1. Buteyko Breathing

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Buteyko Breathing

54 Lessons

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This is the reference material for the four-week Buteyko Breathing and Coaching Course. You are welcome to go through it all, but the general requirements for each week are laid out at the beginning of the course, and you will be instructed on which exercises to focus on in the zoom coaching session.

This is a process of changing faulty breathing habits developed over a long period and cannot safely be rushed.

Chapter 1 of the Introduction covers the interpretation of the breathing test results, and special considerations for seniors, women and children. 

Chapter 2 covers recording progress, and getting help and support, both important contributors to the success of the program.

The Introduction is open to everyone without registration.

1. Buteyko Breathing

Test Results and Special Considerations

6 Lessons

Both the Breathing Test and the Nijmegen Questionnaire are measures of Dysfunctional Breathing/Hyperventilation Syndrome (DB/HVS).  We briefly describe and define DB/HVS, provide an analysis of your results, and list some of the health issues that can result from failure to correct the condition.   

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The problem of overbreathing, the roles of oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide in the body, and the key principles of the Buteyko Method.

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The Buteyko Breathing Method consists of a series of exercises designed to change your breathing habits. The method uses nasal breathing, breath control, and breath-holding exercises to treat a wide range of health conditions.

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Some pre- and post-menopausal factors that can affect breathing, and the response to Buteyko exercises.

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Chronic mouth breathing is particularly damaging for young children. A child 12 and under requires one or both parents to be present at all training sessions, and the family is trained as a whole. A 5-hour counselling package is appropriate. Teenagers 13-18 can attend online or in-office courses without a parent present, but parental consent is required to enrol.

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Senior citizens and others under a doctors care need to approach the Buteyko Breathing Method with special care. This lesson describes some of the precautions we take.

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Course Navigation, Recording Progress, and Getting Support

4 Lessons

The lessons are grouped into seven sections or modules: Introduction, Weeks 1-4 and two bonus topics: Sleep and Physical Exercise. Each of the four weeks of the course is divided into three chapters: Readings, Exercises Covered, and Daily Practice. We also cover direct access via the menu bar to the individual Buteyko exercises, and the utilities available.

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This is a complete index of the exercises covered, with direct links to the relevent lessons. There is a direct link to it in the header menu. (The lesson links are restricted to logged-in participants).

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The Utilities Menu provides direct access to the tools and utilities available to participants. This lesson describes what is available from it.

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Form for contacting the instructor and requesting support.

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Readings

5 Lessons

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A brief history of the development and acceptance of the Buteyko Breathing Method for hyperventilation in the USSR and its spread to the West.  Includes a review and links to clinical trials performed in the West.  Summarizes reasons why it might be important to you.

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Dysfunctional Breathing is detected by a "Poor" or "OK" result in the breathing test and questionnaire.  This presentation looks at the different forms of dysfunctional breathing, and how you can recognize them in yourself. 

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Overbreathing is a habit that you have acquired over a lifetime. It takes some time to establish new habits. We look at a successful intervention to stop smoking and see how the method can be used to help correct mouth breathing.

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These are key exercises which you should start as soon as possible. It is important to do them correctly from the outset. The associated workshops are held on the first Sunday of the month. Please reserve your spot.  

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The Utilities Menu provides direct access to the tools and utilities available to participants. There is a direct link to it in the header menu. (Access to the Utilities Menu is restricted to logged-in participants).

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Exercises Covered

9 Lessons

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It's useful to record your pulse at the beginning and end of the daily exercise session. The best way to do this is with an Amazfit, Fitbit or similar device. The Amazfit is very useful for many of the exercises and tasks that we will be performing and is strongly recommended (I recommend the Amazfit Band 5 or Band 7).  If you don't have a device this lesson shows you how to do it manually.

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All the Buteyko exercises require you to breathe through your nose. If your nose is completely blocked this is hard to do. This exercise clears the nose in preparation for greater things.

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This is an emergency exercise to help stop symptoms of coughing (even extreme coughing, in combination with the Steps exercise to 10 paces), wheezing, panic, or hyperventilation. It is also beneficial if CP is less than 13 seconds, and suitable for those with severe asthma or COPD.

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The first of the two fundamental exercises. It has two functions: as a measure of your progress - the first control pause in the morning as soon as you wake up, and as part of the daily breathing exercise routine. Consists of small breath in, small breath out, pinch the nose and close the mouth, then hold until you feel discomfort. The number of seconds is the CP measurement.

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The second of the two fundamental exercises. Consists of sitting quietly for four minutes breathing into the abdomen as lightly as possible and feeling the sensation of "air hunger". This is designed to train you to breathe less.

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The one thing that anybody who has ever heard of the Buteyko breathing method seems to know, is that it involves taping the mouth shut at night. This produces reactions ranging from intense amusement to horror. It's an awful lot of fuss about nothing. The process is very simple and harmless.  It keeps your mouth closed and you breathing through your nose while asleep.

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Training the tongue to rest in the roof of the mouth, with the tip resting just in front of the hard palate, improves breathing.

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Training the tongue to rest in the roof of the mouth, with the tip resting just in front of the hard palate, improves breathing.

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30 minutes walking 6 days/week, breathing only through the nose, and using the abdomen, not the chest.

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Practical

2 Lessons

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Readings

2 Lessons

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A statement of Buteyko theory by D. K.P. Buteyko (translated from the Russian).

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This presentation describes the role that the three important gases, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide and Nitric Oxide, play in the breathing process.  It updates the classical Buteyko theory in the light of more recent research.

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Exercises Covered

6 Lessons

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Process of flushing the nasal passages with salt water to loosen and expel mucus and relieve congestion. Can help prevent colds and flu.

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The ideal breathing rate at rest is around 6 breaths per minute (BPM). This exercise allows you to measure your current breathing rate, with some sound files to help you to bring it to the ideal level. Try not to breathe more deeply while you're doing the exercise. You should breathe as lightly as possible, with a slight feeling of air hunger.

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Similar to the CP but extended. Hold as long as you can, sitting still in your seat The number of seconds is the EP measurement. Purpose is to increase your tolerance for carbon dioxide and tone and strengthen the muscles of the diaphragm. Should not be attempted until you achieve a consistent morning CP of 20 or more.

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Putting it all together - the Breathing Reset. 20 minute sequence of breathing exercises, performed last thing at night and first thing in the morning.

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Steps are probably my favorite Buteyko exercise. Depending on how long you hold, they can replace everything from a Control Pause to a Maximum Pause.

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This is the walking exercise to do when you find Walking Exercise 1 is not challenging you. As before, walk for a minimum of 30 minutes around midday, preferably before lunch, but we are stepping up the pace and also adding some specific breathing components.

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Practical

2 Lessons

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Readings

5 Lessons

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These are the classifications of asthma severity into four categories by the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program.  The categories are: Intermittent Asthma; Mild Persistent Asthma; Moderate Persistent Asthma; and Severe Persistent Asthma.  Members with  Moderate persistent asthma and Severe persistent asthma, which should be under the care of a physician, and should book a 30-minute Skype consultation before starting any of the exercises.

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This section is largely based on my own experience with asthma medications, common practice among Buteyko practitioners, and my research of the literature.  In no way should it be taken as advice to modify your own medication regime, but to give you some ideas that you can discuss with your physician

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Breathing allergies are often closely associated with asthma, as they are in my own case, but they can also exist on their own.  In this section we look at the most common prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications and their side effects and interactions between themselves and asthma inhalers. 

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This lesson briefly describes eight serious breathing disorders other than asthma. These are: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Chronic Bronchitis; Emphysema; Lung Cancer; Cystic Fibrosis/Bronchiectasis; Pneumonia; Pleural Effusion; and Respiratory Muscle Weakness. Gentle Buteyko exercises such as Many Small Breath holds can be helpful, in conjunction with conventional medical treatment.

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BBC Documentary 'Breathless' on the Buteyko Method, produced in 1998 The National Health Service (NHS) could save a fortune in drug costs if asthmatics used a simple breathing technique, according to claims made in a BBC TV program.The Buteyko method is based on the observation that most asthmatics over-breathe, or hyperventilate.Sufferers are taught to slow their breathing and even tape their mouths at night to reduce the amount of air going into their lungs.Supporters of Buteyko, which was developed in Russia, say it can dramatically reduce a patient's reliance on inhalers and steroids, the traditional way of dealing with the condition.

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Exercises Covered

1 Lesson

Practical

2 Lessons

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Readings

1 Lesson

Exercises Covered

1 Lesson

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This is a great exercise to do right after completing your nightly Buteyko exercises, particularly if you have trouble getting to sleep.  Also helpful if you wake in the night and have trouble dropping off again and great for daytime naps if you get the chance. :-)

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Practical

3 Lessons

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Reading

2 Lessons

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Reading

1 Lesson

Exercises Covered

2 Lessons

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The Maximum Pause is a Control Pause which is held as long as possible.  It is used primarily by athletes to to build aerobic capacity.

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About the teacher

dermod@dwoodassociates.com

Dermod is the principal instructor for the Buteyko Breathing Method. He has been using Buteyko for his own asthma for more than 20 years and teaching it for fifteen, as well as researching and investigating the other factors that contribute to a long, healthy and happy life.

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