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Which equalization technique do you use MOST OFTEN?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by knotical, Mar 9, 2015.

Which equalization technique do you use most often?

  1. Valsalva

    90 vote(s)
    67.7%
  2. Toynbee

    7 vote(s)
    5.3%
  3. Lowry

    4 vote(s)
    3.0%
  4. Edmonds

    2 vote(s)
    1.5%
  5. Frenzel

    6 vote(s)
    4.5%
  6. VTO

    13 vote(s)
    9.8%
  7. other (please explain below)

    11 vote(s)
    8.3%
  1. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

    5,419
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    Wiggle my jaw, it works most of the time. If it doesn't, add exhaling through the nose and/or swallowing. You could probably count that as VTO, sort of.
     
  2. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    0
    31
    0
    Something similar to your description of Frenzel about 9 times out of 10.

    R..
     
  3. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,485
    5,400
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    I must be blessed since I almost never have to consciously equalize, even on dives to 200 fsw. Must be all the holes in my head
     
  4. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

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    I often have to do nothing. If I have had allergies or a cold or for whatever reason a little inflammation I might have to swallow or occasionally for the first ten to twenty feet valsava. But, really, most of the time, nothing I am aware of.

    N
     
  5. knotical

    knotical perpetual student

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ka'u
    5,748
    824
    113
    The clear leader is Valsalva, despite its limitations, probably because it’s easy to explain/learn, and is widely taught.
    VTO was a distant second.

    Interesting (at least to me) that several respondents described methods that didn’t fit the descriptions of the named methods, (but were sometimes a component of them). These included:
    swallowing
    exhaling through nose
    swallowing and exhaling
    yawning
    wiggling jaw
    pulling ear
    pre-equalizing
    tilting/turning head
    doing nothing

    Wow – such variation.

    Because of the issues DAN mentioned with Valsalva, I always recommend passive techniques such as VTO, Toynbee, Frenzel, and all those in the “other” category over active ones such as Valsalva, Lowry and Edmonds. - i.e. don't blow.
     
  6. Texasguy

    Texasguy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
    1,224
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    83
    I usually do something in the middle of Edmonds and Toynbee - an Alex Maneuver.

    It consists of the following steps:
    1) Relax all muscles and breath in well, hard to do it without much air
    2) Bring the tongue as much into a throat as possible, if feels like it is folding into a Z of sorts
    3) While stiffening the tongue and moving it forward towards the teeth by pushing against top of the soft palate, I do a big swallow, a mother of all swallows
    4) Somewhere in the middle of the swallow, the lower jaw travels down to the extreme (stretches the tubes), just don't lose a regulator :wink:

    It has to be timed right. But for me it works the best. I also like the fact that it can be done with no assistance from the hands. Make sure you don't have any mucus in your throat or it is hard to do a swallow properly. Also, if you have a dry throat, also hard to do it fast enough for an effect. When doing during the initial first dive decent, works wonders. No bleeding nose after the dive (from overblowing).

    If I surface and have to do down again within minutes, I often have a single random ear blockage. To avoid that, I really have to clear my throat and nose well from mucus before the attempt, which is a bit awkward when you are with a buddy, since it is not particular dignified or accepted socially.

    After a few days on a liveaboard, this becomes a second nature, something that you do without much thought or effort put into it. I seen some people drop down like stones, I guess they have something better than this... I am still being cautious and decent normally. I guess most free divers would decent like a stone, maybe they have more practice or physiological superiority in the tubes' diameter...

    Valsalva doesn't work well with me. While it does, it requires some effort and, maybe I have weaker soft tissue in the nose, I bleed somewhat post dive. And bloody snot is not particular appealing to the one who is doing and to the people around such a spectacle. Therefore, I quit blowing into my nose totally. I tried being more gentle but then it won't work, so I add pressure until it works, and voila, red stuff post dive.

    One weird oddity I found, when I put my mask into the common bucket with some soap, after some time during the dive, the soapy taste travels down my nose into my throat, making it rather a discussing experience for a while, like I ate soap. Thus, from this, I gather that some minimal water can travel back and forth between my nose and my throat. Based on this, I would think that having open wounds (like a bloody nose) is a recipe to get an infection, especially in fresh waters. Thus, find what works for you without abusing your body to the point that it bleeds.

    Yet the BIGGEST help I found is to equalize right before the dive. Don't have to do much or strongly. Then the initial ear "squeeze" is delayed greatly. This allows you to remember and do another equalization before too late and the squeeze starts to demand you do it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  7. Subcooled

    Subcooled Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Finland
    1,001
    256
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    I can equalize which ever ear I want, one at a time.
    I simply use the muscles in my neck below the ear.
    If I want to equalize the right ear, then I use the right hand side neck muscles, and vice versa.
    I use this method numerous times daily - even on dry land.

    Many methods listed in the poll seem overly complicated :)

    ---------- Post added April 19th, 2015 at 01:17 AM ----------

    There is something that all these methods have in common

    1) overpressure in the mouth
    AND/OR
    2) tensioning certain muscles (as a result of... whatever motion)
     
  8. LeadTurn_SD

    LeadTurn_SD Solo Diver

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    VTO (never knew it had a "name", just always did it flying, diving, etc.); followed by Valsalva if VTO fails.

    Best wishes.
     
  9. Phantom Menace

    Phantom Menace Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Auckland, New Zealand
    164
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    Frenzel for me. Started with Valsalva from my early SCUBA diving days then picked up Frenzel.

    For free diving Valsalva has depth limitations so we get folks to Frenzel if they are ready to go below 20m on a single breath (then going below 30 - 36m or so requires learning things like Mouthfill - a whole different ball game)
     
  10. Frosty

    Frosty Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Auckland NZ
    1,265
    425
    83
    I think one point worth mentioning is that the more relaxed you are the easier you equalise unless there is a medical condition.
    That's my equalise method--relax -chill-zen time and I rarely think about equalising.
     

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