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Coping with Asthma Symptoms through Normalized Breathing

Many people have breathing difficulties. Sometimes, it is obviously related to health problems, such as when a person has a cold or flu, or when a sedentary person attempts to exercise and struggles for breath. At other times, people may find themselves suffering from various other types of difficulties related to breathing – such as asthma or sleep apnea – and, consequently, find it almost impossible to overcome symptoms and breathe without a struggle.

Breathing exercises are available to those who have trouble breathing or who have extreme symptoms of asthma and other conditions in order to normalize breathing. What is meant by normalizing one’s breathing? A popular theory has it that most of us – at least 90 percent of us – breathe too much rather than too little. When we breathe too much or too deeply, and when we mouth breathe, we release too much carbon dioxide. We tend to think that is a good thing and part of the natural process.  A popular recommendation in our culture is to “breathe deeply.”  But the biological reality is that our lungs need to retain some carbon dioxide in order to regulate the delivery of oxygen to the tissues that need it. When we breathe too much, we are left with a shortage of carbon dioxide in the lungs, which causes serious problems.  Russian physiologist, K.P. Buteyko, M.D., proved that if the amount of carbon dioxide in the lungs is insufficient, the level of oxygen delivered to various organs of the body will also be insufficient. If a person continues over-breathing, oxygen starvation only increases.  Through his discoveries, Dr. Buteyko also dispelled the archaic concept that carbon dioxide is waste material that should be eliminated.

Dr. Buteyko discovered that these breathing difficulties, such as asthma, could be successfully treated by modifying breathing patterns. Learning how to modify breathing, therefore, involves following specific breathing exercises, called Buteyko Breathing Normalization exercises that are designed to help you reduce breathing and take in the amount of air you actually need to optimize the delivery of oxygen to your bodily tissues. Part of this involves learning how to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth, as well as discovering ways to reduce your breathing so that you no longer hyperventilate.

Part of the process of training your body through breathing exercises to normalize your breathing is obviously psychological. The concept of breathing reduction may seem counter-intuitive, as many have spent their lives fighting to breathe enough air. It is challenging not to panic when you feel like you cannot breathe, especially if you have asthma. However, breathing less triggers a relaxation and dilation of the smooth muscles along the bronchial tubes, which gives an asthmatic relief from his symptoms. It is important at the first sign of the onset of asthma attacks to avoid hyperventilating, which makes the problem worse, but rather to learn how to calmly reduce breathing so that the attack can be alleviated or avoided altogether.  Through implementing this method, symptoms of asthma can be tamed, profound healing can take place in the lungs, and a person can regain his health.

Breathing Center Holistic Health Improvement is the official representative of Clinica Buteyko Moscow, an organization that offers methods for normalizing breathing in order to reach optimal levels of personal health. We offer specific breathing technique for asthma to people who may benefit from breathing reduction, and have seen many people experience dramatic improvements in their symptoms.