How to do the Buteyko Breathing Exercises

The Buteyko Breathing method helps to improve the oxygenation in the body. The rate of breathing is a reflection of your body’s overall health. Chronic hyperventilation can decrease your health and an increase in health will slow down your rate of breathing.

Some people have discovered that Butyeko breathing exercises have helped to cure their asthma, decrease depression, lose weight, improve energy levels and sleep quality.

Some Buteyko breathing practitioners will make the exercises sound a bit more complicated than they actually are. Often you can learn them on your own and incorporate them into your daily life.

Learn the Control Pause

The first thing that you should do is to learn the control pause. It will give you an indication of where your overall health is.

The control pause is simple. While sitting with good posture, breathe in through your nose. Exhale comfortable and time yourself until you feel the first urge to breathe. The number that you get in seconds is your control pause.

You can watch a quick video on the Control Pause here:

 

 

 

Buteyko Table of Health

Once you know your control pause, you can set goals to increase it. If you check out the Buteyko Table of health, you can get an idea of your current state of health.

I have found this table very useful in eliminating my seizures. When my control pause is around 60 seconds, I don’t have neurological problems. However, if I eat junk and get stressed out and my control pause drops to around 25, I can tell that I have more neurological instability. I also start to have issues with my asthma and allergies.

Image source: Normal Breathing

Level 1: Corresponds to severely sick and terminally ill patients. A stress free control pause will be less than five seconds.

Level 2: Corresponds to severely ill patients. The control pause is less than ten seconds. These patients require numerous types of medication to prevent symptoms and complaints. Walking up stairs can be difficult due to heavy breathing and low body oxygenation.

Level 3: 10-20 second control pause. These patients do not have a life threatening illness, but their main concern is symptoms. Taking medication is common. For these patients physical exercise is often very difficult. Walking can result in heavy breathing. Efficiency and performance in certain areas is compromised.

Level 4: The control pause is 20-30 seconds. There is no need for medication, however there are a number of health pathologies which can include gastritis, IBS, IBD, arthritis, osteoporosis and hormonal and metabolic issues. Correlates with the initial stages of cancer.

Level 5: Normal breathing frequency of 12 breaths per minute. Individuals are able to run with strictly nasal breathing and take cold showers. They have a good quality of sleep and are reasonably able to function socially.

Level 6: The Buteyko standard of health. At this level, individuals are free from over 200 chronic conditions. Healthy individuals have no more than 8 breaths per minute at rest.

Level 7: Individuals enjoy and crave physical activity. They are full of energy. Standing throughout the day is easy and natural. Sleep is less than 5 hours.

Level 8-10: States of super health. Students of Buteyko Breathing report appearance of lost amazing abilities of the body. For example, a reduction to 2 hours of perfect sleep for those who have 2 minutes of control pause. No cavities, extrasensory abilities and super consciousness.

Most Buteyko breathing students will be able to achieve level 5 or level 6 of health on their own. You may need to work with a practitioner and change your diet to achieve the super health levels.

Buteyko Breathing Steps Exercise

This exercise is great for the average person to incorporate in their daily life. Mim Beim explains it in the video below. Breathe in, breath out and then count how many steps that you can take while you are holding your breath.

 

 

 

Buteyko Breathing Exercise Techniques

Patrick McKeown does a great job instructing students on how to breathe properly. You should focus on the following things during buteyko breathing exercises:

  1. Good posture
  2. Diaphragmatic breathing
  3. Breathing through the nose ONLY
  4. Slowing down your breath
  5. Softening your breathing
  6. Hold your nose while you breathe during the exercise

 

 

Conclusion

Stress makes people sick. It increases your breathing and decreases the oxygenation level in your body. You can slow down the breath to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. You can bring your body from a sympathetic tone to being switched off by slowing down the breath. It is the opposite of the deep breath that is normally instructed.

It is vital to breathe through the nose to counter stress. Make sure that you are not holding your breath until your body is very stressed out. This can be counter-productive.

When learning and implementing the Buteyko breathing exercises, the most important thing to do is to focus on breathing through your nose 24/7. This will help your body to normalize the oxygenation levels in your body. Once you are breathing through your nose throughout the whole day and night, you will notice that your health starts to improve.

How to Improve Circulation In the Legs In Three Simple Steps

Symptoms of Poor Circulation

Poor circulation tends to happen to many adults as they age. There are a number of factors involved in your circulatory health. If you are aware of some of the common signs and symptoms of poor circulation, you can address it sooner and learn to prevent it and even reverse it over time.

The common symptoms that you need to watch out for are cold hands and feet, panic attacks, chest pain, sinusitis, coughing, migraine headaches, and cramps. You may also experience diminished energy, feelings of tiredness, numbness and tingling. Poor circulation in the legs can also be indicated by visible skin discoloration, swelling or ulcers. Recurrent calf pain can indicate poor circulation.

Hypertension and high blood pressure are common measures that the doctor uses to determine your circulatory health. You may want to ask the doctor to measure your blood pressure if you are noticing that you have sores, cuts and scratches that heal unusually slowly as this is also an indicator of poor circulation.

 

 

Causes of Poor Circulation in the Legs

There are a number of common causes for poor circulation. It is often due to the constriction of arteries and arterioles. This can happen due to low blood sugar, medical drugs, smoking and neurological causes. However, the most common cause for poor circulation is low carbon dioxide (CO2) in the arterial blood. CO2 is the most potent known vasodilator which triggers vasodilation. When people have low levels of CO2, their arteries remain in vasoconstriction. They need the CO2 in the blood for vasodilation.

When people are experiencing vasoconstriction as a result of reduced blood flow, they will have cold hands and feet, angina pain, headaches, constipation or even organ failure. People who have poor circulation in their legs and feet tend to be experiencing vasoconstriction. They almost always have reduced body oxygen levels. Therefore, it is important to improve the body oxygenation.

 

 

Step 1: Reduce Breathing

The fastest method of improving circulation to the legs can be done with a simple breathing exercise. It will take 1-2 minutes. You will focus on slowing down your automatic (basal) breathing back to the medical norm through the Buteyko breathing method.

 

For reduced breathing, close your mouth. Next, exhale through your nose. Pinch your nose and hold your breath and wait until you get a desire to breathe more. When you release your nose to breathe, it is important that you take your breathe through your nose using your abdominal diaphragmatic muscles. Make this inhale smaller than your normal inhalations. Reduced breathing results in higher CO2 levels in airways and increased oxygen levels in your body cells.

Once you have a normal rate of breathing, exercise can help to improve blood flow. It is important that to safely exercise, you should be breathing only through your nose during the exercise. This will ensure the most health benefits.

 

 

Step 2: Hydrate

Dehydration is one of the root causes of many diseases, including poor circulation. Plasma makes up over half of the total blood volume. Plasma is about 93 percent water, therefore, your body requires water for almost every function. If you are deficient in water, your body will go into a self-preservation mode and constrict the arterioles in an attempt to hold on and preserve the amount of water that is in the body.

It is highly recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. This amount will vary depending on your level of physical activity, the weather and the foods that you consume. It is important to remember that alcohol and caffeine will have a dehydrating effect on the body.

 

 

Step 3: Move Your Body

Exercise does more for your body than simply burning fat and building muscles. Aerobic exercises will increase your heart rate and give your circulatory system a boost. They will also stimulate your lymphatic system and help your body to detoxify. You can improve your body’s ability to move blood through your legs with at least thirty minutes of vigorous exercise per day.

Exercise will strengthen the entire cardiovascular system. It enables the heart to pump blood through the circulatory system more effectively. Exercises that move the major muscle groups will help to improve your circulation to your legs.

For people who are just starting out, make sure that you gradually increase your workout intensity. You may want to check with a doctor before beginning a new exercise routine to determine if it is suitable. Build up the intensity as your workouts become easier. As your level of fitness improves, you may want to try out different activities, such as playing a sport, running or swimming.

Walking is recommended for everyone who wants to improve their blood circulation. A half-hour walk per day will get your leg muscles moving. Walking will not only improve your circulation, but also your mood and focus.

Whilst most exercise promotes circulation, rebounding on a mini-trampoline in particular has a very powerful effect on blood circulation. Due to the action of moving up against gravity and then landing and pushing up again is very stimulating on the body. All the muscles in the body have to contract and relax over and over when you jump on a rebounder. This constant contraction and relaxation creates a type of wave effect for the blood in the body, which makes it move faster and more efficiently. Rebounding, or jumping on a mini-trampoline, will stimulate areas that may have had a lack of circulation. It will bring newly oxygenated blood to the extremities. The entire body will begin to function at a more proficient and productive level.

 

 

Habits that Decrease Circulation

There are some things that will decrease your circulation. If you are a smoker, you should consider quitting smoking. Poor posture will also reduce the CO2 in your lungs and therefore trigger vasoconstriction and poor circulation. Processed foods and alcohol often require more CO2 to digest. It is wise to limit your consumption of processed foods and alcohol in order to prevent hypertension and poor blood circulation in your body.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Cure Snoring Naturally

Snoring is a common problem. While you may not realize if you are snoring because you are asleep, the noise that snoring creates could be causing sleep disturbances for your partner or family members. Some people may not consider snoring a huge problem if they sleep alone and their snoring doesn’t wake them. However, snoring can be creating health problems by reducing the oxygenation in your body. The great news is that you can cure snoring naturally. As you do so, your health will improve as well!

Become Mindful of Daytime Habits

Snoring is a breathing dysfunction that occurs at night. You will not snore if your mouth is shut and you are breathing through your nose at night. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to start focusing on nasal breathing during the daytime when you do have conscious control over your breathing habits.

As you go about your day, think about keeping your mouth closed when you aren’t talking. When I take walks, I envision my jaw glued shut. This forces me to do nasal breathing, which is the ideal method of breathing. Before long, nasal breathing will become your default. Your body will naturally breathe through the nose.

Your daytime habits will eventually carry over into the night. Slowly, but surely, you’ll start to find that it is more comfortable to breathe through your nose. Your body will naturally start breathing through the nose at night.

 

Buteyko Breathing Exercises

Snoring occurs when you are breathing incorrectly with your mouth open at night. Buteyko breathing exercises are effective at helping you to retrain your body so that you consistently breathe through your nose. This helps to eliminate snoring and the health problems that develop from snoring.

Nasal breathing is the first step to optimal breathing patterns. Most people are breathing too much and too rapidly. This is caused by a variety of things in modern life from poor posture due to sitting all day, lack of exercise and an overconsumption of refined foods. Even yoga teachers sometimes teach their students to breathe too rapidly for good health.

People who have optimal health breathe 2-3 times per minute naturally. They have a control pause, or a period of time when they can comfortably go without breathing for about 60 seconds. Most people in modern times have nowhere near that control pause. They are comfortable with holding their breath for about 15-20 seconds. However, if you retrain yourself to breathe slower, through your nose and with your diaphragm, you will start to notice amazing health benefits.

The Buteyko breathing method helps to ensure optimal breathing patterns. It has been used by more than 150 MDs in the USSR and Russia for over 40 years. Doctors taught this exercise to their patients with asthma, COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, and other conditions. The Buteyko Breathing Method also helps to eliminate the problem of snoring.

Breathing through your mouth, which happens when you snore means that you are breathing roughly 3-5 times more air than the medical norm. This activity is called “hyperventilation.”

Hyperventilation reduces oxygen levels in the brain, heart, and all other vital organs. Hyperventilation is the main reason why snoring promotes chronic diseases such as asthma, COPD, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and others.

 

 

Exercise with Nasal Breathing

One of the best ways to eliminate hyperventilation and increase oxygenation in the body is through exercise with nasal breathing. Exercise has many physiological benefits. As you sweat, your body releases toxins. This improves every function in the body.

The benefits of correct physical activity include increased body and brain oxygenation at rest, better sleep and more energy. It is very important to continue nasal breathing during exercise to receive maximum health benefits from the exercise.

When 180 Russian medical doctors tested thousands of their patients, they discovered the main benefits of physical activity. Once their patients achieved high body-oxygen test results and stopped doing their breathing exercises, their long term body-oxygen test numbers were linked to the amount of daily physical exercise. Therefore, they concluded that physical exercise is the key lifestyle factor to increase body oxygenation and maintain good health.

Physical exercises are required to remove abnormalities in the body. Our bodies require shaking, or vibrations of the body, sweating and increased metabolism to successfully and effectively deal with cancerous tumors, asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, arthritis and other auto-immune diseases, inflammatory conditions, GI disorders and other dysfunction.

The Butyeko Breathing Method of retraining your breath should include an exercise component. This will help to maintain your control pause, especially throughout the night. Physical activity is the crucial factor in the process of gradually increasing your monrning control pause and preventing decreases due to lifestyle.

 

Create Good Sleep Habits

There are some sleeping habits that can prevent snoring altogether. Snoring is often triggered when your head drops backward and the lower jaw stays open. Sleeping on your side can reduce this occurrence. Sleeping on your back is likely to increase the number of times your mouth opens at night. 

Another rule of thumb for creating great sleeping habits that prevent snoring is to go to sleep when you are really sleepy and not earlier. This will reduce the amount of time that you are laying down.

Before and during sleep breathe only through the nose. As you are falling asleep, relax all of your muscles and lie on your left side. Do a few control pauses prior to falling asleep. Pinch your nose and hold your breath until you feel the first sign of discomfort. Exhale through the nose.

After your breath hold, take a small inhalation through the nose. Following the short inhalation, relax all of your body’s muscles and exhale slowly.  Make sure that the exhalation is natural and unforced. This exercise is getting you focused on breathing through your nose at night. With each breath, take a smaller or reduced inhalation. your goal is to gently create air hunger while relaxing your body muscles.

 

Mouth Taping at Night

When you are getting started with Buteyko breathing exercises, you don’t want your progress to be destroyed by a night of snoring and poor breathing habits. This can easily happen as your body reverts back to its old habits of allowing the jaw to open up and breathing through the mouth. You may find that taping your mouth shut with some masking tape helps you to keep your mouth closed as you are developing the habit of breathing through your nose while you sleep. Many people have found this practice to be helpful. You may be able to avoid this step if you are making great progress with the other steps. As your breathing improves, this step may become unnecessary.

 

Buteyko breathing is very effective at naturally restoring proper breathing during sleep. It can be learned from a practitioner, but many components of Buteyko breathing can be learned from videos and books. I highly recommend the book, Close Your Mouth by Patrick McKeown to start. If you find that you’re not making progress or you have a serious health condition, you may want to contact a Buteyko breathing practitioner.

 

 

 

Buteyko Breathing for Panic Attacks and Anxiety

Panic attacks and anxiety can wreak havoc on your mental health. They can really disrupt your day to day living when you are constantly worried and stressed out about things. Buteyko breathing for panic attacks and anxiety is an extremely effective and natural method to treat them.

How can changing your breathing impact panic attacks and anxiety? Panic attacks and anxiety create a drop in the blood’s carbon dioxide levels due to heavy, fast breathing. When there is a drop in the blood’s carbon dioxide levels, the oxygen levels in the body become lowered, leading to a panic attack. The Buteyko Breathing Method helps to even out and normalize breathing patterns so the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen can restabilize.

Buteyko Breathing Method

The Buteyko Breathing Method was a way of breathing that was developed by Konstantin Buteyko. He noticed that as people became sicker, their breathing became faster and more pronounced. He began to associate faster, heavier breathing with illness. The Buteyko Breathing Method focuses on slowing down the breathing and making the breath diaphragmatic. There are many benefits to the Buteyko Breathing Method, including more energy, improved respiratory function and an improvement in allergies. Another great benefit of the Buteko Breathing Method is the improvement of depression and anxiety.

During an anxiety attack, an individual will begin to breathe rather heavily with very little control. This will lead to hyperventilation and other shallow breathing techniques. Panic attacks and stress brought on by anxiety can all cause inconsistent breathing. The Buteyko Breathing Method can help to remedy this issue.

The Buteyko Breathing Method teaches you to slow down your breathing and to breathe only through the nose. The Buteko Breathing Method focuses on remaining calm through the act of breathing. It helps you maintain level breathing that is stable and physiologically calming.

One of the common mistakes many people make is to take deep breaths when they feel a panic attack approaching. Breathing less is actually the key to staving off hyperventilation, which means you should be breathing slower and not deeper.

Panic Attacks

A panic attack is the sudden feeling of strong anxiety, terror, fear or discomfort. Panic attacks can seem to come from nowhere and develop rapidly. However, anxiety and panic attacks are the result of overexcited nerves. The key physiological causes of overexcited nerves are breathing patterns that reduce the oxygen and carbon dioxide content. This is known as hyperventilation.

Hyperventilation, panic attacks and anxiety form a vicious cycle with one leading to the next. The Buteyko Breathing Method helps to break this cycle and reduce anxiety and panic attacks.

Anxiety and panic attacks are becoming more common that they were 80-100 years ago. People are breathing faster and deeper and living in a state of chronic hyperventilation. For that reason, it is common to suffer from chronic or sporadic anxiety. The Buteyko Breathing Method is effective in calming nerves naturally within 1-2 minutes. This will reduce the signs and symptoms of anxiety and overtime, it will go away.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Some symptoms of anxiety attacks include chest tightness, coastal or chest breathing, shortness of breath, a feeling of a lack of air, panic and phobia. Some early signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders include dry mouth in the morning, sleeping on one’s back agitated sleep or nocturnal problems. A sign of anxiety could also include sighing or sniffing air, and mouth breathing during exercise and walking.

 

Anxiety Problems

Anxiety can create many problems in your life. Anxiety can be accompanied by a lack of physical exercise, oral breathing during sleep or exercise. Anxiety can lead to psychological stress with feelings of revenge, anger, greed, jealousy, envy and laziness. It can lead to eating too much and a lack of important nutrients. Anxiety can trigger consumption of junk foods.

Due to the erratic problems with breathing and anxiety, toxins, poisons and pollution can become much more problematic. They can trigger allergic reactions. Dusty environments can become a problem for people with anxiety. Many anxiety sufferers also have issues with pathological gut flora, which can lead to other illnesses. They may also experience focal infections, such as dead tonsils, cavities in teeth, athletes’ feet, root canals or dead teeth and intestinal parasites. –

Other things that can be associated with anxiety are addictions and excesses, such as addiction to caffeine, smoking gambling or street drugs. Sighing, sneezing, yawning and coughing all disrupt breathing patterns are common among people who have anxiety.

 

Reducing Anxiety with Buteyko Breathing

Buteyko Breathing Method will smooth out and slow down the breathing. As you learn the Buteyko Breathing Method, you will start to focus on nasal breathing 24/7. This naturally slows down your breathing patterns to maximize the gas exchange in the body.

As you exercise with nasal breathing (in and out through your nose), changes in blood gases and nitric oxide blood concentration enable you to increase your brain’s ability to focus. It triggers relaxation.

One of the components of the Buteyko Breathing Method is to emphasize having a straight spine or correct posture 24/7. This allows the breath to get to the diaphragm where the exchange of gases occurs.

Some great tools for relieving anxiety include forgiveness, silent prayer, acceptance, peace-making, good will, and calmness. As your anxiety reduces through the Buteyko Breathing exercises, you should notice better composure, perseverance, self-discipline, commitment, and responsibility.

Spending more time outdoors can help in relieving anxiety as sunlight provides vitamin D.

One aspect of the Buteyko Breathing Method is to eat only when you are hungry. When you overeat, you tend to increase your breathing patterns. Overeating often leads to hyperventilation, which can trigger anxiety. It is important to only eat when you are hungry and stop. Also, make sure you are eating whole foods and reducing your processed food consumption.

Sleeping patterns can have an impact on the breathing rate. Go to bed when you are sleepy and get out of bed when you wake up in the morning. Sleeping on soft beds with lots of blankets can trigger hyperventilation. Be aware that sleeping with your mouth open is detrimental for your health. Many Buteyko Breathing practitioners recommend that you tape your mouth shut to ensure nasal breathing at night.

While these changes may seem new and different, as you become more and more accustomed to slower, nasal breathing, you will start to notice that your panic attacks and anxiety become more and more infrequent. You’ll also notice that your health will improve in other ways. Nasal breathing reduces the chances of catching colds. You may also discover that you have more energy as your body is more oxygenated.

 

 

 

 

 

Try Buteyko Breathing for Asthma – It Works!

What is the Buteyko Breathing Method?

The Buteyko Breathing method is a way of breathing created by Konstantin Buteyko. It focuses on slowing down the rhythm and rate of breathing. The goal of slowing down the breathing is to increase the carbon dioxide in the body. This provides the body with a better ratio of carbon dioxide to oxygen. Buteyko breathing for asthma symptoms has been reported to be very effective. I’ve experienced relief using this method from my own asthma symptoms.

According to Konstantin Buteyko, a Russian medical doctor, people who suffer from asthma and other related diseases hyperventilate, or over-breathe, and release too much carbon dioxide from the body. Low levels of carbon dioxide in the body is known as hypcapnia, which can be caused by hyperventilation. Hyperventilation is excessively fast and deep breathing. To compensate for hyperventilation and low levels of carbon dixoide, bodies have developed corrective mechanisms to limit the release of carbon dioxide. The tightening of the bronchial muscles and the over production of mucus in the airways is one of these mechanisms. These are very common symptoms of asthma.

Buteyko’s breathing technique has been known to correct the hyperventilation and subsequent decreased level of carbon dioxide. When done correctly, Buteyko practitioners claim, the breathing method can lead to a reduction in the reliance of asthma medicines for the relief of symptoms. This is something that I have noticed in my own practice of Buteyko breathing exercises.

Breathing through the nose, rather than the mouth can help to alleviate the symptoms of asthma. Mouth breathing dries the airways and makes them more sensitive and prone to increased mucus production.

The Buteyko breathing method gained attention in 2009 when Jane Brody, who writes the Personal Health column in the New York Times, described the experience of a friend of hers with severe asthma. Her friend was able to cut back to using less than one puff of her inhaler each day. After just three months of breathing exercises, he was able to discontinue taking the oral medications for asthma altogether.

 

Low Carbon Dioxide Levels Lead to Problems with Airways

Dr. Sterling in 1968 wrote “The Mechanism of BronchoConstriction Due to Hypocapnia in Man.” This was published by the Clinical Science Journal. In this article, Dr. Sterling suggests that a deficiency of CO2 creates an over-excited state of the cholinergic nerve. This nerve is responsible for the smooth muscles in the bronchi. When this nerve is over-excited, it leads to the constriction of the bronchi and the smaller air packages. This turns into the classic symptoms of asthma, wheezing, coughing and high heart rate. The production of mucus makes it worse.

Buteyko suggested that asthma is caused by alveolar hyperventilation. His first medical article about this was published in 1964. Butyeko observed the central role of breathing too much in the progress and degree of asthma. Buteyko and his medical colleagues also discovered that asthmatics can get fast, drug free relief from asthma symptoms if they practiced shallow and reduced breathing.

Another doctor, Dr. Herxheimer, independently suggested that hypocapnia is the cause of bronchial asthma in 1946.

 

Development of Allergies and Bronchial Asthma

If we want to cure asthma, we have to know how asthma attacks develop.

Man with wheezing and bronchial asthmaChronic low carbon dioxide values in the bronchi create constriction in the airways. Additionally, chronic hyperventilation makes immune reactions abnormal. The immune system tends to become sensitive when there are low carbon dioxide values. As the immune system responds to intruders from the outside, it weakens the responses to a variety of pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria.

Hyperventilation is a defense reaction which is part of the fight or flight response. Therefore, hyperventilation should mean a state of increased alertness and emergency for the whole organism, including the immune system.

As the immune system is becoming hypersensitive to intruders and normal conditions. Events like breathing cold air or inhaling dust particles now trigger an inflammatory response in asthmatics. This in turn produces excessive mucus, a sense of anxiety or panic and more hyperventilation and a further constriction of the airways.

 

Prevention with Buteyko Breathing Exercises

Countering hypocapnia can help to prevent asthma attacks by taking the body out of this hypersensitive state that happens through chronic hyperventilation.

Buteyko breathing exercises have demonstrated through controlled tries that after 3-6 months, asthmatics required three to nine times less reliever medication, two times less steroidal drugs, and had a significantly improved quality of life. They reported significantly improved symptoms of asthma.

Breathing retraining requires a constant regulation of breathing due to the negative effects of some modern lifestyle risk factors. Modern lifestyle risk factors include sedentary jobs, consuming high amounts of carbohydrates and poor sleeping habits. Sleeping on your back or snoring can reduce the efficacy of the Buteyko breathing exercises.

Asthmatics are most likely to experience acute attacks or even die during the early morning hours. This is because nighttime breathing can be poor if you are breathing incorrectly at night.

Many Buteyko breathing practitioners encourage mouth taping at night in order to eliminate the negative impacts that can occur from poor breathing while sleeping.

Buteyko breathing practitioners also encourage sufficient physical activity to ensure that the breathing is reset properly. It is recommended that people have at least two hours of physical activity with nasal breathing only each day. This is helpful in maintaining the new pattern of breathing and preventing any further asthma symptoms.

 

How does it work?

Buteyko breathing techniques are fairly simple to learn and can be easily picked up through online courses or a book. It is encouraged to visit a Butyeko breathing practitioner or clinic if you are suffering from a serious disease.

There are a number of Buteyko breathing clinics around the world. You can go to one of them to learn the techniques.

The Buteyko breathing method basically involves breathing out fully and then pausing your breathing in order to slow it down. The exercises should be done multiple times per day to retrain your body to breathe slower and only through the nose.

The first exercise that you will learn in the Buteyko breathing method is the control pause. This requires you to breathe out and then time how long you can comfortably hold your breathe before you feel the urge to take another breathe. This gives you a general idea of how much oxygen is in your body.

Once you know your control pause, you will want to improve upon that. Ideally, you want to be able to comfortably hold your breathe for about sixty seconds in order to eliminate diseases. Asthmatics typically start with a control pause around twenty seconds. Those who have chronic asthma and allergies are around 30 seconds. People who suffer from seasonal allergies are typically around 30 seconds. Once you can achieve a control pause of 40 seconds, you will have no symptoms of sinusitis, rhinitis, hay fever or asthma.

From my own experience, when my control pause reached 40, I was able to easily fend off colds during the cold and flu season as well as eliminate the majority of my seasonal allergies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Breathing Exercises for Better Sleep!

Some people have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. One of the best things that you can do to improve your sleep is get exercise. However, if you are simply exercising with poor breathing habits, such as breathing in and out of your mouth, you could be making your health worse instead of better. One of the main reasons for this is that the nose produces nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is essential in the regulation of sleep- wake states.  Additionally, your nose is the organ that has the ability to prepare the air you breathe properly. Mouth breathing leads to over-breathing, chronic hyperventilation, lowered carbon dioxide levels, build up of toxins, narrowing of the airways and a reduction in blood circulation.

Nasal Breathing

“Nasal breathing (as opposed to mouth breathing) increases circulation, blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, slows the breathing rate and improves overall lung volumes.” Swift, Campbell, McKown 1988 Oronasal obstruction, Lung volumes, and arterial oxygenation.

Breathing through your nose has many benefits. Likewise, breathing through your mouth has many drawbacks. Mouth breathing and resultant over-breathing elevates your blood pressure and heart rate and worsens asthma , allergies, rhinitis, sleep apnea, and deprives your heart, brain and other organs of optimal oxygenation.

Overbreathing and hyperventilation during exercise can lead to reduced performance, and can also cause vasoconstriction, which increases your risk for arrhythmias and heart problems, even if you have none of the usual cardiac risk factors.

One scary fact about the nose is that it is the home to more than 50 bacterial species. Some of the species are beneficial, but most of them are not. But the good ones can kill some of the bad ones. However, if we bypass the nose for breathing, the bad ones tend to dominate. Staphylococcus Aureus infections cause disease due to direct infection or due to the production of toxins by bacteria. Aureas, one of the hospital acquired staph infections that include the blood and the heart is present in thirty percent of the population, including hospital employees.

Nasal Breathing Increases Energy Levels

Nasal breathing increases our energy levels. When we breathe, we use our lungs. The lungs extract oxygen from the air we breathe on the exhale portion of the breath. Since the nostrils are smaller than the mouth, when air is exhaled through the nasal passages, it creates a sort of back pressure. This slows the air escape enabling the lungs to have more time to extract oxygen. Only when the oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange is correct will the blood maintain the proper body pH. When carbon dioxide diminishes rapidly, as it does during mouth breathing, the absorption of oxygen decreases.

In the nasal passages there are afferent stimuli from the nerves that regulate breathing. The air that gets inhaled passes through the nasal mucosa and carries the stimuli to the reflex nerves which control the breath. Mouth breathing bypasses the nasal mucosa and makes breathing irregular. While you sleep, it predisposes one to loud snoring, irregular breathing, sleep apnea and heart conditions.

 

Mouth Breathing Creates Mucus

Mouth breathing triggers a response from the brain where it stimulates the goblet cells to produce mucous, slow the breathing and cause constriction of blood vessels. This response is eliminated when breathing through the nose because nasal breathing limits air intake and forces you to slow down your breathing. Proper nasal breathing reduces hypertension and eliminates stress in the average person.

Nasal breathing leads to better filtration of toxins. The nose contains cilia, which trap bacteria and prevents them from entering the body. The nostrils also filter and warm up the air going to the lungs. This is a step that is not done when breathing through the mouth. The sinuses also produce nitric oxide, which is harmful to the bacteria and prevents infections.

Nose breathing imposes approximately fifty percent more resistance to the air stream in normal individuals than does mouth breathing, resulting in ten to twenty percent more O2 uptake. (Cottle, 1972: Rohrer, 1915). There must be adequate nasal resistance to maintain adequate elasticity of the lungs. (Cottle 1980).

 

Buteyko Breathing Exercises

So, how does one achieve nasal breathing twenty four hours a day and seven days per week? One must practice breathing exercises during their awake hours in order to eliminate their irregular sleep breathing. This is a simple task that does take some time and dedication, but pays off huge health benefits in the long run.

When you start learning Buteyko breathing exercises, the first thing that you’ll learn is how to measure your control pause. This gives you an idea of how much oxygen is in your body. The longer the control pause, the better health you will likely have.

Below is a video demonstrating how to measure your control pause.

I personally use the Buteyko breathing exercises. The simple Buteyko steps exercise is one that can be done while walking. You simply exhale through your nose and plug your nose. Keep your mouth closed and count how many steps you can take before you feel an air shortage. You ideally want to make it up to 80 steps. Each time you attempt this it will get easier and easier.

 

Breathing Devices

Another great tool to improve your breathing are breathing devices. As I was learning to slow my breathing down, I used the BreathSlim device. It is a simple device that is used to slow down the breathing. While it is done using your mouth to create resistance, it traps the carbon dioxide and you breath that back into your body. It is only meant to be used for about fifteen minutes at a time. Afterwards, you will notice that your breathing is slower and if you are mindful, you should be breathing through your nose. The BreathSlim device is no longer on the market, but one that is very similar is the Frolov breathing device. 

Another great breathing device that I like to use is the Elevation Training Mask. The great thing about the elevation training mask is that it creates a resistance for your lungs and you can do the Buteyko Steps exercise while you are wearing it. The elevation training mask is the tool that I used to train myself to breathe through my nose while I exercise.  It is very effective and will improve your endurance and overall workouts. 

As you practice Buteyko breathing exercises, you’ll discover that your sleep becomes much easier. You will discover that you wake up refreshed and ready to face the day. The exercises tend to energize you. You may not need that afternoon nap after doing a few Buteyko breathing exercises.