Diving into Earth’s Hyperbaric Environment
The swimmer may prepare for diving by taking a slow and full inspiration, letting himself sink gently into the water, and expelling the breath by degrees, when the heart begins to beat strongly.
In order to descend in diving, the head must be bent forward upon the breast; the back must be made round; and the legs must be thrown out with greater vigor than usual; but the arms and hands, instead of being struck forward as in swimming, must move rather backward, or come out lower, and pass more behind.. .
Still in swimming between top and bottom, the head must be kept a little downward, and the feet must be thrown out a little higher than when swimming on the surface; and if the swimmer thinks that he approaches too near the surface, he must press the palms upward.
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To ascend the chin must be held up, the back made concave, the hands stuck out high, and brought briskly down.
D. Walker, British Manly Exercises. Containing Rowing and Sailing, Riding and Diving, etc. Diving disrupts the body’s homeostasis of internal pressure and gas concentrations. Both involve changes in the composition of and movement of, body fluids. The cardiovascular and respiratory systems are essential to the regulation of pressure and gases. However, when the excessive pressure of deepwater diving hyperbaria overwhelms the adaptive capacity of these two systems, diving illnesses and injuries occur.
Although your body can acclimatize in minor ways to hyperbaria, specialized equipment is required to assist normal physiological responses and provide gases to the lungs. Breathing precise mixtures of pressurized gases, for example, requires considerable technical expertise. Novice divers and females should take special precautions. In this chapter, these and other safety recommendations are presented to help make sport diving a safe, enjoyable endeavor.