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Better Breathing for Health

According to "There is a right and wrong way to breathe for optimal health, and contrary to what many think, it isn’t necessarily about long deep breaths. The Buteyko Breathing Method teaches you how to bring your breathing volume back toward normal or, in other words, reverse what’s called chronic hyperventilation or chronic over-breathing. When your breathing is normal (ideally it is shown you should breathe lightly, in a calm fashion, and only through the nose, not mouth), you have better oxygenation of tissues and organs, including your brain."

"The technique allows for breathing that aims to regulate this critical balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body. In a recent study on the effect of Buteyko breathing technique on patients with bronchial asthma, results showed a significant decrease in asthma related symptoms and a significant improvement in peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR)."

"It is now more evident that all this time we thought taking a deep breath was producing a relaxing effect, we were incorrect. In reality, breathing lightly and only through the nose is the ideal technique for relaxation and optimal health.

The reason for this is to truly initiate a stress reduction response, we must activate our parasympathetic system, in contrast to our sympathetic nervous system which stimulates the body’s fight-or-flight response. When done properly, Buteyko breathing encourages the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in a reduction of blood pressure, a reduction of stress and the strengthening of the immune system.

"The Control Pause Breathing Test

Dr. Buteyko developed a test to measure the depth of breathing and consequent retention of carbon dioxide, resultant oxygenation and health. He named it the “Control Pause” breathing test. This acts as a natural peak flow meter and is far more useful.

  1. Sit down, close your mouth and breathe normally through the nose for 30 seconds or so.

  2. Take a normal breath in through your nose.

  3. Allow a normal breath out through your nose.

  4. Gently close your nose with thumb and forefinger and count the seconds.

  5. When you feel the first need to breathe, release the nose and take a breath in through the nose. Remember to keep the mouth closed still.

The number of seconds that has passed is your control pause. Refer to the chart below to see how your control pause fairs in relation to an optimal score."

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