By Col Wajid Hussain
We have been taught since childhood that when tired, stressed or after strenuous physical activity to take deep and quick breaths.! By so called deep breathing we lose lot of carbon dioxide(CO2) which is a vasodilator. Mouth breathing also lowers body’s CO2 level. This all in turn causes vasoconstriction throughout the system, including bronchial vessels, blood vessels and intestines. Such habits can result in asthma and allergies.
In fact, asthma is not a disease at all: it is the body’s way of trying to preserve carbon dioxide. People with asthma feel as if they need to breathe more, but in fact, they need to breathe less. And that is the basis of his method.
The Buteyko Method’s salient points are:
1. Never, ever breathe through your mouth. You you must to break this habit.
2. Practice very shallow and quiet nose breaths with lots of long pauses between inhale and exhale.
3. A healthy person sitting at rest should be able to tolerate a comfortable pause after a normal exhale, for a minimum of 20 to 30 seconds.
To test yourself, simply take in a normal inhale and a normal exhale, then close your mouth, pinch your nose, and don’t breathe in. Measure the time before you have to breathe in again, and practice gradually increasing that time.
4. Practice controlled pauses after the exhale, very gradually (over a period of weeks) increasing the length of the pause until you reach a comfortable pause of more than 40- 50 seconds.
5. If you have to take in a deep breath or two after the pause, you’re cheating. You should be able to resume normal breathing without taking a recovery breath. If you have an urge to take in a deep breath after the hold, then fight the urge and take little breaths slowly until you recover.
6. Do mild exercises while breath holding, for example walking with your arms above your head and counting your footsteps—gradually increasing the number of footsteps you can take during the pause.
7. The key is to gently and gradually increase your tolerance of the feelings of air hunger and gently control the emotions triggered by them.