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Friday, November 30, 2012

I know how he feels....

(Shutterstock image)

Poor little guy, I know what it feels like to not be able to breathe. My friend sent an interesting article from the New York Times  about breathing exercises and asthma.

It seems like there are different ways of breathing that people have tried. One is the Buteyko Method, which trains you to breathe shallowly through the nose when you are short of breath. Another New York Times article is devoted to explaining the Buteyko Method. They explain it this way:

"This technique may seem counterintuitive: when short of breath or overly stressed, instead of taking a deep breath, the Buteyko method instructs people to breathe shallowly and slowly through the nose, breaking the vicious cycle of rapid, gasping breaths, airway constriction and increased wheezing."
I'm not sure I agree with the method. The article says that when people have asthma attacks, they breathe quickly and deeply. But I disagree, I DON'T breathe deeply during an asthma attack. Neither do my kids, they actually "pant" because they are breathing so shallow.

When you have an asthma attack, not only do you have physical symptoms (coughing, wheezing, being short of breath, etc) but it also affects your mind. You start to panic when you can't breathe. To help me calm down, I use deep breathing exercises. Here's some information about breathing exercises from the Mayo Clinic.

Has anyone tried the Buteyko method? How about deep breathing exercises? I think I'm going to stick with what I know works for me and my 3 kids, and that is belly breathing. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to asthma. We all can have different triggers, medications, etc. You need to do what works for you, and what your doctor recommends.


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