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Flight&Chamber  -  Diver  -  Freediver

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Freediving

Equalization Academy main topics:

- Organs involved in the equalization

Middle ear

Eustachian Tubes

Glottis

Soft Palate

Tongue

Abdominal Contraction 
Revere Packing

Valsalva

Frenzel

Advanced Frenzel

Sequential Frenzel (Mouthfill NON constant pressure)

Handsfree (VTO/BTV)

Mouthfill (constant pressure)

Otovent Protocol

Ballon Protocol

EQ-Tool

Water Pipe

 
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Airshift Techniques only for Freedivers

The term shifting indicates the movement of a certain amount of air from the lungs to the oral cavity. Load, instead, refers to the amount of air that is stored in the oral and nasal cavity after air shifting. For example, the air between the tongue and the palate (N load, that will be used in this course for the execution of the Traditional Frenzel maneuver) or in the cheeks (M load, used in advanced courses for the Sequential Frenzel and Mouthfill maneuvers).


There are two Airshift techniques:


1.    Abdominal Contraction
In an Abdominal Contraction, the air is pushed upwards from the lungs.


2.    Reverse Packing
In Reverse Packing, air is sucked from the lungs.

 

 

Equalization Techniques

 

There are various equalization techniques, in other words maneuvers that allow to open the Eustachian tube, open communication between the nasal cavity and the middle ear, and balance the latter's pressure and volume.

 

Valsalva

(Flight & Chamber - Divers)

This equalization technique is based on abdominal contraction which generates reduction of volume and increase of pressure within the lungs. The glottis is open, which means that the same pressure increase will take place into the oral cavity, which is closed through your lips tightened or your tongue in close contact with the palate. The soft palate is open, which means that the same pressure increase will occur in the nasal cavity, which is closed through your nose being pinched. Thanks to the increase of pressure within the nasal cavity, your tubes will open and you will be able to equalize the decrease of volume and pressure of the middle ear, caused by the increase of ambient pressure during the descent.

Traditional Frenzel

(Flight & Chamber - Divers - Freedivers)

This equalization technique requires you to move the air within your oral cavity by pushing your tongue towards the top and the back; this will generate both a volume decrease and pressure increase, with Glottis closed. The soft palate is open, meaning the same pressure increase will take place in the nasal cavity, which is closed through your nose being pinched. Thanks to the increase of pressure within the nasal cavity, your tubes will open and you will be able to equalize the decrease of volume and pressure of the middle ear, caused by the increase of ambient pressure during the descent. Some people might be able to open the tubes, thanks to a mechanical effect: this might allow the tubes to open at a lower pressure.

Advanced Frenzel

(Freedivers)

This equalization technique requires you, at a given depth, to move the air within your oral cavity by saying the letter N and keeping the back of your tongue on a lower position in order to increase the volume of the oral cavity. Having done that, you will be able to generate both a volume decrease and pressure increase, just moving your tongue from T position to Ka and then H, while the Glottis remains closed. The soft palate is open, meaning that the same pressure increase will take place into the nasal cavity, which is closed through your nose being pinched. Thanks to the increase of pressure within the nasal cavity, your tubes will open and you will be able to equalize the decrease of volume and pressure of the middle ear, caused by the increase of ambient pressure during the descent. Some people might be able to open the tubes, thanks to a mechanical effect: this might allow the tubes to open at a lower pressure. This technique can be practiced with a series of pressure increases, or with just one light continuous movement that keeps the tubes open and equalization pressure constant.

 

Sequential Frenzel

(Freedivers)

This equalization technique requires you, at a given depth, to move the air within your oral cavity by saying the letter M; this way you will store up the air in your cheeks in order to maximize the volume of your oral cavity, and you push your tongue towards the top and the back in order to generate both a volume reduction and a pressure increase, with your Glottis closed. The soft palate is open, meaning that the same pressure increase will take place into the nasal cavity, which is closed through your nose being pinched. Thanks to the increase of pressure within the nasal cavity, your tubes will open and you will be able to equalize the decrease of volume and pressure of the middle ear, caused by the increase of ambient pressure during the descent. Some people might be able to open the tubes, thanks to a mechanical effect: this might allow the tubes to open at a lower pressure.

 

Hands Free

(Flight & Chamber - Divers - Freedivers)

This equalization techniques requires you to close your Glottis, after moving the air within the oral cavity, with the soft palate open. The mechanical opening of the tubes will allow you to automatically equalize the decrease of volume and pressure of the middle ear, provoked by the increase of ambient pressure during the descent. The Handsfree technique can be combined with the above-mentioned ones (Advanced Frenzel, Sequential Frenzel and Mouthfill).

Mouthfill

(Freedivers)

This equalization technique requires you, at a given depth, to move the air within your oral cavity by spelling the letter M; meanwhile, you will blow up your cheeks, you will open your lower jaw and you will lower the back of your tongue, in order to maximize the volume of your oral cavity. With the lower jaw closed, the push of your cheeks and you tongue from T position to Ca and then H will allow a volume decrease, also thanks to a light and continuous overpressure till the air within the oral cavity is finished, Glottis closed. The soft palate is open, meaning that the same pressure increase will take place into the nasal cavity, which is closed through your nose being pinched. Thanks to the increase of pressure within the nasal cavity, your tubes will open and you will be able to equalize the decrease of volume and pressure of the middle ear, caused by the increase of ambient pressure during the descent. Some people might be able to open the tubes, thanks to a mechanical effect: this might allow the tubes to open at a lower pressure.

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Dry Skills

Otovent Protocol

The Otovent is a medical device made up of a latex balloon that must be inflated with the nose using the special nasal cannula.

The Otovent offers great benefits in learning equalization techniques:  it allows to understand, by observing the changes in the balloon, how the tongue, the glottis and the soft palate are moving, or in what position they find themselves. Thanks to the exercises outside of the water, it is possible to learn the motor schemes that are essential to equalize properly.

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Ballon Protocol

The Ballon Protocol has been develop to take awareness of the: Glottis, Soft Palate and Tongue.

Thanks to this protocol (8 exercises) the freedivers train the Sequential Frenzel and the Mouthfill.

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EQ-Tool

The Eq-Tool is a digital device designed to improve equalization skills; it measures pressure in the nasal cavity while we perform equalization exercises. The air pressure is measured by a wireless sensor connected to a smartphone, while the collected data can be saved and analyzed using the dedicated App.

The Eq-Tool, with the EarOn application, allows to check how any equalization maneuver is performed, from basic techniques to advanced. It also allows to save our training sessions.

With the Eq-Tool the freediver can simaluate all the different Equalization Techniques: Frenzel, Advanced Frenzel, Sequenzial Frenzel, Mouthfill.

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Water Pipe

The Water Pipe is a analogical device designed to improve equalization skills; it measures pressure in the nasal cavity while we perform equalization exercises.

With the WP the freediver can simaluate all the different Equalization Techniques: Frenzel, Advanced Frenzel, Sequenzial Frenzel, Mouthfill.

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