I have never been ‘officially’ diagnosed with asthma, but since my outbreak of Graves disease in 2010-2011 I’ve had every single symptom of asthma. The breathlessness and struggling for air can be truly terrifying. I haven’t been to a doctor since I don’t want to have any part of steroids but I’m always on the lookout for some kind of resolution to this problem. I’m wondering if Butyeko breathing might be my answer – and yours, too, if you have any breathing difficulties.
What Is Butyeko Breathing?
I first read about this method of breathing several years ago but dismissed it because it seems counter-intuitive to everything I know about breathing. I’ve been a yoga person for a long, long time and yoga emphasizes “deep breathing”. To me, that means a large volume of air that goes deeply into my lungs. My son, though, said that to him deep breathing simply means getting the air down to the bottom of the lungs, and has nothing to do with volume. Apparently Butyeko agreed.
Konstantin Butyeko was a Russian doctor who discovered that almost all of us over-breathe. According to him, the source of so many diseases and ailments is chronic overbreathing or chronic hyperventilation – choose whatever term you wish. It all has to do with CO2 or carbon dioxide. When I think I’m struggling to get air into my lungs I’m actually struggling to get rid of the excess CO2. There is a relationship between oxygen and carbon dioxide that I don’t need to discuss right now because the ‘proof is in the pudding’ so to speak …
My Results So Far
I began Buteyko breathing on December 27 and on December 29 I was able to walk up the stairs in my home without my usual desperate gasping for air!!! This is a Big Deal. I haven’t been able to comfortably walk up stairs, even the 14 steps in my own home, since 2009.
The Super Simple Basics of the program are:
- Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never – and never – breathe through your mouth.
- Take small breaths, not huge ones.
There’s a lot more to it, of course, and I will do future reports. But my first results are very encouraging – encouraging enough to continue for a month or two to see where this goes.
Warning: it’s not fun to do. There’s a lot of breath holding, or in other words, purposely getting myself out of breath. I don’t like it but I’m seeing benefits. If this works, you will hear much, much more about it and I am very hopeful right now.