Question: Can you explain how blowing in the Relaxator can, in some people, increase the level of carbon dioxide and in people with, for example, COPD or pulmonary emphysema, reduce the level of it, as these people retain too much carbon dioxide?
Answer: Many of us breathe in a way that exceeds the needs of our body, which is essentially a low-grade form of hyperventilation. The big problem with hyperventilation is that we get an imbalance between oxygen and carbon dioxide: we get too much oxygen and too little carbon dioxide. More information on the disadvantages of a low carbon dioxide pressure can be found in this article: “Carbon dioxide pressure more important than blood pressure”.
When we breathe in using the Relaxator, the purpose is, among others, to calm down our breathing and breathe more slowly. Slower breathing will reduce hyperventilation. In other words, the amount of air we breathe in and out per minute or hour will decrease. By slowing breathing, we will retain more carbon dioxide in our bodies, which will lead to increased carbon dioxide pressure.
If you have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or pulmonary emphysema, parts of your lungs are destroyed due to the collapse of alveoli (pulmonary vesicles responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the bloodstream). It then becomes difficult to fully exhale air, and as a result, your lungs and air passages will retain some of the carbon dioxide.
If the person with COPD or pulmonary emphysema exhales through a Relaxator or some similar device which increases resistance upon exhalation, the pressure in the person’s lungs will increase. The increased pressure will cause the alveoli that have collapsed, to widen, which means that the carbon dioxide can be extracted from the blood so balance can be restored.
To sum it all up, Relaxator training will help in restoring an optimal carbon dioxide pressure both during over-breathing (where carbon dioxide pressure is too low) and COPD or pulmonary emphysema (where carbon dioxide pressure is too high).