Episode # 6 Checking Your Progress & The Mini Pause
Hi, Welcome to podcast episode six of Better Breathing Means Better Health. We shall be checking your progress and introducing the Mini Pause.
By now you will have probably done a few Buteyko Exercises and recorded them on a worksheet or in the Buteyko Guide to Better Breathing & Better Health. In the last lesson I suggested you plot the average of each start Control Pause and end Control Pause.
You will find your control pause will vary from day to day and also during the day depending on many things, so don’t be surprised if some days your exercises are not as good as you expected, what we are looking for is a slow steady improvement. This will always come if you persevere.
You may improve your control pause by just a few seconds each time you do an exercise, perhaps increasing it by 3 to 5 seconds from start to finish but usually you will find by the time you do your next exercise your control pause will have dropped a little, this is normal.
There are many ways of reducing this effect. The first thing to try to remember is to keep your mouth closed as you go about your daily routine, breathing only through your nose. Don’t forget to do the nose clearing exercises if your nose gets stuffy.
Just being aware more of how you are breathing will help, if you catch yourself breathing heavily, just take a moment to think “reduced breathing”. This is something you can do throughout the day, anywhere you get delayed, in a supermarket queue, at traffic lights or waiting on the phone, rather than get stressed you can use these moments to do some more reduced breathing.
The good news about breath training is that exercises are only needed until your breathing returns to normal, then you can stop doing any exercises and your breathing will continue to be good. This is because what we are doing is re-setting special receptors in the brain that control our rate of breathing. Every person that is over-breathing is doing so because their receptors are telling them to. Once you have changed the receptors they will keep you breathing normally. Curiously our breathing rate is not governed by the oxygen in our body but rather the level of carbon dioxide. Ideally this should be kept at around 5-6% when breathing normally but every person over-breathing will have too low a level of carbon dioxide probably nearer 3-4 % and this is one of the major causes of all their symptoms.
So if your progress is not as fast as you would like you can try an additional simple trick when doing your reduced breathing; just try taking slightly smaller breaths in and breathing out more slowly so that you feel a little “air hunger”. You would like to breathe a little more but it is not stressful or anxiety provoking. What you are doing is pushing against your carbon dioxide receptors, getting them used to accepting a slightly higher carbon dioxide level than they have been used to.
If this is in anyway unpleasant then revert back to just relaxation as the way to do your reduced breathing.
Something else you can do to help keep your breathing better between exercises is the Mini Pause. The Mini Pause is exactly what it suggests, a breath hold after exhaling of just 3 to 5 seconds, then return to normal breathing. You can dot Mini Pauses in at any time during the day whenever you think about your breathing and this will help maintain a higher control pause. Some people may do up to a hundred during the day.
Later on in the course we will talk about an exercise you can do when out walking. The next episode will be about food and your breathing
Did you know that what you eat affects the way you breathe and the way you breathe affects how you eat?
If you haven't yet purchased the recommended book for recording your exercises and more background information "Better Breathing Means Better Health" you can check it out or purchase it: HERE
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