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Tools and Tips

Eucapnic Breathing

Eucapnic breathing regulates the balance of oxygen to carbon dioxide in the blood. Our bodies health depends on maintaining this balance. Overbreathing causes a shutdown in the uptake rate of oxygen into the blood to try and hold on the right amount of carbon dioxide. We feel like we don't have enough oxygen but in fact it's the lack of CO2 we are feeling.


How do you know if you are out of balance?

Very simple. Inhale normally for 2 seconds. Exhale for 3 seconds softly. Hold your nose to hold your breath until you feel a distinct desire to breathe. Count the seconds as you hold your breath. If you can hold it for 60 seconds this is the optimal ratio of 6.5% CO2 in the alveoli. 50 seconds indicates 6.0%, 40 seconds = 5.5%, 30 seconds = 5%. This is still an OK level of CO2 in the blood. Less than 30 seconds indicates that you need to modify your breathing in order to reestablish healthy homeostasis.


How do you modify your breathing pattern to improve the level of CO2 in the blood?

Usually you meet in a 5 to 10 day class for 2 hours at a time. You learn breath awareness, watching your breath to slow it down. Your instructor helps you make postural adjustments to assist diaphragmatic breathing. They teach a rhythmic shallower breathing pattern in direct opposition to what is taught by yoga and breathwork teachers. (Deep breathing destabilizes the autonomic nervous system to generate altered states.) In eucapnic breathing you learn a variety of ways to hypo-ventilate. You practice shorter and longer breath holdings designed to raise CO2 in the blood. The result is healthier endocrine, autonomic nervous, and immune systems. Once you reach homeostasis, symptoms are reduced or eliminated, renewing your resilience in responding to the buffetings of everyday life.


Articles on Eucapnic Buteyko Breathing and the Role of Carbon Dioxide in the Body.

Preventing the common cold
Part one: Release the tension in the throat area by reaching across with one hand to the opposite side of the front of your neck. Grasp with your fingers and squeeze while pulling downward toward your chest. Continue until the soreness in the tissue is reduced. You can do this for yourself or for others.

Part two requires two people. To reduce stress on the adrenals, touch the middle of the shoulder blade with the fingers of one hand. With the other hand grasp the space between the last 2 hand bones, between the little finger and ring finger halfway down the hand, between your thumb and finger. Hold these points lightly for several minutes or until you can feel pulsation in the hand.

When I use this on my daughter her sore throat disappears by morning and never evolves into a full-blown cold or flu.

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