So I started researching and practicing this type of breathing.
Bullet Proof Dave asprey had Buteyko therapist and author Patrick Mckeown on his podcast talking and demonstrating the techniques. It was such a fascinating podcast.
In the 1950s, Russian scientist Dr. Konstantin Buteyko identified over 150 disorders which could be resolved by normalising the breathing, and spent the next three decades developing breathiing exercises and strategies to achieve this.
How to do it?
A useful tool with Buteyko breathing is a simple concept called the control pause. The control pause provides feedback about your relative breathing volume. To obtain an accurate measurement, please rest for 10 minutes before measuring.
- Take a small, silent breath in through your nose and allow a small silent breath out through your nose.
- Hold your nose with your fingers to prevent air from entering your lungs.
- Count the number of seconds until you feel the first definite desire to breathe.
- At the first definite desire to breathe in, you may also feel the first involuntary movements of your breathing muscles. Your tummy may jerk and the area around your neck may contract.
- Your inhalation at the end of the breath should be calm.
- Release your nose and breathe in through it.
Remember that taking your control pause entails holding your breath only until you feel the first involuntary movements of your breathing muscles, or the first stress of your body telling you to “breathe.” If you had to take a big breath at the end of the breath hold, then you held your breath for too long.
A very good control pause amounts to 40 seconds, and a good control pause amounts to 30 seconds. A control pause of 25 seconds indicates room for improvement, while a control pause of 15 seconds or less is indicative of symptoms such as respiratory complaints (asthma, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness or nasal problems), sleep disordered breathing (insomnia, fatigue, snoring, or obstructive sleep apnea) or anxiety complaints (excessive worrying, high stress levels, poor concentration) or any other condition resulting from chronic overbreathing. The significance of the control pause for asthma is explained in the video below.
The good news is that you will feel better each time your control pause increases by five seconds, and the first step to increase your control pause is to learn to breathe through your nose both day and night.