Body Oxygen Test or Buteyko CP (Control Pause) Test
The body oxygen test or CP (control pause) test measures body oxygen levels and evaluates minute ventilation or breathing rates using special breathing holding testing. This DIY test has
been used by about 200 Soviet and Russian medical doctors and other health
professionals. They checked 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.
The body oxygen CP test test is done with no solid food in the stomach (water is OK). 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:
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.
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
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
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?
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
- If you have 10 s of oxygen in the body or less, you breathe for at least 4
After testing 1,000s of their patients, Soviet MDs found that this CP test accurately predicts numerous lifestyle choices, symptoms, and habits of people. This includes their energy levels, fatigue, desire to exercise, mind states, stress levels, addictions, cravings, desire to eat raw foods, usual postures, and even sleep quality and its duration. I found this true for 100s of my breathing students. This information is present in the Table hidden right below here as your bonus content.
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