QUESTION: When I use the Relaxator, I start yawning. Why is that?
ANSWER: The three most common reasons for yawning when breathing retraining with the Relaxator are:
Fatigue. That we are yawning may be a sign that we are tired. When we exercise with the Relaxator, the body becomes more in balance and then tells us what our natural state is. If it is true that we are actually tired and need to sleep, then the Relaxator training can make us start yawning.
Shallow breathing. If we have a shallow breathing, it causes tense muscles in the neck, shoulders, back and neck. The shallow breathing causes these muscles to take on a greater share of the muscle work required to move the air in and out.
It is normally the main task of the diaphragm to move the air in and out as we breathe. Since the muscles of the neck, shoulders, back and neck are not designed to be constantly active, they become overworked, worn-out and tense. If the neck muscles, which continue up into the head, are tense, it may cause tension in the jaw. When we yawn, it is a way to try to reduce tension in the jaw.
General stress and pressure in everyday life may also cause us to clench out teeth and strain our jaws. Gritting your teeth at night is a sign of stress and tense jaws.
Hyperventilation. Yawning can also indicate that the Relaxator is set to a resistance level that is too high. When we are all pumped up, it is common for us to increase our breathing more than is called for. We hyperventilate, which increases the outflow of carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide is constantly produced in the body and leaves the body upon exhalation. It is the carbon dioxide pressure that controls breathing. During stress or hyperventilation, the respiratory center is reset so that your body’s ability to tolerate carbon dioxide decreases, i.e. the carbon dioxide pressure drops. When you have the Relaxator set to a high number (high resistance), the carbon dioxide builds up too quickly, and you are forced to take big breaths after a while, for example by yawning, to extract the carbon dioxide so that the carbon dioxide pressure is kept at the level that the breathing center is set to.
It is roughly as if you were to start exercising at a very poor fitness level. You do not start by running ten kilometers but maybe by walking one kilometer, and then you must gradually work your way up to an even better fitness.
What the Relaxator helps you do is increase your ability to tolerate carbon dioxide and, thus, be able to breathe more slowly, but the key is to take it at a rate your body can handle. Here is an article that highlights how carbon dioxide pressure affects our health.