The Buteyko breathing technique refers to an alternative treatment for certain breathing disorders. In essence, it is a way to retrain oneself to breathe.
Breath retraining is a means to control breathing and respiratory problems such as asthma.
What is the Buteyko breathing technique used for?
This breathing technique was developed by Ukrainian doctor Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko in the 1950. The technique bases itself on the premise that a number of breathing problems that we have, could be caused by incorrect or too rapid breathing.
According to this theory, hyperventilation or an increased rate of respiration (breathing) is responsible for asthma and similar respiratory conditions.
Nasal breathing, breath holding and relaxation are the main aims of the technique.
The Buteyko breathing techniques are also thought to improve many other conditions such as reproductive disorders and diabetes.
Since the technique helps control hyperventilation and hypocapnea it can also help resolve certain psychological disorders.
The symptoms of asthma are better controlled by using the Buteyko method and that the quality of life of the asthmatic also improves as a result.
It has also been seen that by using this method, an asthmatic person may need to rely less heavily on their inhaler.
The aim of breath retraining is that it is to be used not just as an exercise but also change the way we breathe unconsciously. By changing the unconscious pattern of breathing, it becomes possible to restore oxygen content in body’s system and to restore the body to good health once again.
What are Buteyko Modules?
The Buteyko breathing technique is divided into several ‘lessons’ that aim to improve health in a holistic manner. Preliminary conditions, initial health and goals define the first two modules for instance. Succeeding modules teach one how to control pause the breath, speak of emergency procedures and teach how to measure and record breathing each day.
The modules teach us how to always breathe though the nose and to involve the diaphragm in the breathing process at all times. Good sleep hygiene as well as the best positions to sleep (including prevention of back sleeping) are also part of the modules.
Modules relating to a proper diet and physical activities are also recommended as part of the program to achieve a holistic cure. The subject of one’s digestive health forms one more of the modules. In addition, the Buteyko breathing technique modules even deal with practicalities such as talking skills and how to take a cold shower.