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4-D. How to warm up cold hands and feet, prevent insomnia, skin itching and panic attacks

Avatar of Dr Artour Rakhimov, Buteyko Breathing Practitioner and Master TrainerBy Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author
- Medically Reviewed by Naziliya Rakhimova, MD
- Last updated on August 9, 2018
Learning the Buteyko method by modules

How to warm up cold hands and feet, prevent insomnia, skin itching and panic attacks

This is the central exercise of the Buteyko breathing method. It is called "reduced breathing" or "shallow breathing" (shallow breath). Relax all your muscles when you are lying in bed on your tummy or left side. Focus on your breathing for a minute. What do you feel? If the sensations are vague, take a deep but slow in-breath and relax to slowly exhale. Do you feel the airflow going through your nostrils? Do you have any sensations at the back of your throat? Are there any feelings about the movement of air inside the chest and bronchi? What do you sense near your stomach?

Next, instead of taking your usual inhalation, take a slightly smaller inhalation (only about 5-10% less than your original breathing) and then immediately relax all muscles, especially upper chest and all other breathing muscles. Take another (small) inhalation and again completely relax.

With each breath, take a small or reduced inhalation and then completely relax. You will soon experience light air hunger. The goal is to preserve this light comfortable level of air hunger for 2-3 minutes.

Buteyko Shallow Breathing (or Reduced Breathing) with light air hunger

The breathing can be frequent during this reduced or shallow breathing but this is OK. If you do the exercise correctly, you will notice the following signs:
- The arms and feet will get warm in about 2-3 minutes after starting the reduced breathing (this is the central sign);
- The nasal passages will become moist and the nose colder in about the same 2-3 minutes

Reduced breathing diagram can be found here.

The same Procedure of the Buteyko breathing method ("shallow breathing") and no breath holds can be safely applied for phobias, spasms of the stomach, spasms of the bile duct, edema, eyes' puffiness and other situations (Buteyko, 1972, 1977).

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