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overcoming the urge to breath

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

[xeno]Julios

New Member
Feb 1, 2002
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I'm new to the forums, and new to freediving - only heard about it a few days ago when i came across this incredible article

(http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/97may/dive.htm)

I do a lot of cliff diving and snorkeling and rock climbing here in oman (middle east) when i'm on vacation, tho i live in toronto. I'm interested in learning more about this fantastic sport.

I do have an important question about apnea, contractions, and co2 tolerance:

From my understanding, the burning desire to breathe arises from a certain level of carbon dioxide that builds up as oxygen is used in the tissues. Contractions occur shortly after the onset of this intense desire. In my experience with breath holding, i come up for air (give in to apnea) when this burning desire reaches an intolerable intensity. I don't think i've experienced contractions yet, tho i may have and mistaken them for the burning desire itself. My question is this: If you ride out this burning desire with sheer will power, will it disappear after a while, allowing you to keep holding your breath for a while after? Or does it keep building up and up and you just learn to ignore it? Does this burning desire subside as if it were a temporary barrier?

peace

-marwan daar
 

thin_air

Alphabet
Sep 15, 2001
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the first thing i want you to do as you read this is to empty your lungs, just blow out all the air you can and then hold you breath.
after about 15-20 seconds or more you should feel your abs tighten, as if your body is wanting you to breath so it forces your muscles to contract.

well im in waterloo, so about an hour away, theres a bunch of underwater hockey teams around so theres plenty to do in the winter

c ya
 

[xeno]Julios

New Member
Feb 1, 2002
29
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cheers for the reply :)

I think i got some at around 45 seconds -

at around 30 seconds i started getting small waves of "need to breathe pain" that dissipated through my body - the waves became more intense, and then a few contractions occured - but they didn't feel ENTIRELY involuntary - like i think i could have controlled them with enough willpower? But the contractions themselves were not painful - it was the waves of pain - signals telling me to breathe, that i can't stand - do those waves go away after the contractions?
 

[xeno]Julios

New Member
Feb 1, 2002
29
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k after reading this

http://www.dansa.org/medical/breath.html

i got a better idea of what goes on.

Still not sure how people can hold their breath (even in static apnea) minutes AFTER contractions start - i mean contractions start when the urge to breathe becomes severe.

It'd be helpful if someone could gimme a second by second breakdown of what it feels like when going for a long static hold

eg: @1min: easy going - feeling relaxed
@1:30: slight waves of urges to breathe
@2 min: contractions

etc
 

scott

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2001
259
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Contractions

I've been reading various threads over the past year or so on contractions and will finally make my confession (as others may have the same) - I do not have contractions. I used to think something was wrong with me after reading about everyone else having them, but I've come to realize that I just do not get them. I have done static for over four minutes without any contractions (and I know I couldn't go any longer as I have felt myself starting to go faint (dry static of course)).

I feel much better now.

Scott
 

mark9989

New Member
Jan 16, 2002
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lengthening hold time?

Besides learning to relax more and slow your heart rate, and being in good shape, does holding your breath past the breaking point ( the point at which the intial urge to breath becomes tremendous ) help to increase your under water time? Or will I always hit the urge to breath about the same time and have to learn to deal with it? I was hoping by practicing holding my breath and trying to get past the burning and urge to breath it would somehow learn my body to hold longer?
 

DSV

New Member
Jan 11, 2002
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Breath hold

Mark,

You teach your body to do things. You tought it to walk and you tought it to ride a bike (I hope). Now teach it to hold it's breath. I don't know what kind of breathe up you do or for how long, but that is what you need to modify first. Try different breathing routines. I used to get contractions at 3:30 to the second. Then I changed my breathing routine. I got them at 4:00 to 4:30. Then I changed it again and I no longer get them. I feel the same as Scott. I get a little light headed and also my eyes feel like they are going to vibrate out of my head. I do go through stages. 1st I feel warm and tingly. 2nd I feel like normal out of the water lying on the bed feeling. 3rd I feel like OK it's time for some air. 4th I feel tingly again and that's when I know that I don't have much longer. You really have to pay attention to what your body feels like.

Remember don't try anything in the pool alone.

DSV
 

Peter Sheard

New Member
Jul 22, 2001
18
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Contractions?!?

Hi Guys,

Funny old world this. Seems that every once in a while a new thread comes up at just about the same time Freediver Magazine publishes an article that might shed some light on the subject.

Please contact Freediver Magazine on www.freediver.co.uk and ask for Issue 15 (or even subscribe!) The article is called Breakpoint and is pages 26+27.

Alternately, you can wait for four (4!) months and Stephan might re-release it here on DeeperBlue as per his agreement with Freediver Magazine.

(Stephan, I hope I'm not out of line saying this?)

Dive safe,
Pete
 

Stephan Whelan

Papa Smurf
Staff member
Admin
Jan 7, 1999
6,803
667
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Pete,

Nope - your not out of line...our policy is to share information not withhold it.

As Pete says, get the latest issue of Freediver or wait 4 months for us to re-publish it later in the year. :D
 

DSV

New Member
Jan 11, 2002
232
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Breath hold

Thanks for the web page Xeno,


I also swallow when I start getting uncomfortable. After I changed my breathe up for the last time I thought I was doing it as a substitute for contractions. It just happens. He and I use a very similar breathing routine. I just stick to 3 breath holds. Seems to work for me. He also emphasizes what I try and tell people, to find something that works for them. His breathing patterns may not work for everybody.


DSV
 

mark9989

New Member
Jan 16, 2002
22
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Now that i'm good and scared of SWB

Question:

Since nothing is immpossible, I wont choose that word.
Is it highly unlikely that SWB will occur if I surface before my first initial extreme urge to breath. Ex.-- If i shoot down 60-80 ft and return to the surface in decent time without trying to extend past burning and contractions, will I avoid SWB? I'm worried that even if I feel fine on my way back up ( not pushing the limits) that becuase i was deep the pressure gave me a false sense of 02. Remember, i'm not pushing the limits. Just a normal deep snorkel.
 

Octo

DancinLikeNo1isWatching
Apr 17, 2001
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Mark,

keep in mind the response I offer to your question will depend on many factors including the # of previous dives that day, hydration, illness, changes in altitude, whether or not you SCUBA and when, length of surface intervals between previous dives and surface interval just prior to your hypothetical dive coupled with CO2 levels in your body (I am certain I have left out many factors here).

The few times a year I dive solo, I pay strict attention to how I feel, where I am and what is changing in my body & surroundings AT ALL TIMES. I use the # of contractions as an indicator of where my blackout edge is, and then stay well within my limits. If I am doing well and in good health, I will go three contractions before reaching the surface (I lengthen the time between my first and second contraction by "pumping" my mask which circulates "unused" air in my sinus, trachea and bronchial tubes). Later, when I know I am tired or recovering from illness, I use the first contraction as my signpost to surface. Keep in mind: MY CONTRACTIONS ARE VERY CONSISTANT AND I HAVE TIMED THEM WITH A BUDDY WHO WAS SKILLED ENOUGH TO GET TO ME AND MAKE SURE I WOULD SURFACE. Your body will likely differ.
Check this all out with a safety net. Please.

To directly answer your question: In general, yes-you are much less likely too blackout if you are diving shallow for short intervals without pushing and spending at least twice the dive time breathing efficiently during your surface intervals.

Reading and learning the physiology of this sport from highly trained professional and certified sources has helped me to be more comfortable with the idea of blacking out in addition to dealing with reviving victims of hypoxia (SWB etc). Recently, my dive partner winked out during our regular pool training. He is doing great and getting consistantly better. I speak for myself as well when I say this: BeAware. Always. Life is safer that way.
 
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waxlips

Well-Known Member
Jun 8, 2005
91
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i find every breatholding sensation a joy even the burning and the contractions. they endlessly fascinate me. i love to hold my breath just to feel it all happen.
 

sai

Active Member
Feb 19, 2012
179
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I often read that people feel a "burning" in their lungs which is interpreted as the urge to breathe. I myself actually never get a burning feeling in the lungs but at the top of my throat and that is often accompanied by involuntary "ugh"-sounds which are made by my adam's apple moving up and down. The abdominal contractions set in much later. Is anyone experiencing something similar? It feels really uncomfortable. I had two light trachea squeezes in the last 2 months, could that have any effect?
 
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cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
4,006
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I get both abdominal and throat at close to the same time, mild abdominal a little earlier. They slowly increase in discomfort level and eventually are joined by a strong mental urge to breath.

There is huge variation in how different divers experience contractions and other symptoms of building c02 levels.

Connor
 

Donkeys4hire

New Member
Mar 26, 2012
2
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0
I took an FII instructed free diving class last year. I did all the static breathing in the pool fine without feeling contractions, over 3 minutes.

The next day in the ocean once I reached a depth of about 40' I got severe contractions with the urge to breathe. It was extremely hard to overcome and could only finish the class with extra focus and support from my instructor, I made it to 70'.

Has anyone else had it affect them in this manner as well?
 

sai

Active Member
Feb 19, 2012
179
9
33
I took an FII instructed free diving class last year. I did all the static breathing in the pool fine without feeling contractions, over 3 minutes.

The next day in the ocean once I reached a depth of about 40' I got severe contractions with the urge to breathe. It was extremely hard to overcome and could only finish the class with extra focus and support from my instructor, I made it to 70'.

Has anyone else had it affect them in this manner as well?

http://forums.deeperblue.com/safety/69802-immersion-pulmonary-edema-lung-squeeze-help.html

Check this thread out.
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
4,006
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Good thread.

You might have been experiencing pressure contractions, rather than c02 contractions. That's pretty shallow for them, but they tend to be very strong and come on early in the dive. They are kicked off by depth not time. If that is what it was, not to worry, practice and they disappear pretty soon.

Connor
 

Ms Mer

Active Member
Apr 15, 2012
175
9
33
Good thread.

You might have been experiencing pressure contractions, rather than c02 contractions. That's pretty shallow for them, but they tend to be very strong and come on early in the dive. They are kicked off by depth not time. If that is what it was, not to worry, practice and they disappear pretty soon.

Connor

Is there a way to tell the difference? At what depth would you expect them to come on?
 
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