It’s been a year filled with the inability to breathe.

I’ve developed GERD and dysmotility of the oesophagus. The sensations are a concertina of morning burping, and a swallow reflex ricochet of the throat, like a stretched lacker band, slacks back on itself. The conveyer belt with a buckle, like the last pair of undies in the draw, no elastic, irritate the hitch reflex all day.

Get my drift!

Attuned to health and the science of the human body, I seek advice from those who can help. I am in awe of the talented networks to which I subscribe – it has been difficult to settle on one thing in a career and I am hungry for knowledge.

My naturopath suggested breath work the Buteyko technique; that I take a course in learning how to breathe. She heard it had been very effective for those who suffer from anxiety.

I am aware of meditation, the need to quietly sit and focus on the breath. However the question that sticks in my mind as I look at Buteyko is are we breathing the right way? I might be doing it all wrong. It’s like we really need to break things right down and go back to the start- to what happened when you took your first life’s breath.

What! There is a RIGHT way to breathe?

Does the inability to breathe the right way start from that slap that wakes us into life? The place in which we are born and the natural order of social determinants?

It’s enough to make you gasp for breath. However make sure that when you do, you breathe in through the nose and not in through the mouth.

The Buteyko technique was developed in 1950 by physiologist Konstanti Pavlovic Buteyko in Russia. It was introduced to Australia 40 years later by Alexander Stalmatski who worked with Professor Buteyko for 14 years. The technique was developed to assist those with pulmonary disorders.

Buteyko studied in Russia at the First Medical Institute in Moscow. One assignment involved observations of terminally ill patients prior to death. Buteyko recorded the patterns of breathing and could predict the minute of death, as a patient’s breath would increase just before dying.

Buteyko suffered from malignant hypertension and was given 12 months to live. He started to experiment with breath work learning that deep breathing was attributed to his aliments and that the breath caused health issues and disease. He researched and developed programs to measure, monitor and recondition patients’ normal breathing levels, proving his theories with evidence. He lived until Friday 2 May 2003.

I learn from watching an online seminar, suggests that we are breathing too much and too deeply causing us to lose the carbon dioxide from our lungs. The air we breathe is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and .03% C02. We need approximately 6% of carbon dioxide in our lungs, which suggests that our bodies produce it, because there is not enough in the air. This is then related and supportive of the haemoglobins in our blood. The lack of C02 in the lungs then points to what is known as the Bohr effect- discovered by Christian Bohr in 1904, which then causes disease in the body. Look it up if you want to know more.

Buteyko has taken 70 years to get to me. We are probably in the third generation of practitioners who believe in it’s healing benefits so that they have dedicated their life’s work. They have probably had their fair share of sceptics, though reassured from the benefits and changes they see in the people they teach.

Let’s face it, in 2020 the need to breathe has been hampered by suffocating masks and the threat of the elusive COVID bug. To add to that the anxiety of the unknown and the pressure to practice cleanliness. It is understandable that we must ask is it safe to breathe?

To improve your health, there is no doubt takes work, commitment, the stretching of perception, the willingness to learn, the step outside the status quo. There must be some truth in it.

One thought on “Buteyko – Breathe through your nose

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