By Col Wajid Hussain
We mistaken believe that by breathing in a larger volume of air we can increase the oxygen in our blood. The amount of oxygen in blood is called oxygen saturation (SpO2), which is the percentage of hemoglobin molecules containing oxygen within the blood. A healthy individual would have an SpO2 of around 97 to 98 percent. Increasing it by over breathing more than the metabolic needs results in decreasing the concentration of arterial CO2 in your blood, putting your body into a state called hypocapnia. Chronic hypocapnia is a very serious problem, as the presence of carbon dioxide in our blood is critical for many vital functions in the body, including the delivery of oxygen to our cells.
Many people think of CO2 as this toxic waste product that we need to get rid of, when actually it is the second most important gas in our blood after oxygen.
Typical over-breathers will often breathe through the mouth at a faster rate, using secondary breathing muscles in the neck, shoulders, and chest. The advantage of breathing diaphragmatically through the nose is that mostly you don’t over breathe. — Pak Destiny