Bag Breathing Vs Breath Holding?

Discussion in 'CO2, Bag Breathing' started by CellularIconoclast, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. CellularIconoclast

    CellularIconoclast Member

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    Is there any particular benefit to bag breathing, or does breath holding do the exact same thing?
     
  2. jyb

    jyb Member

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    First, you'd have to be able to hold breath for a minute or two. Second, that would trigger a stress reaction, maybe it would defeat the whole purpose. On the contrary, bag breathing should just make you feel calmer thanks to increased CO2 and normalize your breath. However if by breath holding you mean breathing slowly, then I don't see why it shouldn't be equivalent, just that bag breathing is quicker.
     
  3. j.

    j. Guest

    Bag breathing requires less effort and focus.
     
  4. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    I'm with jyb and j. in preferring bag breathing. I do think it is helpful to become aware of our breathing and breathe through the nose as much as possible. I try to consciously slow my breathing if I notice it is too rapid. I've been trying to read up on buteyko which is all about slowing the breathing but as much as I enjoy reading about it there seems to only be so much time in the day to focus on breathing. I still think bag breathing seems a pretty simple and effective way to improve CO2 without spending substantial amount of time on the process.
     
  5. j.

    j. Guest

    If you wake up with hyperventilation in the middle of the night, and don't have a lot of energy to hold your breath, you can just put some bag to breathe, half-asleep, effortlessly.
     
  6. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    Sometimes I like to pause my breathing just to the point where it starts to become a challenge before I take my next breath. This is nice during long meetings where I start to have a strong desire to leave the room. I suppose this is just holding the breath but I just never thought of it from that perspective. It may be similar to what is considered a controlled pause in buteyko but I just take a normal inhalation and hold it for about 15 seconds personally. A buteyko practitioner might say I have it all wrong. Apparently some people work up to a very long controlled pause and I have noticed mine has increased even without lots of effort. I agree with not holding the breath to the point it becomes stressful, that would probably be the same as bag breathing to the point of air hunger-counter productive(imo).
     
  7. OP
    CellularIconoclast

    CellularIconoclast Member

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    Can you elaborate on this? I would rather do breath holding as I find that I can't practically do bag breathing during the day. It's highly associated with panic attacks and other medical emergencies, so I think it would make the people around me very concerned and worried. In movies people doing bag breathing are often portrayed as emotionally out of control, and prone to irrational and dangerous behavior. Do any of you guys manage to do bag breathing during a normal day, when working with other people?

    As a kid I used to practice freediving a lot, and would challenge other kids to retrieve heavy objects from the bottom of a river or lake. I found that the more I did this the longer I could do it, and I wasn't stressed or gasping for air at the end.

    I was surprised that after being down a long time, I felt very relaxed and wasn't gasping for air... but was able to comfortably breath slower than normal, often for the rest of the day.

    This was very confusing to me as a child. How could breathing less make me feel like I didn't need to breath much, but intentionally breathing more (hyperventilating) made me feel dizzy and out of breath? This never did make sense to me until I read Ray's articles on CO2.
     
  8. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    I think if you gradually extend your breath holds its not that stressful at all. I personally stop when it begins to become the slightest bit uncomfortable. You should not have a problem if you take it slow. I hide in a closet that locks to bag breathe during work and sit right next to a box of oxygen masks! :lol:
     
  9. jyb

    jyb Member

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    Well, if you just hold your breath for minutes you sure will have a panic attack and need air. You'd feel urged to breath, the breath wouldn't be normalized. So it defeats the purpose. RP wrote that bag breathing just a few times daily was sufficient to increase CO2. There is another quote from him about it being more effective for that purpose than ingesting baking soda. When I bag breathe, I lay on my bed and wrap my head with a blanket. The air inside should get warmer, as I breath normally or even a bit slower, and if it feel uncomfortable I let some fresh air in, and do so for a few minutes. It should be relaxing overall. I do it morning, after work, and at bedtime, on the days when I don't forget. I find bedtime one the most useful, as this can potentially improve sleep.
     
  10. tara

    tara Member

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    I made improvements in night-time hyperventilation by using a small piece of tape and a little butter. It improved my sleep significantly. If you catch yourself waking up with an open mouth (or dry mouth, or dribble on pillow:):, I'd strongly recommend this. There are also chin straps you can buy to do this job, but I haven't tried one - I'm happy with my method in the meantime, till I get my CO2 set point and/or CO2 production up enough not to need it.
    I practice breathing exercises when waiting at at traffic lights - either yogaish or short holds or just shallow. I think holding breath can be useful, just don't push it too far if it causes panic. You can hold yr breath while walking etc too. I tried putting cloth over my head in bed, but I tended to breath more heavily, and I wasn't sure the value of the increased CO2 was worth the training in heavy breathing. If I woke up heavy breathing, the only way I could calm it was to get up and move and eat. At work, you can get a little of the effect of bag breathing by breathing into cupped hands - less likely to push other peoples buttons, and always available.
    I can sometimes help my child interrupt early asthma symptoms by getting him to do several short breath holds in a row. Patrick Keown says if you practice several times a day till you can walk 80 brisk steps while holding your breath on an out breath, you won't get symptoms of asthma.I don't get asthma. My record so far is 50 steps. I expect the same principles would apply to many conditions exacerbated by low CO2.
     
  11. paper_clips43

    paper_clips43 Member

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    I am fascinated with breathing as well. Having done different Prana Yama techniques, bag breathing, and Mantak Chia warrior breath and many others I find Buteyko the easiest to adhere to. If no one is around I just close nose for 5 or more seconds every 5 seconds. It is so simple and feels so good.

    Swimming coaches say that brain cells do not die until 4 minutes of breath holding and its pretty much common knowledge in those circles that its just about pushing past the pain of holding to lengthen time. Some of them also hyperventilate before swimming, less than 5 breaths total, and supposedly you can hold your breath longer. I am guessing that’s because it puts more oxygen in the body so it can draw from it while you hold your breath and start increasing Co2
     
  12. tara

    tara Member

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    I also spent a few hours with a belt around my chest a couple of times to force me to breath abdominally. This was effective in helping me retrain this habit.
    I used to get a blocked nose often, and thought I breathed through mouth because my nose was blocked. I've now learned that it's the other way around - the nasal passages swell and block when you breath too much - which we tend to do if the mouth is open. My last few colds were much shorter and less unpleasant because I forced myself to nose breath at night. Very unpleasant for the first couple of minutes, and then good for the rest of the night. Also helpful has been resisting the urge to cough more than I needed, and holding my breath briefly after coughing , sneezing, yawning etc.
     
  13. tara

    tara Member

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    I think the extra breaths before swimming just lowers the blood CO2 without raising the blood O2 much. O2 is normally close to saturation, and you can't raise it very much, unless it is really low to begin with. Lowering the CO2 means it takes longer for your CO2 level to come up to the set point that signals time to breathe again. In the meantime, oxygen can get low, and the reduced CO2 means you get less O2 delivered where you need it.
    If you overdo this hyperventilation technique, it can be dangerous. (I've heard that on rare occasions people have run out of oxygen before the CO2 trigger told them they had to come up to come to the surface). My guess is fit healthy swimmers/divers may have some leeway to use this a little for short-term performance, as long as they don't overdo it (5 breaths limits it), but I wouldn't recommend it as healthy practice. But swimming itself seems to have a good record for health, possibly partly because it helps retrain slower breathing.
    I wish we had some nice warm chlorine-free pools round here.
     
  14. BingDing

    BingDing Member

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    I'll second that! The freshwater springs in north Florida are just heavenly, it's almost worth a trip by itself. I hate chlorinated pools.

    The stress is that it is impossible to commit suicide by holding your breath. Your body just won't let you.

    I got a tank of CO2 last year and attached a nozzle with a very small orifice. I started slow because I wasn't sure what I was doing but now I just hold the nozzle at arms length and blast it at my face while I inhale. Bring that rig into work if you really want to wow your coworkers, LOL.

    It's the same basic idea as bag breathing but I like it more. It's almost automatic to start breathing slower, not surprisingly. When I first read about Buteyko I could only hold hold an exhale for around 10 seconds. A couple days ago I held an inhale for probably 40 seconds just for grins, it was effortless.

    My 2 cents.
     
  15. tara

    tara Member

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    BingDing: 10s -> 40s - I'm impressed. Can you tell directly that it has good effects?
     
  16. BingDing

    BingDing Member

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    tara, most definitely I can feel the effects. The change in breathing, sometimes a small brain rush, always a calming effect.

    I saw in another thread that you have a tank of CO2, too. The valves are very sturdy but a regulator would be useful, at least to keep from wasting the CO2; cracking the valve slightly is theoretically workable but I think is tough to do. But maybe with practice...
     
  17. tara

    tara Member

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    My plan is to fill a bag first, then try an arm or leg, then climb in altogether. If the results seem worth it after a few experiments, I may decide to fork out for a regulator so I can fill a bag after i/whoever has climbed in. I expect it to be tricky to climb in without wasting too much gas. No doubt we'll get to breath a little extra in the process. I think the risk of filling with someone inside without the regulator might be too risky - too much too fast would be freezing cold, right? I've already taken a bit of a risk spending money on the tank, and a regulator would nearly double that cost, so that's why I want to try it out first. Does that sound like a workable plan?
     
  18. BingDing

    BingDing Member

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    I might have caused some confusion between breathing CO2 and body bag stuff from the other thread, sorry. I think your plan is totally workable. The gas probably won't be real cold but the valve might be; even touching the valve won't be any real damage. I can't see any reason not to experiment with it.

    Let us know how it goes!
     
  19. himsahimsa

    himsahimsa Member

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    A Suffeggestion

    You know those things people who use oxygen wheel around with? There is a thing that goes under the nose and there must also be a regulator made specifically for that whole setup. It might be fittable to a CO[sub]2[/sub] tank (or not) and the nose thing would be more consistent and less wasteful than blasting the gas at your face with a nozzle.

    Of course, full body sounds pretty good. I was thinking bathing in a sodium bicarbonate solution and periodically dumping in a cup or so of vinegar to drive CO[sub]2[/sub] off the sodium and into the water.

    Just speculating.
     
  20. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    Re: A Suffeggestion

    If someone manages to get a flow regulator and a nasal cannula for use in administering CO2 I would be careful to not set the flow above 1liter. Every liter is equal to 3-4% CO2 depending on the rate and depth of the breaths. I'm not aware of Peat ever mentioning any CO2 above 5-7% inhalation as being beneficial. Personally I think bag breathing, breath holds and even CO2 or baking soda bathing would be the safer choice. Although it is exceedingly rare with healthy lungs people can over do it on CO2 especially if attempting to breath it directly from a 100% CO2 source such as a tank. I plan on getting a tank myself and I really appreciate the value of CO2 but I also respect the power of this substance to potentially cause problems in unnaturally high amounts. I'm the last one to be fear mongering but CO2 optimization should always be taken slow (IMO).
     
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