”The perfect man breathes as if he is not breathing”
The article describes normal breathing parameters based on medical textbooks and clinical observations of doctors and breathing teachers.
Lao Tze (604 - c.521 BC), Chinese Philosopher
If you have healthy friends or relatives, you can easily observe that their breathing is regular, nasal only, diaphragmatic, invisible (no chest or belly movements), and inaudible (no panting, no wheezing, no sighing, no yawning, no sneezing, no coughing, no deep inhalations or exhalations). They take small inhalations and then relax for the exhalation.
If a healthy person is asked about their breathing sensations, they will testify that they do not feel their breathing because it is very small. (Sick people usually feel movements of air, chest movements, and other effects related to their big and noisy breathing.)
The durations of inhalations and exhalations, breathing rate, amount of air inhaled per breath and other parameters are individual. Many healthy people can have the following parameters of the breathing cycle: inhalation (about 2 s); exhalation (2-3 s); automatic pause or period of almost no breathing (1 s); the depth of inhalation is about 500-600 ml; and breathing rate is about 10-12 times per minute. The international physiological norm for the breathing rate is 6 l/min (for a 70-kg man).
Most of the job of inhalation (up to 80-90%) is done by the diaphragm, the main breathing muscle. Exhalation is passive and accompanied by relaxation of all breathing muscles.
In order to define your breathing pattern, measure your body oxygenation or breath holding time after your usual exhalation, but only until the first stress or discomfort.
The person with normal breathing is going to have about 40 s breath holding time (or body oxygenation index). This indicates good oxygenation of tissues.
Sick people have deep and fast breathing 24/7 and reduced body oxygenation (usually about 10-20 s of oxygen in tissues). In the severely sick and critically ill patients, body oxygenation is below 10 s. If sick people retrain the way they breathe, their body oxygenation is restored and symptoms of many chronic conditions disappear.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Artour Rakhimov (www.normalbreathing.com) is one of the leading world’s breathing educators and teacher of the Buteyko self-oxygenation medical therapy. He is the author of books and the educational website www.normalbreathing.com devoted to natural self-oxygenation, breathing education and breathing retraining.