Better Physiology™ developers and manufacturers of the CapnoTrainer™ has this to say about breathing:
“Good breathing mechanics rather than good respiratory physiology have unfortunately become almost the exclusive focus of breathing training and learning often along with insistence on tying it to relaxation training regimens in the context of specific philosophical and/or professional agenda. As a result it is not surprising then that at least 50 percent of therapists and trainers who teach breathing actually deregulate respiratory chemistry by inducing overbreathing with their instructions to trainees not realizing that they are inducing system-wide physiological crisis through the establishment of hypocapnia i.e. carbon dioxide deficit. Unfortunately based on this kind of thinking myths and misunderstandings about good breathing often constitute the working knowledge of professionals and lay audiences alike.”
Did you know that overbreathing (CO2 deficiency) can trigger or exacerbate physical and psychological complaints such as:
•Shortness of breath • breathlessness • chest tightness/pressure • chest pain • feelings of suffocation • sweaty palms • cold hands • tingling of the skin • numbness • heart palpitations • irregular heart beat • anxiety • apprehension • emotional outbursts • stress • tenseness • fatigue • weakness • exhaustion • dry mouth • nausea • light-headedness • dizziness • fainting • black-out • blurred vision • confusion • disorientation • attention deficit • poor thinking • poor memory • poor concentration impaired judgment • problem solving deficit • reduced pain threshold • headache • trembling • twitching • shivering • muscle tension • spasm • stiffness • abdominal • cramps • bloatedness
Did you know that in predisposed individuals overbreathing (CO2 deficiency) may trigger or exacerbate:
Phobias (e.g. public speaking) • migraine phenomena • hypertension • attention disorder • asthma attacks • angina attacks • heart attacks • panic attacks • hypoglycemia • ischemia (e.g. tissue hypoxia) • depression • epileptic seizures • sexual dysfunction • sleep disturbances • allergy • irritable bowel syndrome • repetitive strain injury • chronic fatigue.
Use the CapnoTrainer for learning and teaching about respiration (breathing chemistry). Use it for:
• Detecting deregulated breathing chemistry through experience
• Developing sensitivity to subtle shifts in breathing chemistry
Overbreathing and its effects on attention and cognition
• Overbreathing and its effects on emotion and stress
• Overbreathing and its effects behavior and physiology
• Overbreathing and its effects on athletic performance
• Shifting breathing chemistry for shifts in consciousness
• Coordinating breathing mechanics for good chemistry
• Achieving and maintaining good respiration
• Evaluating breathing behavior for personalized training
• Embracing vs. defending through breathing heart wave training
If you are a trainer or a self-management coach the CapnoTrainer can serve as an important adjunctive tool for:
• Peak performance training
• Relaxation training
• Attention training
• Alertness training
• Patient education
• Stress management
• Childbirth training
• Motivational training
• Public speaking
• Learning enhancement
• Anxiety management (e.g. testing)
• Anger management
• Mastering performance challenges (e.g. in aviation)
• Athletic training
• Breathing training of all kinds
OVERBREATHING AND PERFORMANCE
Oxygen concentration and glucose supply in the brain can be reduced by 50% through decreased blood flow as a result of CO2 deficit. Further, the blood alkalosis means that hemoglobin is less inclined to distribute oxygen actually present in the brain. Thus together the net effect of reduced blood flow and disinclined hemoglobin is major reduction in oxygen supply. This dramatic shift in chemistry can result in the following kinds of performance decrements:
Cognitive deficits: attention, memory, thinking, problem solving, concentrating, multitasking, and judgment. Consider for example the impact on attention deficit disorder (ADD) in children and adults.
Emotional reactions: anger, anxiety, phobia, fear, apprehension, panic, stress, and depression. Overbreathing triggers emotions e.g. anger in a challenging discussion with a significant other.
Personality changes: self-esteem, defensiveness, withdrawal, and type-A behavior. Overbreathing leads to state shifting to dissociative shifts much like the effects of a drug where defensive personality patterns may emerge.
Consciousness shifts: dizziness, feelings of unreality, confusion, fuzziness, disorientation, and disconnection. Consider for example the impact of these effects on listening skills.
Interpersonal skills: communication, public speaking, romantic encounters, social ease, openness, and presence. Consider for example the impact of emotional reactivity and attention deficit on public speaking.
Perceptual-motor skills: coordination, physical precision, fine motor skills, and balance. Consider the impact of these effects on precision behavior along with emotional and cognitive effects in piloting an aircraft.
OVERBREATHING AND HEALTH
A British general practitioner at a conference recently asked: “Why is it that we physicians don’t look at physiology for understanding symptoms without pathology or what we often call ‘unexplained” symptoms - If we did most of our patients wouldn’t go off in despair to complementary healthcare practitioners and we might even earn back their respect.” Overbreathing leads to a major shift in physiology a shift that can mediate “unexplained” physical symptoms, emotional reactivity, and performance decrements!
The New England Journal of Medicine (2002) says: “…extensive data from a spectrum of physiological systems indicate that hypocapnia has the potential to propagate or initiate pathological processes. As a common aspect of many acute disorders hypocapnia may have a pathogenic role in the development of systemic diseases” And then “Increasing evidence suggests that hypocapnia appears to induce substantial adverse physiological and medical effects”
In Clinical Acid-Base Balance (1997) a basic medical textbook the authors say “Hypocapnia-induced vasospasm is responsible for reduced cerebral blood flow and neurological symptoms for reduced coronary blood flow and chest pain for paraesthesiae of limbs and circumoral pallor.
Vascular system: migraine, arrhythmias, hypertension, heart attack, angina, stroke. The New England Journal of Medicine (2002) says “Hypocapnia has been clearly linked to the development of arrhythmias.” Studies in Holland have documented medical savings of 45% over a 5-year period in heart attack patient’s findings that led to legislation requiring cardiac rehabilitation centers to offer breathing training.
Digestive system: nausea, cramping, irritable bowel syndrome, pain, and bloatedness. Alkalosis triggers smooth muscle constriction in the gut and thereby triggering or exacerbating the digestive and related disorders.
Nervous system: headache, “brain fog”, blurred vision, fatigue, pain threshold, numbness, and neurological syndromes. Overbreathing is used deliberately in emergency medicine for controlling cerebral bleeding. This fact points to the immensity of the impact of hypocapnia on brain functioning and its implications for triggering neurological syndromes e.g. epilepsy and ADD.
Respiratory system: asthma attacks, altitude sickness, shortness of breath, chest pain, and sleep apnea. For example, according to the New England Journal of Medicine (2002) “Hypocapnia is a common finding in patients with sleep apnea and may be pathogenic.” Overbreathing can trigger asthma attacks and it is the primary factor in altitude illness (respiratory alkalosis).
Musculoskeletal system: repetitive strain injury, headache, calcium-magnesium imbalance, and muscle spasm pain, weakness, and fatigue. According to the American Journal of Industrial Medicine (2002) hypocapnia can “…have adverse implications for musculoskeletal health including increase muscle tension muscle spasm amplified response to catecholamines and muscle ischemia and hypoxia.”
Reproductive system: pregnancy, premature birth, eclampsia, placental perfusion deficiency, erectile dysfunction. According to the New England Journal of Medicine (2002) in regard to pregnancy “…further lowering of the partial pressure of arterial CO2 - even for a short duration - such as during anesthesia for cesarean section - may have serious adverse effects on the fetus.”
The CapnoTrainer is excellent for learning and teaching about respiration and how breathing affects the chemistry (physiology) of our bodies.
Observe the following physiology:
• CO2 waveform in mmHg: airflow pattern
• Breathing rhythmicity: breath holding gasping
• End-tidal CO2 (ETCO2) in mmHg: overbreathing
• Coordinating breath: rate and depth
• Heart Rate beat to beat calculations: heart rate variability
• Breathing Heart Wave (BHW): parasympathetic tone
• BHW amplitude in beats per minute: degree of relaxation
• Breathing rate averages in breaths per minute
• Heart Rate (HR) averages (traditional measurement)
• CapnoTrainer software runs on PC desktops and laptops 750 MHz and higher and is powered through USB in Windows 98 (second edition) Millennium 2000 NT and XP (recommended).
Restricted Use: The CapnoTrainer is an educational instrument designed for enhancing performance through learning and/or teaching good respiration. It should NOT be used for medical diagnosis or treatment under any circumstances.