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Cure my hyperventilation

I got the advise to breathe in a plastic bag, does that help?
July 04, 2010 12:30PM
I got the advise to breathe in a plastic bag, does that help?

Breathing in a plastic bag or using the hands in front of the mouth to reduce the loss of carbon dioxide only works with acute hyperventilation. That is the type where you are suddenly confronted with a high anxiety situation causing massive breathing (also a CHV attack is a form of acute hyperventilation!). In this situation the carbon dioxide based buffer systems (HCO3 ions) cannot compensate quickly enough. Breathing in a bag or using your hands can help in these situations to prevent the massive loss of carbon dioxide from the system.

But as a therapeutic medium for people suffering from CHV it has no value. You do not change the setting of the respiratory center, and the hyperventilation attacks usually only occur in the beginning of the CHV syndrome. In the Netherlands we have this device - called a Hyperfree - which has a similar working as the plastic bag. Also this device has no use if you want to cure CHV.

There are many other methods going around, like the one counting and regulating the seconds you use to inhale and exhale. Basically these work fine for the acute type, but not for CHV. Improving the respiratory technique is a much better method to cure CHV. However we found that the bad breathing techniques are more the effect then the cause of the CHV syndrome. The bad "high" breathing develops automatically because the respiratory center needs your organism to breathe fast, and the "high" thorax based breathing facilitates this.

By doing the HyperVen therapy we found that the breathing technique often automatically goes back to the proper abdominal type, when the respiratory center does not require the body to breathe so fast anymore. This is the basic difference between HyperVen and all the other therapies that go round: these therapies do not change the setting of the respiratory center...

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