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March - April 2007

-          Do You Sleep Badly?
-          Classes in Vancouver
-          Asthma Control
-          Training classes in the UK and Australia
-          Classes in Brisbane
-          Buteyko Tip of the Season
Do You Sleep Badly?
Cats sleep for about 18 hours a day, so they obviously don't have a problem with insomnia, which Is possibly one of the most wretched states people find themselves in.  This is because it is impossible to force yourself to sleep, even when it is exactly what you crave. When other people are happily brushing their teeth and contemplating that soft and supportive pillow, you are dreading another night of staring at the ceiling. In the morning, there is no delicious stretching like a contented cat that has been napping. Instead you drag yourself out of bed feeling as if someone has drugged you and also turned on lights that are too bright. 
Snoring is also no fun.  Traditionally it was considered some kind of bad joke that annoys bed-partners, but over recent years it has been discovered that it is likely to cause health risks such as diabetes, heart problems and depression.  Sleep apnoea, which is where the person stops breathing, and usually also snores, is even worse for good health and wellbeing.
Because most of us want to be healthy and happy, insomnia, snoring and sleep apnoea are good things to stop doing. The conventional treatments such as sleeping pills, operations on the soft palate, wearing mouth guards that pull your bottom jaw forward, or wearing the mask of a CPAP machine are not user-friendly.  For example, sleeping pills are addictive and you quickly develop a tolerance to them that is only corrected by increasing the dosage, and only about 30% of people who buy a CPAP machine are able to successfully use it.
Applying the Buteyko Method is a non-invasive way to improve sleep problems and most importantly, it is effective.  Take a few tips from a Buteyko practitioner and see if you can improve your sleep.

  • In order to sleep soundly without medication, it is necessary for the carbon dioxide in the blood to increase marginally from a waking state.  This relaxes the nervous system and muscles, and also calms the mind. Doing some Buteyko exercises before going to sleep helps to raise carbon dioxide pressure, making it more likely that you will drift off and wake refreshed in the morning. If you do not know how to do the Buteyko exercises, there is no better time than now to find out, and you can contact me to find your nearest practitioner if you do not know who that is.  In the meantime, what you do not want to do is to practice deep, forceful breathing that you might believe is relaxing.  Challenge this thought by imagining that you are blowing up 2 or 3 balloons.  You breathe deeply and forcefully to push the air into the balloons, and it leaves you dizzy and exhausted, not relaxed.
  • When you are asleep your breathing is controlled totally by the automatic breathing pattern that your body has become used to. Healthy people breathe quietly and rhythmically when they sleep, rather than noisily or erratically.  By doing your Buteyko exercises during the day your automatic breathing pattern starts to change, and the trials that have measured this show a 31% reduction in the volume of air breathed each minute.  This carries over to sleep, making the light, quiet breathing of healthy people much more probable.
  • The body likes to work on basic rhythms, and this not only refers to heartbeat and breathing, but also things like eating and sleeping.  Most people, who are able to do so, will choose to sleep and wake at approximately the same time each day.  So work out what your body rhythm for sleeping is and try to keep to it.
  • Keep the bedroom purely for sleep rather than work, watching television, or other things that might set your mind whirling and less likely to nod off.
  • Aim to do some physical exercise each day that gets your heart beating a little faster, increases the breathing pattern slightly, and makes you sweat moderately.  However, make sure that you do not do so much exercise that it exhausts you because getting over-tired makes it more difficult to sleep soundly.
  • Breathing through your nose when sleeping is crucial to having sound sleep because the nose helps to warm, moisten and filter inhaled air.  It assists in retaining normal pressures of carbon dioxide, and it causes you roll over at intervals when you are asleep, which prevents sore joints. Making it easy to breathe through your nose is something that Buteyko does extremely well.  Try this exercise to see if you can get your nose clear:  After a gentle exhalation, close your mouth if it is open, pinch your nostrils closed, being careful that you do not hurt your neck, nod your head until you want to breathe.  Continue keeping your mouth closed, release your nostrils and breathe SOFTLY in and out through your nose.
To find out more about using Buteyko to have a better night's sleep or to improve other problems aggravated by hyperventilation, read the Carbon Dioxide Syndrome book, which is available from our web site www.buteyko.co.nz
Classes in Vancouver
Chris Bauman, who has almost single-handedly brought the Buteyko method to Canada, has classes in Vancouver for the next two weeks.  The Buteyko Method is relatively unknown in Vancouver, so if you have family and friends there who could do with some improvement to their asthma, allergies, snoring, sleep apnoea or panic attacks, then please give them Chris' email address            breathewell@shaw.ca          so that they can find out about these classes.
Learning Buteyko can make such a difference to a person's life that people wonder afterwards why they never learned it sooner.
“After having mild asthma all my life the Buteyko method of treatment was a Godsend.  Right from day one I noticed improvement.  I sleep more soundly, feel better, and have the power of control over my asthma.  The treatment has not only benefited me but also my wife and family who have found me more tolerant, less irritable, a much better person to be with.  I just keep asking myself why did I not do this years back.”  Neil
Asthma Control
Out of control asthma is still killing thousands of people world-wide every week, and Buteyko is no closer to being part of the government-sponsored asthma initiatives than it was 10 years ago. Independent clinical trials of the Buteyko method show statistics such as:
  • 90% reduction in bronchodilator medications
  • 50% reduction in steroid medications
  • 75% of participants meet asthma management guidelines that indicate their asthma is under control and therefore, less likely to die from this condition.
  • 90% feel less fearful of the future because their health has improved
With statistics like this it is reasonable to ask, why isn't Buteyko more widely accepted by those who are in charge of spending and management of health?  Is it money, unwilling to look at non-drug treatments, or a matter of maintaining status quo??? I don't know of any Buteyko practitioner who is also a multi-national company director with influence in matters of national interest, so perhaps it is simply a matter of lack of awareness. Perhaps you can ask the people who are in charge of health in your area why they are not looking at Buteyko, and by doing so, you will help to raise awareness of the method.
Training Classes in the UK and Australia
While it is probably too late for most people to join the practitioner training classes coming up in the UK (only one space left), it is not too late to enrol as a client and learn the Buteyko Method to improve your own health.  Email Linda Meads at info@buteyko-uk.org for more information.  This is a chance to be taught the techniques by very experienced people.
We are taking Buteyko practitioner-training classes in Brisbane this May, which is the end of autumn. This means that you would have to put up with temperatures of between 17 and 25 degrees Celsius.  Brisbane is in Queensland, which is known as the Sunshine State, so there should be plenty of sun to go with these warm temperatures.  Brisbane is just a ferry-ride away from three of the biggest sand islands, and an hour away from some of the best beaches in the world. (Not that we are biased of course!)  Brisbane is a cosmopolitan city filled with fresh fruit and vegetables, and restaurants to suit all tastes. This is a great opportunity to learn to teach Buteyko in a clean, green atmosphere.  Email Jennifer on info@buteykoworks.com if you want to make a difference to the health of your community by teaching Buteyko.
Brisbane Courses
We continue to teach Buteyko courses in Brisbane at the Healing@86 natural health centre.  The experience that we have gained by teaching Buteyko for more than 13 years stands us in good stead when teaching people with complicated conditions as well as asthma, snoring, sleep apnoea, panic attacks and allergies. Telephone on 3397 0244 or email info@buteykoworks.com for more information.
Buteyko Tip of the Season
Easter is coming, and with it, a sea of chocolate.  Chocolate is best avoided if you have breathing problems as it is a very common trigger for symptoms. 
When eating anything, the Buteyko principle is to only eat when you are hungry and stop when you have had enough, so if you are having feasts and festivities over the next few weeks, try to remember this point.
Better Breathing = Better Health
The Buteyko Works Team

Breathing is the foundation of life, and good breathing is the foundation of good health
Improve your health by improving your breathing with Buteyko


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