Practice mini breath-holds to ward off asthma and anxiety attacks.
While at rest or during exercise, asthmatics tend to breathe more—sometimes much more—than those without asthma. Breathing even 10 percent more than the body needs can overwork our systems. This technique trains the body to practice breathing less all the time.
Asthmatics who have trained themselves to breathe less have reported dramatic, even miraculous improvements. After a month of practicing this style of breathing, many asthmatics experience significantly fewer asthma attacks, better lung function, and a widening of their airways. The symptoms of their asthma are either gone or have markedly decreased.
Thousands of Buteyko practitioners, and several medical researchers, also swear by this technique to stave off anxiety attacks. If they feel an anxiety attack threatening, they practice this technique and their heart rate slows and stabilizes.
This technique of breathing less can be practiced by everyone, regardless of their state of health, age, or level of fitness. It has helped heal patients suffering from hypertension, arthritis, and migraines, and is especially effective in treating respiratory diseases. Those already in good health feel even better.
Breathing less can keep carbon dioxide levels at a healthy level. With that bonus carbon dioxide, we gain a higher aerobic endurance. Athletes using this technique claim big gains in performance.
Place a watch with a second hand or mobile phone with a stopwatch close by.
Sit upright with a straight back.
Pinch both nostrils closed with the thumb and forefinger of either hand. Then exhale softly out of your mouth to the natural conclusion.
Start the stopwatch and hold your breath.
When you feel a potent desire to breathe, note the time and take a soft inhale.
You only need to do this step the first time you practice this technique.
Exhale and gently hold the breath for half the time of Step 5.
Set up a reminder system, preferably every fifteen minutes or so.
This can be an alarm on your phone or computer, a sticky note on your desk or mirror—whatever works best for you.
Repeat from 100 to 500 times a day.