Intro to Buteyko Breathing
I love it when everything I thought I knew on a particular subject gets turned upside down! A while back I discovered that deep breathing was exactly what I did NOT need to do more of. Do you gulp air in between sentences when you talk, and sing? Most people aren’t even aware they’re doing that, but we could greatly benefit from retraining our breathing patterns.
Even if you think you know about proper breathing, please read on, because this is actually quite different from what is commonly taught as healthy breathing practices.
A Russian physician named Constantin Buteyko discovered some important principles of breathing in the 1950’s, and the breathing method he developed has a long history of safe and effective use. It corrects hyperventilation, which causes many common disorders, and surprisingly 98% of us are actually hyperventilating as our usual way of breathing!
The Buteyko method is sometimes known for treating asthma or panic attacks, but really it’s for everyone who can’t hold their breath for 60 seconds comfortably!
The Buteyko website says this about what it can correct:
“Most of all, diseases, which often accompany bronchial asthma: chronic rhinitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, hypertension, and stenocardia. Bronchial asthma and stenocardia are only 2 distinctive models, which effectively demonstrate application of the Buteyko method. However, these are, by far, not the first diseases, which can be successfully treated using the Buteyko method.
Normalization of the immune response removes appearance of various forms of allergy. Improvements in blood supply and oxygenation of the whole organism make application of the Buteyko method efficient in solving problems which are connected with toxicosis of pregnancy, sleep disturbances, insomnia, snoring, sleep apnoea, and also for a wide range of neurotic diseases of the nervous system.”
This is based on the fact that CO2 is actually not purely the waste gas we think it is. CO2 actually helps to make O2 available to the cells, by releasing hemoglobin. This is known as the Bohr effect. Without enough CO2, you can gulp air and still not feel like you’re getting enough.
This is the situation not only with asthmatics but with people who have chronic anxiety, panic attacks, depression, any condition associated with stress, all kinds of nervous and immune system disorders, cardiovascular disorders, migraine, etc.
The Buteyko reduced breathing practice stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which allows for the relaxation response. Our chronic hyperventilation is keeping us in a state of fight-or-flight all the time, where the sympathetic nervous system is stuck in the “ON” position rather than turning off most of the time when it’s not needed. We’re really not being chased by bears all the time, to be honest. And we waste loads of energy and stress many vital functions when our metabolism is stuck in that crisis mode.
Nuts and Bolts
Now, to introduce you to what a beginning Buteyko routine might look like.. And I also want to emphasize that this is just an introduction to the topic. Many people will have a better experience with coaching by a Buteyko practitioner to learn many of the more subtle aspects of the practice.
First to define some terms:
CP = Control Pause. you sit quietly, breathe normally for a minute or two, then after an exhale (don’t try to exhale every last bit of breath, just exhale naturally) hold your breath comfortably and time how long you do that before you get a strong urge to inhale. if you have to gasp or gulp air after that, you’ve gone too far; do it again. you should just be able to resume normal breathing after that. it shouldn’t be uncomfortable. a little strange, maybe, but not uncomfortable.
This is used as a diagnostic and also as a measure of your progress. if you are below 40 seconds, the Buteyko method is indicated.
RB = Reduced Breathing– this is breathing shallowly but also slowly. you sit comfortably, or reclining, and allow the breath to get “smaller.” A helpful technique i use is just noticing the breath. don’t try to do anything to it; just watch it, and it naturally gets smaller. you can put a hand on your belly to feel it rising on the inhale and going down on the exhale. You watch the movement getting smaller. also notice that there is a natural pause after the exhale, but don’t try to extend it. just “intend” to breathe smaller and slower.
A Beginning Routine:
- Do a CP
- Do 10 minutes of RB
- Do 3 minutes of normal breathing
- Do a CP
This is one set. The number of sets you need to do depends on your particular circumstances, but a general recommendation is to do one set 3x/day the first day, then increase the number of sets up to a total of 80-90 min of RB each day.
If you’ve done it correctly, the last CP should be higher. The RB is the real therapeutic part of it.
There are many variations on this, and as I mentioned before, it’s highly recommended to work with a Buteyko practitioner to guide you in practicing the method correctly and safely especially if you have health issues.
Highly Recommended Reading:
Book: Close Your Mouth, by Patrick McKeown
The best book on Buteyko theory and practice, it describes several other simple Buteyko practices that are suited to various needs.
WATER, SALT and the FUNCTION OF HYDRATION
2006, updated 2014
We all know that water is essential to life and that we’re supposed to drink up. We usually think of hydration as a matter of drinking enough quantity of water, assuming that everyone absorbs this essential substance in the same way.
But hydration has new meaning when we look beyond biochemical processes to the biophysical function of water. There’s a lot more to the story…
Dr. Batmanghelidj, author of Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, says that the root cause of most chronic health problems is chronic dehydration. Of course it’s not quite that simple, but it does makes sense that we should pay closer attention to what it really takes to get ourselves hydrated.
Hydration on the cellular level is a matter of transfering hydrogen into the cell, and hydrogen transfer is the function of the essential life energy called orgone. This is the special function of water, which is different from the solvent function by which it dissolves and flushes toxins out of the cell. Hydration itself regulates all functions of the body, and water is not just a mechanical carrier for regulatory substances.
Water that has a high orgone content could be called living water, such as artesian well water. Artesisan water is water that bubbles up, which means that it’s gone through a long compression process and is now “mature,” containing levity forces which are necessary for consciousness. It’s low in minerals as watershould be, and high in orgone.
You could assay a living water biochemically and find it to be very similar to other forms of purified or spring water. But biophysically it’s very different. Biophysics is about true function, beyond the biochemical constituents or processes. The living water will enhance the function of cellular hydration because of its crystalline structure. Processed water such as tap water lacks this crystalline structure. This means that you could drink large quantities of tap water and still not be hydrated!
WHAT IS SOLÉ
Solé is a 26% concentration of salt in water. When natural crystal salt, such as Himalayan crystal salt is dissolved in water, the water will naturally come to that saturation point, and that’s the solé. Water and salt represent the basic polarity of the two primordial forces of the universe – the radial, nether or earth forces; and the spherical, upper or cosmic forces.
This is the polarity that generates life – it’s the constant pulsation of compression and expansion that animates the universe. Wilhelm Reich was the first scientist to demonstrate this pulsatory nature of the universe. This is so significant, because we can’t get too far without the pulsation of the universe!
It’s this dynamic salt–water polarity represented by the solé solution which carries information for all life functions – the nether vegetative functions as well as the upper consciousness functions, which “marry” to create life.
Solé represents superconsciousness in that the crystal salt is merged in oneness with the water – the two resonate as one and yet the salt retains its own identity (individual freedom) when the water evaporates. Then on the cellular level, the solé facilitates hydrogen transfer to the cell, which releases electrons and is the basis of all organic energy systems.
In the face of dehydration, which the body perceives as a crisis, it manifests many symptoms well before we become aware of needing water via thirst or dry mouth. In other words, the body is crying for water before we even have overt signals.
If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
Even in the midst of an abundance of water, it’s “water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” On a cellular level, the organism becomes armored against receiving the abundance, and can’t become hydrated. It’s a bit like the way we become shy in love if we’ve been rejected before, and we’re a little defensive and not so quick to open up again. The cellular stress then causes more dehydration in a vicious cycle, as the condition of dehydration itself uses up water.
This stressful situation is actually a biological trauma which triggers disease, as the German physician Ryke Geerd Hamer discovered. (Dr. Hamer’s body of work is called German New Medicine – see my article on that).
Dehydration on the psychic level as well as on the somatic level – dryness of thought and rigid attitudes – can lead to disease, especially diseases which have to do with a poverty mentality and suppression of the generative power of the life force.
Chronic dehydration then weakens the generative power, and so it can be carried to offspring, who inherit this dryness in the form of the Psoric miasm. (The chronic miasms are the inherited predispositions to disease, which we’re born with but don’t necessarily activate.) Dr. Hahnemann discovered that the essence of Psora is dryness and deficiency. We call this a kind of “glass half empty” or poverty mentality. And Dr. Reich taught that dryness resulted in a contraction, shrinking or damming up of the life force leading to disease, which he called “shrinking biopathy.”
So there is plenty of research about the effects of chronic dehydration, and much of what people are suffering from when they go to the doctor is a form of dehydration. Yet the doctor gives drugs to suppress the symptoms, many of which are just the body’s “many cries for water.”
NOT ALL SALT IS CREATED EQUAL
The best quality salt is natural crystal salt, such as Himalayan crystal salt. We all need salt – it’s just the poor quality table salt that causes many imbalances and should be avoided. But crystal salt is well tolerated by most people, even those who think they need a “low-sodium” diet. (Try buying low sodium foods and adding your own crystal salt!)
Table salt is refined sodium chloride, biophysically “dead,” acid-forming and dehydrating, and toxic because of other additives.
Sea salt from the oceans may contain pollutants, and although it has a crystal structure to some degree, it’s not the superior crystalline structure of crystal salt. The nutritive elements remain on the surface of the structure and aren’t integrated into the crystalline structure. And actually, what’s sold as sea salt and hyped as such a healthy alternative to table salt, is pure white, which means that it’s been refined, so it’s not much better than table salt.
Rock salt is the original form of salt that has not become “mature,” has not developed a crystalline structure, and so the minerals can’t be properly absorbed.
Crystal salt has been sufficiently compressed so that the minerals are ionic, and the crystalline structure has become matured, which allows the minerals to be absorbed.
WATER, NOT BEVERAGES
Beverages are drinks that contain 50 or higher TDS (total dissolved solids). Even herb teas really aren’t hydrating. When TDS is high, hydrogen and electrons are bound up, and can’t be released to the cells. So for each beverage taken, even if the beverage is nutritious, an additional glass of water is needed in order to maintain hydration.
Water should contain high orgone energy like artesian water, but it’s not always easy to find. Good options are filtered water, ideally non-fluoridated, and then re-energized by placing it on a small orgone generator. Or even just put a few quartz crystals into the container and let it sit. Even better, run the water through a vortex. There are small plastic pieces that fit between two bottles to create a vortex by pouring the water from one bottle into the other.
Some people advocate exposing drinking water to sunlight – not a good idea. The best quality water comes directly from the ground, a very dark place!
HOW MUCH DO WE NEED?
Depending on the person’s level of activity and other individual factors including health issues, each person needs roughly 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight, daily. Divide body weight in half, and that’s the number of ounces per day.
Living foods such as raw, unpasteurized milk from healthy, pastured animals, and fresh, raw juices also provide the living matrix that promotes proper hydration. Fresh, raw coconut water is great.
Then there’s raw milk..
Aajonus Vonderplanitz was a brilliant raw animal food researcher who advocated drinking plenty of raw milk instead of water. And there is a history of “milk cure” that has been a very powerful therapy for a wide range of health issues. It has none of the problems associated with pasteurized milk, as pasteurization denatures the protein and renders it indigestible. Commercial milk products should never be used, but their raw counterparts are supremely healing. See the recommended books below. Today, raw milk can be difficult to find, but some sources may be available from local farmers.
Marine plasma is another source of living water (used as a supplement not for everyday drinking water. ) The original research by Dr. René Quinton is available online.
BEYOND THE GLASS OF WATER
The deeper issue of hydration takes us to the mental/emotional realm, where we need to look at how we become armored on deeper levels of our being and can’t take in the “juices” of life. We know when we read something that’s dry and lifeless, it’s not physically dry, of course, but the phenomenon of dryness is there. It’s lacking the kind of moist warmth that’s characteristic of love and life.
When people are “dry” in this way, they become resistant to and unable to take in the living water of life energy. And they become dehydrated on the cellular level, because what’s going on at the physical level is the reflection of what’s going on at the psychic level.
Sometimes they can’t get hydrated no matter how much living water they drink, and that’s because the psychic level needs to get hydrated in order for the cells to become receptive to the water they need. But also by continuing to drink living water and exposing the cells to the water they need, that helps open up the pathways for the resistance to free up and for the organism to accept the loving energy of water.
Getting hydrated often involves releasing mental/emotional blockages in various ways – through Medicine (the Heilkunst system), which destroys the blockages that impede energy flow and lead to emotional armoring; and through the mental and spiritual practice of releasing the false beliefs and fears that aren’t part of who we really are.
The process of remediation and soul/spiritual development is a bit like becoming juicier! We let go to dissolve ourselves in the living waters of life. And yet we maintain our individuality, our consciousness intact. This pulsatory function of dissolving and emerging, dying and living – it’s the movement of life. Think about that next time you drink a glass of water!
Water and Salt: The Essence of Life, by Dr. Barbara Hendel
Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, by Dr. Batmanghelidj
Milk Diet, by Dr Charles Porter
The Raw Milk Cleanse, by Allyson McQuinn
This service is offered on a limited basis – please contact me if you’re interested.
I’d like to announce a service I’m offering that I think will be just the ticket when you need a quicker consult. For those who have some nagging questions about their health issues but aren’t ready to do a full consult, I’m now offering a shorter format for half my usual fee.
My fee is $30 for this mini-consult.
The mini-consult isn’t a comprehensive workup, but I always individualize my recommendations as far as possible, and you won’t receive one-size-fits-all generic responses. You will receive a detailed email with my comments and recommendations.
The mini-consult is perfect for you if you…
- need some input to help make informed choices for your health
- have specific questions about nutrition, supplements or using homeopathy
- just need some extra support when the bumps in the road feel extra bumpy
As my grandmother used to say, “What’s not to like?”
After payment, use the link provided that says “return to website” to access the online questionnaire page.
The questionnaire is optional, but helps me with pertinent input. The questionnaire is encrypted so your responses are as secure as private email.
If you prefer to just send your written description of the issue you want to address, that’s fine too.
Then I’ll be in touch shortly, usually within 2 business days.
And don’t forget to come back and visit my two websites for a wealth of free articles and resources spanning the whole gamut of natural healing.
Thanks for staying tuned!
Many people often ask me whether dynamic regimen can help with their symptoms. Sometimes it’s just one symptom, and other times it’s a laundry list, but it may include acid reflux, irritable bowel, eczema, migraines, arthritis, fatigue, frequent colds, PMS, high blood pressure, sinusitis, anxiety, depression, hair loss, etc., etc…
So in order to begin with a rational approach, rather than to just throw whatever tools we have at the symptom, hit-or-miss, we need to understand what a symptom is and what’s required in each case.
A symptom or condition is simply the outer effect of some deeper cause, not the cause itself. And that causative level needs to be understood in terms of our life force. The life force actually has two aspects, rather like the relationship between yin and yang.
One aspect of the life force is quantitative and involves processes that need to be balanced, in certain amounts. This is where you need to fill a deficiency or remove an excess of something, and this is the realm of dynamic regimen. It includes diet, nutrition, detoxification, water intake, sleep, and other lifestyle issues that impact health.
For some people, this first category—regimen—is all they need. They may simply have some imbalances that need to be corrected, and the appropriate, individualized regimen accomplishes that.
If a person has no problematic symptoms, they still need proper regimen to maintain their health. And when the body is stressed with with symptoms, we obviously need proper diet, nutrition, water, sleep, etc. So, individualized regimen is always the first step for everyone.
Dynamic regimen provides the foundation that you need for maintaining or restoring your health.
The other aspect of the life force is qualitative. This is the realm of true disease (and we use the term in a very specific way, not as conventional medicine does). When there is a disturbance in this area, it could involve emotional disturbances, shocks and traumas, infectious diseases, drug effects, and inherited predispositions to disease.
So, symptoms could be stemming from imbalances, or diseases, or both. Now it becomes clearer that to simply target the symptom and try to suppress it is not going to resolve the real problem.
Once the appropriate regimen is underway, some people need to go on for further treatment to remove deeper disease disturbances. Then I refer people for treatment with the Heilkunst system of medicine (which includes homeopathy but is much more comprehensive).
The causes may be very different for each person with the same type of symptom. For example, for one person with fatigue symptoms, regimen may be all they need to come back to balance. For another person, regimen is the foundation but they also need treatment to remove various deeper disturbances that are contributing to it.
Let’s take an example of a skin rash. For one person, the rash could be related to a food allergy; for another person it’s emotional issues; and for another person it could have been triggered by a vaccination or other trauma. Each case could have several causative factors, and each would need to be treated differently.
But the nutrition/regimen has to be there, in any case, to correct imbalances and support the healing process, fill deficiencies, balance the metabolism, help with detoxification and rebuilding new tissue, etc.
I can’t guarantee that nutrition and regimen will be the whole solution for a chronic health problem. But there can’t be a whole solution without it.
We all know about side effects of drugs (which are really primary effects, but the ones we don’t like). But rarely do we hear about the toll that drugs can take on the body as they rob us of important nutrients. Often, the drug creates a nutrient deficiency which produces a symptom, the same symptom that the drug is supposed to treat!
An example of this is “statin” drugs given to treat or prevent cardiovascular disease. Statin drugs deplete the body of CoQ10, which is an essential nutrient for heart muscle. A deficiency of CoQ10 over a period of time can lead to angina or heart attack! So the drug actually can cause the problem it’s supposed to be treating.
Below is a list of some of the nutrient depletions caused by various drugs, so you can consider supplementing accordingly. Of course, the issue of how to supplement requires a more comprehensive look, but this is a basic guideline. Generally, most of the drugs in the same class of drug will have the same nutrient depeletion effect.
DRUG TYPE NUTRIENTS IT DEPLETES
|Female hormone replacement||magnesium, vit B6|
|Statin drugs (cholesterol lowering)||coQ10, B-12, folic acid|
|Cardiac glycosides (digoxin)||calcium, magnesium|
|Diuretics||calcium, coQ10, folic acid, electrolytes|
|Antacids||B-12, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron|
|Proton-pump inhibitors||B-12, folic acid, D, iron, zinc, EFA’s|
|Aspirin||C, folic acid, iron, aminos/proteins|
|Diabetic meds||coQ10, B-12|
|Anti-depressants||coQ10, B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, folic acid|
|Oral contraceptives||B-2, B-6, B-12, folic acid, C|
|Corticosteroids (prednisone, etc.)||C, D, folic acid, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc,
|Laxative herbs (aloe, cascara, senna, etc.)||electrolytes, many vitamins, essential fatty acids|
|Herbal diuretics||B-1, B-6, C, co-Q10; electrolytes|
|vit A, B-complex, iron, potassium|
There are many dimensions, many levels of reality that we engage when we approach healing.
Sometimes we talk about a great technique for preventing and getting rid of dental plaque that can make a huge difference in your oral health and save teeth. Other times we talk about the deep emotional patterns that can keep you stuck in a chronic health condition, and how to become more conscious of those patterns so you can release them.
Some people prefer to work on the pragmatic side of things; and for others, it ultimately becomes most practical to work on the side that’s more difficult to access and more challenging to face, the emotional/spiritual side. Usually the best approach is an integration of both.
Personally I have felt at times that I needed a quick fix to “put out a fire” of an acute situation. That situation might have a proximal cause like “lack of iron.” But there may be deeper reasons why the body isn’t utilizing the iron it has, and then simply supplying more iron won’t work – we need to look to a deeper level of function and a deeper cause to remedy the problem.
But each person has their own unique path, and what one person needs to experience in order to heal can’t be compared to what another needs to experience.
In many areas of natural healing we encounter injunctions about what we must do in order to get well. Your intellect might agree and say, “Sure, I know I need to do that.”
But what often happens is that your unconscious is rebelling; you are feeling railroaded or admonished and not in resonance with this injunction – because your inner wisdom knows it’s not what you need right now, even if your intellect thinks so.
This is one of the important reasons why individualized guidance can be so helpful. You can get loads of great ideas about “the best new antioxidant” or “the best detox program.” No one needs my services to find out about the zillions of products that are on the market.
But do you really know that a particular product or program is what you really need at this time, and what your own body/mind is going to resonate with and make use of, safely and without causing more imbalances?
The choices that will really support your health, and not just temporarily cover up symptoms, require more than an intellectual, linear approach.
Health is more than biochemistry. Each person has a biochemical individuality – that’s complex enough! But also the blueprint for the biochemistry is the level of energy, the soul/spiritual level, and everything that manifests on the physical level has its seed in the soul/spiritual level.
That’s why we work on all these levels to get to the root of the problems and to support each level in its re-adjustment to a healthier condition.
Even dental plaque isn’t just about an imbalanced biochemistry!
But at a higher level it’s about emotional armoring – the emotional blockage we create in order to prevent the life force from expanding too much when there is a held emotional pattern of fear. The emotional armoring has its counterpart on the physical level often as muscular tension, and/or dental plaque – there are many ways the armoring can manifest.
So for example, I teach people about oral hygiene (the kind that really works safely, not the conventional dogma), and about diet and nutritional supplements to rebuild the body and remineralize the teeth, but also about the emotional issues that can be blocking the healing process.
Healing can be complex, but doesn’t need to be complicated. There are many facets, many dimensions, but a rational program can be devised that honors your completely individual path and doesn’t leave your inner child throwing a tantrum!