Buteyko breathing and me
My name is Mim Beim. I am a naturopath and over 25 years ago I was suffering Asthma, and so took a short Buteyko breathing course….I have never had Asthma since. In Late 2011, I had the opportunity to study with Patrick McKeown, an Irishman who studied under the late Konstantin Buteyko, and now I am even more excited by this technique as I see amazing results in a short period of time. Conditions include Snoring, Sleep Apnoea, Sinusitis, Asthma, Reflux, Anxiety, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Reflux, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.
All about the breath
The premise of the technique is that many conditions, including Asthma, are the result of dysfunctional breathing. Completely at odds to the popular view that taking big deep breaths of air is ‘good’ breathing, Buteyko discovered that modern man already breathes too much causing a disturbance of blood gases and reduction of oxygenation of tissues and organs. Signs of over breathing include mouth breathing, frequent yawning, sighing, sniffing, heavy breathing at night, loud breathing and snoring. Buteyko breathing involves relaxation and minimal breathing volume to permanently reset breathing to normal levels.
In what may seem a leap of faith, Buteyko believed that we need to INCREASE carbon dioxide levels in the body. Mostly considered a ‘waste’ gas, carbon dioxide is vital to life. A slight rise in carbon dioxide opens airways and blood vessels, improving air and blood flow to the body. (Warning.. science bit ahead). The way oxygen travels around the body is to ‘stick’ to haemoglobin molecules, themselves attached to red blood cells scooting through the bloodstream. It is actually an increase in carbon dioxide that ‘tells’ haemoglobin to let go of the oxygen molecules. Encouraging the precious oxygen cargo gets delivered to the organs and tissues where it is most needed. This is a basic physiological concept known as the Bohr effect.