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I have found an Ayurvedic breathing exercise very useful. I found I could hold my breath for much longer and had improved energy levels after doing it regularly for a few weeks. It did take a few weeks to start working properly though, I didn't notice very much for the first week or two.

To do this:

  • I inhale through my nose for 4 seconds
  • Hold my breath for 7 seconds
  • Exhale through tightly pursed lips for 8 seconds, creating 'back pressure'. (I can hear the air being forced out of my mouth.)
  • I do this 8 times  for a total of two and a half minutes. I do this twice a day a total of 5 minutes a day. (I was informed that if I was lightheaded I should just do it 6 times  or until I begin to feel lightheaded  then build up to 8.)

It is recommended by Dr Paul Cheney for people with CFS as it is meant to be very oxygenating. It is described in detail, with reasons why it should be so oxygenating, in an article on the CFIDS and FMS Support Group of DFW website.

Those with heart disease, high blood pressure or glaucoma should not do this exercise as they should not hold their breath.

By a member,
March 04

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