Do you experience chest tightness? Wake up most nights fighting for breath?
Do you get the suffocating feeling of being desperate to take in more air but never feel satisfied, no matter how deeply you breathe? Do you avoid taking exercise because it makes you feel more breathless? Do you often have a stuffy nose and therefor breathe through your mouth a lot of the time? Do you feel panic if you leave the house without your inhaler?
The Buteyko method of breathing can correct your breathing habits that are exacerbating your asthma so that you can breathe freely through the nose. It does this by changing the volume of air taken onto the lungs, and once the respiratory centre in the brain is reset to this new volume of air, you can make life long changes to your asthma symptoms and a better quality of health.
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The most accurate predictor of longevity is unexpectedly lung size and respiratory health. If you breath 20,000 times a day but only from your upper chest. This is shallow breathing and it puts a stress on the whole respiratory system. It can be done as the body compensates but eventually it will wear it down. Using the analogy of a car, if when the car is at traffic lights and you keep revving the engine, giving the car far more fuel than it needs, eventually engine parts will start to run down. The same principle goes for the body. Why would you want to over work the body and end up getting less oxygen delivery to the tissues? Eventually the body will start breaking down. This is dysfunctional breathing. Nasal breathing is beneficial as it makes us take deeper breaths. Developing diaphragmatic motion can be learnt by breathing slowly and deeply through the nose.
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How you breathe can fundamentally affect your mental state and the way you feel. James Nestor in his book Breath: The New Science of a lost Art, argues that many of us have got into the habit of bad breathing. Imagine the office worker opening up her emails in the morning and finding 150 emails waiting to be answered. Immediately, she reverts to upper chest, shallow breathing. She sighs a lot, her breathing becomes irregular and even after the initial stress has passed, this breathing pattern can become habitual and put her into a long-term stress response. This dysfunctional breathing pattern then impacts behaviours like sleep, giving her a racing mind, inducing panic attacks, causing stiff neck and shoulders(because she is using her upper chest and neck muscles to breath more than her diaphragm) and making it difficult for her to fully relax. She has breathed her way into a “fight or flight” response.
Continue reading “FEELING ANXIOUS? THE WAY YOU BREATH COULD HELP”