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Question Dizziness during CO2 Tables

Miki Jeshurun

Active Member
Jan 29, 2014
21
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43
I have a question that is connected to apnea training, and I thought someone might know the answer.

When I exercise breathing tables I sometimes get a really strong and great-feeling burst of dizziness in my head at the beginning of an apnea round. I can only compare this feeling to an orgasm, but it's not in my groin.

It starts from an overwhelming sensation in my head which moves on to my whole body a few seconds later. It feels really good.

Is anyone familiar with this experience and knows anything about it?
Has this been documented by other freedivers and researched?
Could it be caused by hyperventilation?

Hope someone can help.
 

7BDiver

Active Member
Sep 5, 2019
102
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I have had this happen a number of times, can't say exactly what it is at this point. For me it is kind of a buzzing feeling like an asleep limb is waking up. Generally happens at random times when doing static dry holds and doesn't appear to be associated with a change in breathing or which interval. My guess is a change in blood pressure or some sort of tension related to inspiring. Could be hyperventilation but would expect more than one full inspiration following normal relaxed breathing to be needed. No difference in apnea performance noted following the event either.
 
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Miki Jeshurun

Active Member
Jan 29, 2014
21
4
43
I have had this happen a number of times, can't say exactly what it is at this point. For me it is kind of a buzzing feeling like an asleep limb is waking up. Generally happens at random times when doing static dry holds and doesn't appear to be associated with a change in breathing or which interval. My guess is a change in blood pressure or some sort of tension related to inspiring. Could be hyperventilation but would expect more than one full inspiration following normal relaxed breathing to be needed. No difference in apnea performance noted following the event either.
Thank you for your input :)
I breathe very deeply and slowly when I do my breathing tables, so maybe it's related to that.
When I exercise, I don't breathe "normally", and I guess I can't say my breaths are relaxed – though they are not fast or shallow breaths either.
 

J Campbell

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2001
595
179
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When I was younger, and skinnier, I would get that feeling after deep hard breathing for a long static. At the beginning of the hold I got dizzy and it felt like I migt pass out, but I never did. That would last about 15 or 20 seconds and was then followed by a period of about 30 seconds to a minute of a feeling of extreme warmth in my chest and well being, very pleasurable. Then I would settle into the breath hold still feeling good for up to 3 minutes before a strong urge to breathe would start to kick in. I haven't had this experience for years though. I'm about 25-30 lbs heavier and think the added fat stores of CO2 blunts the effect. I miss it though!
 
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Miki Jeshurun

Active Member
Jan 29, 2014
21
4
43
When I was younger, and skinnier, I would get that feeling after deep hard breathing for a long static. At the beginning of the hold I got dizzy and it felt like I migt pass out, but I never did. That would last about 15 or 20 seconds and was then followed by a period of about 30 seconds to a minute of a feeling of extreme warmth in my chest and well being, very pleasurable. Then I would settle into the breath hold still feeling good for up to 3 minutes before a strong urge to breathe would start to kick in. I haven't had this experience for years though. I'm about 25-30 lbs heavier and think the added fat stores of CO2 blunts the effect. I miss it though!
You described it very accurately.
That’s an interesting question regarding the affect of added weight on the experience.
I’m 41 years old (so not so young), but I am quite skinny for my height (72kg, 184cm).
Most days, I experience this feeling 1-2 times per workout. However, this week I got it almost every apnea round - which means 7 times in the same workout.
I usually exercise when I’m a little hungry, so that might also be related.
 

J Campbell

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2001
595
179
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The type of breathing I did for this was definitely hyperventilation. I forgot to mention that I also would get the strong tingling in my fingers, which is a symptom of lowered CO2. These days when I hyper I never get the tingling anymore. And I think that is because my body has so much CO2 stored in the fat that it would take a really long time to hyperventilate it out. If I ever lose 20 or 30 pounds I will experiment with it again to see if I can regain the experience.
 
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dcvf

Member
Aug 15, 2015
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Hi
Capture d’écran 2021-03-22 à 09.36.11.png
 
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ClimbAndDive

Member
Jan 31, 2019
7
2
13
46
I love that feeling! What a rush!!!
It reminds me of hitting a huge bong back in my smoking days, but even more so!
I've fainted (white-out) a couple of times doing Chi Kung breathing exercises.
I suspect there's a few overlapping causes here. Just me speculating.
The hyperventilation description is very accurate, and presumably because of O2/CO2 levels. But it can happen very quickly, like on the first deep breath. And it seems unlikely that O2/CO2 balance has had time to change much, and holding one breath isn't a hyperventilation yet?
The similarity to getting massively high very fast is interesting, too, because that must be a combination of a CO2 and CO hit, at the same time as brain neurotransmitters instantly going off the scale. (I've known people white-out faint smoking, too.) That horrible head juddering back and forward feeling when really drunk is interesting too. They might be consciousness trigger warnings of different extreme body states. Overload warnings.
The white-out instead of blackout during Chi Kung must be significant, because it's a rush that I can ride the wave, back off it by breathing out or changing attention, or it gets too intense and then it's lights out time. Apnea walks getting too much is more of a fuzzy closing in feeling, I guess heading for a blackout - but I haven't passed out like that so can't say. This would be more of an underload state, so not the same rush?
I like the idea of the rush being caused by blood pressure changes. When I've fainted from it, think I took a deep breath and then shifted my pelvic floor and/or diaphragm, as if to compress or expand the air in my torso. This could have triggered something, like a Vagus nerve surge or something.
So, my theory is that the head/full body rush is a mix of changes in blood gas (like hyperventilation) and pressure (like me fainting), with a wallop of a neurotransmitter cascade as a warning or accidental side effect (like being wasted).
If there's no single obvious cause, it could be different things at different times, depending on what you're doing, to create a similar effect.
 
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grarena

Active Member
Jan 19, 2019
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I have a question that is connected to apnea training, and I thought someone might know the answer.

When I exercise breathing tables I sometimes get a really strong and great-feeling burst of dizziness in my head at the beginning of an apnea round. I can only compare this feeling to an orgasm, but it's not in my groin.

It starts from an overwhelming sensation in my head which moves on to my whole body a few seconds later. It feels really good.

Is anyone familiar with this experience and knows anything about it?
Has this been documented by other freedivers and researched?
Could it be caused by hyperventilation?

Hope someone can help.
I have a different take on this. If I’m doing the first apnea walk I have to be careful. There is no hyperventilation when I’m doing it and I can get the same feeling. Same thing lying down on 1st or 2nd static apnea deep inhalation breath hold. I think it’s a Vasovagal response. Big time bradycardia and drop in blood pressure that resolves in 30 seconds to a minute. It feels so relaxing like sleeping and comfortable. You want to stay that way as long as possible. I’m not sure hyperventilation has much to do with it. I can get it when I hyperventilate but it always follows a deep deep inhalation
 
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gznokes

New Member
Mar 22, 2021
3
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46
I have a different take on this. If I’m doing the first apnea walk I have to be careful. There is no hyperventilation when I’m doing it and I can get the same feeling. Same thing lying down on 1st or 2nd static apnea deep inhalation breath hold. I think it’s a Vasovagal response. Big time bradycardia and drop in blood pressure that resolves in 30 seconds to a minute. It feels so relaxing like sleeping and comfortable. You want to stay that way as long as possible. I’m not sure hyperventilation has much to do with it. I can get it when I hyperventilate but it always follows a deep deep inhalation
This is pure speculation on my part. I'm new to apnea but I've been experiencing something related. I'm more inclined to agree with @grarena on this. The few times I've experienced something similar seem to have more to do with a drop in blood pressure--like the feeling of orthostatic hypotension. I think the combination of relaxed breathing that causes a drop in heart rate, combined with a big breath of air, causes a bit of a hyperventilation response combined with a head rush. Maybe it is just hyperventilation
 
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