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Question Question about contractions

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Active Member
Sep 21, 2018
I'm having trouble differentiating between contractions and simply running out of air. So far my best breath hold now is 3:30. Whenever I'm about to reach my limit my whole torso gets tight and uncomfortable, and although my chest/stomach is contracting up and down, it's more a result of the discomfort and me forcing myself to not breathe yet. I mean, I'm also clenching my fists, contorting my whole body trying not to breathe. Before this happens my stomach usually slowly/gently contracts as if my air is up. I think I could lie still if I wanted to but the tight feeling and even the pressure in my head would grow. Are these contractions?

Yesterday I was doing a C02 table and this started to happen on the third-to-last breath hold (not the hardest). I told myself this was a contraction, and that I had air left but I was feeling the C02 trying to make me breathe. I think the "contractions" started to subside just as my phone said "breathe". With this in mind I was a little more relaxed for the next two breath holds, believing I could do it, and I didn't even get the contractions again.

Am I to understand that what I've always thought was the actual need to breathe was just contractions, i.e. a passing moment? And I have a whole extra amount of time that comes after? If what I was describing were contractions and not hypoxia, how do you know when you actually have to breathe?

I'm doing this lying down btw, not in water.
I think the "urge to breath" and contractions are related but not exactly the same. I don't get contractions except maybe some mild ones at the end - in any case they are not the focus of my discomfort. What I get is my body/chest saying "BREATH!!" "NOW!". Maybe you you are like me and just don't experience contractions as badly as most people.
And if you are asking how do you know when to breath - then you probably have not yet reached your limit - go ahead and push further and see how you feel. If you can actually hold your breath until you pass out and feel only mild discomfort, well that would be extremely dangerous for freediving!
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