Episode # 10 Sealing the Leaks & Talking Like The Queen
Hi, welcome to episode ten of Better Breathing Means Better Health entitled Sealing the leaks and Talking Like The Queen.
As you will now know, our breathing is controlled automatically by the level of carbon dioxide in our body. It is a good image to hold in ones mind that our lungs are not just the means to get oxygen for our body but act as reservoirs or tanks of carbon dioxide that need to be kept at just the right level.
Maintaining this image of the lungs as reservoirs or tanks of Carbon Dioxide that help maintain the normal 6% CO2 in our body, we can think of activities that may lead to “leaks” from the tanks. There are many possible reasons for these leaks that may include all those situations when we over-breathe:
• When showering you may gasp as the water hits you
• Most strong emotional states can lead to over-breathing
• The act of bending to put shoes on can push out air
• Getting over hot or too cold may increase breathing
• Over concentration
• Stress at work
• Reading aloud and mouth breathing
• Sighing, remember the old adage “Sigh a little, die a lttle”!
• Talking and mouth breathing rather than nose breathing
• Brushing your teeth; an opportunity to mouth breathe as your mouth is open
• Mouth breathing while eating and drinking
Increasing awareness of your breathing will protect you from most of the above leaks but you will, we hope, want to laugh occasionally! So there are two things to note, firstly if your breathing is normal and you have a Control Pause of 45-60 seconds you have a large “buffer” of Carbon dioxide, and the occasional burst of laughing or emotional upset will not give you any problems, as soon afterwards, your Carbon dioxide levels will return to normal, but if your CP is around twenty seconds normally, any of these brief events of over-breathing can lower your carbon dioxide levels to trigger problems.
It is not unknown for a child with asthma to have a sudden attack when giggling and laughing at a party due to this effect or a person suffering from anxiety to have a panic attack after a bout of coughing.
However there is an instant solution to those moments of brief over-breathing and that is to immediately do a Mini Pause as explained in episode six. Remember; breathe in and our of your nose and pause your breath for 3 to 5 seconds, return to nose breathing then repeat as necessary.
Use the Mini Pause after coughing, sneezing, yawning or sighing
Use it to reduce night time nasal congestion that occurs during sleep by doing it many times for 10-15 minutes before going to sleep.
Use the Mini Pause to help boost your immune system when you feel the onset of an infection or sore throat
The effect of this very short breath hold is to quickly raise your carbon dioxide levels.
The explanation behind the immune system boost comes from the reversal of the reactions of the “Fight or Flight” effects, where breathing is increased and the immune system is suppressed. Here you are reducing the breathing and stimulating the immune system. This is a reversal of the stressor response.
Now to explain a little about “Talking Like The Queen”
The Buteyko Method was first introduced by Professor Buteyko into Australia, and when he taught the necessity to only nose-breathing when talking, his Australian students commented “ Oh! You mean like we see the Queen talking in her Christmas message. She never seems to breathe through her mouth when she talks!” The expression has stuck since then.
So here is your next training challenge. Find a few minutes each day to read aloud from a newspaper or book and follow these instructions. Begin with a breath in through your nose, not your mouth, continue reading until you see a comma or full stop, close your mouth and breathe in through your nose. Return to reading until the next comma or full stop that reminds you to take a breath in through your nose and to close your mouth. If you hit a long sentence you may want to take a breath half way, close your mouth and take a breath in through your nose in the same way.
At first this may feel very strange and can be quite difficult but with practice this way of reading will become normal and easy. Then you need to use the same approach to your breathing when you are speaking at any time.
For some people mouth breathing while talking can be their major problem and the main reason for their chronic hidden hyperventilation.
This may be particularly true for teachers, lecturers, radio commentators,
Sales people and any people who need to talk a lot in their work.
You could watch weather forecasters on the television and see that many of them make this mistake because they need to read a lot of material in a very short time and recently a presenter collapsed on live television because of this effect.
One of the advantages of talking this way is that it makes it far easier for listeners to understand you. Those brief pauses as you take a breath allows the listener time to take in what you have just said.
Practice this over the coming weeks. The next episode will be about sleep and taping. You are doing well and are over half-way through the training already, keep it up.
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