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Body Oxygen Test or CP Test

Guyton oxygen for diseases quote

The DIY body oxygen test (CP 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.

Breath holding womanSit 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:

Breath holding or Control Pause Test: Correct and Incorrect

Warning signWarning. 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.

Control Pause 
(oxygenation index or stress-free breath hoolding time) in sick people - 9 medical studies

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)

Medical people smilingDoctor 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)

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.

Sick people and a doctorMedical 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.

Lifestyle factor: Body oxygen < 30 s Body oxygen > 50 s
Energy level Medium, low, or very low High
Desire to exercise Not strong, but possible Craving and joy of exercise
Intensive exercise with nose breathing Hard or impossible Easy and effortless
Typical mind states Confusion, anxiety, depression Focus, concentration, clarity
Craving for coffee, sugar and junk foods Present Absent
Addictions to smoking, alcohol, and drugs Possible Absent
Desire to eat raw foods Weak and rare Very common and natural
Correct posture Rare and requires efforts Natural and automatic
Sleep Often of poor quality; > 7 hours Excellent quality; < 5 hours naturally

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:

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