What is the Vital Breathing-Method?

It is a system of breathing analysis and correction that helps you achieve good health through optimal breathing. It corrects the common condition of hyperventilation, over breathing, obvious (acute) or hidden (chronic). It is based on the Buteyko Method which uses breath control, breathing exercises and education to help you understand your condition, control symptoms and prevent illness.

The Buteyko (bew-tay-ko) Breathing Method was developed by Russian doctor Konstantin Buteyko. During his work as a young doctor in the 1950s, Buteyko discovered that 'hidden hyperventilation' or over-breathing was the common underlying problem in a large number of health conditions. He observed that people became more ill when their breathing volume increased further. Those who then reduced their breathing began to recover. He devised the Buteyko Breathing Method to retrain correct breathing. The result is that the nose unblocks, asthma can be controlled with fewer drugs, and the breathing rate reduces to restore the CO2 level to normal.

Following breathing correction, dentists, orthodontists, doctors, and clients have reported:
- unblocking of the nose and sinuses
- restoration of nasal breathing
- reduction or elimination of snoring and apnoea
- reduction in mucous production and allergic rhinitis and sinusitis
- change in tongue position and bite
- a more stable dentition and bite
- stability to orthodontic work
- decrease in size of tonsils, adenoids and polyps
- improvement in ability to exercise and in sports performance (speed and endurance)
- a more pleasing facial appearance

Vital Breathing-MethodSelf Assessment

Our breathing technique affects our dental health. This link has been brought to the attention of many dental surgeons however little is ever done to correct dysfunctional breathing. St Leonards Holistic Dental Care include the Vital Breathing method in their range of services to help restore nasal breathing. This in turn helps with dental issues such as crowded teeth and small jaws, whilst creating the overall feeling of well being that Charlotte and her team strive for.

Once you master the exercises from the Buteyko Method, you learn to stop the onset of certain symptoms such as wheezing, blocked nose, breathlessness, fatigue and anxiety. People report that symptoms cease or occur with less frequency.
Answer YES to one or more of the following questions means that you are a dysfunctional breather.
Can you hear yourself breathe?
Do you breathe through your mouth?
Is your nose continually blocked?
Do you sigh, yawn, sneeze, wheeze, snore, pant, cough or blow your nose extensively?
Is your sleep unrefreshing?
Do you wake at night or have difficulty sleeping?
Do you get short of breath?
Can you feel your upper chest area move when you breathe?
Do you get headaches or dizziness?
Do you need to take medication in order to breathe comfortably?
Are you anxious for no obvious reason?
Do you have anxiety attacks?
Symptoms of Dysfunctional Breathing
Hyperventilation/over breathing causes a drying out and irritation of the airways as well as an excessive loss of carbon dioxide (CO2). Loss of CO2 affects the body's ability to use oxygen. Other effects of low CO2 include:
Bronchospasm Increase mucus production
Increased excitability of the nervous system which may cause irritability, sleeplessness and unfounded anxiety
Apnoea- cessation of breathing
Acid/alkali imbalance- respiratory alkalosis impairs immune function, disturbs metabolism and energy production, heightens allergic reactivity
Circulation is affected, dizziness, headaches and palpitations
What is Chronic Mouth Breathing?
Chronic mouth breathing has long been a concern for dentists and orthodontists due to the problem it causes or contributes to:
Forward head posture (can lead to neck muscle pain, stiffness, fatigue and cervical joint damage)
V-shaped upper jaw and high palatal vault
Malocclusion, anterior open bite
TMJ dysfunction
Under-developed nasal passages and/or under-developed jaw and cheekbones
Deviated nasal septum
Gummy smile
Gum disease
Dental decay
Dry mouth and throat
Increased allergen/airborne infection entry to lungs
Chronic tonsil swelling
Enlarged adenoids, polyps
Noisy breathing
Noisy eating
Bad breath
Excessive snoring at night
Greater potential for relapse of orthodontic correction
Increased mucous production
Allergic shiners- constant dark circles under the eyes
Hypocapnia (abnormally low levels of carbon dioxide in the small air sacs of the lungs and in the blood.

Chronic mouth breathing is directly associated with hyperventilation.

With hyperventilation spasms of the diaphragm and chest muscles that create postural changes, e.g. forward head posture, which leads to mouth breathing. Over a prolonged period of time the lips and tongue loose muscle tone. The tongue does not sit in its correct position in the mouth and in severe cases the lips will no longer rest together and sometimes don't even meet! The normal development of the jaw, palate, teeth and upper airways are effected. Normal development of these structures requires normal breathing. That is soft nasal breathing most of the time with lips resting together along with diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation through all the respiratory muscles. With knowledge, understanding and breathing exercises in conjunction with orthodontics, hyperventilation may be rectified, the lips and the tongue strengthened to the point where they sit naturally together. Relaxation of respiratory muscles takes place and the process of restoring normal posture begins. All this supports the changes occurring through orthodontic treatment and helps to maintain them into adult life. The orthodontic work, in turn, supports healthy breathing by opening up the narrowed upper airways facilitating normal nasal breathing.

Why does Buteyko work?

When we over breathe the major body systems including respiratory, circulatory, nervous and energy systems are affected. Breathing can be disturbed by stress, exercise, infection, some medications, poor instruction and bad habits. By correcting over breathing in many cases one gets to the contributing factor to physiological problems.

What about my medication?

You can continue other treatment while applying the Buteyko Method. As your health improves you may need less medication. Asthmatics generally find they need fewer symptom relieving medication within a few days but are not to change preventative medication without consulting their doctor.

Buteyko Application for Healthy Breathing

Buteyko therapy consists of 6 to 10 classes initially twice weekly over 6 to 12 weeks. The programme is suitable for children (4+ years) and adults. For more information on the Buteyko Method and how Healthy Breathing can help you, feel free to call 02 9960 5085 or 0414 400 356 anytime.

Visit Catherine Vitali's website Healthy breathing

Call us: 02 9439 2090

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If you never get to the cause of the problem then the problem will continue or possibly get worse. Recognising sleep disorders can actually be quite difficult as people will rarely discuss their sleep problems with their dentist. However, because our patients visit us two or three times a year a dentist is well placed to recognize the early signs of sleep problems.
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