Breathing is something we often take for granted. How we breath can change depending on our activity, emotions and certain situations we face on a daily basis. When you are stressed or scared, your breathing may be shallow or quick. When calm and relaxed, you may notice you take normal, full breaths. When treating sleep apnea, we often recommend a certain breathing technique — known as the Buteyko Breathing Method — to help with your treatment. Our colleagues at TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centres International location in London, England created a video that helps explain how you can practice this method for better breathing and overall better health. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH7A9SUsLgY

Proper breathing is done through the nose. Your nose acts as a filter to stop you from breathing in harmful bacteria and viruses. Every breath you take should come in and go out through your nose, but mouth breathing tends to be more prevalent in sleep apnea patients.

The Buteyko Breathing Technique helps to reverse what is called chronic hyperventilation and brings your breathing volume back to normal. When breathing is normalized, we have better oxygenation of tissue and organs, including our brain.

The Buteyko breathing method helps retrain your brain. Here are four steps you can practice:

  • Sit upright and take calm breaths through your nose. No need to take a deep breath.
  • Exhale normally through your nose, using the diaphragm to push out air. When done correctly, your stomach will push in and out, not your chest or shoulders.
  • Take a shorter breath in through your nose. Inhalation should last 1–2 seconds only.
  • Slowly release the breath over three seconds, using the diaphragm to push out the breath. Hold for five seconds.

Repeat these steps for several minutes. This type of breathing will encourage activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which reduces blood pressure and stress.

At TMJ & Sleep Therapy of Granger, IN, we help promote overall health for our patients. Please call us if you have questions or concerns regarding TMD or sleep apnea symptoms.