Hyperventilation Treatment | How to Treat Hypocapnia
Who requires hyperventilation treatment? Those who breathe more than the medical norms, or more than 90% of modern people.
treatment has the following goals:
- to reverse chronic hyperventilation (ineffective automatic breathing patterns)
- to increase CO2 levels in the alveoli of the lungs up to the medical norm
- to increase oxygen levels in all vital organs and other tissues.
In order to be successful, hyperventilation treatment should be based on 2 key factors: breathing exercises; and lifestyle changes.
A traditional approach to hyperventilation treatment is the “paper bag treatment”. While this approach is simple and somewhat effective, it is not recommended as it may lead to excessive CO2 increase. As a result, mainstream medicine does not support its use anymore.
The YouTube video on the right side is called "Hyperventilation treatment: Hyperventilation Syndrome and Breathe-More Myth". It explains why overbreathing reduces body O2 content.
How to treat hypocapnia
Recommended breathing exercises for addressing hyperventilation include the Buteyko breathing exercises, the Frolov and the DIY breathing devices, hatha yoga alternate nostril breathing (Pranayama), Strelnikova paradoxical respiratory gymnastic, and pursed lip breathing. Bear in mind that it is not easy to learn several of these exercise techniques, including the Buteyko breathing exercises, without an experienced Buteyko breathing teacher. In comparison, breathing exercises with CO2-trapping breathing devices (e.g the Frolov or DIY breathing devices) are easier to learn and more effective for quick body oxygen increase.
Along with breathing exercises, it is very important to address lifestyle changes which impact chronic hyperventilation. See the table of "Healthy lifestyle factors" below for a partial list of important factors.
About 200 Russian and Soviet Buteyko doctors have accumulated valuable clinical
experience in hyperventilation
treatment since they have treated more than 200,000 people. These medical professionals discovered that there are several practical details that are crucial for successful treatment of hyperventilation:
1) Understanding that breathing less at rest delivers more oxygen to body cells
2) Constant commitment to breathing normalization since the purpose of training is to change one's automatic (or basal) breathing pattern
3) Daily measurement of the progress: either using devices (e.g., capnometers, plastic bag to measure minute ventilation - supplied with the Samozdrav breathing device) or the body-oxygen test
4) Understanding that even short episodes of hyperventilation (e.g., heavy breathing for 1-2 hours during sleep, overeating, or stress) produce serious enough damage to reverse all progress achieved during the remaining part of the day (see links related to oxidative stress caused by hypocapnia - low CO2).
Reference pages: Breathing norms and medical facts:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- 6 breathing myths: Myths and superstitions about breathing and body oxygenation (prevalence: over 90%)
- Hyperventilation: Definitions of hyperventilation: their advantages and weak points
- Hyperventilation syndrome: Western scientific evidence about prevalence of chronic hyperventilation in patients with chronic conditions (37 medical studies)
- Normal minute ventilation: Small and slow breathing at rest is enjoyed by healthy subjects (14 studies)
- Hyperventilation prevalence: Present in over 90% of normal people (24 medical studies)
- HV and hypoxia: How and why deep breathing reduces oxygenation of cells and tissues of all vital organs
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
- Body oxygen in healthy: Results for the body-oxygen test for healthy people (27 medical studies)
- Body oxygen in sick : Results for the body-oxygen test for sick people (14 medical studies)
- Buteyko Table of Health Zones: Clinical description and ranges for breathing zones: from the critically ill (severely sick) up to super healthy people with maximum possible body oxygenation
- Morning hyperventilation: Why people feel worse and critically ill people are most likely to die during early morning hours
References: pages about CO2 effect:
- Vasodilation: CO2 expands arteries and arterioles facilitating perfusion (or blood supply) to all vital organs
- The Bohr effect: How and why oxygen is released by red blood cells in tissues
- Cell oxygen levels: How alveolar CO2 influences oxygen transport
- Oxygen transport: O2 transport is controlled by vasoconstriction-vasodilation and the Bohr effects, both of which rely on CO2
- Free radical generation: Reactive oxygen species are produced within cells due to anaerobic cell respiration caused by cell hypoxia
- Inflammatory response: Chronic inflammation in fueled by the hypoxia-inducible factor 1, while normal breathing reduces and eliminates inflammation
- Nerve stabilization: People remain calm due to calmative or sedative effects of carbon dioxide in neurons or nerve cells
- Muscle relaxation: Relaxation of muscle cells is normal at high CO2, while hypocapnia causes muscular tension, poor posture and, sometimes, aggression and violence
- Bronchodilation: Dilation of airways (bronchi and bronchioles) is caused by carbon dioxide, and their constriction by hypocapnia (low CO2)
- Blood pH: Regulation of blood pH due to breathing and regulation of other bodily fluids
- CO2: lung damage: Elevated carbon dioxide prevents lung injury and promotes healing of lung tissues
- CO2: Topical carbon dioxide can heal skin and tissues
- Synthesis of glutamine in the brain, CO2 fixation, and other chemical reactions
- Deep breathing myth: Ignorant and naive people promote the idea that deep breathing and breathing more air at rest is beneficial for health
- Breathing control: How is our breathing regulated? Why hypocapnia makes breathing uneven, irregular and erratic.
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