Thursday, 13 October 2011

Coping with contractions

Not of the baby kind, gladly (and impossibly).

I’ve been practising holding my breath for years now and have always shied away from trying to manage the inevitable contractions during apnea (breath hold). Mine can range from being quite subtle and regular to more irregular and strong during a breath hold and usually starting at around the 1.45 to 2 minute mark. The more relaxed I feel the more I seem able to ignore what’s happening, telling myself at the time that ‘CO2 is not important’ and ‘this is a normal reaction to what I’m doing to my body’. It helps me to think like this.

During my 4 minute static the other day, the contractions started at precisely 1.40, a bit earlier than I was hoping, and continued for the rest of the hold, not changing in frequency or intensity. I’m looking forward to seeing how my body will learn to cope with the contractions – given practice, will they eventually stop or will they start later during a hold or will I simply become more accustomed to coping with them? Patience and practice are the key, I imagine.

I've been trying to distract myself during a breath hold with happy thoughts, singinf a song to myself, or if that fails, counting backwards from 1000 in multiples of 13. I've got quite good at that now and can do it quite quickly, which is beginning to defeat the purpose. Maybe I'll try 17s?

Check out some fantastic advice I have received here

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