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Buteyko Breathing

Buteyko Breathing

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Buteyko Breathing infographic
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Description

Buteyko Breathing is part of a method that teaches you how to normalize your breathing volume. It is common that people breathe with a high frequency, even though they don’t need it according to their physical activity. That may lead to hyperventilation and other health issues.

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Possible Benefits

  • May improve respiratory health
  • May decrease stress level
  • May decrease anxiety 
  • May reduce snoring 
  • May improve your sleep quality 
  • May boost your mood 
  • May improve focus 
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How to Do It

Buteyko breathing has 5 simple steps. Breathe using your diaphragm (moving your stomach, not your chest):

  1. Inhale through your nose. Sit down with good posture and inhale normally.
  2. Exhale through your nose. A normal exhale. 
  3. Shorter inhalation through your nose. Breathe in for 1-2 seconds and stop. 
  4. Long exhalation through your nose. Slowly release the breath for 5 seconds. Then hold your breath for 5 seconds. 
  5. Repeat this process for 2-3 minutes. 

It is crucial that you always breathe using your diaphragm.

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Why it works

  • Hyperventilation leads to lower levels of carbon dioxide, which may lead to bad oxygenation of the body and blood vessel issues. 
  • This breathing exercise helps restore the balance between the oxygen and C02 levels in the body.
  • This exercise helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps lower blood pressure, reduces stress and agitation.
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Time Commitment

Up to 5 minutes  

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Suggested Frequency

At least 2 times per week 

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Time of Day

Any

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Possible Side Effects

Headache, diarrhea, nausea, general discomfort. 

It is not recommended for people with blood pressure problems.

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Tips

  • There’s scientific debate about this breathing technique. 
  • In some cases, it helps to reduce the symptoms of rhinitis. 
  • Identify how often you breathe so you know if you are breathing more than you need to.
  • At rest, 8-12 breaths per minute is normal.
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Supporting Studies and Articles

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  1. How Breath-Control Can Change Your Life: A Systematic Review on Psycho-Physiological Correlates of Slow Breathing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137615/ 
  2. A randomised controlled trial of the Buteyko technique as an adjunct to conventional management of asthma. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18249107/ 
  3. Effect of two breathing exercises (Buteyko and pranayama) in asthma: a randomised controlled trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1746772/ 
  4. Systematic review of the effectiveness of breathing retraining in asthma management. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK85545/ 
  5. Buteyko breathing for asthma. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6513443/ 
  6. Systematic review of the effectiveness of breathing retraining in asthma management. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22082165/ 
  7. Breathing Exercises and/or Retraining Techniques in the Treatment of Asthma: Comparative Effectiveness [Internet]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23101047/
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Category

 Mood  Stress  Health  Sleep  Productivity  Focus
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