Ideal Breathing Pattern: 3 Breaths/Min for Maximum Body Oxygen
"...Methods of performing Pranayama: 12. In the beginning there is perspiration, in the middle stage there is quivering, and in the last or third stage, one obtains steadiness; and then the breath should be made steady or motionless."
Hatha Yoga Pradipika (the manuscript written in 15th century; the foundation of Hatha Yoga)
There are many thousands of modern articles, books, and internet web pages written about breathing. Many of them talk about benefits of ideal breathing for various systems of the human body and to cure numerous diseases. However, authors of most articles virtually never give exact parameters of the ideal breathing pattern. They can mention something about deep "cleansing" breathing and discuss the poisonous and toxic nature of carbon dioxide. You can find the exact graph of the ideal breathing pattern below. This pattern can be measured, if you have one, using a simple DIY body-oxygen test (or the CP test).
What makes the human body most resistant to pathological organisms and diseases? How should we breathe days and nights for superior abilities in relation to sleep; digestion; physical fitness; survival without sleep, food and water for days; healing of wounds and broken bones; and some lost and unique skills which were generously granted to humans by Nature?
On previous web pages, we considered the exact parameters for the normal breathing pattern (for healthy people), ineffective breathing pattern (for the moderately sick people with chronic diseases), and the heavy breathing pattern (for the severely and critically sick). It is logical to suggest that the ideal breathing pattern will correspond to very slow breathing with very high body-oxygen levels due to very slow breathing with reduced minute ventilation at rest and 24/7.
In 1960-1980s Dr. Buteyko trained about 200 Soviet doctors to use the Buteyko breathing technique in their clinical practice. His main requirement for these breathing practitioners was 60 s CP or body oxygen level. Some of them had up to 2-3 min for this hard test. In addition, Dr. Buteyko taught the Buteyko breathing method to many hundreds of Russian patients, who got up to 1-3 minutes for their body oxygen level or CP.
Dr. Buteyko's finding was that the typical breathing rate at rest for people with 2-3 min CP (stress free breath-holding time test done after usual exhalation) was about 3-5 breaths per minute with a minute volume of about 1.5-2.5 l/min. It corresponds to a slow and relaxed inhalation and very long automatic pause (period of no breathing) of 9-16 seconds. These results can be found in the Buteyko Table of Health Zones from the Homepage section.
Hence, the ideal breathing pattern, if we consider the clinical experience of about 200 Russian MDs and the Buteyko Table of Health Zones, corresponds to a 3 min CP and only 3 breaths/min at rest for an ideal breathing rate (for unconscious or automatic breathing).
Note that the maximum breath-holding time for the ideal breathing pattern will be over 7 minutes. Indeed, the Buteyko Table of Health Zones suggests the MP (maximum pause after usual exhalation) is 210 seconds or 3.5 min. Hence, after maximum inhalation, this result will be about 2-2.5 times greater. Practical testing found that such people usually have about 7-8 min for their maximum breath holding time.
Ideal breathing pattern chart
Fig. The ideal breathing pattern at rest is 3 breaths/min, 1.5-2 L/min for minute ventilation, and 180 s for the stress-free breath holding time test (optimum or ideal body oxygenation). The inhalation is about 1.5 s, exhalation 2.5 s, and the automatic pause (natural pause of relaxation with no breathing) is up to 16 s.
The same ideal breathing rate (3 breaths/min) has been observed in hatha yoga masters.
According to numerous testimonials, various physiological and psychological changes take place during this super slow or ideal breathing. As we discussed before, this extra healthy state restores certain biochemical processes, which were normal for humans in the past.
Benefits of ideal breathing
Sleep becomes much shorter naturally. Only 2 hours of sleep are enough for people who have a 3 minute CP. They simply do not get any desire to sleep more, but usually develop a healthy habit to have short (about 5-10 minutes) naps in the middle of the day.
The human organism starts to produce antibodies in saliva that can suppress pathogens causing cavities and the formation of plague. (Indeed, archaeological artifacts of human skulls show that some centuries ago humans had much less problems with dental plaque and cavities or caries. While some people claim that our diet is to blame, even with the ideal diet modern 20-25 s CP people in some months will still get plaque and can get cavities too.)
It becomes possible to digest wider varieties of fibers and other foods (roots, leafs, flowers, bones) and extract nutrients and energy from them.
Cuts, wounds and broken bones can get healed in a matter of days, instead of weeks or months.
Humans can survive for days without getting water, food, and sleep, while having their high CP and energy to search for water and food and fight, if necessary, for life.
Pregnant females have painless childbirth. Child delivery becomes an easy and relaxing experience. [Those who suffer from pain due to constipation can check this effect of higher CO2 and CP by creating strong air hunger with long breath holds and reduced breathing.]
The super state of the mind triggers extrasensory abilities (to feel the emotions of other people, see aura around them, communicate thoughts without speech or have telepathic abilities, etc.). The perception of reality becomes more accurate and more detached from personal (egoistic) involvement.
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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