Wellbeing in the workplace

The power of the breath

Think again if you’ve been told taking a deep breath is a good idea if under stress at work

One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to workplace health is that “deep breathing” means better oxygenation and better health. 

This is sometimes recommended when people complain of finding themselves “catching their breath” at work.

You’ll find many modern yoga teachers and meditation gurus also believing that taking many big breaths will somehow “heal” your body. But it doesn’t work like that. One of the most important and misunderstood elements of breathing that goes unnoticed is CO2. And when you breathe too much, you expel it!

Without enough CO2, the oxygen in your blood cannot be transferred into your tissues, causing what we call “tissue hypoxia”.

All chronic pain, suffering, and diseases are caused by a lack of oxygen at the cell level.

Most modern people hyperventilate, expending too much CO2 needed for the delivery of oxygen from the blood to the tissues — even when the blood is saturated with oxygen.

Here’s an easy test you can do right now to find out if you’re one of them:

  • Inhale as you’d normally do
  • Exhale as you’d normally do
  • Pinch your nose and start counting
  • The moment you feel slight air hunger or there’s an involuntary contraction from your diaphragm, stop

That’s called your CP (Control Pause) score. It was discovered by Ukranian Dr. Buteyko and his associates in the 1950s. After testing thousands of people, they created this stress-free test to determine proper body oxygenation and signs of tissue hypoxia.

Interpret your score here:

1. CP < 20 seconds: Potential for chronic diseases. asthma, heart conditions, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, etc.
2. CP between 20-30 seconds: Most people belong in this category. Severe symptoms aren’t present but your health is in still poor. Lack of motivation, fatigue, needing coffee and naps all day, frequently sick, insomnia, etc.
3. CP between 30-40 seconds: At this point, chronic diseases are slowly disappearing. If you take medication, you’ll  most likely reduce the dosage or completely forgo drugs. People report superb sleep, great mood, working out comes naturally. High energy. Hight vitality.
4. CP between 40-60 seconds: Sleep requirements are dropping. Most people in this range need 5-6 hours per night. Very high energy levels, there’s a constant need to lift, run, and climb. Mental clarity and low stress levels.
5. CP > 60 seconds: It’s impossible for diseases to appear. You need 2-3 hours of sleep each day, while maintaining extremely high energy levels throughout the day. You can work 12+ hours, unphased. It’s what humans used to feel like in the past.

I’m currently running face to face breathing education programmes again for business and organisations who want to help protect the welfare of their people.

If that’s you, please email me in confidence joel@breathren.co.uk to find out more.

Discover Today How Sniff. Sigh. Yawn. Can Help You and Your Team.

Why Does Daddy Breathe Funny?

This A-to-Z book includes a glossary of new words for children and short notes about better breathing for parents. Slow down, relax and read this book with your children to find out how you can all breathe better and improve your health.