Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How to Survive an Asthma Attack. The Buteyko Method.

while in the apple and pear orchards of Herve, I had difficulty breathing. definitely something i'm used to. maybe i'm allergic to organic. my inhaler is running low on life-saving puffs so i was trying to gasp for the clean belgium country air, begging, with my mouth open wide, for it to enter into my constricted lungs. poppi, always to the rescue, tried patiently to teach me how to calm myself and restore my strained lungs.

how to breathe better? by not breathing.

she said that the lung's air passages close up if the body does not have enough CO2 while breathing through the mouth and gasping for air only introduces more oxygen into the body so, by not breathing, the CO2 levels can be restored. CO2 functions as a muscle relaxant which allows airways to appease and open up.

hold the breath for 6-10 seconds, mouth closed, and only shallowly breathe through the nose in short intervals and only when needed. the longer breath-holding time, the better. a normal, healthy person should be able to hold their breath for 40-60 seconds. she said that the first 3-4 minutes are the hardest and it is better done when sitting. 3-4 minutes? i could barely hold my breath to endure the second interval! dio mio, it is really hard to not breathe when you can't breathe. it's intuitive for me to check and listen to my breathing maniacally when i'm having difficulty, which in a form of hyperventilating, further detrimentally depletes the amount of carbon dioxide. holding one's breath is something the body can be trained to do for longer, so i think i will have to practice nasal-breathing techniques and keeping my mouth closed for the next time my body is out of balance.

Named after the founder, Dr Konstantin Buteyko, who connected and discovered deep breathing as a common factor in bronchial diseases, this is known as the Buteyko Method.

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