Trouble Breathing? Learn How To Control Asthma Naturally
April 24, 2013
By Maggie Cowan-Hughes
How to Control Asthma Naturally
Winter in the city is a time for style. Yet how many health alarms are going off as we head for cooler weather? Are you worried about allergies, colds, rhinitis, sinus problems, asthma, or taking days off work or school due to winter sickness?

Asthma is a massive problem with 300,000 million sufferers worldwide, 2 million in Australia. It's the most common chronic illness amongst children and numbers are growing.

How can you treat asthma naturally just by breathing?

One answer is as plain as the nose on your face. Did you know that, with the exception of overheated dogs, humans are the only animals – the only ones – that use their mouths for breathing? Mouths are good for many things – kissing and eating are a couple of good examples – but breathing isn't supposed to be one of them.

The nose, on the other hand, is an exquisite design for the necessary function of respiration. What we think as the nose – the part you can see on your face – makes up just 20% of the nasal structure. The other 80% is behind the scenes, harbouring intricate tunnels and chemical factories to prepare the outside air to come inside.

We breathe, on average, 720 times every hour. Every breath travels through an ingenious labyrinth - entering the nostrils (where, crucially, air volume is limited) then debris, bacteria and viruses are weeded out, the air spiralling down while being warmed and moistened ready for its destination – the delicate tissue of the lungs.

"I breathe through my mouth because my nose is blocked."

How many times have you used the excuse that you have to breathe through your mouth because your nose is blocked? In fact, your nose is blocked because you breathe through your mouth – it's the other way round.

Breathing courses can help with asthma, snoring, anxiety and more

Luckily there are courses that teach you how to breathe through your nose.

Buteyko Breathing was developed in Russia by Dr. K P Buteyko in the 1950s and is now front line treatment in many medical settings for respiratory problems such as asthma. Basically, the courses teach exercises and guidelines to help people to breathe correctly. Benefits extend to helping with sleep issues, such as snoring and sleep apnoea, anxiety and many other modern day breathing-related issues.

The first thing is to learn to unblock the nose. With Buteyko courses you learn a simple exercise that you can do at any time, and that is totally naturally and doesn't involve the use of aerosol sprays, chemicals or devices. Then, each of the 120,960 weekly breaths is delivered nice and warm, free of germs and pollution, moist and ready for the action of gaseous exchange, deep in the lungs.

It's no coincidence that winter sports athletes have an extremely high incidence of asthma. So, as the cooler winds whip around the city, bring your lips together, and let each precious breath travel how it's meant to.

Maggie Cowan-Hughes suffered with asthma from the age of two until the Buteyko Breathing Method brought her freedom from asthma and a subsequent passion for teaching the benefits to others. Her background is in school teaching.

"Do you use the excuse that you breathe through your mouth because your nose is blocked? In fact, your nose is blocked because you breathe through your mouth"