The enormous power built into our breathing is something I got to experience fully during the fall of 2010, when I did my first “carbon dioxide training”. Generally, oxygen is considered to be the most amazing life-giving substance, while carbon dioxide is just a toxic waste product we shall rid the body of as soon as possible. However, nothing could be further from the truth. If you are skeptical, consider the following: If you have a panic attack at the hospital, you will receive a bag to breathe in. The same applies if you are afraid of flying. The flight attendant will also give you a bag to breathe in.
In both cases, breathing in the bag will make you calm. Why? Thanks to carbon dioxide. The air we breathe out (exhale) contains about 100 times more carbon dioxide than the air we breathe in (inhale). Breathing in a bag means that we reinhale some of the carbon dioxide we just exhaled.
Two of the most important characteristics of carbon dioxide are that it
a) causes the muscles surrounding the blood vessels to relax, which means the blood flows more easily, and
b) lowers the pH so that oxygen can be unloaded from the blood (called the Bohr effect) and reach our cells and organs and be of use.
The net effect of this is that more blood reaches the brain and better oxygenates the brain cells, which calms us and explains why breathing in a bag works.
Carbon dioxide – our natural
So carbon dioxide is actually our natural relaxation hormone. Carbon dioxide is constantly produced in our body, about 250 milliliters per minute, and when we breathe, we breathe out the carbon dioxide that has been built up in the body. The more active we are, the more carbon dioxide is being produced. That is why we breathe more while running compared to when we take it easy sitting on the sofa.
Impaired breathing means that we lose too much carbon dioxide and inactivity means we produce too little carbon dioxide, which lowers the carbon dioxide pressure in the body. This not only creates an environment that is favorable for fear and panic, but it also causes stress, tense muscles and impaired digestion.
But if, on the other hand, we reduce our breathing while doing physical activity, we increase the carbon dioxide pressure in the body.
60 minutes of jogging with
as few breaths as possible
One day, I decided to do what I call carbon dioxide training, which means I want to increase my carbon dioxide pressure as much as possible. I went jogging for 60 minutes, only breathing through my nose, and took 2-3 steps while inhaling and 5-8 steps while exhaling. It was very difficult to continue this challenge throughout the entire 60 minutes, but since I’m quite stubborn, I managed to stick with it.
The reward came afterwards. After getting home I sat by the kitchen table for hours, doing nothing and feeling incredibly relaxed and harmonious. I was in a near blissful state and had never experienced anything like that before. I almost looked around wondering, where are the angels? Since then I have been doing carbon dioxide training on many occasions and the harmony I feel is absolutely amazing! You can easily try this yourself and walking works just as well.
Meditation is another example of an activity where we increase the carbon dioxide pressure in the body. This happens because we slow down our breathing when we meditate. Slow and low breathing is the essence of meditation. By applying Conscious Breathing in your daily life – when you sleep, exercise, talk, work, etc. and breathe slowly, low and rhythmically through the nose, you can take advantage of all the benefits that an optimal carbon dioxide pressure provides.
Dela gärna denna sida