Yes, there is a right way to breathe!
In the previous post Kinesiology and Breathing – is there a connection? We touched on how Kinesiology might be able to assist you with the underlying causes of hyperventilation. A technique that can also be of benefit is the Buteyko Breathing Method – this ‘right way to breathe’ will help to reduce the amount you breathe – but unless you deal with the underlying issue – and more often than not it’s emotional, the poor breathing habits will return.
If you are experiencing poor breathing patterns always seek medical advice from your Health Care Professional before undertaking any of the following techniques. The Buteyko Method is designed to reduce the amount you breathe, to help improve your overall health and well being. If you are used to taking many breaths per minute ,this technique may be unsettling. If you suffer from asthma, sleep apnoea or any other diagnosed breathing disorders, please seek medical advice before proceeding this technique.
The information contained herewith is for your information only – if you would like to learn the Buteyko Breathing Method, please contact a qualified Buteyko Practitioner in your area. Please note: Kerrilee from Empowering theProduct Kinesiology is professionally trained in the Buteyko Breathing Method.
So now that we have covered the legal stuff…
Before we start to learn how to reduce our breathing we have to learn how to monitor the progress. To do this take your Pulse and then gently hold your breath until you feel the need to breathe. You must not hold your breath for so long that you need to take a gulp of air through your mouth. Just hold your breath long enough so that when you have that urge to breathe you can still keep your mouth closed and take a breath through your nose.
The pulse is a starting point to know exactly what the CO2 level is. If you are a mouth breather and your breathing rate is above 8-12 bpm you are effectively breathing for more than one person. It stands to reason that your heart rate would be higher because it needs to pump harder as it is trying to compensate for the lack of O2 rich blood that it receives to pump around the rest of the body.
Holding your breath will determine exactly what the pressure of CO2 is in the lungs. This gives an accurate reading as to where the breathing trigger is set. By holding your breath, you are altering the pH level to a point where the haemoglobin can release the O2 into the cells. The blood becomes slightly more acidic and the pH level will drop from 7.45 – 7.35. If you hold your breath for to long the brain panics as it does not want too much CO2, therefore you will pass out so the breathing trigger can kick in and you start breathing again. The trick with holding your breath is to tell the brain enough so the pH level shifts, but not so much that your brain panics and you take a great big gasp through your mouth, thus undoing the raised CO2 level.
Once you have set the CO2 level it is important that this be followed by Reducing how many breaths you take.
This is used to start to train the body to breathe the correct breaths per minute (8-12) and to get the correct airflow of 4-5 litres being transferred through the lungs per minute. This is the ideal to keep the correct level of CO2 pumping through the lungs.
By reducing your breathing all you are doing is taking it from an unconscious action to a conscious action. With keeping the mouth shut and breathing in and out through the nose the CO2 will stay at an optimum level. Ideally with a stop watch at hand start to reduce your breathing so that you are down to 8-12bpm and do this for 5 minutes at a time. Anything shorter and the brain thinks you’re only playing and anything over the 5 minutes starts to send the brain into panic mode.
Please take note that the first time you attempt to reduce your breathing, 1 minute is more than enough. Going straight to 5 minutes will be an unpleasant experience as the brain would not have had time to establish that there are changes happening. So you start with 1 minute and over the next 24 hours you gradually work up to 5 minutes.
Every time you do your breathing exercises, you need to take your pulse, hold your breath, reduce your breathing for 5min, then hold your breath again. This is likened to doing a weight loss program. By taking the pulse and holding your breath before reducing your breathing and again after, is like getting on the scales before you start dieting and getting back on when you have finished. It just helps to establish that the reduced breathing exercise is working.
The thing that helps to retrain your body to naturally reduce your breathing is the reduce breathing exercise. Holding your breath and taking your pulse are just guides. When you have mastered this technique and reduced your body’s need to breathe at only 8-12 bpm thus transferring 4-5 litres of air through the lungs per minute, and ensuring the CO2 level is at the optimum of 6.5%, your body will be grateful to you.
It is important to ensure that when you are breathing in and out that you breathe down through the lungs to the diaphragm. When you breathe in the diaphragm flattens out to allow the full expansion of the lungs so that circulation of air reaches the alveoli (air sacs) in the lungs and O2 rich blood can be transported back to the heart. If you are breathing from the chest this process does not work properly and the RB will not be as effective. So it is important to master diaphragm breathing early in the program.
These exercises need to be completed several times a day. Try and avoid doing the exercises after you eat. Eating will increase your breathing rate and heart rate as the body has to work harder to digest the food.
Be prepared to do these exercises for 90 days. Every cell in your body has a memory and these memories are reloaded so to speak every 90 days. If you have given the cells a new memory (such as a newer, slower breathing rate) they will reload with that new memory.
Keep in mind though, if you have experienced long-term emotional issues which caused the poor breathing patterns to begin with, seek advice on how to deal with this alongside your reduced breathing training.
At Empowering theProduct Kinesiology, we are in the business of helping people to be empowered for life.
Contact us today if you would like to learn more about Kinesiology or the Buteyko Breathing Method.
Have an empowered day
Yours in Health