Breathing retraining is changing unconscious breathing patterns that may be hurting your health and well-being. As students practice breathing awareness and toning exercises, their respiratory fitness improves and more oxygen is able to be metabolized in the body and brain. All the organs function better and thinking becomes sharper.
The reason we call it breathing ‘retraining” and not breathing education is that most of us started out breathing fantastically and somewhere along the way that changed.
Ideally at rest, you can’t hear, see or feel yourself breathing. It’s that relaxed and slow. Infants breathe that way. Sometimes parents even shake them to wake them up and make sure they’re still alive because they’re so quiet.
Over time something often happens to a person that changes that picture – maybe a lingering cold creates a new habit of heavier breathing, or a fearful experience causes hyperventilation. Some type of respiratory condition often follows — including asthma and allergies, snoring and sleep apnea, anxiousness, chronic mouth breathing, breathlessness, or reduced exercise capacity.
Because of the fast-paced, stressful environment most Americans are living in, it’s been estimated that as many as 90% of us have modern “diseases of civilization” that affect and are affected by poor breathing.
Aspects of breathing retraining include:
- Becoming aware of correct breathing habits.
- Assessing how you breathe and shifting into healthier habits.
- Learning daily exercises designed to improve your overall respiratory fitness level.
- Measuring your respiratory fitness every day and tracking improvement over time.
- Learning techniques designed to sustain and/or regain healthy breathing in the face of challenge, such as physical illness or emotional upset. This can also include simply shifting back into relaxed breathing after exercise.
- We teach the Buteyko Breathing Method because as a result of positive clinical trials it’s been endorsed by government agencies in Russia, Australia, the U.K and the U.S. as an evidence-based approach to reduce symptoms and medication usage for asthmatics. Buteyko educators and advocates worldwide are eager for other studies to be undertaken to prove to Western research standards that the method also helps sufferers of other ailments.