Oxygen is highest on the list of substances needed to support human life, followed by water, then food. People may live weeks without food, days without water, but on minutes without breathing. People must breath constantly, and breathing patterns change depending on the situation, such difficulty breathing during high stress situations. Breathing is the only body function that can be controlled consciously or unconsciously. Taekwondo students learn to take conscious control of their breathing to improve their physical performance and physical and mental well-being.
Natural, Reflexive Breathing
Lungs to not move under there own power. The are inflated and deflated by the diaphragm, chest muscles, and movement of the rib cage. In natural breathing, the diaphragm drops and the abdomen expands during inhalation and diaphragm rises and the abdomen contracts during exhalation. Breathing is instinctive, rhythmic, and through the nose. Natural breathing automatically maintains a very specific gas ratio of O2 to CO2 in the blood stream; 6.5% CO2 and only 2% O2. Each breath contains 10 times more oxygen and 200 times less carbon dioxide than we need.
It is possible to breathe too much (hyperventilation). When we breathe normally, hemoglobin, the principle carrier of oxygen in the body, remains 98% oxygen (O2) saturated. When we breathe too quickly, we increase O2 saturation slightly but lose too much CO2, which is essential for O2 utilization. When the level of CO2 decreases too much the hemoglobin does not release O2 to the tissues (the Bohr Effect), which causes O2 starvation. The simple remedy is to breathe into a paper bag so exhaled CO2 is re-breathed and the CO2 level in the blood stream is restored.
- Next >>