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Answer Soft Palate during Contractions

kociubin

Member
Aug 19, 2019
11
3
8
42
Chicago, IL
I've been trying to only use my glottis (and not the soft pallet) to stop the air from escaping during breath holds. This works fine for the most part but falls apart when contractions kick in.

I'm not able to roll through contractions and keep my pallet neutral or down. On each contraction, the back of my tongue automatically pushes up on the soft pallet and pushes it up. This has the effect of making equalization harder. It also seems to mess with my sinuses.

1) Is this normal?
2) Should I train myself to not engage the soft palate during contractions? Is it even possible to change this behavior?
3) I keep having issues with my sinuses while diving (e.g. bloody mucus). Could this be related?

Thank you
 

Nathan Vinski

Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2015
233
138
58
24
Canada
I've been trying to only use my glottis (and not the soft pallet) to stop the air from escaping during breath holds. This works fine for the most part but falls apart when contractions kick in.

I'm not able to roll through contractions and keep my pallet neutral or down. On each contraction, the back of my tongue automatically pushes up on the soft pallet and pushes it up. This has the effect of making equalization harder. It also seems to mess with my sinuses.

1) Is this normal?
2) Should I train myself to not engage the soft palate during contractions? Is it even possible to change this behavior?
3) I keep having issues with my sinuses while diving (e.g. bloody mucus). Could this be related?

Thank you
1) yes it's normal to have issues maintaining a relaxed soft palate during contractions. It's what prevents you from either loosing air during a contraction, or inhaling water/your mask volume during contractions.

2) no you should not. You should train yourself to not have contractions during the descent (I assume this is what you are having since you said it messes up your Equalization.. which only occurs during the descent right..??)

Contractions during the descent are a sign of tension/nervousness/poor adaptation/diving deeper than your ready for/ a combination of some or all of those. You should work on fixing this problems with a coach, vs trying to learn to equalize better with contractions.

3) I can't say no for sure.. But in my experience with myself and my students, no it's most likely not related. I'd have to witness your diving first to be sure 100% sure, but no.. If you can EQ your ears at all, your sinuses should be fine unless they have a blockage 'within' themselves.
 
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