An Introduction to the Buteyko Breathing Method

Health and Wellness 22 January 2020 | 0 Comments

Different factors in modern life can affect your breathing, from stress, to processed foods, to the belief that taking deep breaths is always good, as well as overall lethargy resulting from a significant lack of exercise. When left unchecked, these factors can eventually lead to poor breathing techniques and habits, such as breathing through your mouth instead of your nostrils, upper chest breathing (rather than using your diaphragm), and even noticeable breathing while at rest.

This can affect how oxygen enters the bloodstream, which can lead to other kinds of health problems later on.

What’s the Buteyko Breathing Method?

Breathing is an involuntary activity where air enters and leaves exclusively though the nostrils. Normal breathing frequency is between eight and twelve breaths per minute, but many people can take as many as twenty-five breaths per minute. This is where the Buteyko breathing method comes in.

The Buteyko Breathing method is a great approach to controlling the flow of air into your body. It allows you to reverse reversing many health problems linked to poor breathing, such as over-breathing and mouth-breathing. However, before you start, you need to know first how you breathe and whether you’re breathing normally, which you can do by using the “Control Pause” method:

  • Close your mouth and breathe normally through your nose for about thirty seconds.
  • Inhale normally through your nose.
  • Exhale normally through your nose.
  • Close your nose gently, using your thumb and your forefinger.
  • Count how many seconds passes before your first involuntary need to breathe.
  • Release your nose and breathe normally. Your breath should be calm.

A good “control pause” usually lasts about thirty seconds. While a duration of twenty-five can still be improved, a pause of about fifteen seconds of less can indicate certain respiratory symptoms, sleep-disordered breathing, or anxiety. If you find that you’re not breathing normally, you can apply the Buteyko breathing technique and follow these steps:

  • Inhale normally, and then exhale normally.
  • Take a shorter, lighter breath.
  • Exhale slowly for about five seconds.
  • Repeat the first three steps.

The Buteyko breathing technique can be especially useful not just for people who breathe too frequently, but also for asthmatics, who have a tendency to breathe through their mouth and breathe more heavily. There are other benefits to this breathing technique than simply regulating your breathing frequency. One is that you can use this exercise to calm down if you’re experiencing anxiety or panic attacks.

Another is that by sticking to nose-breathing rather than mouth-breathing, you can correct certain problems and improve the airflow going in and out of your lungs. Once you start breathing only though your nose, you’ll find that you’ll also stop other noticeable factors, such as noticeable breathing and taking large gulps of air before talking.

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