Most freedivers and athletes know that dry training is a very important part of the freediving discipline. Crosstraining, meditation, yoga, pranayama, stretching are generally inevitable.
But the subject now is more about how you are going to let yourself be helped by the use of some devices for lungs cleaning, sinus cleaning, equalisation, heart rate and oxygen blood saturation monitoring.
Here are the tools that I personally use everyday. Enjoy the read and don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions or need advices: https://www.deepzen.net/contact-deepzen-kosho
If you are a beginner and want to learn how to use these tools, you can totally book online sessions with me and these won't have any secrets for you anymore. If so, just follow this link:
Heart rate and oxygen blood saturation: the pulse oximeter
The pulse oximeter allows you to easily follow the amount of dissolved oxygen you have in the blood and to follow your heart rate. I believe it is as important to have one at home than to have a thermometer to check if you have fever. Useful for any moments of you daily life, it can also be used for your dry static training. How fast your heart is beating, how fast you loose oxygen while holding your breath and mostly how fast your level of oxygen rises while breathing again?
All these questions are important and the possibility to easily read it on a small and handy device is worth the price it usually costs.
It's generally pretty cheap if you buy a standard model, a little more expensive if you buy one that can connect a computer via bluetooth.
I definitly use it everyday, even many times during the day... Pull it out of your pocket or your bag, take 20 seconds to check and give into some breathing exercises if your heart rate is to fast or if your oxygen blood saturation is too low. This way you can also evaluate if your breathing is efficient and also if eventually you are suffering from breathing insufficiency.
Totally inevitable. Every freediver, to not say everyone, should have this tool.
Lungs cleaning: the fogger and the shaker
There are some pranayama exercises that are nice and efficient to help remove the mucus from the lungs and I sincerely advice everyone to get in touch with these. The shaker is a technological improvement of what these pranayama exercises do to your body. Blow in it strongly and the flow of air will start vibrating and make the pressure of your blow oscillate... that's why it's called shaker!
10 blows in it are like 20 minutes of breathing exercises specifically dedicated to lung cleaning. I tell you that from experience! Therefore it is a major gain of time and actually of efficiency since you only have to focus on blowing and nothing else.
Don't use it in case of lung injury though since the vibration you can trigger with it is pretty strong. Ready to spit some shit? Get one then...
This one is a treat for your lungs. It is a small mobile device that features an ultrasonic fogger. You fill the little tank with the water you like, if possible one water which is very low in minerals and press ON.
Using the mask or the pipe, you then breathe a very fine cold fog. Aaaah, how great is that!!!
If you live in a country where there is a lot of dust in the air or in an industrial town, you definitely feel how relieving it is for your bronchi and alveoles. I do put some drops of colloidal silver in the water and even sometimes a tiny drop of a well choosen organic essential oil, to disinfect and heal my lungs if necessary. Infections in the lungs often comes because they are dried out... so think about it.
After or before a session of fogger, use the shaker and get some amazingly newly cleaned lungs. Personally, I love it and for those who still smoke, it is a very nice way to quit.
Equalization: the Octopus equalisation tool, the Uba Equalisation device and the Narguile
The Octopus EQ tool
We enter now in the world of the numerous equalisation accessories. First, forget about the Otovent, it's too small and way to expensive. The Octopus EQ tool in opposite is nice and the design is great. Pascal Berger is a very talented designer and that is totally noticeable.
He also has for motto to offer his products at a decent price. You'll just need to get your own balloons, since the tiny ones you will receive with it are shit... to small, to hard.
Then, once equipped with this EQ tool and balloons, there are a big amount of exercises to train your equalisation that you can easily find on Youtube or else.
Remember that if you need to be guided through these exercises that are not always obvious, you can book sessions here: https://www.deepzen.net/deepzen-onlineservices
The Uba Equalisation tool
This device is a connected one. You'll use the EQ tool and watch on a screen what you are doing. Ok, it's expensive but it is tremendously precise and you will very fast understand what you're doing with this device.
Personally I don't use it for myself on a daily basis but definitely use it a lot with my students or when i'm actively training for competition. What changes from the balloon exercises is that you can set the amount of air that you will loose while equalising, understanding it is an open circuit.
The idea with all equalisation exercises on dry land is to mimic what happens under the water. The Uba EQ tool is definitely close to what you can expect to experience while diving... but make no mistake, if you don't make an effort to mentally project yourself into the real exercise you'll just end up with an expensive gadget. So let's say this device is not really meant for beginners but for instructors or athletes.
I like it because it is pretty challenging... the app which goes with it also features a little game that is quite of an experience.... pretty hard actually but fun.
The narguile (also called EQ tower or swan)
Finally a build it yourself tool. Well, the balloon EQ tool is simple to hack and it won't be an issue if you cannot afford to pay for it. There are many ways to replace it by something that does the job in the same way. Use your creativity.
For building a EQ narguile, you'll need a bottle, a tube, eventually your ballon EQ tool and some tape... plus water. Depending how easy it is for you to equalise, you'll use different sizes of bottles. The higher the water column inside the bottle is, the more resistance you'll get. Training and training, you'll need less and less resistance.
So simply put a tube inside a filled water bottle and use the other side of the tube (stick an Octopus EQ for example or anything that will spouse the shape of your nostril) to blow with your nose ... pinching your free nostril.
If you make bubbles without properly equalising your ears, you'll need more resistance and so more depth.... dip the tube deeper!
The idea is to find the depth at which the tube will allow you to equalise and, if you blow a little stronger, to make a bubble. Making bubbles will simulate the loss of lung/mouth air which occur when you equalise. The depth of the tube is the threshold at which your Eustachian tubes pop. This way you can train the different equalisation techniques such as frenzel, advanced frenzel, mouthfill-frenzel or mouth fill.
Remember that you need to make a mental effort to project yourself into the conditions of a dive. Use your mind and imagination.
I believe this is certainly the best and cheapest tool you can use. The benefits are great.
Sinus cleaning: the neti pot
Cleaning your sinuses is a great moment... you need to get used to it though. For this you can buy a neti pot but a small tea pot can make it also.
Fill the pot with water at 37°c, add some salt to get a concentration of around 4-6gr/liter and let flow the water inside one of your nostril. It will flow out by the other one after filling your sinuses. Empty half of the pot and change nostril to do the same one the other side.
Once finish, you must be careful to let your sinuses dry. Breathe normally and stay in the sun for example. Mucus will go out and obviously some water will stay stuck here and there... if you blow the water to hard out as if you were sneezing, it may go in your middle ears (you don't want that). It's very simple and very pleasant. If you feel that still some water and mucus are stuck inside, better to snort it in and spit it... this way it won't go in your middle ear.
Don't use a rude industrial salt. Nowadays, many different salts are available like himalayan pink salt, gray sea salt, persian blue salt... I have a collection of them an definitely use them as a treat. Love it. Perfect before diving but also before yoga, breathing exercises or meditation.
This is it... taken appart the Uba EQ tool, all together these tools will cost you less than a 100 euros if you're lucky. Be careful that depending on where you'll buy these, the price will be much more... take some time to do some reasearch and have fun.
Thanx for the read and enjoy your depths.