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Repetitive Squeezes

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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May 20, 2018
Hi guys, long time reader here at Deeper Blue, wanted to see if anyone had any advice they could help me out with on my current situation.

I have been dealing with this issue with squeezes up to the point where I am feeling like I need to address this seriously or it will be the end of my freediving journey so I am planning on taking this next stage very seriously to keep my love alive for freediving. Before going into details, one thing to note is that while I did start in the water with my keen interest in freediving and practicing pure freediving, I have ended spearfishing about 90% of the time I go into the ocean and all my injuries have happened while spearfishing. Another point to make is that I recently got down to 80 feet line diving without issues. So, I do mention spearfishing, which might very well be the crux of my issues (with the lack of attention that can be paid on form, etc.) but come here asking this question with the intention of giving up spearfishing altogether to just focus on my freediving which is what I really love most. So I'm just asking for advice and wanted to see if anyone can point me to exercises, stretches, etc. that might be useful for me to focus on from here on out. Plus, I guess, to gather advice on how serious this problem is for me and if I might have permanent weakness from here on out. Along with my question here, I am considering paying for some consultations with freediving coaches out there so that's how serious I am about tackling this problem.

So to go into details, I am having issues with repetitive squeezes, I believe most (if not all) have been trachea. It seems they are occurring shallower and shallower each time, last one was 13 meters. I follow the recovery protocols that are out there, with weeks and sometimes even months to rest each time but in these last 3-4 years of diving, I have probably had 2 "moderate-severe" squeezes, about 5 "moderate" squeezes, and 5 what you could classify as "minor" squeezes. I am not sure if I am maybe just very prone to injury or if I am doing something wrong with technique but I am hyper aware of it now so I am always vigilant during dives to keep my chin tucked, try to avoid strong contractions, etc, etc. I am not sure if it is possibly being caused by a bad frenzel equalization or what it is, it is a mystery. I have had a period of time in between squeezes about a year ago where I was free from injury, this was a period of time where I was most dedicated to dry training (multiple apnea walk, apnea squat sessions per week, alongside a dive day on the weekend), have been thinking this possibly could be my solution too.

I am coming to the point where I am thinking I might have to either just dive very shallow, or even if it is game over for me in this sport that I love. At the least, I surely feel limited in how far I can progress and the mental block is there.

Any advice or quick thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
Hi Michael, there are so many questions open here. I think an online forum might be the third best option to adress your problem. Not all people are equal, so to rule out any possible physical shortcomings of your trachea tissue I think you should see a specialised ENT physician who has good knowledge about Apnea Diving. Second you can go to the water with an experienced professional coach who can watch you under water and tell if you do something systematically wrong. If that is so, this guy could also coach you into a different behavior re equalization or any other problem zones you might face even without knowing.
Hi Michael,

Traxel gives good advice.

Sorry to hear of your squeeze issues. I've been through something like that and it is really scary. You are are experiancing "squeeze" at depths where full lung diving should have no issues. Either you are diving at much less than full lung, there is some issue with bad technique or there is something wrong with your trachea or other tissue. A good EMT will spot physical issues and a good coach should spot anything else.

You will have your work cut out for you in finding either or both of the above.
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