Don't hold your breath...

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Postby Stryke » Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:32 am

Then just get in front of a bag and hit it 1,000 times a day. In six months you'll be hitting harder than any breathing method will take you. But I bet you naturally breath out as you strike.


that is a breathing method , the one ascribed too by many :?

but yup to learn to hit things you must hit things
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Postby 2Green » Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:15 am

I'll wade in with my two cents' worth:

"Breathing during exertion" as Stryke mentioned, rings to me like grunting while pushing a car, or while power lifting: these are efforts that involve relatively slow, full-body efforts that are abetted by a strength-gathering moment of "pre-exertion" where there is reflective time to mentally focus ones' energy, and then expend it heroically during a single, focused and singular effort, punctuated by a loud grunt groan or shout.
Another example is tennis players, as they serve the ball.

I contrast this with the very short-duration, fast-moving and quickly punctuated movements that occur in fighting.
The breathing under these circumstances is going to be quick, shallow, perhaps random, and very difficult to focus.
The body is basically sucking air to sustain its effort. There's little time, if any, to prepare anything, never mind strike-focused breathing.

But breathing has a particular significance in fighting, as its ease, or difficulty, is a great signal of familiarity, difficulty or fear.
Generally, the fighter who is on familiar ground will be breathing easily, shoulders down, and relaxed.
The nervous fighter will be breathing shallow, shoulders up, and tense.

BTW, when the shoulders rise, the breathing is cut off. We're wired that way.
Observe any athlete after a great exertion. Mostly hunched over, shoulders completely dropped, allowing full diaphragm expansion.

So, I think the ancients who actually trained 24/7 unlike most of us, probably saw some correlation between breathing and striking, and attempted to instill good (non-fearful) breathing habits in their trainees.
They may have also observed that the suspension of breathing during striking (not "holding" the breath) added some effectiveness to the strikes.

It's no secret that the closing of the glottis pressurizes the torso, locking it into a solid unit when a concerted body effort is required, like lifting, pulling or heaving.
In fact, this is the purpose of the glottis, according to many singing coaches.
(To close the glottis, just grunt.)
---------------------------------------------------
However, you can also suspend the breathing WITHOUT CLOSING the glottis, and this will AUTOMATICALLY EXPEL air under exertion, particularly explosive exertion.
This, I believe, was the goal of the ancients:, not the deliberate expulsion of air in any kind of ritualized "sound".

Keeping the glottis open during exertion, particularly rapid, explosive exertion, solves all kinds of physiological problems linked with "vasalva" which means essentially closed-glottis grunting under exertion, and the pressure-inducing effects which are not good.

Anyway, I'm no expert but that's my take on the "breathing thing".

~N~
The music spoke to me. I felt compelled to answer.
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Postby Stryke » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:19 am

"Breathing during exertion" as Stryke mentioned, rings to me like grunting while pushing a car, or while power lifting: these are efforts that involve relatively slow, full-body efforts that are abetted by a strength-gathering moment of "pre-exertion" where there is reflective time to mentally focus ones' energy, and then expend it heroically during a single, focused and singular effort, punctuated by a loud grunt groan or shout.
Another example is tennis players, as they serve the ball.


maybe contraction or action would of been better words .

while your visualisation is true , it is in no way what I meant for striking .

try breathing out when hitting something , dont groan or grunt relax and have fun . Difficult layered subject huh :?

what Anceints are you referring to Neil my quote or the Uechi method ?

So, I think the ancients who actually trained 24/7 unlike most of us, probably saw some correlation between breathing and striking, and attempted to instill good (non-fearful) breathing habits in their trainees.
They may have also observed that the suspension of breathing during striking (not "holding" the breath) added some effectiveness to the strikes.


What fearfull method of breathing are we discussing ? are boxers afraid when they exhale ?

and why is breathing so difficult to co-ordinate ? , check out a good boxer sometime .

I propose the inhalation is more random(you can give short exhalations on multiple strikes without inhaling for everyone ) but the exhalation should be on striking
Last edited by Stryke on Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:35 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Glenn » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:32 am

Out of curiousity, do other styles have similar breathing debates/arguments? I haven't visited the forums of other styles much so I'm not up on what other styles talk about online. I have explored/visited to some extent pretty much every dojo/dojang (Goju, Liu He (Six Harmonies), Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do, Shotokan, Shaolin Do) in the cities I've lived and breathing was never discussed, it was always "breathe out with the strike", but I am not sure if that was just the preference of those teachers or indicative of the styles themselves. Is how to breathe as much of a heated issue in other styles as it seems to be in Uechi?
Last edited by Glenn on Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Stryke » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:34 am

I dont think so Glen , because all the others breathe on exhalation as far as I`ve seen

egads I`m being quoted and drawn into a breathing thread I best run before I`m targeted :splat: :snipersmile: :? 8O
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Postby Willy » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:43 am

When do you exhale when running? :splat:

Image

No wonder we end up like deer in the headlights. :lol:
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Postby Stryke » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:51 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D8tZQhgfgw

think his breathing method is his problem ?
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Postby Stryke » Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:03 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf4eqFeKcfc

wonder why it gets vocal when there getting tired ......
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Postby Glenn » Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:27 am

Stryke wrote: and why is breathing so difficult to co-ordinate ? , check out a good boxer sometime .

I haven't done boxing, but breathing out on the strike to me comes natural and is easy to coordinate. But my first Uechi instructor (in the early 1980s) taught us to exhale with the strike (he trained in the Shinjo dojo in the late 1970s and competed in Okinawan tournaments), so that is the first method that was ingrained in me...and as I mentioned above, that has been reinforced in other schools I have visited.

My current Uechi instructor however teaches to not exhale on the strike. He also started out learning to exhale on the strike but he was able to switch to not exhaling on the strike, I on the other hand have not been as successful in switching...I am able to not exhale on the strike if I'm working in a non-stress situation and focus on my breathing, but as soon as the intesity rises, as in intense kata or sparring, or simply that I am not thinking about breathing, then my body seems to immediately and naturally go back to exhaling on the strike. I've pretty much given up and go with the flow of exhaling on the strike, I figure what comes naturally is what I'd do in a real fight anyway so I might as well work with that than against it.
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Postby mhosea » Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:30 am

Stryke wrote:I dont think so Glen , because all the others breathe on exhalation as far as I`ve seen


This is my impression as well, although I hasten to add that I know very little about non-Okinawan systems.
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Postby Van Canna » Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:38 am

Stryke,

I can understand your perplexity in these discussions. Let’s see:

1. George
Sorry I wasn't more clear about the "heavy" breathers. I consider anyone who is obsessed with other peoples' breathing methods as a "heavy" breather.


True. The ‘obsession’ is on the part of the teachers or board members who have a fit over a student exhaling with movement/strike, thus wanting to fail him. So the ‘heavy breathers’ are these teachers and board members because their panties tie up in knots.

The people, who show an interest to study the breathing aspect of performance under stress and in discussions about the subject matter, are the good breathers and the better students because they are very active in research as evolution marches on.

We see Okinawan masters changing to an exhale on the strike but we never get an answer as to the why they have changed. Takamyagi sensei, being one of them.

2. Fred
I can't imagine a test board in New England failing a person for breathing. Unless they were holding their breath, and turning blue. Or sucking wind during the sparring portion.


Very true. IUKF is much more progressive than other organizations on this breathing problem. Uechi is obsessed with the breathing softly after the strike.


3. 2Green
I contrast this with the very short-duration, fast-moving and quickly punctuated movements that occur in fighting.
The breathing under these circumstances is going to be quick, shallow, perhaps random, and very difficult to focus.
The body is basically sucking air to sustain its effort. There's little time, if any, to prepare anything, never mind strike-focused breathing.


True. This is the reason why as you train you must let the ‘body breathe you’ meaning breathe continuously as needed, but learn the techniques of punctuated exhales to structure the torso in the giving and the taking as per Dave Young’s comments. If this were a worthless undertaking, you would not see it in 99/% of karate styles and other arts, sporting events etc. And in Boxing_

4. In his article George states
Within the Black Belt Test Guide e-Book, I've included a number of video clips attempting to help students understand the role of breathing in the Uechi system. Unlike some methods where there is an obsession on "when" to breathe, I teach breathing as something that must be practiced at "all" times, with number and types of breaths varying, but never stopping.


This is correct 100% _ Where George does not seem to be clear, in my opinion, is that when I and others [Dave Young] etc. who believe in exhaling with a sharp exhale upon the strike and on impact_ is that I have never said to my students that they cannot breathe at any other time_ to imply such thing is ridiculous. And maybe George is not but it does come across that way. In all the threads about breathing by so many of us including Scott Sonnon, never once have I read the advocating of ‘stop breathing’ at any time. So I don’t know where this presumption originated from.


5. George wrote
no breathing method will compensate for an unfit body. It seems as though some are obsessing about how we can provide the unfit karate student with a magic pill. . . breathe a certain way and you will be superior to those "other" Uechi heretics, who dare to breathe another way.

True about no breathing method compensating for an unfit body. But I don’t see who these teachers are who are trying to provide an unfit karate student with a magic breathing pill. I have never met one. I’d like to know who they are and what they are teaching. Ridiculous.
6. George wrote
Too often seniors argue over things that only focuses attention on the mundane and insignificant areas of what we are supposed to be teaching. Faulting the Uechi-Ryu majority because they don't breath the way others do is silly, especially since fit athletes spend so little time worry how they breathe during intense physical exertion.

This is false. Fit athletes, world class athletes, in any sport_ undergo very strict breathing instruction by world class coaches in order to maximize their fitness performance in the arena of their respective sports. I mentioned rowing as an example_ try to get into a rowing competition without an understanding of the breathing mechanism_ but be sure to have your life insurance paid up.

And Dave Young who has the back up of doctorates and hands on real life experience in keeping people safe and alive advocate the entrenaiment of the exhale. Something that can be done if taught properly.

For example, he states that it is very important to program a student to exhale when in the red man suit to insure his structural safety from the hard raining blows.

I would take that very seriously. He also will show you the increase in the power stroke when exhaling_ with his special device attached to the red man suit.

He also states that in his experience, backed up by doctorate research, the embedding of the exhale consciously is of great value to make the person under attack free his cobwebs and think rationally about his survival.

I think this extremely important to address instead of sweeping it under the rug, and I would have taught Dave to have received more support on this.

With exhalation, we sense breath moving through our body and we experience connection and direction.

Anyway, lots of fun to revisit this stuff. :lol:

Later.
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Postby Van Canna » Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:41 am

Breathe in while storing energy, your outside is solid and inside soft; then breathe out when punching out with the outside soft (and elastic) and inside solid (Qi sinks to the Dan Tian). When breathing in Qi moves upwards and when breathing out Qi sinks downward.
________________________________________
__ Dr Paul Lam MD

Listen to Dr Lam. I have corresponded with him. He is from the Chen family. :)
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Postby Sonnon » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:35 pm

Mayo Clinic Debunks Heavy Weight-lifting and Power-breathing!

"Weightlifting doesn't cause persistent high blood pressure. But it can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. This increase can be dramatic — depending on how much weight you lift.

Strength training exercises, such as weightlifting, had once been discouraged in people with high blood pressure. But this is no longer the case. Strength training can slow or reverse declines in strength, bone density and muscle mass as you age. It can also help control blood pressure.

If you have high blood pressure, here are some important tips for getting started on a weightlifting program:

Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. He or she can help you develop an exercise program tailored to your specific needs.
Learn and use proper form when lifting to reduce the risk of injury.

Don't hold your breath. Holding your breath during exertion can cause your blood pressure to spike to dangerous levels. Instead, breathe easily and continuously during each lift.
Lift less weight with more repetitions. Heavier weights require more strain, which can increase blood pressure. You can challenge your muscles with less weight by increasing your repetitions.

Listen to your body. Stop your activity right away if you become severely out of breath or dizzy or if you experience chest pain or pressure."

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weightlifting/AN00637

Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Dr. Edward Laskowski is certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and a professor at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
He has been on the staff of the Mayo Clinic since 1990 and specializes in sports medicine, fitness, strength training and stability training. He works with a multidisciplinary team of physical medicine, rehabilitation and orthopedic specialists, physical therapists and sports psychologists.
Dr. Laskowski is an elite-level skier and approaches sports medicine from the perspective of a physician and an athlete. In addition to skiing, he is an avid hiker, cyclist and climber.
In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Laskowski to a two-year term on the President's Council on Physical Fitness.
Dr. Laskowski was a member of the medical staff of the Olympic Polyclinic at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and is involved in medical coverage for the Chicago Marathon. He serves as a consulting physician to the National Hockey League Players' Association and is a featured lecturer at the American College of Sports Medicine's Team Physician Course.
Dr. Laskowski, a Cary, Ill., native, has contributed to Mayo Clinic's CD-ROM on sports, health and fitness, a Web site guide to self-care, and hundreds of Mayo Clinic articles and booklets in print and online. He is a contributing editor to Mayo Clinic's "Fitness for EveryBody" book.
"There are many myths and misconceptions about exercise and fitness in general, and also many traditions that don't stand up to scientific scrutiny," he says. "My goal is to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on sports medicine and fitness topics in a way that you can practically incorporate into your life."
The Mortal Dangers of Power-breathing and Heavy Weight-lifting

Breath holding is integral to power breathing, as taught it by Pavel Tsatsouline. The grind maneuvers instructed you to hold breath against a closed glottis ("Valsalva Maneuver"). This is specifically contra-indicated for those with high blood pressure, and has been proven to increase blood pressure. The negative health effects over time are being researched, though the early deaths of bodily destruction of its pundits should be proof enough to stay away from such poor form.

The article does not disclaim low-rep lifting, but specifically eschews the dangers of higher actual weight, and suggests lower weight and higher volume in its stead.

Additionally, some try to be apologists for power-breathing with heavy weight saying that some air is forcefully blown out in a tssssssssst fashion. However, it is not the absence of exhalation but the pneumatic pressurization which increases intra-abdominal, intra-thoracic and intra-cerebral pressure, and as a result blood pressure.

With the number of deaths, and the proven research against pneumatic pressurization through breath holding (or even 'powered' breath leaking), it's unlikely that anyone will find willing subjects to test how little exhalation is required for safety: "Okay, so we're testing to see how little breath you can tssssst out before you die. Volunteers please step forward." This individual may be a candidate though:

http://my.break.com/media/view.aspx?ContentID=197822

The Difference Between Hypothesis and Proof:
Case Examples of George Eiferman and Jón Páll Sigmarsson


This photograph has been held up by one individual as an "argument proving power breathing."

Image

It depicts the late International Federation of Bodybuilding Fitness Hall of Famer, 1942. Mr. America George Eiferman.

As Dave Draper writes he was accomplished with the trumpet, and was fond of this "trick" (his own words), and would often do it at parties hefting would be damsels overhead while busting out a tune.

However, let's be serious...

1. This is a stunt - a "trick". I'm sure everyone would agree that no one has ever used as a training modality lifting weights with a trumpet in one's mouth.

2. Playing the trumpet does not equal "power breathing" - a specific technique of increasing pneumatic core pressure in order to lift extremely heavy weight.

3. This is a hypothesis not a proof. One person living into their 70s even if they did use "power breathing" does not reject volumes of research by medical professionals. There are people who live into their 90s and have smoked cigarettes all their lives. But that's not a testimonial for promoting smoking as a healthy lifestyle.

Let's consider the proof of an opposite case example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRe8BDUfzIo

"The World's Strongest Man championship began in the aluminum smelter in Straumsvík, southwest Iceland yesterday.
The 24 participants come from around the world, three are from Iceland: Benedikt Magnússon, Georg Ögmundsson and Stefán Sölvi Pétursson. Fréttabladid reports.
Currently, Zydrunas Savickas from Lithuania is the world's strongest man, who won last year's Strongman competition in Canada.
The memory of Icelandic power lifter Jón Páll Sigmarsson was honored at the beginning of the championship yesterday.
Sigmarsson won the World's Strongest Man title four times (1984, 1986, 1988, 1990) before his death at the age of 32 in 1993 caused by heart attack he suffered while performing a dead lift in his gym.
Another Icelander, Magnús Ver Magnússon, has won the title on four occasions, in 1990, 1994, 1995 and 1996.
The World's Strongest Man finals will be held in Vídidalur, Reykjavík, on Friday." Iceland Review Daily News 11/21/2006

What is the difference between this example and the George Eiferman example?
Eiferman living to a modest old age in the 70s doesn't prove that heavy weight-lifting improved his quality or quantity of life. It doesn't even prove that it didn't kill him.
However, in the Jón Páll Sigmarsson example, heavy weight-lifting definitely diminished his quantity of life, and definitely killed him at the untimely age of 32 years young. This is an important distinction.
There's been quite an uproar on the research released regarding the severe (and in some cases mortal) dangers of powerlifting (power breathing, high tension, plus heavy weight).

People are welcome to participate in the sport of powerlifting. However, when people portray it as a form of health and fitness, or worse attempt to sell it to people as a form of health and fitness, there's a major problem.

If the powerlifting pundits at least had the temerity to admit that it's potentially lethal, then I'd have zero to say. Even Greg Glassman, founder of Crossfit admits, "This can kill you. I've always been completely honest about that." (New York Times, "Getting Fit, Even if it Kills You", December 22, 2005)

What more than that needs to be said?
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Postby Sonnon » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:39 pm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5334116.stm

Weightlifting 'link to eye risk'

Weightlifting can stress the body

Regular weightlifting may increase the risk of the eyesight-threatening condition glaucoma, research suggests.
Brazilian researchers found lifting heavy weights was linked to a temporary increase in pressure within the eye - especially when holding the breath.
They say that this could increase the risk of glaucoma, as the condition is more common in people subjected to frequent changes in eye pressure.
The study appears in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology.
NORMAL-TENSION GLAUCOMA
Glaucoma is usually high pressure inside the eye that damages the optic nerve and can result in permanent vision loss
Normal-tension glaucoma leads to optic nerve damage and vision loss despite a normal pressure inside the eye
Thought to be caused by an unusually fragile optic nerve

Intraocular pressure - the pressure within the eyeball - is generally decreased after aerobic exercise, such as running and biking, and nonaerobic exercise, including weightlifting.
However, higher intraocular pressure has been reported during the Valsalva manoeuvre, in which air is forced against a closed windpipe and pressure increases in the chest.
This action occurs during coughing, vomiting, playing wind instruments - and sometimes weightlifting.
The latest research was led by Dr Geraldo Magela Vieira, of the Institute of Specialized Ophthalmology and UNIPLAC School of Medicine, Brasília.
They measured intraocular pressure during weightlifting in 30 men with no sign of glaucoma, and whose intracular pressure was in normal range at under 21mm of mercury.
The volunteers each performed four repetitions of a bench press exercise in two ways.
The first time, pressure was measured in the right eye and the weightlifters held their breath during the last repetition.
The second time, pressure was measured in the left eye and the participants breathed normally throughout the exercise. Eye pressure was measured during the fourth repetition.
During the first round of exercise, intraocular pressure increased in nine out of 10 of the participants, by an average of 4.3 mm of mercury.
During the second round, pressure increased in 62% of weightlifters by an average of 2.2 mm of mercury.
The researchers said the increased pressure could be due to the Valsalva manoeuvre or a similar motion performed during bench presses.
Pressure fluctuation
They believe the even higher pressure during the first repetitions may be due to greater chest pressure caused by the air retained in the lungs when the subjects held their breath.
Writing in the journal, the researchers said: "Prolonged weightlifting could be a potential risk factor for the development or progression of glaucoma.
"Intermittent intraocular pressure increases during weightlifting should be suspected in patients with normal-tension glaucoma who perform such exercises.
"Patients with normal-tension glaucoma should be questioned as to a history of regular weightlifting."
David Wright, chief executive of the International Glaucoma Association, said weightlifting was likely to pose a small risk for people who were vulnerable to the condition.
"Any fluctuation in pressure within the eye can cause problems," he said. "The optic nerve tolerates steady pressure much better than it tolerates fluctuating pressure." Mr Wright said glaucoma had also been linked to trumpet playing, and to wearing neckties too tightly.



Yet another clinical evaluation promoting the use of the Breath Mastery Scale (in particular a minimum of using Discipline level breath) for health and fitness.
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Postby Sonnon » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:40 pm

Exertional Migraines and Breath Holding:
Why People Die on the Toilet
And What You Could be Doing in Your Martial Art Practice


Although it doesn't get much press (for obvious reasons), a disproportionately high number of people (usually older men who are in high risk categories for heart disease) die on the toilet. This is at least partly due to problems some older men have with constipation. Although this causes them to generally spend longer on the toilet, that's not the problem. The problem is that people in this situation tend to "push" harder and longer than they should in what is effectively Valsalva's maneuver. This added pressure on the intestines and colon corresponds to an added pressure in the abdominal and thoraic cavities. The vena cava (major veins leading back to the heart) are normally "held open" by the "negative pressure" (lower than atmospheric... the same reason a hole in the chest wall (pneumothorax or hemothorax) can kill you so quickly). When the pressure increases it pinches the vena cava closed and the blood can no longer go back to the heart. Consequently, the barroreceptors which measure blood pressure on the arterial side of the heart, notice a drop in pressure (due to the fact that blood is no longer being pumped) and so they trigger a "sympathetic response" that causes blood pressure to spike. The combination of blood pressure spiking (which can lead to stroke or other problems) and lack of blood being pumped to the heart (which starves the heart for oxygen and eventually can trigger a heart attack and/or heart failure).

A similar effect can occur if a child tells another to hold their breath and then the child that is holding their breath (effectively performing Valsalva's maneuver on himself) is squeeezed around the chest by the other child (adding more pressure to the internal cavities). While this can lead to death, it generally just causes a child to pass out (because their cardiac tissue is much more resiliant and they are less prone to exacerbating factors like chronic high blood pressure or stroke)."

It will cause what is called an exertion headache. Valsalva maneuver is performed when you are holding your breath while lifting referred to as a "Primary exertional headache." You might experience an exertional headache after prolonged physical exercise using the "power breathing" protocol.

Akin to 'cough headaches', primary exertional headaches occur as a result of increased cerebral pressure, particularly if the exertion is from lifting perceived heavy weights. While straining with power breathing, you intentionally or inadvertently elicit the Valsalva maneuver. This act — which also can play a role in primary cough headaches — increases pressure in blood vessels in your head. Exertional headaches cause a throbbing pain that gradually builds in intensity and is felt on both sides of your head. The pain can last from five minutes to 48 hours.

Headaches after exertion can be a benign issue, but they also can point to a serious underlying cause, such as bleeding in the brain or a separation in the lining of an artery in your brain. If you have an exertional headache, see your doctor for an evaluation, particularly if it's your first headache of this type.
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