Uncover Common Myths About Breathing

MYTH 1:  Breathing Deeper is Better
FACT:  Recommending deep breathing as a relaxation method can backfire if it initiates hyperventilation symptoms and discourages breathe regulation. Deep breathing can cause a rapid fall in carbon dioxide levels and can trigger unwanted changes in the oxygen delivery to the body. The medical literature states the deep breathing causes “up to 40% less oxygen to the brain and up to 60% less blood delivery to the body.” Paradoxically, millions of people teach deep breathing methods without considering unwanted physiological implications.

MYTH 2:  Carbon Dioxide is Bad
FACT:  Carbon dioxide, a misunderstood metabolic waste product, is one of the most important micronutrients in the body. Carbon dioxide is responsible for regulating almost every physiologic function. CO2, in the proper range (38-42 mmHg), is the prime regulator of oxygen, pH balance, electrolyte function, and blood delivery. This information has been around for decades in standard medical books.

MYTH 3:  I Need to Relax to Breathe Better
FACT:  Good breathing is important in all circumstances whether relaxed or not. Optimal breathing implies flexibility and adaptability at any moment and in real life situations.

MYTH 4: I Do Not Need Help to Breathe
FACT: Breathing irregularities can become voluntary and habitual, overriding the body’s natural reflex.  The breathing pattern can get out of sync, and it can cause unwanted physical, emotional and cognitive deficits. This condition, deceptively simple, can require intervention.

MYTH 5: Diaphragmatic Breathing is All I Need
FACT:  Diaphragmatic breathing is important, but it does not ensure proper respiration. Abdominal breathing can look perfect, but oxygen distribution may be poor. Breathing chemistry is about cellular respiration, thus providing the body with the essential nutrients for optimal body functions.   

MYTH 6:  Breathe Slower to Calm Down
FACT: Slow breathing techniques do not guarantee proper CO2 regulation. To measure respiration and blood gases, the proper technology is needed.

MYTH 7: Good Posture is Needed to Breathe Properly
FACT: Optimal respiration can be achieved regardless of poor or proper posture. Posture has nothing to do with optimal cellular respiration in any given time. 

MYTH 8:  Breathing as Exercise
FACT: Breathing is a way of life and a state of being- ongoing throughout the day.  It is meant to be dynamic and flexible.  Breathing was never meant to be controlled or manipulated as an exercise you do on any given time or day.