These anxiety related sites recommend holding breath with regard to getting rid of depression:

There are three steps to full breathing: Inhalation (to a count of four); Retention/Holding (to a count of four); and Exhalation (to a count of eight).


This exercise lets you to get rid of your depression and feel energized. 1. Sit on a chair with your back straight and feet flat on the floor. 2. Reach straight up with both hands. 3. Inhale deeply. Hold your breath and while holding your breath, squeeze your fists so that the muscles in your arms tighten.

And then these talk the opposite:
- http://www.fibromyalgiahope.com/relaxation.html

It's the holding the breath that can be very detrimental whereas long, deep breaths will give you benefits of clearing out toxins, more energy, plus more relaxation.


EMAIL APNEA? In the November 23, 2009 Huffington Post, well known writer Linda Stone in her "Just Breathe: Building the case for Email Apnea" stated that "Dr. Margaret Chesney, at the National Institute of Health (NIH). Research conducted by Chesney and NIH research scientist, Dr. David Anderson, demonstrated that breath holding contributes significantly to stress-related diseases. The body becomes acidic, the kidneys begin to re-absorb sodium, and as the oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitric oxide (NO) balance is undermined, our biochemistry is thrown off.

Breath-holding and hyperventilating disturb our body's balance of oxygen, CO2, and NO. Nitric oxide, not to be confused with the nitrous oxide used in dental offices, plays an important role in our health. From a briefing document prepared for the Royal Society and Association of British Science Writers, Pearce Wright explains, "The immune system uses nitric oxide in fighting viral, bacterial and parasitic infections, and tumors. Nitric oxide transmits messages between nerve cells and is associated with the processes of learning, memory, sleeping, feeling pain, and, probably, depression. It is a mediator in inflammation and rheumatism."

YOGA AND BREATH HOLDING The so called yoga breathing count where you breathe in hold the breath for several counts and breathe out and hold the several counts are in my opinion training us to hold our breathing even more than we do already. Breath holding can give some relief from hyperventilation but at the cost of tightening the stomach muscles, worsening the startle response and over time making inviting shallow breathing. I understand the Hale Clinic in the UK used to teach a Russian breath holding technique for asthma and they no longer do that. I often hear of yoga teachers and personal power experts advocating a pattern of say the 2:4:6:4 ratio; 2 inhale: 4 hold : 6 exhale: 4 hold; or 2:4:16:4 ratio; or whatever numbers they think are good or fit their ego. I totally disagree and caution everyone to not hold their breath nor try such difficult lengths of breathing extensions. Your diaphragm can support the voice best when it keeps moving. Listen to people's voices. See if they sound deep, full and resonant or thin, dry or raspy.

  • Neither/Both...
    – Chad
    Jun 29, 2012 at 17:29
  • Why the downvotes? Jun 30, 2012 at 3:02
  • Because you take problems with specific body dysfunctions and try to apply them to the generic process of breathing improperly. Specifically apnea and fybromiagia acute pain attacks. Just because there are times where holding your breath is bad does not mean that it is always bad. After all if you are under water it is probably a bad time to breathe in.
    – Chad
    Jul 2, 2012 at 13:13
  • @Chad the later article I have linked above talks opposite of breath stopping w.r.t "yoga". No one here is talking about under water or other .... Jul 2, 2012 at 14:30
  • That is about people suffering from apnea though. The point is you are trying to ask a generalized question using specific instances. The equivalent of asking should you always hold your breath because a claim states you should hold your breath when you are underwater.
    – Chad
    Jul 2, 2012 at 14:53


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