Q. Are there any harmful effects in practicing rhythmic breathing?

Answered by
Dr. Amolkumar W. Diwan
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 24, 2016 and last reviewed on: Sep 16, 2020

Hi doctor,

I have recently started practicing rhythmic breathing for peace of mind. The practice includes proper cycles of fast and slow breathing. I have heard that such process might lead to hyperventilation and asthma problems. Further while doing the process I feel some tingling and vibration in my fist and forehead. I also feel mild headache at times after the process. However, overall the process gives peace of mind. Should I discontinue the process? Are there any harmful effects of the same?



Welcome to

First of all, I congratulate you for adapting breathing exercise. It is scientifically proven exercise to control ventilation and calm down the mind. It is also helpful for the people with breathing problems and asthma. In no way it is harmful to the body. It is not at all causing asthma or any other problems.

As you said, because of overventilation, you can experience some tingling, numbness, headache or lightheadedness. But, these effects are temporary and in long run it is very helpful for the control of breathing and meditation. So, I encourage you to continue this and be happy in life by learning the art of living. Till date it is the scientifically proven way of meditation without any side effects.

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