Since breathing is a natural process and so vital to life, it begs the question: why do we all breathe so differently? The answer to this is that our breathing habits are greatly influenced by lifestyle, environment and genetic predisposition. The best way to understand how breathing patterns can be altered over time is to think of a person who has developed a habit of eating too much. In times of stress, this person may turn to emotional eating, using food as a crutch to help them relax. But if they continue eating in this way over a period of weeks or months, their body soon adapts to habitual over-eating and begins to demand more food than they need. Similarly, sitting at a desk, watching TV and playing video games, eating processed foods, excessive talking along with stress and anxiety are all factors influencing breathing. When the body is exposed to these perpetuating factors for extended periods of time, the body becomes accustomed to a larger volume of breathing, along with all its negative manifestations.
The way we breathe influences functioning of airways, blood circulation and oxygen release to the cells. Common conditions including asthma, rhinitis, hay fever, snoring, sleep apnea and anxiety can be significantly helped by applying the Buteyko Method.
What is it?
Developed in 1952 by Ukrainian Dr Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko, (Bhew-tae-ko) the Buteyko Method is a breathing technique designed to improve functional breathing patterns. While breathing is an involuntary activity, it is subject to change by stresses of everyday life, processed foods, excessive sitting and talking, lifestyle choices and environmental factors. Functional breathing involves breathing in and out through the nose. The breath is light, regular, effortless with the primary movement from the diaphragm. On the other hand poor breathing is generally upper chest breathing, often through the mouth. The symptoms most commonly reported by people with poor breathing patterns include the inability to take a satisfying breath, disproportionate breathlessness during rest or physical exercise, frequent yawning or sighing, or the feeling of not getting enough air. Irregular breathing is often a feature of poor breathing patterns. However, breathing patterns in these individuals can also be regular from time to time which makes detection difficult.
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