Buteyko Breathing for active well-being
We all have to breathe!
For those struggling to create or maintain well-being, it might surprise you to know that many of the most common health complaints in the western world have at least one consistent underlying element.
- Airway disorders including asthma, emphysema, snoring, sinusitis, COPD, hay fever
- Headaches, neck and shoulder pain, some forms of muscle spasm (largely from using the wrong muscles to breathe)
- Anxiety, panic and related phobic conditions
- Sleep problems
- Low energy and reduced stamina
- Hay fever, sinusitis, chronic rhinitis
- High blood pressure
It is the habit of poor breathing, particularly hyperventilation.Since people breathe an average of over 20 thousand times a day, it’s vital to get it right! The medical benefits of good breathing are well-proven. Ask any physiotherapist or respiratory consultant! On the other hand, overbreathing, also known as hyperventilation, is simply breathing more air per minute than you need for the level of activity. Sounds harmless, doesn’t it?
Breathe Better, Live Better
Having experienced decades of chronic respiratory problems including asthma and bronchitis, which were life-threatening on occasion, Jen was delighted to find the clinically proven Buteyko Breathing technique stopped her symptoms completely. No more bronchitis or asthma. No more need of medication (yes, her GP was happy to help her come off the steroids and other meds when her health was so clearly and measurably better!) For 16 years she has been wheeze free, and a passionate advocate of the benefits of learning to breathe well.
Since Jen became a Buteyko Practitioner, she has taught hundreds of people the life-changing skill of optimal breathing. Her clients often arrive wheezing, coughing, pale and tired, needing daily medication. They are likely to leave, after just the first couple of sessions with no wheeze, no cough, colour in their face, bright eyes, and knowing that in just a few sessions that is they will be for life.
Not only will they be free of the disabling symptoms, but able to reduce and then eliminate the need for medication (under appropriate medical supervision for that of course!) And it’s almost ridiculously simple – just teach them to breathe better, and help them create that as a permanent, totally integrated, habit.
There have been numerous clinical trials in the last fifty years of this approach, primarily for patients with asthma and/or high blood pressure. An excellent example is a 2 year trial at Glasgow University held a few years ago, for 600 people. The average result was a 94% reduction in asthma symptoms and associated medication use, which held for the entire 2 year trial. Once the body integrates the breathing fully, it becomes its new normal and is self-maintained.
What are the practical benefits of optimal breathing?
- More energy
- Better sleep
- Able to exercise and still breathe well
- Increased oxygen uptake
- Feeling more relaxed
- Clearer thinking
- Stronger, and calmer, immune system
- Measurable symptom reduction for asthma, anxiety, hay fever, high blood pressure and related conditions
- For sports people in particular, increased stamina and improved recovery rates.
LISTEN TO A TELESEMINAR ON BUTEYKO BREATHING by Jen Tiller http://www.traydio.com/UserConsole/ArticleSearchResults.aspx?Keywords=buteyko
What does the process involve?
The programme begins with a comprehensive assessment including an extensive questionnaire and a series of measurements such as breaths per minute, which muscles are used to breathe, and several simple tolerance tests. What is learned by the client in the process can be very valuable. After all, you can’t choose to change what you aren’t aware of!
Once the baseline is established, clientss learn a range of exercises to gradually improve breathing when sitting, walking, lifting light weights if appropriate, stair climbing etc. Relaxation techniques are included so the process remains comfortable and pleasant. There are structured exercises tailored to the person’s needs which are adjusted over time. There are measuring processes throughout and clients are asked to keep a journal. (This may also be important for your doctor or respiratory nurse). If it is relevant, and the client wishes, any related emotional concerns can also be addressed gently, quickly and effectively along the way, since Jen is a very experienced therapist using effective, proven approaches including NLP, energy work, hypnosis, Emotional Freedom Technique etc.
Little and often, with small adjustments, the body rapidly remembers how to breathe efficiently and effectively, increasing the oxygen uptake (YES, by breathing LESS!) and improving energy levels.
Rapid results can be expected for many conditions. For example, over half of the asthmatics who have followed the Personal Best Programme with Jen have found they naturally need less than half their usual reliever sprays within the first week. (These are the medications doctors prescribe for immediate relief that are taken only when needed.) For most people, sleep rapidly improves, and energy levels rise steadily as oxygen reaches healthy levels.
For people experiencing panic or anxiety attacks, reversing hyperventilation is a key factor in the physical process of returning to calm. Habitually breathing calmly is an important element in dealing with, and ultimately preventing the distressing experience of many anxiety responses.
Naturally, you should consult your doctor before reducing preventative medication of any kind.
There are programmes suitable for ages 6+. Combined with relaxation skills and powerful NLP techniques for personal change this ground breaking Programme changes lives. The core programme of 4 to 5 sessions is usually enough for people with mild conditions to retrain their breathing and reverse symptoms. More may be needed for severe or complex concerns, but generally phone support is sufficient for most people. Although support is always available, it is our intention that you become independent and confident in applying the principles to create your desired level of health and well-being for life.
The technical bit: Why hyperventilation (over-breathing) is a problem
Our bodies need a very precise balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood stream AT ALL TIMES. That delicate balance is easily upset (think about how you feel if you blow up too many balloons!). This is simply because the body loses carbon dioxide too early in the breathing cycle.
It doesn’t matter much if it’s short term, but over time a process called the BOHR effect changes the PH of the whole system, reducing the rate of oxygen available to the cells. Breathing MORE quickly actually makes it worse. At a specific level of carbon dioxide loss, smooth muscle tissue can go into spasm (key in asthma, IBS, or high blood pressure depending on the genetic history). Anyone can experience this – many Olympic athletes have asthma and related conditions, and people can develop the habit at any age, as a result of any long-term or intense strain on the system – flu, trauma, overload at work, pollution, pain from injury etc.
The body is conditioned to breathe too much all the time as a result of the well-known fight or flight response becoming habitual. It can then take very little to trigger the symptoms of asthma etc.
Other immune system disorders including ME/CFS, severe allergies, inflammation, and many other conditions can develop in response to stress and trauma which inevitably include hyperventilation. Reversing that has a significant impact on the symptoms of all those conditions.
Feel noticeably better after every session (your definition!) or don’t pay me for that session!
If you’re concerned about ‘therapy’ involving painful explorations of past experiences, or taking long periods of time, you’ll be delighted to know that using techniques such as NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Hypnosis, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) offer a quick, gentle and effective approach!
Much of the work can be done ‘content free’ using processes that access the experience without pain or distress. Many of my clients are delighted to find that they have spent much of their session comfortably relaxed, even laughing, discovering how easy change can be.
What a relief!