The Control Pause

The Control Pause is a fundamental tool of the Buteyko Breathing Method. It is a simple yet powerful measurement used to assess one’s breath holding time after a comfortable exhalation. 

The Control Pause reflects the efficiency of your breathing and serves as an essential indicator of your respiratory quality.

How to perform the Control Pause

  1. Find a Quiet and Comfortable Space: Begin by sitting comfortably in a quiet and relaxed environment.
  2. Breathe Normally: Take a few normal breaths and allow your breathing to settle into its natural rhythm.
  3. Exhale Comfortably: After a normal inhalation, gently exhale without any force until your lungs feel comfortably empty.
  4. Start the Timer: Hold your nose with your fingers to close your airways gently, and start a timer or look at a clock with a second hand.
  5. Hold Your Breath: Keep your mouth closed and hold your breath until you feel the first physiological signal to breath again. Do this without straining or feeling uncomfortable.
  6. Note the Time: As soon as you feel the first signs of a natural urge to breathe or a slight discomfort, release your nose and note the time in seconds.

Understanding the Control Pause

The Control Pause measures your tolerance of the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in your body. A shorter Control Pause suggests that you may be over-breathing or hyperventilating, leading to reduced CO2 levels in the blood. On the other hand, a longer Control Pause indicates efficient breathing and better CO2 tolerance.

Interpreting Control Pause Results:

  • Less than 10 seconds: Poor breath control, suggesting chronic over-breathing.
  • 10-20 seconds: Moderate breath control, indicating a tendency towards over-breathing.
  • 20-40 seconds: Good breath control, but there is room for improvement.
  • 40 seconds or higher: Excellent breath control and efficient breathing.
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Benefits of the Control Pause

Regularly measuring and tracking your Control Pause can help you understand your breathing patterns and respiratory health over time. By incorporating Buteyko Breathing Method exercises and techniques, you can work towards improving your Control Pause and optimising your breathing for enhanced well-being.

It’s important to note that individual results may vary, and any concerns about your breathing or health should be discussed with a qualified healthcare professional.

The Control Pause is just one aspect of the comprehensive Buteyko Breathing Method, which may complement other asthma management techniques and respiratory therapies.

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