Treat problems with digestion using Buteyko exercises and breathing retraining
By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author - Medically Reviewed by Naziliya Rakhimova, MD - Last updated on August 9, 2018
Most Buteyko practitioners are confidently dealing with asthma (6
most effective trials ever conducted), bronchitis, chronic fatigue,
sinusitis, and some other conditions. In this article, I am
going to show that, with some imagination, observations, knowledge
about a student, education, and practice, it is possible to deal
with most severe GI (gastrointestinal) conditions or diseases of digestion using breathing retraining or the Buteyko method.
Millions of people suffer worldwide from serious digestive problems. Recovery from gastritis and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), with breathing retraining, is relatively easy. With about 35 s for the body oxygen test, the immune system can restore the normal work of the gut and eliminate major symptoms and structural abnormalities in the gut.
What about more serious digestive problems? Breathing students can still treat these problems as well and dramatically improve their digestion.
From personal testimonials around the world, it seems that spontaneous recovery from, for example, Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis is as rare as or even rarer than recovery from emphysema or diabetes. At the present moment, most people with Crohn's disease require a surgery during their lifetime. There is no known cure for ulcerative colitis either. Popular therapies may only reduce some symptoms of colitis. Why is it so hard to heal the GI tract and body for these conditions?
Heavy breathing and low CPs (nearly always less than 20 seconds, while the medical norm is 40) are important factors. However, apart from breathing retraining and elimination of hyperventilation, people with GI problems require a detailed program related to additional changes in their diet, sleep, exercise and other lifestyle parameters in order to make the healing of the gut possible and permanent.
When a Buteyko practitioner teaches an asthmatic, it is also important to identify all triggers of airway inflammation that can include air born particles, but also overbreathing during sleep, physical exercise (especially with mouth breathing), and some others.
GI problems and dealing with inflammation in asthma
Dealing with these health problems (GI problems and asthma) has many similarities. In both situations:
• low CPs and heavy breathing in both groups of people
• the main type of damage is inflammation
• allergies and triggers are primary causes of acute exacerbation
• infections are common for asthmatics in airways and in the gut for people with GI problems
• improvements in symptoms require about 25 s CP for both situations.
The main difference and the cause of stubbornness of GI problems, apart from overbreathing, relates to multiple triggers that keep the GI tract in a state of chronic inflammation, stress, and pollution.
Once these triggers are identified, explained and avoided, the breathing students can immediately notice improvements in several GI signs and often can safely practice breathing exercises, even the most intensive ones gradually improving their CPs and digestive health.
Common triggers of digestive flare-ups
There are no exact numbers, but approximate results provided by medical professionals suggest the following. In conditions when the body is insulated from the earth, i.e. not grounded, from 50% up to 90% of all severe allergic reactions to foods are caused by:
• tree nuts
There are other allergy triggers that usually affect the respiratory system or skin. Nearly any of these allergens can cause serious GI distress:
• animal hair
• dust mites and dust mite droppings
• insect bites
• medical drugs
• secondhand smoke.
Acute reactions to these triggers usually indicate the presence of antibodies in the blood.
However, apart from these allergy triggers, inflammation of the GI tract (as in people with IBD) also
makes the GI tract vulnerable in relation to numerous chemical triggers, such as essential oils, garlic juice, unbuffered vitamin C pills or powder, and many others.
Among “tricky” triggers are chemicals present in tap water (e.g., pesticides, herbicides, nitrates, and nitrites) and conventional foods (i.e., not organic ones). Note that most types of spring water and bottled water are also not suitable for recovery from serious GI conditions that involve inflammation in the duodenum and other parts of the small or large intestine.
In addition, many types of fiber, in cases of existing inflammation, also cause a flare-up or an acute exacerbation. For example, the least soluble types of fibers, such as the skin of nearly all fruits, nuts, raw greens and most raw vegetables are not suitable due to too strong mechanical irritation of the lining of the gut during digestion.
The next group of triggers relates to physical activities and body postures that create additional pressure on the inflamed parts of the GI tract. These examples are provided below as your bonus content.
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There are also other, less common triggers of digestive flare-ups analyzed in the book "Perfect Digestion" - see links below.
The main signs of perfect digestion
The next step is to identify clear signs that indicate ideal or perfect digestion. These signs are present when the gut flora is normal: there are no pathogens that are active or prevalent polluting the system. These signs include a clean tongue (no need to scrape a coating every morning); no odor from stool; no soiling (no need to use toilet paper); nearly no burping (except a small amount related to naturally swallowed air during chewing) and many others that can be found on pages of NormalBreathing.com.
Signs of abnormal digestion are usually present
altogether (on many cases all of them together) and are expressed in a certain degree. Observations of these signs help a breathing student to see a feedback in order to find the link related to effective actions.
Developing one's individual program of GI recovery
When the goal (perfect digestion with all signs of normal GI health) is clear, it usually takes time (often some weeks) to identify all triggers. The next step is to create a meal plan, exercise plan and plans related to breathing exercises and other lifestyle changes so that to safely increase the morning CP up to 30-35 seconds.
When following this plan and while avoiding triggers and flare-ups, students with GI problems quickly notice improvements in their symptoms accompanied by steady CP growth.
Accidental flare-ups dramatically worsen signs of GI health and lower the CP down to 20-25 seconds or even to lower numbers. It may take another 2-3 days to eliminate the negative effects of the last flare-up.
Maintenance of over 30-35 s CP for some weeks results in restoration of the structural integrity of the gut. Longer time may be required for desensitization of the immune system in relation to food-related triggers and ability of the student to safely eat foods that caused allergic reactions in the past.