Find Out Why This Doctor Thinks You Need to Think About Your Breathing. Part 2
Part 2: Breathing Retraining
In Part one of this article, we touched on the importance of breathing in staying healthy. In this section we discuss breathing retraining. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, you can read it here.
Breathing retraining is a structured program which helps people to develop the optimum breathing technique.
Breathing retraining is a structured program which helps people to develop the optimum breathing technique. It involves several factors. These factors include understanding its basic principles, controlling breathing through relaxation, detecting hyperventilation, and applying a healthy lifestyle.
EFFECTS OF BREATHING RETRAINING
Breathing retraining may have been around since ancient times, It focuses on properly tuning one’s breathing according to the needs of his/her body. Dr. Charles Edward Florendo, a Philippine-based physician who focuses on hyperventilation and dysfunctional breathing, states “Breathing retraining makes persons understand the importance of their breathing. It connects them to their bodies and makes them feel that their body is their friend.” He claims that with simple instructions and practice, a person can easily learn how to detect the wrong breathing methods. “They can correct them easily without the need for expensive or complicated equipment.” He adds: “It is important that we have a system when we learn to breathe properly. A System gives direction, keeps us organized, and reviews us to ensure that we are in the right path.”
BREATHING TECHNIQUES: BUTEYKO METHOD
One such system gaining popularity is the Buteyko Method (also known as the Buteyko Breathing Technique). The method has been in development since the 1950’s by its Russian inventor, Dr. Konstantin Buteyko. Since the 1950’s, it has been constantly improved by Dr. Buteyko. Today it is updated by researchers and clinicians around the world. Dr. Florendo is one such clinician.
CENTRAL PART OF A HOLISTIC PROGRAM
Buteyko Practitioners around the world have emphasized the Buteyko Method’s place in a holistic healthcare program. “The program isn’t just about breathing” says Dr. Florendo, “The program allows one to become more sensitive and connect to one’s body. It can make you understand what your body is telling you. Furthermore, Buteyko makes it easier for anyone to engage in his/her chosen exercise.
“The Buteyko Method makes other health programs more effective. People have found that the Buteyko Method is an authentic starting point for good health. This is why the Buteyko Method isn’t just part of a holistic healthcare program – it is CENTRAL to it!”
Dr. Florendo says of his own experience “When I learned the Buteyko Method, I became more active and energetic. I knew I was becoming healthier. My colds and hunger spells disappeared. I even lost 20 lbs in just 2 weeks without hunger spells, weakness, or dizziness. My practice and research on the system has produced consistent results for my patients in the USA, Africa and in the Philippines.”
LIFETIME BENEFITS: PRACTICAL AND AFFORDABLE
Once learned, the skills taught by the Buteyko Method stays with the person. These skills provides him/her a lifetime of benefits. There is no need for special equipment or clothing. Furthermore, studies on the Buteyko Method has shown that it can decrease the use of medications for conditions such as asthma and allergic rhinitis. It is used by athletes, primarily from Russia and Australia, to improve their performance.
CHOOSING A BREATHING PROGRAM FOR YOUR HEALTH
There are many different programs to choose from. However, many programs consist of “deep” breathing techniques which can increase the air in the lungs but decrease internal respiration. This can cause people to hyperventilate and produce unhealthy effects. Furthermore, many of them are not firmly rooted in science, thus they may deviate from their true principles resulting in the opposite effect.
What we really need are programs which improve internal respiration. These types of programs induce deeper relaxation. They have a strong focus on diaphragmatic breathing. They result in better cellular oxygenation, which results in better health.
“Although many other breathing programs exist, I favor the Buteyko Method because of its simplicity, clear scientific principles, and available ongoing international research.” Dr. Florendo adds. “In fact, I use the Buteyko Method to reverse the harmful effects brought about by some programs.”
If doctors recommend aerobic exercises for things such as diabetes and fatigue, why not proper breathing as well?
“Although the Buteyko Method has scientific evidence to improve particular conditions like asthma, rhinitis, and dysfunctional breathing, it has good potential to affect other conditions too. This is because it targets a very basic bodily need. Its effect on cellular oxigenation is quite similar to aerobic exercise.” Dr. Florendo emphasizes ”If doctors recommend aerobic exercises for things such as diabetes and fatigue, why not proper breathing as well? I know people with diabetes, chronic fatigue, and sleep apnea who have tried breathing retraining and claim good results. People who don’t like exercise should try the Buteyko Method to get benefits while avoiding injuries. People who like exercise should try it too as it can potentially improve their sport.”
In the UK, breathing retraining with techniques such as the Buteyko Method is the treatment of choice for dysfunctional breathing. Dysfunctional breathing occurs precisely because of the wrong breathing patterns and techniques. Breathing exercises such as the Buteyko Method has also been cited by groups such as the British Thoracic Society, the Global Initiative for Asthma, Australian Department of Health and Aging, and the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The Buteyko Method has practitioners from around the world. Studies have been published from all 5 inhabited continents. International conferences are regularly held, and practitioners share information to continuously provide the best service. Buteyko teachers are easy to find online.
BEST TO WORK WITH A TEACHER
In any healthcare program, it is always best to work with a breathing teacher as he/she can supervise and check your work. He/she can customize the program to work best for you. By giving you encouragement, you will gain more confidence and more benefits from the program.
This article was written by Charles Florendo
Buteyko Clinic International and a consultant at Mary Chiles General Hospital (Philippines) and the Clinica Salutare (Philippines). He lives in
Disclaimer: This article is based on the personal opinion of the author and does not constitute medical advice. Trademarks and copyright of names and logos of organizations, corporations, or products belong to their respective owners. The mention of any particular product or service does not constitute their endorsement by any particular entity. The author is not affiliated with the Global Initiative for Asthma,nor the British Thoracic Society.
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