1. The international medical and physiological norm for breathing at rest (for a 70-kg man) correspond to the following parameters:
– 6 liters of air per one minute for minute ventilation – 12 breaths per minute for breathing frequency – 500 ml for tidal volume (amount of air for one breath) – 98% oxygen saturation for the arterial blood – 40 seconds for stress-free breath holding time (done after usual exhalation and without any stress during and after the test).
2. Stress-free breath holding time after usual exhalation is the most accurate DIY test for breathing and body oxygenation since one can not evaluate their respiratory frequency (it immediately changes, once we pay attention to our breathing).
3. Ordinary modern people breathe about 12 liters/min at rest (tens of published physiological studies) or about 2 times more than the above-mentioned medical norm established about 100 years ago. We used to breathe much less a century ago.
4. Mildly sick people breathe about 12-18 liters/min or about 2-3 times more than the medical norm (while their body oxygenation is below the norm and stress-free breath holding time after usual exhalation) is less than 20 s.
5. Severely sick, critically ill, and hospitalized patients have even heavier breathing and even less oxygen in their bodies (less than 10 s for the breath holding time test).
6. When we breathe more than the medical norm (it is called hyperventilation or overbreathing), we do not increase oxygenation of the arterial blood since it is about 98% saturated with oxygen during minuscule normal breathing. Therefore, the main effect of hyperventilation is the excessive removal of CO2 or CO2-deficiency in blood and cells. CO2 deficiency causes constriction of blood arteries and arterioles (CO2 is a powerful vasodilator) and the suppressed Bohr effect (reduced release of oxygen by red blood cells in tissues due to reduced CO2 concentrations). As a result, all vital organs (including, the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas, large and small colons, stomach, spleen, etc.) get less blood and oxygen supply.
7. Here, the more one breaths the less oxygen they get (hundreds of physiological publications about this and other negative effects of hyperventilation).
8. Body oxygenation has inverse relationships with unconscious breathing frequency and minutes ventilation (the slower and less one breaths, the more oxygen in cells he or she gets). Maximum body oxygenation is achieved when humans breathe only 3 breaths in one minute (during unconscious breathing).
9. “Goodness of Deep Breathing” propaganda, organized by TV, newspapers, radio, and other mass media, when it is applied to the unconscious or basal breathing of human beings, is falsehood based on ignorance and lack of education in basics of physiology and respiration. Most modern Yoga teachers, yoga websites, sports coaches and fitness instructors, as well as some official medical sources, also promote the same myth.
10. Development of chronic diseases (including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, chronic fatigue, asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc.) is based on tissue hypoxia (or low oxygenation of cells):
“All chronic pain, suffering and diseases are caused by a lack of oxygen at the cell level.” – Arthur C. Guyton, The Textbook of Medical Physiology *
* World’s most widely used medical textbook of any kind
* World’s best-selling physiology book
11. Basal or unconscious breathing at rest becomes heavier (faster and deeper) and body oxygenation less due to:
– Lack of physical exercise – Mouth breathing (including during sleep and physical exercise, unless you are superfit) – Sleeping on one’s back and too much sleep – Psychological stress, anger and strong emotions – Overeating (especially of animal proteins) – Overheating – Lack of essential nutrients and junk foods – Toxins and pollution (in water, food and air, due to radiation, infections, and medical drugs); allergens; Dusty environment – Poor posture (slouching is present in over 90% modern people) – Talkativeness and deep breathing exercises (except very slow ones, eg, with 1-2 breaths / min so that to get more CO2) – Sighing, coughing, sneezing and yawning with large air movements or open mouth – Excesses and addictions (smoking, street drugs, gambling, too much alcohol, caffeine, sunbathing, sex, etc.)
12. Basal or unconscious breathing at rest becomes easier (lighter and slower) and body oxygenation higher due to:
– Physical exercise with strictly nasal breathing (in and out) due to increased CO2 and nitric oxide concentrations – Forgiveness and silent prayer; relaxation and meditation exercises – Good posture (straight spine 24/7) – More time outdoors (especially for the aged) – Eating, only when really hungry, and stopping in time – Going to bed for sleep, only when really sleepy, and getting out of the bed after waking up in the morning; sleeping on hard beds – Raw vegetarian diet (only if very well chilled) – Moderation in pleasures, cold shower (with certain rules), barefoot walking, massage – Some breathing exercises (Buteyko method, Frolov breathing device, Strelnikova paradoxical breathing gymnastic, correctly done pranayama, etc.)
Featured Image: Dr Sircus