Buteyko breathing technique is a series of breathing exercises that have been designed in order to improve your health and mental wellbeing. This breathing technique improves your lung capacity, blood circulation and nasal airways!
Your breath is a key element for the foundation of your life and it can help regulate your physical and mental functions. However, most people do not breathe properly and take in too little oxygen and give out too little carbon dioxide while breathing. In order to solve this problem and help bring a balance to your breathing, Ukrainian Dr. Konstantin Buteyko came up with a breathing technique. It helps you make the most of your breathing, improve lung health and capacity over time.
The benefits of the Buteyko Breathing Technique
There’s a lot of talk about the effectiveness of this breathing technique. Some say it works for them, some say it’s not helpful. There are a lot of benefits for the Buteyko breathing technique which are outlined below.
- Improved exercise tolerance – the improved lung capacity can help you increase stamina and train harder, improving performance
- Reduced mucus production – this reduces the effect mucus has on the airways while you breathe – i.e. narrowing, and also reduced need for coughing
- Your airways stay open and it allows you to deal better with a cough
- Helps with asthma – the technique reduces the frequency and severity of asthma attacks in the long run
Practicing it safely
A lot of people claim that this technique is not effective or is all just a sham. This is the case when the technique is taken to extremes. The technique centres around breathing through your nose rather than your mouth, which is the natural way to breathe. However, that does not mean you practice the technique with extremes. Do not tape your mouth at night or during the day to improve your breathing and practice the technique safely. If you start feeling disoriented or dizzy, stop immediately and drink water to feel better.
Buteyko Breathing Technique
This is how you can practice the Buteyko breathing technique in a safe manner:
- Sit down in an upright posture, and take a normal, calm breath through your nose. Don’t take a deep breath but breathe through your stomach, allowing it to expand.
- Exhale as you normally would through your nose. Again, focus on using the diaphragm to push all air out of the lungs
- Now, breathe in quickly and make it short, not more than 1-2 seconds.
- Slowly breathe out for a count of 5 seconds. Make sure to breathe through your stomach, allowing it to contract as you exhale. Hold your breath for 5 seconds.
- Repeat steps 1-4 for 4 cycles.
Overtime, the technique teaches you how to bring your breathing volume back toward normal. It can also reduce hyperventilation or overbeating. Breathing like this through the nose regulates nitric oxide and carbon dioxide levels in the body, and will help improve your breathing habits.
This breathing technique helps reduce stress, anxiety and helps you calm down, like most breathing techniques. There are many studies that highlight the importance of breathing techniques, but there is little evidence that it can cure other dangerous diseases. Whenever you practice breathing exercises, do it slowly and take your time with it! If you are not comfortable practicing the Buteyko breathing technique, then there’s plenty of others like box breathing, belly breathing or 4-7-8 breathing techniques that you can try!
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With over 300 articles published on Evolve. Jash is one of the most viewed writers on topics such as Sleep, Mindfulness and Stress. Drop a mail at Jash@evolveinc.in to connect with him.