Normal breathing

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					                            NEWLY APPOINTED PRACTITIONER and Director of
                                 Counselling and Training Services

KAREN STEWART is a qualified Buteyko Practitioner and has been appointed as the Director of Applied Breathing
Centres’ Educational, Counselling and Training Services.
With her many years of teaching experience over a wide range of ages and levels, and a Masters degree in
Counselling, as well as practical application, she brings additional skills and techniques to the teaching and training
strategies currently used.
The Buteyko Institute Course is no different from any other form of change of habit and the success depends on the
ability of the client to comply with the program to get the desired results.
One of Karen’s roles is to ensure that contact is maintained after the course is over and that there are the correct
levels of support and motivation.
Having suffered from asthma for many years, she is familiar with the rush for the nebuliser, the loads of reliever and
preventer medications and the hopelessness for the future that current asthma treatment offers. She has wide
experience in the management of anxiety and panic situations and has developed strategies to manage them.
Now using only 2 – 3 puffs of reliever in an average year, Karen is testimony to the fact that asthma can be controlled
naturally, without the use of drugs and the nasty side-effects that accompany them.

WENDY O’BRIEN is no longer associated with Applied Breathing Centres having decided to pursue a career in
other areas.

Normal breathing
Doctors always check vital signs in order to make sure that your body is functioning correctly.

They normally use:
♦ Temperature
♦ Pulse
♦ Blood Pressure
♦ Sound of heart and lungs
♦ Peak flow meters or spirometry
♦ Pathology investigation of blood and other body fluids
♦ X-Rays and other diagnostic imaging
These results are all measured against a ‘normal’ range and the diagnosis then follows, based on the variation from
what is regarded as normal or acceptable.
What most doctors have forgotten, or in fact NEVER been told, to do, is to check the person’s breathing rate;
i.e. the number of breaths taken per minute and the amount of air per breath.
There is a ‘normal’ range for this, and anything outside of that range should be an indication that something is wrong
with the person’s breathing.
Normal Breathing is defined as a gentle wave pattern of 8-10 breaths per minute, through the nose, using the
diaphragm and not the upper chest.

This moves the correct volume of 4 – 5 litres of air per minute through the nose, in and out of the lungs.

What makes us breathe ?
Breathing is controlled by a sensor in the brain which
reacts to the level of carbon dioxide in the blood. As soon
as this reaches a point beyond which body cells will start to die,
the brain instructs the diaphragm to expand and contract and the
                                                                                The medullary
breathing cycle starts.                                                            trigger

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is made in the body as a by-product of exercise and metabolism and is stored mainly in the
lungs. Mouth-breathing lowers the levels of CO2 and if this happens continuously, then the brain regards the new
lower level as ‘normal’.
If this continues for any length of time the brain is going to regard it as the ‘new normal’ and you will become a
permanent over-breather or hyperventilator.
Your breathing rate can then increase from the normal of around 15,000 breaths per day to as many as 30,000 or
35,000 breaths per day.
When this happens, blood and body chemistry can change, the body stops working at its optimum level and many
chronic illnesses such as asthma, high blood pressure, allergies and sinusitis, snoring and sleep apnea can occur.

These are signs of abnormal breathing:
♦   Sighing
♦   Snoring
♦   Yawning
♦   Sleep apnea
♦   Noisy breathing
♦   Breathing through the mouth
♦   Breathing from the upper chest
♦   Shallow, short or panting breaths
♦   Frequent deep breaths for no reason
♦   Taking a mouth-breath before talking
How this can affect you
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is responsible for controlling a number of vital functions in the body and, if the level is allowed to
get too low, and remains at that level, chronic illness can develop.
CO2 is directly involved in the following processes:
1.Triggering the breathing mechanism
2.Preventing spasm in smooth muscle systems of the body such as breathing, digestion and circulation.
3.Releasing oxygen from the blood so that it can get into body cells and energise and regenerate them.
4.Maintaining the correct level of acidity or alkalinity within the body so that it functions at its optimum potential.
If the CO2 levels are out of balance then the following problems can occur:
    ♦ Breathing becomes disordered and the person can become a hyperventilator.
    ♦ Smooth muscle systems can go into spasm triggering off asthma attacks, sinusitis and other upper
       respiratory tract problems, digestive disorders such as gastric reflux and irritable bowel syndrome and
       circulatory problems such as high blood pressure. Spasm of the bladder can lead to disturbed sleep and
       frequent trips to the toilet.
    ♦ Less oxygen is released from the blood as CO2 levels drop (The Bohr Effect) and cell regeneration is
       compromised. This can result in poor sleep, excessive tiredness on waking and numerous other
       problems such as eczema and other skin disorders.
    ♦ As soon as the blood chemistry goes out of balance, the brain takes whatever steps are required to correct this
       and in the case of low CO2, the brain shuts down the breathing process so that the CO2 level can rise. This is
       one of the major causes of sleep apnea.

Correcting the problem
The two main problems that occur with disordered or dysfunctional breathing are:
♦    Breathing too much, i.e. breathing too many times per minute and too much air per breath.
♦ Having CO2 levels that are so low that they cause smooth muscle systems to go into spasm. Low CO2 prevents the
     maximum release of oxygen from the blood and interferes with the correct acid/alkali balance in the blood.
This comes about through mouth-breathing, snoring, poor posture, sensitivity to food and drink, emotional stresses
and the general stresses of living the lifestyle of the 21st Century.
All of the above send constant messages to the brain that the level of CO2 is lower than normal. If this is done over a
long period of time, then the brain thinks that it is a permanent problem and resets the breathing pattern accordingly.
This guarantees that the problems will persist.

The solution
Learn how to breathe through your nose again as mouth-breathing is abnormal and unhealthy.
Learn how to restore your breathing rhythm to normal, that is bring it back to the 8 – 10 breaths per minute, with a
volume of around 4 – 5 litres of air per minute.

                                Learn how to increase your CO2 levels so that you can
                                start sending reverse messages to the brain which will
                                then accept the changes and return your breathing rate
                                to normal.

This can be done using a simple set of breathing exercises which are done every day until normal breathing
has returned.
The buteyko program
The Buteyko Program was developed in 1953 in Russia by Professor Konstantin Buteyko, a Russian doctor who
identified the problems caused by low carbon dioxide levels in the body.

                          He devised a series of breathing exercises which were designed
                          to slow down the breathing rate and increase levels of CO2 in the
                          blood. This technique is so successful that it is possible to notice
                          changes by the second day of the training course.

The Buteyko program came to Australia in 1990 and has undergone modification to make it applicable to local
conditions, foods, pollutants and lifestyle issues.
The Buteyko Applied Breathing Centre breathing training program consists of two parts.
1.Five consecutive sessions of two hours each during which all important issues are covered in detail. These are
  usually done Monday to Friday. Special one hour courses have been designed for children who can start learning
  the program from around age 5.
2.One full year of follow-up, including contact with your practitioner and refresher courses to ensure that the
  techniques you have learned will become part of your normal functioning and lifestyle.
Courses are usually conducted in small groups but individual tuition is available by special arrangement.
Comprehensive notes and information are provided and one-on-one attention is provided during the course as
Each session is a combination of explanation of what is wrong, and demonstration of how to correct it as well as
training in how to practise the exercises.

Trialled and proven
The first trial to take place in Australia was at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane and this was reported in the Medical
Journal of Australia in December 1998.
It proved that within a period of 90 days, the group of long-standing, medicated asthmatics learning the Buteyko
method had been able to reduce the use of their reliever medication (such as Ventolin) by an average of 96% and the
use of the steroid preventer medication by 49%.
A further trial carried out in Glasgow in 2000 – 2002 produced almost identical results and this was published in the
prestigious British Journal, Thorax.
Several other trials have been carried out which provide very similar results. One in particular was conducted by the
Co-operative Centre for Asthma Research at the RPAH in Sydney.
Full information regarding these trials and transcripts of the results is available from our office.

Once lung tissue has been damaged it is not possible to regenerate it.
The major problem faced by people with emphysema is a chronic
shortness of breath as well as side-effects from the large amount of
drugs they usually take.
By learning how to breathe correctly, it is possible to reduce the
amount of medication used – thereby reducing (or removing) the side-effects.
It is also possible to increase the efficiency of the remaining lung tissue
by providing it with the correct levels of CO2 and preventing spasm from occurring.
People with emphysema who have done the Buteyko Institute Program have found that they are able to walk
further, have far less breathing problems, are sometimes able to do away with their nebuliser and enjoy a far
better quality of life.

Asthma is probably one of the most over-diagnosed and over-medicated illnesses in the
Western world.
The only available treatment for this is inhaled medication to relieve symptoms and
preventer medication to reduce inflammation and symptoms.
No attempt is made to look at the cause of the problem and to take steps to eliminate
or manage the cause.
Several research programs have been undertaken recently by scientists who have nothing to do with the major drug
companies who usually provide funding for asthma trials.
What they have found is of great concern and a trial report released on 17th June 2004 states that the ongoing use of
beta-agonist relievers (such as Ventolin) can actually make asthma worse and can also be a causative factor in heart
It is well known that people with asthma breathe far more than usual, are mostly mouth-breathers, and gasp and pant
when they have an attack.
As you will have read by now, this lowers the levels of CO2 in the blood and lungs, and causes further constriction of
the airways.
Most asthma reliever medications increase the breathing rate and make the problem worse.
The steroid preventer medications have a raft of side-effects which very often cause people to stop using them, thus
putting them at severe risk from using reliever medication alone.
Asthma medication has NEVER cured asthma, and those suffering from it usually use more and more medication as
each year goes by.
The Buteyko Method minimises attacks, or prevents them from starting, allowing medication to be reduced or
even totally eliminated.

Allergies, hayfever, sinusitis
                      The human body is kept alive by a primal mechanism known as Fight or Flight. When the
                      body perceives a danger, it makes a rapid decision whether to stay and fight it or to run away.
                      In all cases of Fight or Flight, the first reaction is a shot of adrenalin into the bloodstream and
                      this sets off a chain of other reactions which vary according to the degree of danger.
                      Whenever anything enters the human body, be it through the mouth, nose, eyes or skin, and
                      the body is not comfortable with this substance it will try to get rid of it.
                      The reaction is usually to coat the offender with mucus or other secretions and then expel it.
                      This explains why we sneeze, cough, vomit, develop diarrhoea or break out in angry bumps or

Every one of these reactions is accompanied by the release of adrenalin and/or
histamine and/or other chemicals which cause our breathing rate to rise.
If this becomes chronic, such as with hay fever, rhinitis, sinusitis, coughing, sneezing and
other allergic reactions, our breathing rate will be constantly increased and the brain will
alter the trigger point, as previously explained.
We then become overly sensitive to these triggers and they affect us at a far lower level
than would normally cause a problem, if our breathing trigger was set at the normal
Constant coughing and sneezing further lowers the CO2 level and the condition becomes
worse, as we get more spasm in the smooth muscle tubes in the nose, throat and lungs.
                              Snoring is a major problem for millions of people. There are numerous ‘cures’ on
                              the market but very few of these address the cause; they rather look at trying to manage
                              the result.
                              Snoring can best be described as moving too much air over the loose tissues at the
                              back of the throat.
                              In the same way as when a window is closed, the blinds or curtains don’t move, when
                              the mouth is closed during sleep, and when the volume of air moving in and out of the
                              lungs is at the correct level of 4 – 5 litres per minute, the tissues of the throat don’t rattle
                              and make noises.
So the most sensible way to address the issue of snoring is to try to re-establish breathing
through the nose, rather than the mouth, and adjusting the amount of air breathed so that it
falls within the normal limit.
There are other issues involved, such as being overweight and drinking too much, but these
are all stresses of one kind or another and contribute to the problem of over-breathing.

Sleep apnea
                              Sleep Apnea is one of the most frequently accessed topics on the Internet.
                              Hundreds of thousands of people spend each night hooked up to machines to help them
                              This has now reached epidemic proportions and sleep clinics are appearing everywhere
                              as people desperately look for an answer to this debilitating problem.
                              It is not only very large people with lots of loose tissue in the backs of their throats who
                              have this problem. Many small and slim people suffer as well and there are several
                              reasons why this occurs.

Some are physical and some chemical. Some are a combination of both and need a
combination of approaches to achieve the result.

As soon as the brain detects that the CO2 level is dropping to a dangerous level,
usually as a result of heavy snoring or mouth breathing, it sends a message to the
diaphragm instructing it to stop. Breathing then stops, the CO2 level rises and the
brain allows breathing to start again.
The next breath is usually a gasp, which lowers the CO2 level again and the process is
There can be up to 50 – 55 such stop-start or ‘apnea’ events an hour and this is why
people are constantly exhausted and unable to function throughout the day.
A career as a buteyko Institute practitioner
With the increasing acceptance by the general medical community of the validity of the Buteyko Institute Method, this
is an ideal opportunity for anyone who is contemplating a change in career.
BIBH practitioners educate and empower rather than diagnose, prescribe and treat.
The purpose behind the Buteyko program is to explain to people, in simple non-medical terms, what is wrong with
them, why things went wrong and what can be done to remedy the situation.
For this reason it is not necessary to be medically qualified to train as a BIBH practitioner.
It can be beneficial to have a background in nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy or other para-medical services but this
is not essential, in fact many of our most successful practitioners are just skilled teachers.
Roger Price is one of only six registered BIBH Practitioner Trainers in the world, and he and Karen Stewart conduct
practitioner training courses throughout Australia as well as overseas.
It is an ideal profession from the point of view that you are free to work when you choose; there is seldom an
emergency situation where you are obliged to run a course.

You may combine your BIBH career with another occupation as you can make a good living teaching one Buteyko
course every four to six weeks.
It is a profession which gives you the opportunity to travel anywhere you wish, as the BIBH operates in 14 countries.
Australia has only a handful of active practitioners, and country areas are crying out for people to run courses.
Contact either Roger or Karen on:
FreeCall 1800 777 798 or else on mobiles:
Roger 0414 832 011

High blood pressure

                                The body’s circulatory system has about 35km of various kinds of blood
                                vessels. There are arteries, veins, capillaries, arterioles and other tiny vessels all of
                                which are concerned with getting oxygen to body cells and bringing back excess CO2
                                and other by-products of metabolism. Look closely at the diagram below and you will
                                see that each of the
                                blood vessels has a layer of smooth muscle bands surrounding the tube.

                                If someone has very low CO2 levels then their smooth muscle systems will be in a
                                state of tension and constriction.

In the circulatory system this leads to high blood pressure and it should be noted here
that Professor Buteyko actually developed his breathing technique for himself in order
to manage malignantly high blood pressure in his early 30’s.

By reducing the tension in his blood vessels by increasing his CO2 level, he bought
himself an extra 50 years of life.
Anxiety and panic attacks
It is thought that a high percentage of people suffer from some degree of anxiety and/or
panic at some stage during their lives. This can be aggravated by some medications, pain,
and uncertainty regarding their health condition or life issues as well as past, present
and/or future circumstances and situations. Some people live with this condition daily.
Anxiety and Panic Attacks start the Fight or Flight response and as a result, the breathing
rate automatically increases. As this happens, the CO2 levels drop and the smooth muscle
tubes throughout the body go into spasm.
This is why people who suffer from these conditions often have difficulty in breathing, have
stomach aches and pains and generally feel less than well.

Eczema is commonly found associated with asthma and other breathing problems. It is
also very often found in people who are stressed. The skin is the largest organ of the body
and is the furthest away from the heart.
It therefore stands to reason that it will be the last to receive its supply of oxygen - which is
required to build new cells to replace those that die.
If the cells are already dead, then it makes no sense to rub steroid and other creams into
them. This will not bring them back to life.

Dental and orthodontic
Children and adults who require orthodontic work are usually mouth-breathers. If you feel
the position of your tongue when your mouth is closed, you will find that it rests against the
palate and sits in the arch formed by the front teeth. In this position it exerts a force of
500Gm outwards to counteract the 500Gm inward forces exerted by the cheek muscles.

Unless nose breathing is restored in these cases, and the tongue is put back into the right
position, there will never be a long-term solution and whatever orthodontic work is done will
probably revert. In fact it is generally accepted that 90% of orthodontic work done reverts
unless a retainer plate is worn. Compliance with this is very low.

General health

Because oxygen is so vital for good health, energy and stamina, and because the release of oxygen from the blood
is so dependent on the level of CO2, you will be fitter, faster and more competitive if you learn to exercise with your
mouth closed. You will also require less recovery time.

Look at the first 4 runners in the Sydney Olympic Marathon. There were 2 from Kenya, 2 from Ethiopia and they ran
42km with their mouths closed all the way. At the end of the run they were laughing and joking while the mouth-
breathers were exhausted.
How to check your breathing
                    You will need a watch or a clock with a second hand so that you can time your breathing
                    Sit comfortably in a chair and follow the instructions below.
                    1.Close your mouth and breathe gently in and out through your nose.
                    2.Picture your breathing as a gentle wave or swell, and breathe in at the top of the swell and out
                      at the bottom.
                    3.Breathe in for 2 seconds and out for three seconds and do this a few times to get the rhythm.
                    4.After a 2 second in-breath and a 3 second out-breath, pinch your nose closed gently with your
                      fingers, and with your mouth closed, hold your breath. Use the watch to start counting the
                    5.Hold your breath until you feel that you would like to breathe. This does NOT mean that you
                      hold for as long as you can. Wait until you feel that it is time to breathe and then release your
                    6.You should not have to gasp or take more than one breath through your nose to resume
                      normal breathing. If you feel stressed or have to puff and pant, then you have held your breath
                      for too long.

Breathing rate chart
                    The purpose of this test is to check at what carbon dioxide concentration in your blood your
                    breathing trigger will be activated.
                    While you are holding your breath your CO2 level will rise as you have stopped breathing it out.
                    When it reaches the point where it tells the brain that the blood is approaching too acid a level,
                    the brain will instruct you to breathe.
                    As a result of bad breathing habits, the brain has reset its trigger point lower than it should be
                    and it thinks you’ve been running a marathon when you have in fact only been carrying in the
                    So it makes you breathe far sooner than is actually necessary.
                    Don’t be surprised if you don’t reach anywhere near the ideal level of 45 to 60 seconds. More
                    than 90% of people fail to achieve this level.

The good news is that this can change very quickly, and it is quite possible for you to double the number of seconds
that you were able to hold your breath by the end of the first week of the course.

    No of seconds you           Litres of air        % of CO2 in lungs              Breathing for:-
      can hold your            breathed per
          breath                   minute

    45 – 60                       4–5                     ± 6.5%                      1 person
        30 – 45                   8 - 10                  ± 5.0%                       2 people
        15 – 30                  12 – 15                  ± 4.5%                       3 people
        10 – 15                  16 - 20                  ± 3.0%                       4 people
symptoms list

Do you suffer from any of the following?

•   Allergies                                               •   Hoarseness
•   Angina                                                  •   Insomnia
•   Anxiety                                                 •   Irregular heart beat
•   Apathy                                                  •   Irregular or painful periods
•   Asthma                                                  •   Irritability
•   Bad breath                                              •   Irritable bowel syndrome
•   Bed wetting                                             •   Kidney problems
•   Belching or Flatulence                                  •   Loss of concentration
•   Bloating                                                •   Loss of feeling in fingers and toes
•   Breathing without pause                                 •   Loss of libido
•   Chest pains (not heart)                                 •   Loss of memory
•   Constipation                                            •   Loss of smell
•   Coughing                                                •   Mental fatigue
•   Cramps (muscle or gut)                                  •   Mouth breathing
•   Dental problems (decay /erosion)                        •   Muscle pains
•   Dental deformities (crowded jaw)                        •   Night-time toilet trips
•   Depression                                              •   Nose bleeds
•   Deterioration of vision                                 •   Numbness around the lips
•   Diarrhoea                                               •   Orthodontic problems
•   Difficulty in swallowing                                •   Pains in the bones
•   Digestive problems                                      •   Pains in the heart region
•   Disturbed sleep patterns                                •   Palpitations
•   Dizziness                                               •   Panic attacks
•   Dry mouth                                               •   Ringing or buzzing in ears
•   Eczema or other skin problems                           •   Shortness of breath
•   Excessive mucus production                              •   Shuddering in sleep
•   Excessive yawning or sighing                            •   Sinusitis
•   Flashes before the eyes                                 •   Sleep apnea
•   Fluid retention                                         •   Snoring
•   Frequent deep breaths                                   •   Sweating
•   Gastric reflux                                          •   Thyroid problems
•   Haemorrhoids                                            •   Tightness in chest
•   Hay fever or rhinitis                                   •   Trembling or tic
•   Headaches                                               •   Varicose veins
•   High blood pressure                                     •    Weight gain or loss
•   High cholesterol

    If you have ticked any of the above the chances are that you are a dysfunctional Breather and would
                                benefit from learning how to breathe correctly.

Pricing details
                    $595.00   -   Paying adults
                    $475.00   -   Children (13 and under) and Pensioners
                    $355.00   -   Additional adult family member
                    $245.00   -   Additional child in family
Course details

                                 Buteyko programs are usually taught in five sessions of two hours each, to small groups
                                 of people, usually 8-12.
                                 There are daytime and evening courses at times to suit retired people, children and
                                 working adults.
                                 The program is run in 5 segments:
                                 1.Introduction to the mechanics of breathing, what goes wrong and how it can be
                                 2.How you Function. The effects of posture, sleeping position, walking, talking and
                                    general physical condition on breathing. This segment also covers regular exercise and
                                    the way it is integrated into the program
                                 3.What you’re Eating. This segment covers what gets into your body, either by way of
                                    eating, drinking, inhaling, pollution or general environmental conditions, and what these
                                    things do to your breathing.
                                 4.What’s Eating You looks as the effects of stress, domestic and work issues and
                                    general ‘stuff’ that makes us huff and puff and sigh.
                                 5.Putting it all Together, on the final day we link it all together into a workable program
                                   that fits with your lifestyle.
                                 Each 2 hour session has part theory and part practice of the breathing technique. Full and
                                 comprehensive manuals are provided. After the week is over, you have unlimited access
                                 to us for 12 months. This includes as many refresher courses as you wish and advice by
                                 phone, fax or email. This is all included in the one fee. Payment terms are available in
                                 special circumstances.

Health fund rebates
The Buteyko Institute Method can be classified in two ways, depending on the facilities offered by your health fund.
1.Asthma education and management
2.Stress Management
The Federal Government has removed benefits for running shoes, gym memberships, etc. and has replaced this with
other lifestyle options which include the above.
Applied Breathing Centre Practitioners have already been allocated provider numbers by several health funds. Please
check with us for the latest update.

Tax deduction
The Buteyko Institute Program is in effect a 5 day Stress Management Course and you are issued with an invoice to
the effect that you have attended this program.
This may be attached to your tax return and claimed as a work-related expense rather than a medical cost.

The bibh
The Buteyko Institute of Breathing and Health is a non-profit registered charitable trust and oversees the training,
qualification and code of conduct of BIBH practitioners in 14 countries. Not all people who claim to teach the Buteyko
Method are trained to BIBH standards.
For your own safety and security make sure that the practitioner you go to is a registered member of the BIBH.

Clip-Art obtained from Microsoft and other diagrams courtesy of
Buteyko course reservation
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Buteyko Applied Breathing Centres
P.O. Box 550 Kippa-Ring Qld 4021.
FreeCall 1800 777 798

Email: admin@buteykoabc,com

For all enquiries and further information

        FreeCall (within Australia)
        1800 777 798