The focus on breathing better for health has slowly gathered pace over the last 10 years thanks to the likes of yoga, mindfulness and meditation practices.
Some people I’ve worked with refer to what I do in re-training people’s breathing using Buteyko techniques as ‘the next yoga’.
Regardless, the process of raising awareness of Buteyko has been made easier partly through how many people over breathe on a daily basis in and outside of work.
Many of you will spend seven hours or more in front of screens each day, albeit on email or texting. Emmanuel Stamatakis a researcher in the field, found that “…even those who exercise can’t overcome the detrimental effects of too much screen time.”
Many people habitually shallow breathe or hold their breath when they email. They comment that their breathing is completely different when walking around compared with being on a computer.
Another researcher and author Linda Stone spent seven months observing and talking with others about email apnea, and even tested friends at her dining room table, using a simple device that tracked pulse and heart rate variability (HRV). She also spoke with researchers, clinicians, psychologists, and neuroscientists to gain an understanding of what happens to our physiology on cumulative shallow breathing and breath.
Drs. Margaret Chesney and David Anderson have demonstrated that cumulative breath holding contributes to stress-related diseases. The body becomes acidic when we breathe disorderly and our biochemistry is thrown off.
With email apnea we go into a “fight or flight” state and we crave sugar and carbohydrates. If you think you have email apnea, what can you do?
The next time you are on your smartphone (probably now), ask yourself if you holding your breath? Does your body feel relaxed? Do you feel like are breathing normally?
Take a break!
Get up once every half hour for at least 5 minutes if you can. In Finland, students take a break every 45 minutes for 15 minutes and this has been shown to be effective.
Dancing is a terrific exercise. It can help with breathing, posture and moving to rhythm.
Singing is a great way to learn breathing techniques and to improve lung capacity.
Joel Jelen is founder and managing director of Reset Breathing