- Updated on December 16, 2021
By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author
One may realize the dangers of over-breathing by performing an HVPT (hyperventilation provocation test), during which the person should breathe very quickly and deeply, usually for about 2-3 minutes. (It would be impossible to do it much longer due to losing consciousness, while forceful involuntary over-breathing when a pump is used, would cause death in dozens of minutes). This short over-breathing test has a well-recorded history of clinical use and was employed by many medical doctors to provoke the symptoms of the main health problem to diagnose it, as well as to demonstrate to patients that hyperventilation was the main cause of their symptoms. Thus, using deep and fast breathing, you can reproduce your specific health symptoms.
Over-breathing is an excellent tool used by medical doctors around the world to find out the sickest organs and systems in any particular patient.
For example, voluntary over-breathing in asthmatics cause an asthma attack, in people with hypertension – the heart attack, in epileptics – epilepsy attack, etc. Here is a short summary of medical studies regarding different health conditions, the number of patients investigated, and the percentage of patients who reproduced their specific health problem.
– coronary artery spasms (Nakao et al, 1997) 206 patients, 100% specific;
– bronchial asthma (Mojsoski N & Pavicic F, 1990) 90 patients, 100% specific;
– panic attacks (Bonn & Readhead, 1984; Holt PE, Andrews, 1989; Nardi et al, 2000), 95% specific; – epileptic absence seizures (Esquivel, 1991; Wirrel, 1996).
Important notice. The hyperventilation provocation test should not be performed by people who have certain severe health problems, without professional supervision, due to possible complications.
The symptoms experienced can be reversed by reducing ventilation and raising carbon dioxide stores to previous values. Another important finding of these and other authors is that most people, including numerous above-mentioned patients, were unaware of their abnormal breathing pattern and believed that they breathed normally.
Bonn JA, Readhead CP, Timmons BH, Enhanced adaptive behavioral response in agoraphobic patients pretreated with breathing retraining, Lancet 1984 Sep 22; 2(8404): 665-669.
Holt PE, Andrews G, Provocation of panic: three elements of the panic reaction in four anxiety disorders, Behav Res Ther 1989; 27(3): p. 253-261.
Mojsoski N, Pavicic F, Study of bronchial reactivity using dry, cold air and eucapnic hyperventilation [in Serbo Croatian], Plucne Bolesti 1990 Jan-Jun; 42(1-2): p. 38-42.
Nakao K, Ohgushi M, Yoshimura M, Morooka K, Okumura K, Ogawa H, Kugiyama K, Oike Y, Fujimoto K, Yasue H, Hyperventilation as a specific test for diagnosis of coronary artery spasm. Am J Cardiol 1997 Sep 1; 80(5): p. 545- 549.
Nardi AE, Valenca AM, Nascimento I, Mezzasalma MA, Lopes FL, Zin WA, Hyperventilation in panic disorder patients and healthy first-degree relatives, Braz J Med Biol Res 2000 Nov; 33(11): p. 1317-1323.