November - December 2006
- Canadian and UK Training courses
- Back to Basics with Asthma
- Improve your Sleep with Buteyko
- Buteyko Tip of the Season
Training in Canada and the UK
The Buteyko practitioner training courses that are taking place in Vancouver and the UK early next year are coming up fast! This is the second time that Buteyko practitioner training has been available in Canada, and the first time on the west coast, which makes it exciting news for all those Canadians who have been waiting for Buteyko practitioners to teach in their area. You don't have to live in Canada though to enrol in the course because it is open to anyone who would like to visit Vancouver while they are training.
The UK training is going to be in the southern part of the UK this year and is already promising to be a wonderful experience for all those concerned. To find out how you can improve the health of people in your area by teaching Buteyko, email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details, or take a look at the web page http://www.buteyko.co.nz/bnz/pract/pract1.cfm to find out more about the training programme. We have trained over 60 new practitioners, helping to spread Buteyko around the world. The reason that we continue to do this is because Buteyko completely changed our lives from the stress of debilitating asthma to having no asthma at all, and we want as many people to have access to Buteyko as possible.
The training courses in both Canada and the UK are combined with a professional development weekend where practitioners who have been teaching for months or years can get together and learn a bit more. If you are an existing Buteyko practitioner and want to join either of these weekends then contact Jennifer at email@example.com for more information.
Back to Basics with Asthma
When you look at asthma from the Buteyko point of view, you start with a trigger that causes stress on the body. A trigger can be environmental, and include such things as cold air, pollen or dusty conditions. It can be emotional, such as when becoming upset, worried or excited. Or it can be of a physical nature, such as when you do too much exercise, or not enough, getting too hot, or having a chest infection. Some foods and drinks are also common asthma triggers. All of these things that trigger asthma, actually cause a stressful situation for the body, which initiates an increase in the volume of air breathed each minute as part of the automatic and natural response to stress.
By increasing the breathing pattern, extra allergens or cold air is inhaled, causing greater irritation or reactions in the airways. Extra carbon dioxide is lost, and if too much is lost to the atmosphere; the body starts to suffer. To prevent the loss of too much carbon dioxide and also to keep irritants out of the lungs, the airways swell, narrow and produce extra mucus. Not being able to breathe easily is stressful, and this further increases the breathing pattern. Taking a puff of a short-acting bronchodilator such as Ventolin opens up the airways and reduces this stress, allowing the asthma attack to subside. This is a good thing unless opening up the airways allows more allergens to enter deeper into the lungs. If this is the case then once the Ventolin wears off the person needs to take more of it in order to breathe easily again. Taking repeated puffs of a short-acting bronchodilator, or the equivalent with long-acting bronchodilators such as Serevent, is unlikely to improve asthma control in the long run for at least this most obvious reason.
Breathing through your nose will go a long way towards improving asthma control, and this should be the first basic point that any asthmatic would learn. In order to breathe easily through the nose, you can use the following simple Buteyko exercise:
After a normal exhalation, close the mouth if it is open and softly pinch the nostrils together so that no air can enter or escape through the nose or mouth. Commence nodding the head carefully, so that the neck is not stressed in any way and continue nodding with the mouth and nose closed until you get an urge to breathe. Keep the mouth closed, remove the hand from the nose, and breathe in and out SOFTLY through the nose. If the nose is not clear enough to breathe through then repeat the exercise up to 3 or 4 times. Use this exercise whenever your nose starts to block up.
Improve your sleep with Buteyko
Even though there have been no published trials that show Buteyko helps people with snoring, insomnia and sleep apnoea, anecdotally there is. This makes perfect sense, when you consider that breathing is the basis of life, and breathing well encourages good health and a sense of well-being. Breathing more air than is needed for any given activity is called hyperventilation, and a direct result of hyperventilation is to lower the pressure of carbon dioxide in the lungs and blood stream. Low pressure of carbon dioxide causes the nervous system to become agitated, creating a situation that is unlikely to be conducive to sound sleep. During sleep the pressure of carbon dioxide in the blood stream is normally slightly higher than the waking pressure, which allows the nervous system to relax. The type of breathing that occurs during snoring disturbs this pressure. Snoring is clearly hyperventilation because the person is not only breathing noisily and often through the mouth, instead of quietly through the nose as is healthy during sleep, but also with so much vigour as to cause vibration of the airways.
The typical symptoms of someone who sleeps badly is waking up feeling more tired than before you went to sleep. Shoulders and neck probably ache in the morning. The person has difficulty staying awake during the day when sitting for any length of time, as well as difficulty concentrating and learning new information. The person is often irritable and forgetful with a blocked or running nose.
Over the past few weeks three people have told me how they used to dread going to sleep. They knew that they would snore, wake several times to go to the toilet, and get up in the morning feeling exhausted. In the follow-up session to their Buteyko courses these people all reported that they now go to sleep and stay asleep for at least six hours, waking refreshed in the morning. The stress that they have during the day is now manageable because they are getting a good night's sleep. If you are not already sleeping better by using the Buteyko techniques, then find your closest practitioner and start NOW! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your city, state and country to find out who is your closest practitioner
If you would like to find out more about how breathing badly affects your body, take a look at this page on our web site:
Buteyko Tip of the Season
Christmas is approaching fast, which can be an emotional time for many of us. There is the remembering of those who we wish were here, and excitement about catching up with old friends or family, as well as getting or giving presents. Drinking alcohol is commonplace, as is eating too much food and lots of chocolate. The weather is likely to be extra hot or extra cold. People might be travelling long distances in cramped aeroplanes or cars, and finances might be stretched to the limit. After Christmas putting together that kit-set furniture or swing-set can be challenging to the point of frustration. Anyone of these things on their own is likely to trigger hyperventilation, but when you combine several of them together, you have the potential for a huge problem.
Remember your Buteyko exercises reduce stress and restore a normal breathing pattern. Perhaps resuming your Buteyko exercise regime for the next few weeks is a good idea for those who have stopped. If you have asthma but have not yet learned the Buteyko exercises and are aware that you have worse asthma at this time of the year, then talk to your doctor about temporarily increasing your preventive medication over the danger period. If you snore or have sleep apnoea, remember to watch out for the over-use of alcohol and don't allow yourself to get too tired. Have a safe and happy holiday!
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