Breathing retraining, such as the Buteyko Method, can normalise your breathing and improve breathing habits.
Healthy breathing is:
- from the diaphragm rather than the chest
- through the nose rather than the mouth
- maintains a healthy blood level of carbon dioxide by not over-breathing
Both chest breathing and mouth breathing can lead to over-breathing, which creates a number of health problems in your body. For instance, did you know that 60% of your lymph glands lie under your diaphragm, and that by using your diaphragm to breathe you help your body to detox?
Your breathing habits govern the extent to which oxygen is freely available to every cell of your body. If you take in more air than is required, as often happens when a person is anxious, stressed or unwell, the oxygen in your blood stream is not released to be used by your body tissues, brain and muscles. This is called the Bohr Effect and results in fatigue and a wide range of health conditions such as:
- breathing-related anxiety and panic disorder
- narrowed airways such as occurs in asthma, chronic nasal congestion,
- sleep-breathing disorders such as snoring.
While most people recognise acute hyperventilation, such as what happens in a panic attack, it is almost impossible to recognise chronic hyperventilation. This is because just a slight increase in the breathing rate and a slight increase in the size of the breath together can almost double the amount of air that a person is breathing. However, a trained breathing practitioner or astute health professional can recognise the signs and symptoms.
Over-breathing for a short period of time, such as when you are unwell or stressed, can lead to a chronic habit of over-breathing which can then be hard to break. This is where breathing retraining can help you. Breathing retraining has been shown to be an effective method of improving a range of related health conditions – including hayfever, night-time urge to urinate (and bedwetting in children), and day-time focus in both adults and children.
The Buteyko Method
At Breathe Vitality we utilise the Butekyo Method of breathing retraining, which has been found to be highly effective in the management of asthma in a number of clinical trials. The Buteyko Method normalises breathing volume and encourages healthy breathing habits. It has been used by thousands of people to improve their health. We also use capnography, which is equipment that analyses breathing patterns and the level of carbon dioxide in the breath. This is the gold standard way of determining whether or not a person is over-breathing. Capnography biofeedback training uses capnography in a biofeedback mode to help people suffering with anxiety-related breathing and panic disorder become aware of their breathing habits and how their breathing might be contributing to feelings of anxiety and panic. It is a powerful and effective method of gaining control over breathing-related anxiety and panic disorder.
Improving breathing habits is one of the simplest strategies available for many sufferers of ill health. After all, we all breathe all day, every day! And for this reason, those who improve their breathing habits often start to feel better quickly.