Black lipstick: Here’s how to pull it off
Black lipstick: Here’s how to pull it off

Jennifer McShane

‘Meghan is right. Working mothers do have to choose between being present or being paid
‘Meghan is right. Working mothers do have to choose between being present or being paid

Amanda Cassidy

What to try this weekend: Gluten-free vegan churros with a caramel dipping sauce
What to try this weekend: Gluten-free vegan churros with a caramel dipping sauce

Meg Walker

How to increase your confidence and why it’s crucial
How to increase your confidence and why it’s crucial

Niamh Ennis

The scariest thing about Halloween? Competitive parenting
The scariest thing about Halloween? Competitive parenting

Sophie White

Add some colour to your living room with these punchy cushion designs
Add some colour to your living room with these punchy cushion designs

Megan Burns

Five perfect matte lipsticks that your mask won’t budge
Five perfect matte lipsticks that your mask won’t budge

Holly O'Neill

Slightly Christmassy movies that are totally acceptable to watch before Halloween
Slightly Christmassy movies that are totally acceptable to watch before Halloween

Lauren Heskin

This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million
This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million

Megan Burns

Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal stranger to my son’
Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal...

Amanda Cassidy

Image / Editorial

The Buteyko Breathing Method


by IMAGE
03rd Sep 2014
The Buteyko Breathing Method

Buteyko breathing. Haven’t heard of it? Neither had we, until very recently. If you’ve been suffering from asthma, stress or panic attacks throughout your life, you’ll want to keep reading.

Japanese though it sounds, it’s actually a form of breathing exercise created by Russian doctor?Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko, who observed that many of our modern day health issues – asthma in particular – are rooted in improper breathing, or over breathing, that results in an imbalance in our Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen levels, both of which are necessary for our overall sense of wellbeing. As per Buteyko.com, this method is neither a medical treatment nor a procedure, it won’t cost you a penny and it’s relatively easy to incorporate this breathing practise into your daily routine, whether you’re sitting down to meditate for a moment or working away in the office.

Here’s how the late doctor arrived at The Buteyko Method:?”Thirty seven years have passed since the time I found the cause of several of the most wide spread diseases which belong to so called “civilisation diseases” (bronchial, cardiovascular, allergic etc.). These diseases have one common cause – alveolar hyperventilation or deep breathing. It had occurred to me: reduction in depth of breathing or normalisation of breathing may treat such diseases. An experimental study proved the validity of this presumption; more so, as it was based on the laws of physiology, biochemistry, biology and other disciplines. The essence of the method is to decrease the depth of breathing by will power and by relaxation of breathing muscles until one achieves a slight feeling of lack of air. All mentally healthy adults and children from the age of three can use the method.”

And here we thought enormous, deep lungfuls of air was a far better approach to breathing than short, reduced breaths. Are we wrong? Perhaps.

“Traditionally it is thought that deep breathing is good since it provides the most oxygen. However many people are unaware that there needs to be a balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the body. When you breathe normally haemoglobin (the major carrier of oxygen in the body) is saturated with oxygen by 96-98%. But when you breathe more you can increase oxygen saturation negligibly and but lose carbon dioxide which is essential for oxygen utilisation. If the level of carbon dioxide in the body drops, haemoglobin does not release oxygen to the tissues (this is known as the Bohr effect). Hence, the more you breathe the less oxygen is passed to the tissues of your body.”

There are three principles to this method: reduced breathing (not deep breaths in which the person next to you can audibly hear you breathing), nasal breathing (breathing with the mouth closed at all times) and relaxation (well, couldn’t we all do with a bit more of that?)

Though it seems strange, the key here is to consciously reduce your breathing to small diaphragmatic breaths. Buteyko training then uses a measurement called the Control Pause (CP), defined as the amount of time that an individual can comfortably hold breath after a normal exhalation. In practise, you take a small breath in and a small breath out, always through the nose, then hold your nose and count the number of seconds that you can sit comfortably before needing to breathe in again. According to the research done around Buteyko, with regular Buteyko reduced-breathing practice, asthmatics in particular are expected to find that their CP gradually increases while their pulse rate decreases along with a decrease in asthmatic symptoms.

While the average control pause is around 17 seconds, the aim with proper training from a Buteyko expert, is to increase your control pause to 40 seconds at least. Sounds tough, but as per its advocates, you will feel better and better with each increment.

It’s also been said that Butekyo can help alleviate symptoms for those suffering with lethargy, Chrohn’s disease, anxiety and more.

Would you consider giving it a try?

Caroline Foran @CarolineForan

Also Read

The Buteyko Breathing Method
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

The Buteyko Breathing Method
EDITORIAL
‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant

“I was confused. Hadn’t I just been told this was a perfect time to be pregnant?” she questioned. Actress Cortney...

By Sarah Finnan

The Buteyko Breathing Method
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

The Buteyko Breathing Method
EDITORIAL
Sarah Harding’s heartbroken mum announces the singer’s death aged just 39

Sarah Harding has died at the age of just 39, her heartbroken mother revealed today. The Girls Aloud star had...

By Amanda Cassidy

The Buteyko Breathing Method
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost, but you need the right equipment, and a lot of...

By Amanda Kavanagh

The Buteyko Breathing Method
premium EDITORIAL
Business Club members get your complimentary tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington

The Buteyko Breathing Method
EDITORIAL
‘Meghan is right. Working mothers do have to choose between being present or being paid

Not everyone was happy about the Duchess of Sussex getting involved in US politics. But her letter on behalf of...

By Amanda Cassidy