Body Oxygen Test or CP Test
“All chronic pain, suffering and diseases are caused
from a lack of oxygen at the cell level."
Prof. A.C. Guyton, MD, The Textbook of Medical Physiology*
* World’s most widely used medical textbook of any kind
* World's best-selling physiology book
The DIY body oxygen test has been used by about 200 Soviet and Russian medical doctors and other health professionals. They tested over 250,000 patients with various health problems and ordinary people. Several hundreds of Western Buteyko teachers applied this test on more than 200,000 people.
Sit down and rest for 5-7 minutes. Completely relax all your muscles, including the breathing muscles. This relaxation produces natural spontaneous exhalation (breathing out). Pinch your nose closed at the end of this exhalation and count your BHT (breath holding time) in seconds. Keep the nose pinched until you experience the first desire to breathe.
Practice shows that this first desire appears together with an involuntary push of the diaphragm or swallowing movement in the throat. If you release the nose and start breathing at this time, you can resume your usual breathing pattern (in the same way as you were breathing prior to the test).
Do not extend breath holding too long, trying to increase the result. You should not gasp for air or open your mouth when you release your nose. The test should be easy and not cause you any stress. This stress-free breath holding time test should not interfere with your breathing, as shown here:
Warning. Some, not all, people with heart disease, migraine headaches, and panic attacks may experience negative symptoms minutes later after this light version of the test. If this happens, they should avoid this body oxygen test.
Some people can have abnormally large numbers for this test. This happens in cases of carotid body resections, denervation of respiratory muscles, and near death experiences. People with sleep apnea and lost or blunted CO2 sensitivity can also have exaggerated test results.
Cases when people have good or normal breathing (with normal body O2 content), while having poor results for this test, are virtually unknown.
What about usual body-oxygen test numbers, CP norms and CP of sick and healthy people?
“If a person breath-holds after a normal exhalation,
it takes about 40 seconds before breathing commences”
From the textbook “Essentials of exercise physiology”
McArdle W.D., Katch F.I., Katch V.L. (2nd edition);
Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, London 2000, p.252.
Results of Western medical and physiological research studies are summarized in these 2 Tables:
- Body-oxygen test in sick people (13 medical studies; less than 20 seconds)
- Body-oxygen test in healthy people (24 references; about 20-30 seconds now; about 40-50 seconds 80-100 years ago)
Doctor Buteyko and his medical colleagues tested more than 250,000 Soviet and Russian patients and found that the following relationships generally hold true for the body-oxygen test in their patients:
1-10 s - severely sick, critically and terminally ill patients, usually hospitalized
10-20 s - sick patients with health complaints and, often, on daily medication
20-30 s - people with average health and usually without serious chronic health problems
40-60 s - very good health
Over 60 s - ideal health, when many chronic diseases are virtually impossible.
However, sometimes people have poor results (less than 20 s), but they do not suffer from chronic diseases. This happens when these people do not have genetic predisposition to chronic diseases (good genes), while low body O2 surely compromises their health, fitness and quality of life.
How does the body-oxygen test relate to your automatic breathing?
Minute ventilation rates (chronic diseases)
Note that advanced stages of asthma can lead to lung destruction, ventilation-perfusion mismatch,
and arterial hypercapnia causing further reduction in body oxygen levels.
Medical evidence suggests that sick people are heavy breathers. The bigger your breathing, the smaller your body-oxygen levels.
- If you have about 40 seconds for the body-oxygen test, you have normal breathing (with about 5-7 L/min for minute ventilation).
- If your time is 20 s, you breathe for 2 people or twice more than the medical norm.
- If you have 10 s of oxygen in the body or less, you breathe for at least 4 people.
Hence, if you breathe less, you naturally increase your body oxygen levels.
While this CP test is the main health parameter, it is not the only one. See factors that affect health for more detail.
This video clip explains in detail how to do the Buteyko Body Oxygen Test:
Reference pages: Breathing norms and the DIY body oxygen test:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
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 body tissues
- Nerve stabilization: Carbon dioxide has powerful calmative and sedative effects on brain neurons and nerve cells
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