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How safe is packing?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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fpernett

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At this moment lung packing is a common practice in elite and also novice freedivers, an exception is Pelizzari. The theory is that lung packing improves oxygen reserve. And that is logical, but what is the price for such a good thing?.
Some freedivers pack up to 60 times, and how much overpressure can the lung support?
I can't avoid to compare lung packing with positive pressure ventilation, and the complications of it: barotrauma (lung injury by pressure) and volutrauma (overdistention lung injury).
I think that can arise problems in the trachea too.
Maybe I'm a pesimist (I hope so), but I can't believe that lung packing only have positive things.
Some will say that if I do it very hard is dangerous, and what is very hard?
Others will say that I must progress slowly, increasing steeply the lung packs; until when?
What are the long terms effects of this practice?
Can we get permanent lung damage from it?
I don't want to sound paranoic, I just have questions and don't know the answers
Any serious evidence?

Sincerely

Frank Pernett
 

Cliff Etzel

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Moderation is the key

I hadn't used lung packing until I was shown how to do it correctly by Kirk Krack at his Clinic last October. The key in my opinion is doing gradual packs and not trying to attempt too many packs.

I have had to revisit my reasons for freediving and realized that I want to enjoy my time in the water, not feel like I need to be better than someone else.

This also goes for training.

I do a regimen that includes packing in sets while doing thoracic stretching to build more flexibility in the rib cage. It entails doing 20 packs with arms stretched overhead, then 20 with arms in front, palms together and then pulled behind to stretch the rib cage. This is followed with side stretches with one set of packs per side and then a full exhalation. I repeat this with 30 packs and then 40 packs. I find that I only do this to a comfort level that I feel safe at. I have done as many as 70 packs and although it didn't hurt, it was a lot of work to get there and I was not willing to work that hard in doing these packs.

This total regimen takes between 25 - 30 minutes. Afterwards I am quite flexible in my chest area and then can commence with my pool workout.

I guess the question one has to ask themselves is to what level they are willing to go to be a success for themselves, and not for others.

The psychology of this mentality can push many to the point of injury. I realized that by setting realistic expectations of what I wanted to accomplish in my freediving helped me define my boundaries by which I was willing to train.

In my opinion, this should be done regularly to assess our motives and not to over do it.

Just my $0.02 worth...
 

fpernett

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Hola Cliff,
I agree with you, probably moderation is the key. In fact, I do almost the same exercises that you mentioned. But, that isn't the point.
When you are packing you drive a possitive pressure to your chest, some freedivers double his total lung volume. Overinflation can cause alveolar rupture, with transpulmonary pressures of less than 80mmHg(Schaeffer KE in J Apll Physiol 1958;13:15-29). As far as I know, no one had measure the pressure after a lung packing (maybe Kirk Krack know more about this).
This question comes to my mind while packing, I asked my self:"this is physiologic?.
What do you think about post a poll to find anormal symptoms after lung packing?
All I want to know if some one has studied the side effects of this practice.
How do you know if your 40 packs/daily will take you to a lung damage after 20 years of pratice?
I don't want to test in my self. I want to freedive until God calls me.

Sincerely

Frank Pernett
 

Cliff Etzel

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I think you raise an interesting question that should be addressed. I know that Kirk is in Miami teaching a clinic and will be in Kona in the next few weeks teaching another one. He is currently working on a research project at Simon Fraser University in Canada about studying some of the physiological effects that occur while freediving.

I will pass along your question and see if Kirk might be able to respond with his current busy schedule...
 

Peter Sheard

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Packing

Hi All;

I've got a half-dozen or so scientific journal references to packing on my desk at the office right now and they are all pretty negative about the breath-hold extension benefits. Sorting through the various protocols and results it would seem that packing is more effective for depth work than for surface statics. Just my speculative reading of the work, however. More research needed to clarify.

As far as the risks, they all agree that the risk of damage/injury is high.

A similar 'packing' thread drifted through DeeperBLue a few months back and the most sensible thoughts came from Eric Fattah -- as they often do! I believe the end concensus was that moderation was the key to both injury avoidance and progress towards a fuller pack?

Dive safe. Have fun.

Pete
 

Stephan Whelan

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Search Results

Hi all,

Pete is refering to this thread for Eric's discussion.

However, you might want to use the search feature on the forums and type in "packing" in the search term and use "Freediving" category as the search options for category.
 

fpernett

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references

Hola,
Thank you all.
I've got a half-dozen or so scientific journal references to packing on my desk at the office right now and they are all pretty negative about the breath-hold extension benefits.

Peter, can you send me (privately if you prefer) those references.

What all you said about a survey poll?
 

cebaztian

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OLD THREAD but still intresting.

I would like to WARN YOU ALL about something and also ask for comments.

During a course a freediver had to be rushed to HOSPITAL due to a packing injury.

This was a VERY experienced and fit freediver. The freediver have not been packing for a long time. During a spirometer test the freediver with packing added nearly 1.5 litres to TLC. This the freediver had done before, but long ago.
30 seconds later the following occured. The freediver did not feel his arm, speached slurred and vision got unsharp. The freediver was aware of the symptoms and described them. These are symptoms of STROKE - something that KILLS people.
At hospital a head scan and lung Xray was done. Nothing was seen. 15 hours later the freediver left hospital. The doctors believe that an air bubble got into the bloodstream.

Sebastian
Sweden
 
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naiad

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Thanks for the warning.

That sounds like a barotrauma of the kind that scuba divers get if they ascend while holding their breath. I have never heard of it happening due to overpacking until now, but there's no reason why it shouldn't be possible.

Packing is something to be very careful with, most of all if you haven't done it for a long time. I find that my ability to tolerate packing declines rapidly if I don't do it for a while, but it can also be gained rapidly if I do a lot of it.

I only pack because I can't take a full breath when my chest is under the water, so although it looks as if I pack a lot for static and dynamic in the pool, I am probably not going over normal TLC.

Lucia
 

fpernett

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Yes, it's possible to have air embolism from a Lung Packing injury. But this is the first time I know about it.

I think lung packing has to be taken carefully and increasing the packed volume gradually, keeping attention in your body. Besides, I think most people is over using this technique, instead of working in chest flexibility and diaphragm contraction
 

Alexx

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naiad said:
I only pack because I can't take a full breath when my chest is under the water, so although it looks as if I pack a lot for static and dynamic in the pool, I am probably not going over normal TLC.

That's nearly the same reason why I pack. I don't pack over normal TLC, but I use it to save energy. It is less stressful and less energy consumpting to pack than fully stretch for final inspiration before dive. The begining of a dive is "calmer" this way. I pack 10 times or so...

Bye!
 

naiad

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fpernett said:
I think lung packing has to be taken carefully and increasing the packed volume gradually, keeping attention in your body. Besides, I think most people is over using this technique, instead of working in chest flexibility and diaphragm contraction
I agree. It's hard to discourage newbies from using advanced techniques like packing before they are ready for it, or when they don't need it. I said a bit about that [ame="http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?p=585934#post585934"]here[/ame].
 

Fitz-Clarke

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Sebastian:
Thanks for sharing this very interesting case. This is of great concern. There are no reports in the medical literature of serious effects due to lung packing, although there are anecdotes around of uncertain significance. If this was indeed an air embolism, or at least appears to have been, then it is essential that the circumstances made available for scrutiny and debate, and the case be published. It could entirely change the way we look at packing. How long ago was this? Was he treated in a hyperbaric chamber? Do you have any further information or contact person? Can we find out who the physicians were? The patient has a right to confidentiality, but this definitely needs follow-up.

John Fitz-Clarke, MD, PhD
 

cebaztian

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Fitz-Clarke said:
The patient has a right to confidentiality, but this definitely needs follow-up.
Yes - this is significant, since this was a VERY fit and experienced person. 3 days ago - No hyperbaric chamber - only head and lung scan/xray. I or someone else will post more info when available.

Sebastian
Sweden
 

Kimmo

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One question: has this person ever coughing blood after deep dives?

- kimmo
 

SanSan

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now this sounds scary. I'm also interested if he had any previous lung injuries. It could be connected..
 

Fitz-Clarke

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There is a recent paper that raises concern about injury due to lung packing. A 30-year old male free diver with a TLC of 9.17 litres packed his lungs to 10.21 litres during a lab study in Boston. A CT scan done afterwards showed a small pneumomediastinum (free air in the mid-chest) presumably due to air leakage outside the main-stem bronchus where it should not be. The significance of this is not known, but it does raise concern. To my knowledge this is the first actual published report of an injury due to packing. It leaves one to wonder how often this might be happening during routine packing without detection. For those interested, the article is:

Jacobson FL, Loring SH, Ferrigno M. Pneumomediastinum after lung packing. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine 33(5):313-316; 2006
 

Paul Kotik

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Fitz-Clarke said:
There is a recent paper that raises concern about injury due to lung packing. A 30-year old male free diver with a TLC of 9.17 litres packed his lungs to 10.21 litres during a lab study in Boston. A CT scan done afterwards showed a small pneumomediastinum (free air in the mid-chest) presumably due to air leakage outside the main-stem bronchus where it should not be. The significance of this is not known, but it does raise concern. To my knowledge this is the first actual published report of an injury due to packing. It leaves one to wonder how often this might be happening during routine packing without detection. For those interested, the article is:

Jacobson FL, Loring SH, Ferrigno M. Pneumomediastinum after lung packing. Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine 33(5):313-316; 2006

My advice is to read this paper, and keep a very close eye on this line of research.
 
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