The Science

Scientific Exploration

The impact of elevated CO₂ on our neurobiology

After personally experiencing positive results from practicing breath-mind navigation sequences, Rodo decided to dive deeper into the science behind elevated CO₂ in the body.

What he learned would set him on his life’s path. See below for dozens of scientific studies and reports that have shown a positive correlation between elevated CO₂ and improvements in neurological disorders and challenges associated with neurodivergence.

Through a continued partnership with MuLabs, Rodo has undergone several controlled biometric studies to measure the physiological impacts of elevated CO₂. The tests benchmarked Respiratory Rate (RR), Heart Rate Variability (HRV), Electroencephalography (EEG), and a Cardiogram. After 45 days of employing Alchemy techniques, Rodo’s biometric markers showed significantly increased levels of endorphins from the baseline study.

PILLARS OF ALCHEMY

The Contraction Quest with the Alchemy: Rewire system

Alchemy won’t necessarily take you down the line to 80 meters, but the system does invite progressive, and potentially transformational change through the mastery of CO₂ and the Contraction.

On a quest to integrate and transcend his own neuro-divergent challenges, in 2020 Rodo created Alchemy: Rewire.

Alchemy is a comprehensive mind and body system that helps students rewire mental limits using breath holds, pranayama, music and embodied movement. It is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. No matter the origin or neurological motivator, a global community is growing in their shared pursuit of mind-heart coherence.

If practiced daily, Alchemy can support individuals in their own integration of many neurodivergent challenges. It is completely safe, free to do, and built on a model of progressive learning.

Unleashing the Benefits

The Bright and Dark Sides of Neuroplasticity

Bright Side

  • Neuroplasticity makes your brain resilient.
  • Neuroplasticity enables you to recover from stroke, injury, and birth abnormalities.
  • You can learn new ways of being and responding to conflict.
  • In many case, you can also overcome depression, addiction, obsessive compulsive patterns, ADHD, and other issues.

Dark Side

  • Neuroplasticity means the brain is always learning.
  • But the brain is neutral. It doesn’t know the difference between good and bad.
  • It learns whatever is repeated, both helpful and unhelpful thoughts, actions, and habits.
  • Therefore, neuroplasticity may entrench depressive, anxious, obsessive, and overreactive patterns.

Neuroplasticity can result from

SOCIAL ENTERTAINMENT

MEDITATION

EMOTIONS

LEARNING

PAYING ATTENTION

DIET

EXERCISE

NEW EXPERIENCES

Breath and Somatic Movement

Unlocking the power of the vagus nerve

Breath control has a major impact on the vagus nerve, the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system. Along with many other processes, this directly influences our fight or flight (sympathetic) response, as well as how quickly we can return to rest and digest (parasympathetic).

One of the major keys to supporting and working with the messages and signals running up and down the vagus nerve is the breath. Another is somatic movement, or somatic processing, which facilitates the release of stressors, old memories, and emotional traumas that are often stuck in the body. By intentionally moving the body to release energetic and emotional blockages, it becomes easier to process old triggers and move forward in a healthy way. After all, our emotions are the language of the body.

Through shaking, dancing, humming, singing, vocal activation and other embodied somatic movement that features in our third pillar, Structured Reintegration, students can start to release old, stagnant emotions, process trauma and experience more clarity, insight and self compassion. 

Breath and Brain Waves

Exploring the power of mind-body synergies

More and more, we understand that our breath is the bridge between the brain and body. Another way of describing this synergy is mind-body synergies (not to be confused with mind-heart coherence).

When we deliberately slow or even stop our breath through a breath hold, something interesting happens. The brain goes through a form of shut down. During the shutdown process the frequency which the mind normally operates at begins to slow, and at a lower frequency can tap into Gamma, Theta and Delta brain waves, which are different types of brain wave states measured by speed cycles per second (Hz). Studies have shown subconscious or repressed traumas and memories are more easily accessed in Theta State. Through regular practice of the breath hold, we may access this state and get to meet our deeper subconscious fears.

Why do we use breath to do this? The breath is our tool to go inward and navigate these altered states. It is an effective, safe and proven method to overcome old mental programming and shift the mind-body into mind-heart coherence.

The Power of Hypoxia and CO₂

Strengthening Cells, Building New Neurological Pathways

Building CO₂ tolerance through a regular breath hold practice activates a short-term form of hypoxia. Put simply, this is stress at the cellular level.

In a temporary state of hypoxia, cells will not receive the normal levels of oxygen and their metabolism begins to shift. This stress will signal the body to react and strengthen. Think of it like weight training; muscles respond to the temporary stress they are put under. If trained and recovered adequately, they will grow stronger. At the same time, the nervous system’s stress response is momentarily activated, meaning the pathways necessary to deliver oxygen to cells are also strengthened. These pathways could include a number of different systems, such as increased red blood cells, increased lung capacity, improved circulation and improved metabolic efficiency over the long term.

Likewise, from a neurological perspective, the peak anxiety that is reached during the breath + mind navigation practices is a momentary mental stressor, and actually a precursor to successfully navigating fear and other heightened emotions. To move through these altered mental states, to feel and overcome the  CO₂ Contraction and receive high levels of compensatory serotonin, is a means to building new neurological pathways over time.

Alchemy’s 3 pillar system offers a customized solution* for each practitioner, matching their brain response pattern to the sequences for optimal results.     

*Images are not representative of a typical Alchemy training. We invite all participants to measure their own baseline markers prior to each training, with selected participants taking part in a more extensive biometric study in collaboration with MuLabs.

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