It’s been a few weeks since I wrote my last blog… I’ve been extremely busy with work the last couple of months and I’ve tried to spend as much (leftover) time I had away from my computer screen to be outside and enjoy the mountains.
at the same time there were loads of things I wanted to share! For example some of the things I’m reading in the following, super interesting, book: ‘Oxygen Advantage‘ by Patrick Mckeown.
Patrick Mckeown suffered from asthma at an early age and experimented with all sorts of methods and techniques to improve his (lung)health. At some point he came across the so-called ‘Buteyko method’ and this breathing technique changed the state of his health and therewith his life.
What do the Russians have to do with all of this?!
Well, the Buteyko method is named after Konstantin Buteyko, a Russian doctor.
Buteyko, while working as a doctor in a Moscow hospital in the 1940s, observed the breathing rates of patients in relation to their disease. That led to the discovery that there seemed to be a connection between overbreathing/hyperventilation and illness. This observation made him reason that it might be possible to reverse certain conditions by doing the exact opposite: deliberate breath control.
He started to experiment on himself and his patients and these trials lay the foundation for the ‘Buteyko method‘. It’s been a few decades and research studies since the 1940s and nowadays the Buteyko method is becoming more and more accepted in the western world as (additional) treatment for asthma and other breathing disorders.
How does it work?
Learning the Buteyko method means to normalize (or improve) your breathing pattern around the clock. Which means that just practicing Buteyko breathing exercises some of the time is not sufficient. It’s all about changing your unconscious breath pattern.
(breathing) less is more!
I could obviously write a lot more on this -and I will in future blogs- but this Ted Talk by Patrick McKeown (yes, the writer of the Oxygen Advantage) is an accessible introduction to the main elements that form the Buteyko Method.
Buteyko and stress reduction
The great thing about the Buteyko Method is that the underlying breathing techniques are not just beneficial for people with lung conditions such as asthma, but for a much wider public, since it also helps to combat stress. You can read more about how nose breathing helps reduce stress here.
All in all a great ‘biohack’ for people like me (and maybe also you): you get to control your asthma AND stresslevels at the same time :-).