Bag-Breathing

Peata

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I haven't been doing that as much as I did in the beginning because I'm not sure if there's a better method than what I use.

What I did was put a large brown paper bag on my head, pulling it in at the bottom of my neck to sort of seal in my own little atmosphere in the bag. I relax, breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. I try to let my stomach rise as I breathe in and go flat as I breathe out. After maybe 2 minutes, I start to feel the effects.

Of course, I can only use this method when I'm by myself because I don't want to explain why I'm sitting with a bag over my head. What about when you use the small brown paper bags? Do you cover your mouth and nose and breathe in and out slowly?

It's just that the large paper bag allows me to breathe in and out as slow as I want since it's not sucking enough air in and out to deflate or inflate the bag with each breathe as a small paper bag would do. Also, it allows me to sit in a meditative posture since I don't have to hold the bag up.

Also, just a side note: I keep meaning to meditate more for relaxation, but I notice when I do the big paper bag breathing for a few minutes, it sort of accelerates getting me into that meditative state. I can then take off the paper bag and continue the same breathing technique. I'm sort of "fast-tracked" into the meditative state by the big paper bag breathing.

Anyone else notice this effect?
 

Dan Wich

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Peata said:
Of course, I can only use this method when I'm by myself because I don't want to explain why I'm sitting with a bag over my head.
Just write "Low Budget Sensory-Deprivation Chamber" on the front of the bag.

Peata said:
What about when you use the small brown paper bags? Do you cover your mouth and nose and breathe in and out slowly?
I just cover my mouth and breathe into it that way.

Peata said:
Anyone else notice this effect?
I'm only passingly familiar with it, but the Buteyko Method emphasizes focused, CO2-increasing breath, and I've heard of it being used by meditators. The Pranarupa blog touches on this kind of stuff if you're curious.
 

Peata

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Dan Wich said:
Peata said:
Of course, I can only use this method when I'm by myself because I don't want to explain why I'm sitting with a bag over my head.
Just write "Low Budget Sensory-Deprivation Chamber" on the front of the bag.

:D

Peata said:
What about when you use the small brown paper bags? Do you cover your mouth and nose and breathe in and out slowly?
I just cover my mouth and breathe into it that way.

I think I'm confused then about how bag breathing helps. I thought you were to "re-breathe" what you'd exhaled into the bag... that was what gave the effect. Am I wrong on this? Maybe I'm breathing back in something I shouldn't.

Peata said:
Anyone else notice this effect?
I'm only passingly familiar with it, but the Buteyko Method emphasizes focused, CO2-increasing breath, and I've heard of it being used by meditators. The Pranarupa blog touches on this kind of stuff if you're curious.
 

Peata

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My question got jumbled because I didn't know how to do the quotes thing right. Anyway:

I think I'm confused then about how bag breathing helps. I thought you were to "re-breathe" what you'd exhaled into the bag... that was what gave the effect. Am I wrong on this? Maybe I'm breathing back in something I shouldn't.
 

4peatssake

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Peata said:
My question got jumbled because I didn't know how to do the quotes thing right. Anyway:

I think I'm confused then about how bag breathing helps. I thought you were to "re-breathe" what you'd exhaled into the bag... that was what gave the effect. Am I wrong on this? Maybe I'm breathing back in something I shouldn't.
You just breath normally using the bag over your mouth. I know some people I think have rigged up larger things but simple bag breathing is just taking a brown lunch bag and breathing into it. It works great.

Just until it's uncomfortable, usually a minute or two, depending on the size of the bag. If you do it a few times in a day, you might notice that it makes your skin (e.g., under nails) pinker, by improving circulation.

The purpose of it is to improve your levels of CO2 which in hypothyroid people are usually low. I suggest reading his articles on CO2. Amazing stuff.

Ray Peat said:
In a nutrition class, in the late 70s, I described the way metabolically produced carbon dioxide opens blood vessels in the brain, and mentioned that carbonated water, or "soda water," should improve circulation to the brain when the brain's production of carbon dioxide wasn't adequate. A week later, a student said she had gone home that night and (interpreting soda water as bicarbonate of soda in water) given her stroke-paralyzed mother a glass of water with a spoonful of baking soda in it. Her mother had been hemiplegic for 6 months following a stroke, but 15 minutes after drinking the bicarbonate, the paralysis lifted, and she remained normal. Later, a man who had stroke-like symptoms when he drank alcohol late at night, found that drinking a glass of carbonated water caused the symptoms to stop within a few minutes.

Realizing that low thyroid people produce little carbon dioxide, it seemed to me that there might be a point at which the circulatory shut-down of unstimulated parts of the brain would become self-sustaining, with less circulation to an area decreasing the CO2 produced in that area, which would cause further vasoconstriction. Carbon dioxide (breathing in a bag, or drinking carbonated water, or bathing in water with baking soda) followed by thyroid supplementation, would be the appropriate therapy for this type of functional ischemia of the brain.

Source

Ray Peat said:
When carbon dioxide production is low, because of hypothyroidism, there will usually be some lactate entering the blood even at rest, because adrenalin and noradrenalin are produced in large amounts to compensate for hypothyroidism, and the adrenergic stimulation, besides mobilizing glucose from the glycogen stores, stimulates the production of lactate. The excess production of lactate displaces carbon dioxide from the blood, partly as a compensation for acidity. The increased impulse to breath (“ventilatory drive”) produced by adrenalin makes the problem worse, and lactate can promote the adrenergic response, in a vicious circle..

Source
 

mandance

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I just started on bag breathing also. But I mainly do it when I feel anxiety and it does help to calm me down a bit. I am currently getting off anti depressants and its a nightmare so I have been trying to meditate and bag breathe more and it does make a difference.
 

SheilaHelm1

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As soon as I even think about bag breathing it makes me want to take deep breaths and sends me into a bit of a panic, so I can't do it. Any tips?
 

charlie

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Breathe normal as you usually would.
 

forterpride

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So does anyone know if it's a 2 way street. I know thyroid improves co2 but does bag breathing increase thyroid? Thanks.
 

Ukall

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Just an innocent question, what is your bag made off? Plastic or paper?
Both of them don't smell that good. I find it a bit uncomfortable because of the smell :/. Paper is better though.
 

Kasper

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Just an innocent question, what is your bag made off? Plastic or paper?
Both of them don't smell that good. I find it a bit uncomfortable because of the smell :/. Paper is better though.

Yeah, me too, never really liked it because of that reason. I prefer just to slow my breathing.
 

tara

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As soon as I even think about bag breathing it makes me want to take deep breaths and sends me into a bit of a panic, so I can't do it. Any tips?
There are lots of things you can try - see what you can do that doesn't stress you out. From a non-expert who has made a little progress with this but not impressive compared with some others here, here are some ideas:
Walk with your mouth shut. If that's very easy, pick up the pace a bit or go uphill/up steps and/or add short breath-holds after each exhalation, just to the point where it gets to the edge of comfort, you don't have to start out with anything extreme.
Chinstrap (or tape) to help keep mouth closed at night.
Practice relaxing your body on the outbreath any time you think of it, and maybe pausing briefly before inhaling again.
Stick the sheet over your head when you go to sleep at night.
If you want to invest more heavily, and you've investigated enough to think low CO2 is an issue for you, you could consider getting a CO2 tank, but that's a bit more bother and expense. There are a couple of ways people have used them.

Are you getting a good amount of alkaline minerals - sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium? If your system is running chronically acidic, it may want to hyperventilate to keep pH up, in which case influencing the pH may be worth considering.
 

johnsmith

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How long should one bag breath for? Doesn't Peat suggest just a minute or two? Ive been attaching a paper bag to my face for up to 20 minutes at a time.
 

tara

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How long should one bag breath for? Doesn't Peat suggest just a minute or two? Ive been attaching a paper bag to my face for up to 20 minutes at a time.
Until it gets uncomfortable.

If you can do it for 20 minutes, I assume you've either got a very large bag or a lot of leakage. The idea is to increase the proportion of CO2 that you are inhaling till your blood CO2 level goes up a bit. In a closed system, eventually either the increased CO2 level or the reduced O2 will get uncomfortable and make you want to breath fresher air again. Doing it regularly will hopefully gradually accustom you to a higher CO2 level (and therefore better O2 delivery to tissues and cells).

You may be able to tell whether what you are doing is having a useful effect.
 

Owen B

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I have not very good effects with MB. It makes me overly tense. In addition, i had another problem with it that I nailed by a simple search of Wikipedia. I had a lot of bladder irritation and BPH. It's a side effect.

I've used bicarbonate off an on for over a year. I use Klaire Labs "Bi-Carb Formula". It's 60% potassium bicarb and 40% sodium bicarb. I get mixed results with it. Sometimes it wakes my brain up and other times not.

I have huge energy mobilization problems, with heavy brain fog most of the time. It's really worse these days after i had a series of catalepsies in April. Getting up in the morning is agonizing. The sleep hangover is intense.

I did two sessions of bag breathing this AM. Maybe a minute each. This was amazing. My brain has stayed quite awake all day and I'm breathing much fuller. There's good relaxation as well. This was the first time I had bag breathed.

I'll be doing this in the AM now after i wake up and maybe a few times during the day. I can understand how the person Peat was talking about with the ischemia felt so good after bag breathing.

But I think the Buteyko people are right. It's not about breathing heavier or fuller or more. It's about breathing less. That's why I think it was great i felt energy and relaxation. It was a balanced effect.

Peat is right: your capacity to expend energy is only as good as your capacity to relax.
 

Regina

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I have not very good effects with MB. It makes me overly tense. In addition, i had another problem with it that I nailed by a simple search of Wikipedia. I had a lot of bladder irritation and BPH. It's a side effect.

I've used bicarbonate off an on for over a year. I use Klaire Labs "Bi-Carb Formula". It's 60% potassium bicarb and 40% sodium bicarb. I get mixed results with it. Sometimes it wakes my brain up and other times not.

I have huge energy mobilization problems, with heavy brain fog most of the time. It's really worse these days after i had a series of catalepsies in April. Getting up in the morning is agonizing. The sleep hangover is intense.

I did two sessions of bag breathing this AM. Maybe a minute each. This was amazing. My brain has stayed quite awake all day and I'm breathing much fuller. There's good relaxation as well. This was the first time I had bag breathed.

I'll be doing this in the AM now after i wake up and maybe a few times during the day. I can understand how the person Peat was talking about with the ischemia felt so good after bag breathing.

But I think the Buteyko people are right. It's not about breathing heavier or fuller or more. It's about breathing less. That's why I think it was great i felt energy and relaxation. It was a balanced effect.

Peat is right: your capacity to expend energy is only as good as your capacity to relax.
And that Peat quote goes for aikido. If you tense up, you get injured. Same for both sides. Any use of force and the technique doesn't work.
 

Mauritio

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Feb 26, 2018
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I did bag breathing the first time today. After i did it a couple of times in a matter of hours ,i had a resting pulse of about 90-110 ,was sweating while doing nothing and just sitting in bed and felt kind of anxious for no reason . I know that bag breathing stimulates thyroid activity ...is that the reason and am i going hyperthyroid? Or could it be that it increases cortisol or adrenaline temporarily ?
 
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