Ask a hundred of people, "How should we breathe 24/7 for maximum body oxygenation?" or "Which unconscious breathing pattern provides us with best oxygenation?", and most of them will tell you that big and/or deep breathing is best. "Breathe more for more oxygen". However, if you take 100 fast and deep breaths in succession, you can pass out or faint due to ... hypoxia of the brain. There are dozens of medical studies that confirmed this effect. Hyperventilation is a health hazard. Healthy people have light, slow, and shallow breathing pattern and excellent oxygenation. If you observe breathing of your healthy relatives and friends, you will see nothing and hear nothing.
It is the job of the sick patients (with asthma, heart disease, bronchitis, cancer, diabetes, and many other problems) to breathe heavy and to have low tissue oxygenation, as a result. They are hyperventilating.
The related psychological effect is that we can breathe 2-3 times more air than the medical norms, while being totally unaware that our breathing is too heavy. Why? Air is weightless, and our breathing muscles are powerful. During rigorous physical exercise we can breathe up to 100-150 l/min. Some athletes can breathe up to 200 l/min. So it is easy to breathe "only" 10-15 l/min at rest (only 10% of our maximum capacity), throughout the day and night and not be aware of this rate of breathing. However, in health, we should breathe only about 3-4% of our maximum breathing rate (6 l/min).
There are many biochemical effects of over-breathing on all vital organs of the human body, including the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, stomach, small and large intestines, spleen, pancreas and other glands. First, CO2 (carbon dioxide), the gas we exhale, is crucial for dilation of blood vessels. Check it yourself. Start to breathe very heavy in and out just for 1-2 minutes, and you can lose consciousness (faint or pass out) due to tissue hypoxia or low cellular oxygenation and low blood supply for the brain. There is another simple test to see the effects of breathing on blood flow. When you get a small accidental bleeding cut, hold your breath and accumulate CO2. Your blood losses can increase 2-5 times! But in real life, pain and sight of blood make breathing heavier preventing large blood losses and providing time for blood coagulation. It is a self-survival mechanism of natural selection. A review of medical studies that confirmed vasodilatory properties of CO2 can be found here: http://www.normalbreathing.com/CO2-vasodilation.php
The second main cause of tissue hypoxia, if our breathing is heavy, relates to the Bohr effect, a physiological law discovered about a century ago. This law explains how, why, and where our red blood cells release oxygen. The release takes place in those tissues that have higher CO2 content. Hence, those organs and muscles that produce more CO2 get more O2. But when we hyperventilate, low CO2 content in all tissues suppresses O2 release from hemoglobin cells and we suffer from hypoxia. (For more details and medical references related to the Bohr effect, visit: http://www.normalbreathing.com/CO2-Bohr.php)
There are many other functions of CO2 in the human body, e.g., bronchodilation, stabilization of the nervous system, regulation of dozens chemical reactions involving proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, hormones, enzymes, messengers, factors, and co-factors.
Even more surprising results are expected if one tries to analyze medical evidence related to overbreathing in the sick. Tens of published western studies have revealed that 100% of patients with heart disease, asthma, diabetes, cancer and many other common disorders breathe much more than the medical norm. Hence, it is logical that they suffer from low cell oxygenation. Solutions? If they restore normal breathing pattern so that to have normal cell oxygenation 24/7, they will not suffer from symptoms of their diseases and will not require medication. This is a conclusion of over 200 Russian medical doctors practicing the Buteyko breathing self-oxygenating therapy. They tested these results on over 200,000 thousands patients.
- Most Common Cause of Cerebral Hypoxia (Low Brain Oxygen) - Abnormal breathing patterns (web page from NormalBreathing.com with images and medical references)
- Walking with Nose Breathing : Article from Selfgrowth by Dr. Artour Rakhimov
NormalBreathing.com provides 100's of medical quotes and references, graphs and charts, tables, analysis of numerous respiratory techniques and results of clinical trials, free breathing exercises with lifestyle modules, manuals, techniques, and other resources to increase brain and body oxygen levels and regain health.
By Artour Rakhimov PhD
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.