- Updated on July 31, 2019
By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author
Breathing exercises may or may not increase feeling energized naturally 24/7, but breathing retraining virtually always makes my students feel and be energetic when they slow down their automatic breathing back to the medical norm or breathe even slower and less than the physiological textbooks suggest. Furthermore, there is a simple breathing test that reflects oxygen levels and energy levels at the same time.
Large results for the body-oxygen test (see how to measure control pause), as I have seen in my students and many breathing teachers, mean that all tissues, including the muscles, have normal or high amounts of oxygen, and the body is full of energy, vitality, and alertness. Indeed, a person with a CP of over 60 s can walk up 3-4 flights of stairs while holding his/her breath and can resume light nasal breathing at the top. It is difficult to imagine that physical activity is hard for him/her.
Normal breathing means enjoyment of physical activity and a lot of energy. It is also not a problem for a person with a CP of over 60 s to be physically active for 8, 10, or 12 hours. Activities can include walking, gardening, or doing various physical jobs around the house every day without feeling tired. Such a person would be happy and willing to do some physical activity or job at any time of day. Furthermore, such people usually have a natural craving for physical exercise, while sleep is naturally reduced to about 4 hours without deliberate restrictions.
When we consider sick people with their 10-15 seconds CP, frequent or constant complaints about feeling tired and a lack of energy is normal. Due to abnormal excitement, the brain can get “creative” and it can easily invent “reasons” and “theories” why certain errands or jobs are undesirable or not possible. Coffee, chocolate, and sugar are among the addictive substances frequently used to boost energy levels. Without such stimulants, it can be hard and stressful to force oneself to do work. Chest breathing and mouth breathing make symptoms of fatigue and low energy much worse.
Are there any medical studies? According to their article in the Journal of Royal Society of Medicine (Rosen et al, 1990), a group of British doctors from the Department of Cardiology in Charing Cross Hospital, London, tested 100 consecutive patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue disorder. Ninety-three patients had chronic hyperventilation. If the doctors had used a stricter definition of hyperventilation (less than 40 mm Hg CO2 in the blood), probably all 100 patients would have been diagnosed with chronic hyperventilation.
When the CP is critically low (e.g., less than 10 s), chronic fatigue is a typical experience for most people. Hospitalized and severely sick patients usually have low CPs. They have very little, if any, desire to exercise (even lightly) or walk. The physical effort could, indeed, cause acute episodes and severe problems with their health.
These general observations are partially reflected in the Buteyko Table of Health Zones.
Healthy people can also temporarily have very low CPs when they, for example, are severely sick with influenza, infection, or fever. So, many healthy people can also experience chronic fatigue due to hyperventilation. Just measure your CP next time when you get a cold or flu.
However, when their CPs are low, not all people are going to complain that they are tired. Some individuals can be mentally excited and physically active, while others, especially children, may be restless and hyperactive (e.g., with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). That happens because of our individual responses to deep automatic breathing. However, normal breathing means having a lot of energy naturally.