Breathing is taken for granted. Yet, breathing well can transform your health.
In this course with well-known naturopath Mim Beim, learn simple breathing techniques to improve your health and calm your mind.
Buteyko breathing helps improves sleep and concentration, reduces anxiety, snoring, sinusitis, sleep apnoea, Irritable bowel syndrome, reflux and high blood pressure.
More important than a good diet and exercise is breathing well. This most fundamental of body processes is pivotal to good health, and conversely poor breathing can cause illness. Learn how to breathe well, reversing years of dysfunctional breathing.
The Breathe Well Webinar course is, in essence, Breathing Bootcamp. Over a short period of time you will learn to breathe well, permanently reversing symptoms caused by dysfunctional breathing, such as Asthma, Sinusitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Reflux (GERD), Snoring, Sleep Apnoea, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and more.
Learn this breathing technique, based on the Buteyko Method, from the comfort of your home. All you need is a computer with camera, access to the internet and your nose.
The course is taught live, with 4 1 ½ hour lessons over 4 consecutive weeks. You will be given individual exercises according to your specific needs.
The lessons are interactive, live with Mim Beim. You will learn specific breathing exercises designed to improve your health concerns. The fascination theory of how this works in the body is also taught. All materials are available online via Dropbox.
The Buteyko method is appropriate for everyone from 7 -100. Exceptions include women in first trimester of pregnancy, uncontrolled Type 1 Diabetes, and uncontrolled hypertension.
Rescheduling can be arranged through the organiser
While researching heart disease in the 1950s, Konstantin Buteyko, a Russian doctor, developed a breathing technique that not only helped reduce high blood pressure, but also a variety of conditions including asthma and anxiety. The premise of the technique is that many conditions are the result of ‘over breathing’ or chronic hyperventilation. Completely at odds to the popular view that taking big deep breaths of air is ‘good’ breathing, the Buteyko way is to minimise intake, reducing and calming the breath towards normal. Not so different to ancient yogic pranayama or Hatha yoga breathing whereby man could breathe one breath per minute for the duration of one hour.
Buteyko believed that we need to increase carbon dioxide levels in the body. Carbon dioxide is often thought of as a ‘waste’ gas, but carbon dioxide is vital to life. While it is true that we breathe to get rid of excess carbon dioxide, it is also important that we retain a quotient of this gas. Depending on our genetic predisposition, the habit of breathing too much causes a reduced concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood, resulting in narrowing of the airways and blood vessels. Conversely, a slight rise in carbon dioxide towards normal has several beneficial effects in the body including; relaxing smooth muscle, increasing oxygenation, switching on the relaxing nervous system, and increasing the body’s production of nitric oxide.
Smooth muscle surrounds and lines all hollow structures in the body, including the airways, blood vessels, bowel, bladder and uterus. A slight increase in carbon dioxide serves to relax smooth muscle. In the case of smooth muscle lining the blood vessels, this will dilate or widen the arteries, improving circulation and helping lower blood pressure, and the effect on the blood vessels in the head will reduce the incidence of headaches.
For the respiratory system, relaxation of the bronchi and smaller airways, bronchioles, will improve airflow and markedly reduce airway spasms associated with asthma. In the case of the bowel wall, relaxed smooth muscle means relief from symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, constipation and reflux.
A study on people with asthma, reported in the Medical Journal of Australia showed that after 3 months people practising the Buteyko technique had decreased their requirement for reliever medication by 90 per cent and the use of inhaled corticosteroids by 49 per cent. Buteyko breathing can have remarkable effects on a variety of conditions as well as helping to prevent a host of others.
It seems counterintuitive that higher carbon dioxide levels will increase oxygenation in the body. Yet it’s true. In fact, the Danish professor of physiology Christian Bohr sussed out how this works in 1904, and the Bohr effect has been named in his honour.
As air is inhaled into the lungs, oxygen crosses over the alveolar membrane. Oxygen travels around by ‘sticking’ to haemoglobin molecules, themselves attached to red blood cells. An increase in carbon dioxide ‘tells’ haemoglobin to let go of the oxygen molecules, encouraging the precious oxygen cargo to be delivered to the organs and tissues where it is most needed. The Bohr effect proves that a slight increase in carbon dioxide levels increases oxygenation throughout the body, oxygen needed for muscles to work, energy to be produced, and the brain to function at optimum efficiency.
The Autonomic nervous system is comprised of two parts, the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) fuelled by adrenaline and known as the ‘fight and flight’ response, and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS), which has the opposite effect and has been coined the ‘rest and digest’ response. Most people today have an overabundance of ‘fight and fight’ hormone due to the many stresses of modern life. Increasing carbon dioxide levels helps to dampen down the SNS response and switches on the PNS. Which makes Buteyko breathing perfect for anyone who feels stressed and anxious. In the ‘old days’ a person experiencing a panic attack was advised to breathe into a paper bag. What did this do? Increase carbon dioxide levels, switch on the PNS, and switch off the SNS.
Nitric Oxide (NO) is a naturally produced gas that medical scientists want to capture into saleable capsules as it has so many health benefits. At a cellular level, NO works as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, helping in the prevention of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. NO improves the immune response as well as increasing blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, including the brain. Large amounts of NO are produced at the time of sexual climax. Increased carbon dioxide increases natural NO production, bring on Dr. NO.
All breathing exercises taught in Buteyko Breathing have one goal – to decrease breathing volume towards normal, thereby increasing carbon dioxide levels towards normal. As seen previously, reduced breathing volume does not decrease oxygen levels; in fact it’s the reverse. Individuals who breathe heavily, with noticeable breathing during rest, or who mouth breathe or sigh regularly are usually more tired, stressed and are not as healthy as their nasal and quiet breathing peers.
Each Buteyko school and teacher has their own set of preferred exercises. The exercises retrain the brain to accept a higher amount of carbon dioxide than it is used to, if over breathing is the problem. The Buteyko course itself is like a breathing ‘boot camp’ with homework and daily practice to improve breathing technique.
Generally, once the brain has reset to accept the correct levels of carbon dioxide, and symptoms have improved, you will not need to practice any special breathing exercises.
Signs of over breathing – if you regularly experience any of the following symptoms, you are over breathing:
Through nearly 25 years of practice Mim has developed a common-sense approach to healing. For instance, there is no point in taking every supplement known to man if a simple diet or lifestyle change will do the trick.
Mim Beim is a naturopath and manufactures a range of therapeutic herbal teas and skin care products, Beaming with Health. She has written 9 books, her most recent being Mim Beim’s Natural Remedies (to be published by Rockpool publishing in February, 2014), and has helped create two TV series on Foxtel (Lifeforce), as well as appearing on many TV shows including Channel Nineʼs Fresh.
In the late 1980s Mim was the Triple J naturopath, and afterwards on the Night Life program. Mim is a regular guest on ABC radio and is the naturopath expert for Sunday Telegraph Body+Soul. She has been a regular contributor to Life Etc., Good Health & Medicine, the Sun Herald and Family Circle and has been a consultant to Liptons Tea, Nokia and the reality TV sensation Big Brother. Nowadays she gives workshops to groups including corporations and government departments on the effects of stress and how to deal with it.
In 2011, Mim studied under world renowned Buteyko Expert, Patrick McKeown. Since then, Mim says the Buteyko method of breathing has transformed her practice.
Mim believes that at some level each patient often intuitively knows, or has a hunch, what is wrong with them, and what is the right direction they should take with regard to healing. She also believes treatment should be enjoyable as well as helpful – so, unless absolutely necessary, she is unlikely to prescribe a torturous diet regime. Or, for that matter, an array of supplements.
Mimʼs preference is for the least amount of medicines, natural or pharmaceutical, ideally prescribing a simple change of diet and lifestyle. Sheʼs had experience treating a large range of conditions but has a particular interest in stress related problems and digestive disorders.
Before life as a naturopath, Mim gained an Economics degree from the Sydney University and had a short-lived career as an auditor with a large accounting firm. She was a fitness instructor for 15 years, and had a brief career as a roulette dealer.
Mim Beim graduated from the Nature Care College with the Nutrition Prize in 1988 and has been in practice ever since. She is the past Head of Naturopathy for ATMS, the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, Australia’s leading society for Natural Medicine, and is also a member of NHAA, the National Herbalists Association of Australia, and a full member of the Australian Society of Authors and the Australasian Medical Writers Association. Mim currently lectures at the Australasian School of Natural Therapies in Sydney, is a Practitioner of Buteyko Breathing and is also undertaking a Master of Nutrition at Deakin University.
Mim lives in the beautiful Kangaroo Valley in NSW, Australia and her interests include her pets (two dogs and two cats), bushwalking, gardening, reading and yoga.
Fellow of Buteyko Professionals International
Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS), Past Head of Naturopathy
National Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA )
Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (ACNEM)
Australian Society of Authors (Full member)
Australasian Medical Writers Association