We think the traditional wisdom is that deep breathing is good for us because it provides more oxygen. In fact the ancient yogis and Chinese knew the truth, that breathing is all about getting the balance right. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide and other gases. Oxygen is thought of as the wonder cure and carbon dioxide and other gases are viewed as a poisons When Dr Buteyko was first analysing his patients, he discovered that those who were sick breathed much more than those who were healthy, their breathing was unbalanced.
Many mechanisms work together to help us breathe correctly for example, the chest muscles and diaphragm, nerve impulses, relaxation and a breathing clock which works rather like the heart’s pacemaker.
Dr Buteyko realised that a small error in the way we breathe can be magnified 24,000 times each day with every breath. He developed systematic breathing method to normalise all aspects of the breathing and restore the body’s most important function.
Many thousands of asthmatics and those with breathing difficulties have experienced remarkable improvement in their condition with this amazing method, which has allowed them to reduce their dependency on medication and enjoy a quality of life they previously thought impossible.
ARE YOU BREATHING TOO DEEPLY?
Many people think they breathe shallowly but in fact they breathe very deeply.
Dr Buteyko developed a test that can measure your depth of breathing.
The Control Pause Breathing Test
1. Breathe in gently.
2. Exhale gently.
3. Hold your breath, pinching the nose, let go when you feel discomfort.
If you manage less than 10 seconds (on the third step), you have very serious health problems.
Less than 25 secs, your health needs attention.
30 – 40 secs is satisfactory
45 secs and above is excellent.
LEARNING THE METHOD
Patients are first taught to overcome symptoms using Buteyko’s techniques. For asthmatics this quickly results in the ability to reduce asthma attacks, then symptoms occur with less frequency and severity.
The need for “reliever” medication decreases. Preventative medication can also be substantially reduced (with proper advice from a doctor) as asthma continues to improve.
Patients with emphysema quickly find they can walk further before becoming breathless and those with allergies, bronchitis, coughs and snoring also find that their symptoms are first reduced, then often removed.
Generally all patients are delighted to find an increase in well being and health, with the surprising elimination of many symptoms that one would not normally attribute to improved breathing.
Article written by the Buteyko Breathing Association
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