Did you know what breathing deeper and more rapid than normal is called? This perfectly describes what Hyperventilation is. Hyperventilation causes a decrease in the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in your blood. This decrease may make you feel lightheaded, short of breath or increase your pulse rate. Numbing or tingling in your hands or feet along with possible anxiety and fainting can also occur.
Hyperventilation is not a disease, but you may need to be checked by your doctor if you have repeated episodes of hyperventilation symptoms. In many cases, hyperventilation can be controlled by learning proper breathing techniques.
This is one breathing technique that you can try.
- Breathe through your nose. It is harder to hyperventilate when you breathe through your nose because you can’t move as much air. Nasal breathing also allows for more oxygen absorption, filtering, disinfection and humidification of the air you are breathing.
- Slow your breathing to 1 breath every 5 seconds.
- Try belly-breathing. Place one hand on your belly just below the ribs and the other hand on your chest. You can do this while standing, but it may be more comfortable while you are lying on the floor with your knees bent.
- Take a deep breath through your nose. As you inhale, let your belly push your hand out.
- As you slowly exhale feel your hand go down. Use the hand on your belly to help you push the air out. Take your time exhaling.
- Repeat these steps 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
If you are not sure about your symptoms, always seek proper medical treatment with your doctor.
Remember, nasal breathing is always healthier not only for athletes of any age, but also spectators, their children and their spouses.
Reference: WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
Last Updated: November 14, 2014