Measure your Control Pause
- Take a small, silent breath in and a small, silent breath out.
- Hold your nose with your fingers to prevent air from entering your lungs.
- Count how many seconds until you feel the first signs of air hunger.
- At the first sign of air hunger, you will also feel the first involuntary movements of your breathing muscles. Your tummy may jerk. The area around your neck may contract.
- Your inhalation at the end of the breath should be calm.
- Release your nose and breathe in through it.
The following are important points to be aware of before we start:
- The breath is taken after gently exhaling.
- The breath is held until the first movements of the breathing muscles. It is not a measure of the maximum length of time that you can hold your breath.
- Your CP only measures your breath hold time. It is not an exercise to correct your breathing.
Remember that taking your CP entails holding your breath only until the first involuntary movements of your breathing muscles. If you had to take a big breath at the end of the breath hold, then you held your breath for too long.
WHAT DOES THE CP (COMFORTABLE BREATH HOLD TIME) MEAN?
If your CP is less than 10 seconds then:
– Asthma symptoms are severe. Breathlessness, wheezing and/or coughing will be frequently present throughout the day and at night. Relative breathing volume as determined by such a low breath hold is very big.
If your CP is less than 20 seconds then:
– Symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, breathlessness, exercise-induced asthma, colds, chest infections and fatigue are present. The lower your breath hold, the greater your symptoms.
If your CP is between 20 and 40 seconds then:
– Main symptoms will have gone, but you may develop symptoms if exposed to a trigger. The affect of a trigger is proportionate to your CP. As an asthmatic you will feel quite well and your breathing will be a lot calmer. In addition, you should not have any nighttime episodes or exercise-induced asthma and your colds and chest infections will have decreased significantly.
If your CP is greater than 40 seconds then:
– No asthma symptoms are present. You will feel very well with good energy, clarity and breathing. To ensure a permanent physiological change, it is necessary to attain a morning CP of 40 seconds for 6 months.
The lower your breath hold, the greater your breathing volume and the greater your asthma symptoms. For example, a very severe asthmatic will have a Control Pause of less than 10 seconds. Their breathing will be very noticeable both at rest and while participating in physical exercise. An asthmatic with a morning CP of 40 seconds will have no symptoms. Their breathing will be unnoticeable during rest. Physical exercise will produce a lot less ventilation and they should not experience exercise-induced asthma at all.
The following are essential rules to making progress.
- You will feel better each time your CP increases by five seconds.
- If your CP does not change, you will not feel better.
- Your CP should increase by three to four seconds each week.
- The most accurate CP is taken first thing after waking. This CP is most accurate since you cannot influence your breathing during sleep, and it is based on your breathing volume as set by your respiratory centre.
- Taking your CP throughout the day will give you feedback at those particular times.
- Your goal is to have a morning CP of 40 seconds for six months.