Re: Definition of Breath Holding...

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on March 08, 2001 at 23:02:47:

In Reply to: Definition of Breath Holding... posted by mattschechter on March 08, 2001 at 18:17:17:

Matt, it's not a weird question at all. As instructors, we drill into your head "Don't hold your breath! Don't hold your breath!!!" But the bottom line is that there's a natural pause in the breathing cycle when switching between inhale/exhale and vice-versa.

And with scuba, we also suggest that the breathing pattern should be slower and deeper than "normal". Which means that the pause is probably longer, too. Is that breath-holding? Not IMHO.

I would define breath-holding as deliberatly (or even perhaps unconsciously) stopping/altering your normal breathing pattern. But this is only a problem (as it would relate to embolism) while ascending.

I could hold my breath all day at a constant depth and it wouldn't make any difference. (As someone else pointed out, photogs and hunters do this rather routinely.) But if I rise ten feet . . . ????

Well, even then (AND THIS IS NOT ADVOCATING HOLDING YOUR BREATH DURING A DIVE) it makes a difference of where you are in the water column. Holding your breath going from 100' to 90' may not do any harm (also depends on how "full" your lungs are). But holding your breath from 10' to 0' (the surface) will probably result in a visit to the Chamber.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, Ca.

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