The Buteyko method is a form of nasal-only breathing that has many benefits such as up-regulation of the parasympathetic nervous system(otherwise known as “rest and digest” - the opposite of “fight or flight”), reducing blood pressure, strengthening of the immune system and reduction of stressful symptoms. There’s even some evidence to support that breath holds involved in the Buteyko method can increase your body’s release of erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone produced in the kidney’s that stimulates red blood cell production in the bone marrow. Think “Blood Doping”, Lance Armstrong, etc. This can give you a significant boost in endurance.
How I use it:
I use the Buteyko method primarily as a way to stimulate my parasympathetic nervous system and calm down my breathing. It also does a great job clearing any blockages in the nasal passages by increasing CO2 and nitric oxide in the system. If you have a stuffy nose from cold or seasonal allergies, I found this breathing method clears my nasal passages at least 50% better in just a few minutes, and almost entirely if I use it 2-3 times throughout the day.
Here’s how I do it:
Breathing through your nose only, take a breath in, then fully exhale all your breath and pinch your nose.
Begin swaying side to side.
Hold the breath for as long as you can. When you feel the urge to take another breath (ideally you want to hold at least 25-30 seconds minimum for the EPO benefits) inhale back in through the nose slowly and try to calm your breathing to as slow a pace as possible.
Repeat this process for 5 total rounds.