Buteyko Asthma Management
Better Breathing = Better Health
By Jennifer Stark
May - June 2007
- Unblock that nose
- Why better breathing = better health
- Brisbane classes
- Training classes in Australia
- Buteyko Tip of the Season
Unblock that nose
A blocked nose is not life threatening in the same way that asthma is, but it is annoying, exhausting and frequently prevents good health. This is because the nose warms and moistens the air, as well as removing practically all of the airborne dust and germs that cause a problem when they get into the throat or lungs. Because the nose is perfectly designed for breathing through, and the mouth is not, it is the healthy way to breathe.
Breathing through your mouth can lead to gum disease and tooth decay because it dries out saliva that protects the mouth from germs. Chronic mouth breathing can also cause teeth to grow crooked or to move forward in the upper jaw, which upsets the normal bite and may lead to the person requiring braces to bring the teeth back to the correct alignment.
To have sound and refreshing sleep it is usual to lie on one side and to turn several times in the night to avoid having sore joints in the morning. Being able to breathe freely through your nose makes this turning action a lot more likely to happen than when you have a blocked nose and need to breathe through your mouth.
We start off breathing through our nose as babies, and if breathing through the nose is so important then why do some people have a chronically blocked nose? Unless there is something structurally wrong with the nose (which is relatively rare), the most common answer to this question is because the person begins to breathe too much air each minute. When more air is breathed than is needed, carbon dioxide pressure begins to drop in the lungs and the bloodstream. Because it is necessary to keep a certain amount of carbon dioxide in the blood and alveoli to stay healthy, the first line of defence against this loss is to narrow the airways, and the part of the airway to narrow first is usually the nasal passages. Because the nose is slightly blocked the person has a greater tendency to breathe through their mouth, which causes even more blocking of the nose, and so on in a vicious circle.
The easiest way to narrow the airways is to make inflammation inside the tubes and to increase mucus production. Chemicals such as histamine cause these things to occur, and histamine also causes a greater response to allergens, which may make the person take anti-inflammatory medication. The artificial opening of the airways allows more over-breathing to take place and in response to this, the airways narrow even more in a rebound effect.
To temporarily unblock the nose, Dr. Buteyko devised a simple exercise:
* Sit on a chair.
* After an easy breath out, close your mouth (if it was open), and gently pinch the end of your nose to seal the nostrils.
* Gently nod your head up and down a few times until you want to breathe. Note: Be careful that you do not hurt your neck while doing this.
* Keep your mouth closed and take your hand off your nose, allowing the nostrils to open.
* Breathe softly and gently through your nose, while still keeping your mouth closed.
* Providing the nasal passages have opened slightly, continue to breathe gently through your nose.
If your nose is not totally clear, take another two or three breaths before repeating the exercise. It may be repeated several times in order to completely clear your nose. To make the nose remain clear you need to adjust your breathing pattern back towards normal by following the Buteyko Method set out for you by your instructor.
Why better breathing = better health
By using the Buteyko method to normalise your breathing pattern, the nose blocks far less frequently because:
* When a normal amount of carbon dioxide is retained, there is no need for the protective mechanism of narrowing nasal passages to reduce the loss.
* Fewer irritants will be inhaled.
* Excessive histamine production is reduced, which results in less inflammation and mucus production.
* By breathing less air each minute the protective mucus does not dry out and it is less thick. It also means that mucus glands do not pump out excessive mucus to keep the nose moist and the mucus is not as thick.
* Mucus is able to move freely because nasal passages are open.
* The immune system works more efficiently.
Every cell is affected by breathing because every cell requires oxygen to give it energy so that it can do its job properly. By breathing better, a steady supply of oxygen is delivered to tissue cells, and when this happens they will be able to function more efficiently. Instead of feeling tired, short of breath, dizzy, spaced out, anxious; or having aching muscles, a dry mouth, digestive problems, dry and itchy skin, or a rapid pulse; you will feel a lot calmer, sleep better, be less breathless, have better concentration and less fatigue.
As well as oxygen being transferred easily to tissue cells, the nervous system is more relaxed when breathing is normal; smooth muscle functions properly instead of going into spasm; and less histamine is zooming around the body causing over-reactions to relatively harmless things like cat dander.
To find out more about how hyperventilation affects health conditions read The Carbon Dioxide Syndrome book, available from www.buteyko.co.nz/products/default.cfm
Classes in Brisbane
If you have asthma, and have been taking medication for years, think about how much improvement you have had in your condition since you began using your first inhaler. If you can't think of any improvement, do not be surprised because the truth about taking asthma medication is that it never really makes the condition go away. At best it masks the symptoms if you take enough of it, but when people die of asthma they have horribly deformed lungs. Instead of having long, straight breathing tubes, the airways are distorted, with chunky smooth muscle and over-developed mucus cells. If the medication were actually successful in controlling the condition, this would never happen.
Looking at asthma from the Buteyko point of view, it is easy to see why conventional treatment of asthma does not improve the outcome for asthmatics. The medication supports, and can even encourage, the dysfunctional breathing component of asthma. Buteyko on the other hand has no such side effects. It addresses the root cause of the problem and reduces not only medication use, but also symptoms.
"My health has greatly improved since using this method for over 12 months, my intake of drugs has reduced by 90% and I have an amazing amount of energy." Sandra
We hold classes for asthma, as well as for snoring, sleep apnoea, blocked nose, allergies, emphysema, panic and hyperventilation attacks in Brisbane. The experience that we have gained by teaching the Buteyko method to thousands of people throughout the world will help you to improve your own condition. There are still some spaces in classes in June this year, with special discounts that can't be missed! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention this newsletter to get the AMAZING 50% discount!
Training Classes in Australia
Buteyko training classes are running in Brisbane this June. Brisbane prides itself on being beautiful one day and perfect the next with its weather, friendliness of the people who live here, and the things tourists can do both nearby and in the city. You can make your holiday a tax deduction by taking your Buteyko training here. Email Jennifer on email@example.com to find out about training if you want to make a difference to the health of your community by teaching Buteyko.
Buteyko Tip of the Season
With both autumn and spring happening around the world, there is likely to be an influx of airborne irritants such as moulds and pollen, so the best Buteyko tip is to KEEP BREATHING THROUGH YOUR NOSE!!! And the next best one is: Keep your Control Pause above 40! If you can do both of these things, then you will breeze through the season.
Better Breathing = Better Health
The Buteyko Works Team
Breathing is the foundation of life, and good breathing is the foundation of good health
Improve your health by improving your breathing with Buteyko