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Freediving – degree of freedom

Probably, almost everyone knows what diving is. And many imagine diving as a dive into the depths of the seas, oceans, lakes and rivers with special equipment, with balloons, where air is pumped under pressure in hundreds of atmospheres. Many have heard about the dangers of diving, about decompression sickness, about the vagaries of the mysterious “breathing machines”, about sharks and other horror stories. But this, of course, is quite general and, at the same time, a greatly narrowed view of diving.

Probably, almost everyone knows what diving is. And many imagine diving as a dive into the depths of the seas, oceans, lakes and rivers with special equipment, with balloons, where air is pumped under pressure in hundreds of atmospheres. Many have heard about the dangers of diving, about decompression sickness, about the vagaries of the mysterious “breathing machines”, about sharks and other horror stories. But this, of course, is quite general and, at the same time, a greatly narrowed view of diving.

After all, diving can be completely different. And he is much older than the first scuba invented by Cousteau. Why? Yes, because long before the invention of autonomous breathing systems underwater, even before the invention of the diving suit with air supply through the hose, even before the invention and application of the most primitive models of diving bells, there was already diving. Maybe it wasn’t called so, because at the time of its inception, the English language had not yet left the boundaries of foggy Albion, but still it was just diving. More precisely, what is now called freediving.
Freediving. Travel to Palau
What is freediving? This dive is almost without any equipment, and certainly without any systems that allow you to breathe in depth. Yes, the deep diver does not breathe. Just like dolphins, whales, and the best freedivers on Earth, sperm whales do not strangle under water. They can remain without air for a full two hours and dive to a depth of more than a kilometer!

People are far from such successes, but some of them, proudly called freedivers, dare to go deep without any equipment, having with them only cargo that helps them to dive, and flippers that allow them to return back to the air.

Many people mistakenly consider freediving to be a little diving brother with equipment. But the situation is, in fact, the exact opposite. Freediving is not only the oldest way to dive, but also allows you to achieve results that are unthinkable for a diver with balloons behind.
Freediving. Travel to Palau
So, for a diver breathing compressed air, a depth of thirty meters is significant, and a depth of more than 40 meters is dangerous. This mark is the limit for amateur diving. With the so-called technical diving, the diving depths are over sixty meters, but special breathing mixtures are required here, sometimes several different compositions for one dive, as well as the exact adherence to the compression tables for ascent and gas management calculations

But in freediving, the numbers are completely different. Diving records without breathing equipment, only on holding the breath, are over one hundred meters, reaching, in certain disciplines, such as diving without restrictions, marks of two hundred meters and deeper. At the same time, diving a freediver 30-60 meters is not something out of the ordinary, representing a normal practice.

This difference between diving and freediving is observed because a freediver, as a person who is free of breathing equipment (“free” means “free” in English), is not susceptible to decompression sickness. He does not breathe under water, and therefore nitrogen does not dissolve in his blood under excessive pressure. And if a diver with cylinders, with a quick ascent, blood boils, like soda in a quickly uncorked bottle, then this does not happen with a freediver. It can descend to the depth as quickly as desired, and rise from the depth as quickly as it wants. A diver with breathing equipment cannot do this, he is forced to make long decompression stops when he ascends so that the nitrogen dissolved in the blood exits gradually without forming bubbles that can clog the blood vessels.
Freediving. Travel to Palau
It is the risk of decompression sickness that limits the depth of amateur diving to forty meters, and it is it that requires a number of measures for technical diving. But freediving – free immersion, to speak in Russian, is free from all these restrictions.

But the question is. If a person does not breathe underwater while diving, then how does he have enough air to go to depths of over one hundred meters, and even to return from them? The answer lies in the amazing features of the human body, in that system of skills development, including physiological, which is commonly called training.

Systematic training in holding your breath (such a hold is commonly called the medical term apnea) allows you to achieve amazing results. There is talk that professional pearl catchers in Polynesia and Micronesia are able to hold their breath for a full twenty minutes, approximately like dolphins.

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