Equalization, head down please!

Equalization is a big topic in the free diving community. This article, originally written by the Vertical Blue team, is for those who have tried everything, and still feel like they will never be able to equalize heads down. There is a way to get rid of this frustrating problem. First you need to understand how to perform Frenzel equalization correctly. Then you need a lot of patience and hard work to gain better control and flexibility of the tiny little muscles around the Eustachian tube. Here’s what to do:

1. Equalize your ears as often as you can. Every time you think of it… In any possible position. Seated, laying down, walking. As many times as possible.

2. Once you can equalize your ears at any time in every situation, start reducing the pressure you use in order to make the equalization. Use the minimum amount of pressure possible just enough to make your ears ‘pop.’ This way you will work on the little muscles around the Eustachian Tubes that assist in the opening of the tubes, allowing the air flow to your inner ear. You can also try to equalize while allowing air to escape from your nose. Once you are able to equalize without needing to pinch your nose too hard, you will already feel the difference when diving.

3. Keep equalizing with the minimum possible pressure, but in weird positions… Lying on your bed with your head over the edge, sitting on a chair with your head hanging between your knees, or doing a shoulder stand. This will force you to relax the areas necessary for smooth equalization while in an up side down position.

It takes time, dedication and will power, but it definitely worked for many people so far. So there’s no reason you cannot make it and finally dive in a beautifully streamlined, head down position. GOOD LUCK.

Miguel Vannieuwenhoven

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