Whether your snoring is just an inconvenience you wish you could get rid of or a legitimate health issue, you have by now probably thought of a myriad of ways to finally put an end to it. There are hundreds of snoring aids out there and some of them are pretty amazing. However, many people want to avoid using any kind of devices and aids, whether we are talking about mouthpieces, nasal strips, drugs, pillows or anything else. If you are among them, then you should definitely consider Dr. Buteyko’s anti-snoring method and find out whether it could work for you.
What Is Dr. Buteyko’s Method?
Dr. Buteyko was a Russian physicist who was very interested in breathing, the way it works and the problems that can affect it. He was primarily focused on asthma and was looking for ways to cure asthma using only breathing exercises. Later on, he figured out he could also treat (and potentially cure) snoring using pretty much the same exercises and method.
Dr. Buteyko believed that most people engage in what he called over-breathing or simply breathing too much. You may wonder how can a person can “breathe too much” but the Russian doctor claimed that when we breathe too fast and too deeply, we actually drain our body of precious gasses (primarily, of oxygen), which, if turned into a habit, may lead to organ failure and disease.
He came up with a set of exercises with the purpose of taking your breathing down a notch, slowing it down and calming it. The way it is supposed to work against asthma is that you actually train your body and your brain not to panic when you stop breathing for a couple of seconds. The exercises involve particular breathing patterns which basically reprogram the brain and give you back control over your own breathing.
But how does it work against snoring? Buteyko believed that people snore because they have a bad habit of breathing through their mouth. When you sleep, if you breathe through your mouth, there is a high chance your airways will partially close and you will start to snore. Dr. Buteyko’s method teaches us to breathe through our nose all the time, or whenever possible. When you train your brain to make you breathe only through your nose, you will automatically abandon mouth-breathing even in your sleep.
Should You Try Dr. Buteyko’s Method?
The main thing that separates Dr. Buteyko’s method from other ways and means to quit or reduce snoring is precisely the fact that it is a method, not an aid or a device. There is nothing here that you are supposed to put on or in your nose, in your mouth or on your head. It’s simply a set of exercises, and as such it is great for those who simply don’t want to buy any aids or devices. It’s not a holistic approach either. It is in fact very specific and precise.
The method is also useful for those who have certain allergy and asthma issues, although it was never officially confirmed that it has any positive impact on those ailments. Furthermore, if there is any truth in what Dr. Buteyko was saying about over-breathing and its negative impacts on your organs and their functions, this method can actually improve your health and prevent some serious diseases.
The exercises are supposed to be taught by an expert practitioner. They are divided into 90-minute sets, five of them, and the entire course usually lasts four to eight weeks. After that, you should be able to successfully perform the exercises and, more importantly, to apply what you have learned and thus reduce your snoring.
The practitioner will also keep track of your progress until you are ready to start doing the exercises on your own. The habit is created during the course of the 4-8 week lessons, and after that, it might take some more time until it all becomes automatic and you start breathing better.
Dr. Buteyko’s method is definitely a good solution for those who want to avoid devices and aids. However, bear in mind that while for some people the method itself is effective enough, others might need to complement it with some proven snoring aid. The exercises seem tough and take some time to master, but according to many users, it’s absolutely worth it.