- Updated on September 15, 2020
Proofread by Samson Hui Proofreader on July **, 2019
Learning the Buteyko method by modules
How to Measure Morning CP
In this video, Dr. Artour Rakhimov talks about the morning CP and why this is the most important factor to measure your health state.
MCP = morning CP or morning control pause test. The MCP test is done immediately after waking up in the morning, just before you get out of bed.
Ideally, you should do the test in the same body position in which you woke up. For this, it is handy to have a ticking clock and use it to count seconds. Or you can have a stopwatch, electronic clock, or other methods to count seconds accurately. Note that counting in the head is subjective and it is easy to make a mistake that can be over 10% away from the real result.
How and why your morning CP is crucial for your health restoration
You already measured your CP (Control Pause) at different times during the day many times. Probably, you are still wondering which CP number is the most important for the Buteyko breathing method. This question is very important since the answer and attitude shape the strategy and chosen activities.
Some Buteyko breathing method practitioners emphasize the importance of many breathing sessions and the ability to achieve very large CP numbers during the day. This approach is great. However, it is even more important to maintain the same level of health during and after sleep. Why is it so?
During the night, we do not control our breathing. For most people, as discussed before, breathing is heaviest between 3 and 6 am. The CP is lowest during these early morning hours. Meanwhile, the main damage to the body with the resetting of the breathing center corresponds to the minimum daily CP. Many positive changes could be eliminated. The rate of progress is reduced.
The student has to start over almost from the beginning. This is the reason why the Morning Hyperventilation Effect is linked to the front page of this website. Remember: severely sick people are most likely to die during early morning hours (4-7 am) when their breathing is the heaviest and body oxygenation the lowest. This fact was observed in heart disease, stroke, COPD, asthma, epilepsy, and many other conditions.
Imagine, for example, what happens when the morning CP is below 10 or 20 s.
If you have asthma and hyperventilate during early morning hours (as most asthmatics do), oxygenation of the body is critically low, airways are irritated, and more inflammation is produced. Your body will try to repair airways during the day when the CP is higher. But if you hyperventilate every morning or even every other morning, healing will never take place. There is simply not enough time to heal since the damage is systematically and habitually done. It is just like scratching a wound every day until it bleeds and hopes that it will go away one day.
If you have congenital heart disease or other abnormalities in the heart muscle, the situation is the same. You will produce considerable damage to your heart, once your CP becomes less than 10 seconds. Later you may have the best breathing exercises, perfect diet, and many other great things, but if you hyperventilate every morning, there is no health system that can help you.
If you have cancer, your tumor will grow and even metastasize during early morning hours. Later, you can have the best diets and supplements, great physical exercise, and many other wonderful things that can reduce your tumor. But if your tumor grows by about 2 mm during 2-3 hours in the morning and shrinks by 1 mm during the remaining part of the day, what would be the total effect in 1-2 months?
To find out the degree of this problem, every night, just before going to sleep, the student should measure, if there are no contra-indications, the evening CP. It will tell us about the progress that has been achieved during that particular day.
The morning CP is not just a test. It also strengthens our motivation and commitment to breathe less.
After several days of measurements, there are many numbers – daily, evening and morning CPs. The goal is to find out the emerging pattern related to personal circadian CP changes. Is the morning CP much smaller than the previous evening CP? By how much? Some people have a relatively short sleep (e.g., about 6 hours) even when their CPs are about 10 s or less. Usually, these people do not have problems with morning CP. It is nearly the same as their evening CP values.
Practice shows that over 50% of modern students have a large CP drop (at least twice) during the night sleep. For some of these people, the drop is even more drastic. Only a small proportion of people (about 5-10%) have almost no difference (e.g., 1-2 s) between the evening and morning CP values.
Practicing breathing exercises and many other common-sense activities gradually restore CO2 level back to usual daily values. During the next night, the pattern is repeated again: good daily values with about 30-70% morning CP drop.
Would the morning CP, after weeks of practice, improve, if breathing exercises and common sense activities are practiced? The practice of Buteyko breathing method practitioners shows that usually, it will, but it is physiologically obvious that low morning CP would be the greatest obstacle impeding general CP (Control Pause) progress and health restoration. It would make sense, therefore, to address this problem directly. However, the first step is to find out the severity of the problem. Hence, it is important to measure and record your morning CP.
Spanish version of this page: Cómo y porqué medir y grabar CP matutino cada día