It is about Buteyko, asthma and yoga.
Normal breathing for humans is anywhere from 10 to 20 per minute.
A rare breath is called 4 - 10 per minute.
For the last 200 years, yogic breathing techniques have been in use, and in the last 60 years, many have been fond of slow breathing according to the Buteyko method. People like this, but there seems to be no harm.
In normal breathing, we tighten the respiratory muscles, and the lungs are filled with air. This is a breath. Then we relax the muscles, and the lungs themselves passively exhale.
If by an effort of will to strain the diaphragm, inflating the abdomen, then you can breathe less frequently. That is, if you want to learn to breathe less often, then breathe with your belly.
And I repeat once again, when a person sticks out his stomach forward, then he inhales not with the abdominal press, but with the diaphragm.
The diaphragm is a kind of muscle dome inside our body, between the chest and abdomen. With the tension of the diaphragm, this dome descends, air is blown into the lungs, and the stomach bulges forward. That is, pushing the stomach forward, we do not strain the press, but the diaphragm, which is not visible from the outside.
Usually, if we try to breathe too rarely, the level of carbon dioxide in our blood rises. This is picked up by special sensors in our head, and the brain makes us breathe more often. With practice, you can slightly change the calibration of the sensors and breathe less frequently.
If we breathe too often, then a significant part of the air in our lungs will simply sway in place without any benefit. If you breathe less often, then this meaningless dead space decreases, the lungs expand better, and the efficiency of breathing increases.
Heart and blood pressure
With deep diaphragmatic breathing, more venous blood is pumped to the heart.
The fact is that the heart is screwed to the diaphragm, and if the diaphragm is raised and lowered vigorously, this adds power to the heart.
As we inhale, our lungs pump more blood into the chest, and our heart needs to pump out this blood quickly. Therefore, on inhalation, the pulse is more frequent, and on exhalation, less often. Because of this, sinus arrhythmias, that is, fluctuations in the heart rate associated with breathing, are often obtained on the cardiogram.
All of these miraculous changes in our body are best seen at a respiration rate of about 6 per minute.
This is the vagus nerve. It regulates our internal organs in a calm state. It slows down the heart, soothes the nerves and all that.
If you regularly practice slow diaphragmatic breathing for three months, then the tone of the vagus nerve increases.
All meditations and yoga with slow or strange breathing affect our body just through the vagus.
It is believed that sinus respiratory arrhythmia is associated precisely with the action of the vagus nerve on the heart.
What is the use of this
Well, it looks like if you breathe 6-10 times a minute, then there will be no harm to the body. There will probably not be much benefit either.
Buteyko is remembered more often with his asthma treatment. While it was all kept on pure enthusiasm, it seemed to everyone that there was some benefit.
Even ten years ago, the Buteyko technique was actively used all over the world. Many swore that asthma was subsiding, asthmatics were using less medication, and so on.
Then they began to say that asthmatics feel better, but somehow objectively spirometry or some other instrument fails to reveal any improvement.
In addition, it was somehow not possible to theoretically substantiate a cure for inflammation in the bronchi by slow breathing.
Well, as they say, there are no miracles in the world. Somewhere in 2019, the attitude towards the Buteyko method changed. Scientific studies have shown that asthmatics do not refuse medications. Pragmatic Western doctors realized that if the technique does not bring economic benefits, then something is wrong with it. Therefore, the technique was deleted.
I do not know what the trick is, but it seems that the Buteyko technique rather calms asthmatics, and they complain less often. Slow breathing does not affect asthma itself.
But again, if you really want to, then usually there is no harm from breathing with a frequency of 6-10 per minute. So have fun.
But please don't give up your medications. Otherwise, instead of bronchial asthma, you will have irreversible COPD.