Today I took my eight year old son to a naturopath in downtown Seattle in hopes that a breathing method will help with some ADD symptoms (also Finally got a referral to an OT this week after being denied last year because son is in a gifted program. Unacceptable!)
Here’s what we learned. Buteyko breathing can transform kids with ADD symptoms to much reduced or symptom-free, given a few months of dedicated breathing practice. It is also recommended for athletes and asthma patients. Basically if you breathe through your nose you receive 20% more oxygen than mouth breathing. Nose breathing also filters out all the junk in the air, warms or cools air as needed and if done in conjunction with ‘belly’ diaphragm breathing automatically maximizes lung capacity. Mouth breathing is only done with the upper chest so air can’t flow effortlessly to bottom of lungs. If you’re congested from illness or allergies there are some tricks to clear your nasal passages– such as pinch bridge of nose while shaking head and pacing; repeat ad nauseum because the nasal breathing piece is critical. Neti pot was mentioned and I’m hoping we don’t need to add that to morning routine.
My son is a mouth-breather partly due to allergies and food sensitivities (gluten, dairy, dust) and partly genetics. Speech therapy has helped with doing more nose breathing somewhat but it has been an uphill battle absolutely all the way. The Buteyko breathing exercises (google for more!) are supposed to be easier and more engaging while creating similar progress from the inside out. I’ll be testing this as well since 20% increased oxygen seems not bad as possible remedy to chronic migraines.
Between now and next breathing appointment we are to create free accounts and log in daily at breathinglog.com to keep tabs on all the breath activity. Fingers Xd on that.