Tissue hypoxia (poor body oxygenation) is normal for asthma, bronchitis, cancer, heart disease, chronic fatigue, diabetes, skin conditions, GI problems and many other disorders. Since BHT (breath holding time) test is sensitive to body oxygenation, this test should produce abnormally low values for sick people depending on the degree of their disease. Indeed, tens of Western studies that proved that sick people have poor breath holding abilities.
Among all varieties of the BHT test we have to exclude our psychological ability to extend breath holds by pushing ourselves. How? Russian and Western MD's found, we should compare stress-free versions of the breath-holding time test, when we hold our breath only until the first stress or discomfort. Next, in order to exclude our differences in lungs, the test should be started after usual exhalation. This version of the test is most sensitive to body oxygenation.
Consider some western BHT studies. Each paragraph starts with the first author of the study and the year of the publication. Then we have various subjects, number of the tested people, and their average result in seconds. Note that the first study was conducted almost almost a century ago when we had much fewer people with chronic diseases.
Fit instruors (22 people) 46 seconds BHT
Home defense pilots (24 people) 49 s
British candidates (23) 47 s
US candidates (7) 45 s
Delivery and test pilots (27) 39 s
Pilots training for scouts (15) 42 s
Pilots taken off flying through stress – less than 35 s
Normal subjects (30) 23 s
Neurocirculatory asthenia (54) 16 s
Mirsky et al, 1946
Normal subjects (22) 33 s
Anxiety states (62) 20 s
Kohn & Cutcher, 1970
Normals and class 1 heart patients (16) 16 s
Class 2 and 3 heart patients (53) 13 s
Pulmonary emphysema (3) 8 s
Functional heart disease (13) 5 s
Davidson et al, 1974
Normal subjects (6) 28 s
Asymptomatic asthmatics (7) 20 s
Perez-Padilla et al, 1989
Asthmatics with symptoms (13) 11 s
Zandbergen et al., 1992
Normal subjects (14) 25 s
Panic attack (14) 11 s
Anxiety disorders (14) 16 s
Gay et al., 1994
Outpatients (25) 17 s
Inpatients (25) 10 s
COPD or CHF (congenital heart failure) (7) 8 s
Heavy smokers (12) 8 s
Asmudson & Stein, 1994
Normal subjects (26) 21 s
Panic disorder (23) 16 s
Taskar et al., 1995
Normal subjects (30) 36 s
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (30) 20 s
McNally & Eke, 1996
Normal subjects (76) 25 s
Flume et al., 1996
Normal subjects (10) 38 s
Successful lung transplantation (9) 23 s
Successful heart transplantation (8) 28 s
Marks et al, 1997
Normal subjects (31) 29 s
Outpatients with COPD (87) 8 s
This stress-free version of the breath holding time test became the main measuring tool for doctors practicing the Buteyko self-oxygenation medical therapy. The therapy was created by Russian Doctor Konstantin Buteyko, MD who trained about 200 other Russian MDs to use this therapy in practice. He and his colleagues even claimed the special name "the CP" (Control Pause) for the stress-free BHT test they used.
How the CP test is done
Relax and rest for 5-7 minutes while sitting. After your usual exhalation, pinch your nose, and count your BHT (breath holding time) in seconds. Hold your breath until you experience the first desire to breathe. This first desire usually appears together with an involuntary push of the diaphragm or rolling movement in the throat. If you release the nose and start breathing at this time, you will have your usual breathing pattern (as before the test). Do not push yourself for better numbers. You should not gas for air or open your mouth when you release your nose. The test should be very easy. The CP test does not interfere with your breathing.
[Warning. Very few people with panic problems, heart disease, or migraine headaches may have unpleasant symptoms minutes later after the CP test. If this happens, they should avoid this test.]
What about CP norms, typical CP numbers, and CP of people with diseases?
Doctor Buteyko and his colleagues tried hundred thousand patients. Together they generated millions of CP measurements and found the following:
Over 60 s of oxygen in the body – ideal health, when many chronic diseases are not possible;
40-60 s – good health state;
20-40 s of oxygen – people with poor health, but often without serious organic problems;
10-20 s – sick patients with numerous complaints and, often, on daily medication (typical patients with mild asthma, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, fatigue, depression, sleeping problems, etc.).
1-10 s – critically and terminally ill patients, severely sick, usually hospitalized. Moreover, as their and some western studies found, with approaching death, most people's breathing becomes heavier and deeper, while the CP gradually goes down: 5 s, 4 s, 3, 2, and only 1 second of oxygen just before the death.
Based on their observations, a large group of Buteyko doctors, after studying and curing thousands of patients, suggested the standard for ideal health: 60 s CP. This standard provides guarantee from such chronic conditions as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, COPD, arthritis, and many others.
The practice of these MDs revealed that there are numerous lifestyle factors that reduce body oxygenation and the CP. These factors include overeating, lack of physical activity, stress, infections, toxins, poisons, most medical drugs, sunbathing, nutritional deficiencies, breathing through the mouth, sleeping on one's back, and many others. In fact, everything that destroys or harms our health reduces body oxygenation. How? All these negative factors make breathing heavier and larger. (You can easily observe this effect in real life: sick people have heavy and deep breathing pattern 24/7, but their breath holding time is short; breathing of healthy people is invisible and inaudible, but they can hold their breath for long time and Have more oxygen in the body.)
It makes sense that the goal of the Buteyko oxygenation therapy is to make breathing of sick people lighter using special breathing exercises and correction of health-destructive habits.
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