Chest Pain and Breathing: Inhaling Deeply, Moving, or Lying

Effects of overbreathing and coughing on brain oxygen levels Chest pain when breathing relates to low O2 levels in the body. Healthy people, when asked, say that they do not feel their breathing at all. This is because it is very slow and small (see numbers below). In contrast, people with chronic diseases breathe 2-3 times more air than the medical norm. Their breathing is too fast and too deep. (Many people actually try to breathe deeply and get sharp chest pain!)

Overbreathing leads to reduced oxygenation of the brain, heart and other vital organs. As a result, many people develop chest pain when breathing or when breathing in (during deeper inhalations). This chest pain when inhaling deeply can occur during or after exercise or when moving, during sleep (especially supine sleep, but also when lying on the left or right sides), after meals (overeating and large meals intensify breathing), due to stress and deep breathing (which was never a part of classic yoga), and so forth.

We already reviewed a Japanese clinical study, in which doctors asked over 200 patients with coronary artery spasm to voluntarily hyperventilate (to breathe deeply). What was the result? 100% of patients experienced sharp angina pain.

Minute ventilation rates (chronic diseases)

Condition Minute
Number of
All references or
click below for abstracts
Normal breathing 6 L/min - Medical textbooks
Healthy Subjects 6-7 L/min >400 Results of 14 studies
Heart disease 15 (+-4) L/min 22 Dimopoulou et al, 2001
Heart disease 16 (+-2) L/min 11 Johnson et al, 2000
Heart disease 12 (+-3) L/min 132 Fanfulla et al, 1998
Heart disease 15 (+-4) L/min 55 Clark et al, 1997
Heart disease 13 (+-4) L/min 15 Banning et al, 1995
Heart disease 15 (+-4) L/min 88 Clark et al, 1995
Heart disease  14 (+-2) L/min 30 Buller et al, 1990
Heart disease 16 (+-6) L/min 20 Elborn et al, 1990
Pulm hypertension 12 (+-2) L/min 11 D'Alonzo et al, 1987
Cancer 12 (+-2) L/min 40 Travers et al, 2008
Diabetes 12-17 L/min 26 Bottini et al, 2003
Diabetes 15 (+-2) L/min 45 Tantucci et al, 2001
Diabetes 12 (+-2) L/min 8 Mancini et al, 1999
Diabetes 10-20 L/min 28 Tantucci et al, 1997
Diabetes 13 (+-2) L/min 20 Tantucci et al, 1996
Asthma 13 (+-2) L/min 16 Chalupa et al, 2004
Asthma 15 L/min 8 Johnson et al, 1995
Asthma 14 (+-6) L/min 39 Bowler et al, 1998
Asthma 13 (+-4) L/min 17 Kassabian et al, 1982
Asthma 12 L/min 101 McFadden, Lyons, 1968
COPD 14 (+-2) L/min 12 Palange et al, 2001
COPD 12 (+-2) L/min 10 Sinderby et al, 2001
COPD 14 L/min 3 Stulbarg et al, 2001
Sleep apnea 15 (+-3) L/min 20 Radwan et al, 2001
Liver cirrhosis 11-18 L/min 24 Epstein et al, 1998
Hyperthyroidism 15 (+-1) L/min 42 Kahaly, 1998
Cystic fibrosis 15 L/min 15 Fauroux et al, 2006
Cystic fibrosis 10 L/min 11 Browning et al, 1990
Cystic fibrosis* 10 L/min 10 Ward et al, 1999
CF and diabetes* 10 L/min 7 Ward et al, 1999
Cystic fibrosis 16 L/min 7 Dodd et al, 2006
Cystic fibrosis 18 L/min 9 McKone et al, 2005
Cystic fibrosis* 13 (+-2) L/min 10 Bell et al, 1996
Cystic fibrosis 11-14 L/min 6 Tepper et al, 1983
Epilepsy 13 L/min 12 Esquivel et al, 1991
CHV 13 (+-2) L/min 134 Han et al, 1997
Panic disorder 12 (+-5) L/min 12 Pain et al, 1991
Bipolar disorder 11 (+-2) L/min 16 MacKinnon et al, 2007
Dystrophia myotonica 16 (+-4) L/min 12 Clague et al, 1994

Note that advanced stages of asthma can lead to lung destruction, ventilation-perfusion mismatch,
and arterial hypercapnia causing further reduction in body oxygen levels.

It is true that sometimes, chest pain while breathing in deep can be caused by a pinched nerve? The source of this trouble can be located in the spine.

However, in over 80% of cases people can immediately reduce their chest pain using a simple breathing exercise. It is the same exercise as for angina pain or heart attacks. This exercise moves more O2 to the heart and other tissues.

This YouTube video (on the right side) provides details for this breathing exercise: How to stop angina pain.

How to get rid of a chest pain

Man with breathing and chest pain during exercise If you have persistent chest pain when inhaling (deeply), you need to slow down your breathing permanently and naturally so as to increase your body oxygenation up to about 25 seconds. This means you need to have slower and lighter breathing 24/7 (during sleep as well). This is a proven treatment and cure for chest pain,. With over 25 s for body O2, you will be free from chest pain during sleep, after meals, during exercise and in other situations. (Only breathing deeply again may cause chest pain.)

You also need to learn abdominal breathing, since those people who experience chest pain are also chest breathers. The links below provide more info about chest breathing, its treatment, the body-O2 test, and CO2-related effects.

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