By equalizing early and often, the diver can keep the tubes open and avoid drowning. If the diver fails to equalize often, the soft tissues in the mouth and throat can close and block the airway.

Techniques For Static Apnea in Freedivers

Freediving is a technical sport, and training for static apnea is no exception. Performing a breathe-up ensures that a diver is in a relaxed state, while a breath-hold ensures that blood gases remain balanced. A good static breath-hold requires complete physical and mental relaxation, which is a technical skill in and of itself. Freediving specialists use specialized relaxation techniques and meditation techniques to achieve this state of complete relaxation. In addition, they spend a lot of time conditioning the lungs to be more flexible.

Common Causes of Hypoxia in Freedivers

Many activities and illnesses can cause Hypoxia, which is low oxygen levels in the body. Freediving, for example, is associated with an increased risk of Hypoxia, as the brain relies on the blood supply to maintain proper functioning. Long periods of time in water can result in pressure buildup in the ear canal, which may trigger hypoxia symptoms. If not treated, hypoxia can lead to fatalities.

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