Category Archives: mouth breathing

A Guide For Parents – Another Five A Day!

Healthy childrenEvery parent has become increasingly aware of the need for good nutrition, good exercise and a supportive home and school environment for the health and wellbeing of their children. The government campaigns have advised “five a day” and more sport in schools but as yet there has been no recognition of the equally vital matter of good breathing for good health. Poor breathing has been the hidden, silent factor responsible for many childhood health problems that can lay the foundation for a wide range of modern diseases in later life.
Here is another “five a day” recommendation to help your child:

1. Ensure your child is a good breather.
A simple test is the “Step exercise” : Get your child to take a normal breath in then a normal breath out, then while they hold their nose see how many steps they can do, keeping their mouth closed before they need to release their nose to take another breath.
This is a simple measure of how well oxygenated their body is:
100 to 80 steps indicates excellent breathing
60 to 80 steps is very good
40 to 60 steps is good
30 to 40 steps is poor and may be impairing their heath
20 to 30 steps is very poor with almost certain adverse effect on their health
Fewer than 20 steps is a dangerously low result and efforts should be made to correct this.
Older children may be able to measure their breathing with a “Control Pause”
Keeping their mouth closed, take a normal breath in then a normal breath out and see how many seconds they can hold their nose for before taking another breath in. This exercise should be easy and stress free, it is a measure of their maximum COMFORTABLE breath hold.
45 to 60 seconds Excellent, 35 to 45 Very good, 25 to 35 Good, 20 to 25 Poor,15 to 20 Very poor, 10 to 15 Seriously poor and Under 10 suggests an urgent need to correct this.
Why not check your own breathing with a Control Pause as well?

2. Help teach better breathing habits.
Encourage quiet nose breathing all the time. Set an example by improving your own breathing.
Set a good example by improving your own breathing!

3. Watch for signs of bad breathing habits.
Mouth breathing, upper chest breathing, breathlessness, snoring at night.
Set a good example by being aware of your own breathing faults!

4. Encourage relaxation and quiet when stressed.
Teach quiet relaxation, breathing as gently as possible with all the body relaxed.
Set a good example by learning to relax yourself!

5. Tell them why they need a nose & how to make it work well.
The nose is for breathing & the mouth is for eating and talking.
“They should breathe through their mouth as often as they eat through nose!”
Teach nose-clearing exercise: Breathe in then out through the nose, keep the mouth closed, hold the nose, gently nod the head until they need to breathe in, release the nose and take a breathe in. Repeat two or three times.

Check their progress from time to time with (1) above.

Does Your Child Mouth Breathe?


If your child, whatever age, mouth breathes rather than using the nose to breathe most of the time they could be heading for many health problems that could be easily avoided.
To be brief: anyone that habitually mouth breathes is at risk of multiple healthy problems from orthodontic to heart disease.
Children who habitually mouth breathe will usually develop crooked, crowded teeth and fail to develop normal facial features. They will be more at risk of developing asthma especially if there is a family history of asthma. They will probably suffer more throat and chest infections than others simply because they are not using their first line of defence; nose breathing that kills most airborne bugs and aids the immune system.
As they get older and continue to mouth breathe they will begin to suffer the many health problems of chronic hidden hyperventilation, anxiety, panic attacks, hypertension, heart diseases, angina,hay fever, gastric problems, breathlessness, low energy, and the list goes on.

Don’t take our word for this why not watch and hear children who have trained this way HERE This is a great video of a number of children from a Glasgow school who are telling their own story.

This is not a new idea but the dangers of mouth breathing were brought to the attention of the medical profession over a hundred years ago in a book published, not by a doctor, but by an artist who recognised the problem while painting the indigenous population of the Americas. “Shut your mouth and save your life” PDF
Or if you prefer a modern scientific explanation visit the notes on connections with many health problems on The Breath Connection website,or watch this video by an Australian dentist HERE

For more information on the orthodontic side visit The Clinic, an Orthoptropic site where I help with teaching normal breathing HERE

Meanwhile, here’s wishing you all a Happy Prosperous and Healthy New Year and remember ” You should breathe through your mouth as often as you eat through your nose!”

As an experienced Buteyko Method Educator and member of the BBEC I can offer any help you may need to learn better breathing, whatever your problem improved breathing will have a significant benefit for you.

The Breath Connection & Orthotropics

The Breath Connection and The Clinic for Facial Orthotropics will be working together to promote healthy teeth, normal facial development and better health through better breathing.

Click on the logo “The Clinic For Facial Orthotropics” for more information

The Clinicothotropics-1


The Breath Connection Buteyko Breathing Training

The Breath Connection does not treat any condition specifically but teaches clients how to correct the dysfunctional breathing that is invariably associated with most health problems. By normalizing the person’s breathing the body is better able to function, most symptoms are reduced, energy is increased, there are usually improvements in: immune system, body oxygenation, circulation, digestion, sleep, concentration and frequently less medication is needed for their condition.

  • Orthodontic Dental Problems Gum Disease
  • Sports Performance Physical Exercise Improvement
  • Asthma Sinusitis Hay fever Rhinitis
  • Stress Anxiety & Panic Attacks
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME
  • Circulation Angina Hypertension Arrhythmias
  • Insomnia Snoring & Sleep Apnoea

All children who are habitual mouth-breathers will have a malocclusion. The mouth breathers’ maxillae and mandibles are foreshortened. Palatal height is higher overbite is greater in mouth breathers. Overall, mouth breathers have longer faces, with narrower maxillae and foreshortened jaws.

The tongue plays a large part in influencing cranial and maxillary growth. When a child is new born the forward thrusting of the tongue to express milk from the mothers breast is the force that drives the horizontal or forward growth of the maxillae. The tongue is ideally in contact with the roof of the mouth at rest and during the sub-conscious swallow. In this position, the tongue exerts a lateral force, which counterbalances the inward force exerted by the buccinator muscles. This is what maintains the integrity of the developing maxilla. The moment the child is a mouth breather, and the tongue drops to the floor of the mouth, the buccinators continue to push inwards and cause the upper arch to collapse. It is not possible to have the tongue rest and function in the palate and breathe through the mouth. In the chronic mouth breathing child the tongue falls from the roof of the mouth and no longer provides support for the upper arch.

Breathing through the mouth causes or contributes to the following dental problems: Dental decay, Gum disease, Malocclusion (teeth not fitting together properly when the mouth is shut), anterior open bite (prominent top teeth), Reduced dental arch space (narrow roof of the mouth) Greater potential for relapse of orthodontic correction. TMJ dysfunction, (where the jaw bone hinges onto the cheek bone). Bad breath problems.

When the mouth is closed the tongue is normally pressed lightly upwards onto the palate, this constant small pressure ensures the correct development of the upper jaw. If however the mouth is kept open for breathing, the tongue falls to the floor of the mouth and the palate may develop with a high arch and reduced space for the upper teeth. If this kind of breathing is habitual, the face becomes more narrow or elongated compared with that of nose breathing siblings. (Champagne 1991, Rubin 1980)

The Great Asthma Debate

There are many questions that need answers for all those millions diagnosed with asthma.

Fact: both these respected organisations below have endorsed the breath training as an important aid to asthma management because of the high grade clinical research.






Question 1. What is asthma?

as strange as it may seem this is still an area of debate. In 2006 an article in the Lancet discussed this very point “A plea to abandon asthma as a disease concept” and recent research has indicated that up to 40% of those diagnosed with asthma should not be and should not be on the medication prescribed. “Asthma” seems to have become a “popular” diagnosis.

Question 2. Is current treatment working?

With over 5 million people in the UK alone diagnosed with asthma, approximately 1 in 13 adults and 1 in 8 children, the incidence is increasing. There are over 1,200 deaths from asthma each year just in the UK and up to 86% of those could be avoided according to recent research. It is unusual to find any class in any school without three or four children with asthma inhalers, thirty years ago there might have been just half a dozen in the whole school. What has caused this increase?

Question 3. Could emergency admissions to hospital be reduced?

Most emergency hospital admissions of asthma patients may be because of poor compliance  with their treatment, failure to recognise just how serious their breathing was in time to take early action, lack of out off hours help from their GP surgeries or a widespread ignorance of how to help themselves.

Question 5. Is there anything asthma sufferers can help themselves to manage the condition?

The answer to this question is a categorical “Yes!” The vast majority of asthma sufferers can be taught better management of their asthma in a matter of days using breath training, better breath monitoring and simple lifestyle changes. Not only are they on average able to safely reduce their reliever medication by up to 90% and preventer medication by up to 50% but they enjoy less wheezing, less coughing, better sleep and overall better QOL. Even more importantly the fact that they learn to monitor their asthma more efficiently and can seek additional medical attention before an emergency strikes, the risk of death could be dramatically reduced.

If there was one more point to encourage our overstrained NHS to adopt breath training for asthmatics it would be the enormous potential saving on drugs, medical consultations, hospital admissions, economic loss to the country of days off work not to mention the improved quality of life for the patients. Two GP’s did trial the Buteyko Method training for a group of their asthma patients and claimed to have saved the NHS thousands of pounds a year. The best estimates at present would suggest up to half a billion pounds a year savings that could be better spent elsewhere in the NHS. £500,000,000 savings is a small price to pay to overcome deep seated prejudices  and poor health outcomes. We would have though that NICE would take greater interest unless there are vested interests that can apply pressure? The pharmaceutical industry perhaps, who could lose a large percentage of their income from asthma drugs?

For a much broader picture of the impact of breathing on our health generally, visit HERE

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The Buteyko Method for Asthma: Breath training gains Highest GINA (Global Initiative for Asthma) Evidence Rating


The Buteyko Method & GINA





2010: First Appearance of Buteyko in the GINA guidelines


The Buteyko Method first appeared in the 2010 update of the GINA guidelines.  Under the heading of “Complementary and Alternative Medicine”, the 2010 version noted that the Buteyko Method may provide a useful supplement to conventional asthma strategies, particularly in anxious patients or those habitually over-using their medication.  This version also began to mention the existence of emotional stress that can lead to hyperventilation and hypocapnia.

2012: Recognized effects

  it improves symptoms, quality of life and/or psychological measures of asthma patients.  It also reduces medicine use. The 2012 update of the GINA guidelines gave a more comprehensive analysis of the Buteyko Method.  The document recognizes that the studies on the Buteyko Method shows that it can improve symptoms, short-acting B2-agonist use, and quality of life and/or psychological measures of asthma patients.  It met the same conclusion as to its predecessor: that the Buteyko Method may provide a useful supplement to conventional asthma strategies, particularly in anxious patients or those habitually over-using their medication.  Hyperventilation is again mentioned in the 2010 version stating that it can complicate the diagnosis and assessment of severity and control of asthma. Unfortunately, in both documents, the authors have decided not to post their assessment on the level of evidence.  They did however mention that the Buteyko Method had some evidence.

2014: Highest rating attained

In the 2014 version of the GINA guidelines, the heading of “Complementary and Alternative Medicine”, was removed, and the Buteyko Method (listed as breathing exercises) was included as a non-pharmaceutical treatment option.  It received a Level “A” rating for the quality of evidences.  Although the Buteyko Method is not designated, of all breath training systems that have been subjected to clinical trials for the relief of asthma symptoms only the Buteyko Method has the extent and quality of research. The document also now mentions dysfunctional breathing as an entity that can co-exist with asthma.






The British Thoracic Society Endorsed Buteyko May 2008

The updated British Guidelines for the Management of Asthma have endorsed Buteyko Technique so that GPs and asthma nurses can now recommend it with confidence.

The new guidelines grade the research on Buteyko as a ‘B’ classification – indicating that there are high quality clinical trials supporting the efficacy of the therapy in reducing both asthma symptoms and broncho-dilator usage.

No other complementary therapy has been endorsed by this body for the treatment of asthma. The guidelines are produced jointly by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network and the British Thoracic Society.

“The Buteyko breathing technique specifically focuses on control of hyperventilation and any ensuing hypocapnia. Four clinical trials suggest benefits in terms of reduced symptoms and bronchodilator usage but no effect on lung function. The Buteyko breathing technique may be considered to help patients to control the symptoms of asthma.”




All trials have shown approximately 90% reduction in reliever medication, approximately 50% reduction of steroid inhalers,
reduction in coughing & wheezing,
improvement of sleep and general improved quality of life 
All without adverse side effects.

The Calgary Trial 2007

“I’ve been astonished and also very pleased with the excellent result. There is no disruption of their life at all by their disease: normal activities; not waking at night; not needing to use any reliever medications. It’s just great…75% control is about as good as anyone has got in any study of asthma. The neat thing about it is that it has no side effects. It’s very safe. The Buteyko technique certainly has been shown to be an important adjunct to treatment.”

Dr. Robert Cowie Respirologist.

See a listing of all recent trials at: HERE

Start your Buteyko Breath Training  from £75 ( $125 )* with the latest technology on your smartphone or computer, 

HERE (For face to face training in Kent UK) or

HERE (For Skype Training anywhere in the world)

* Starter Course.  Full training with six month’s  real-time support & monitoring  £300 ($500)


UK Asthma Care Failing – That’s Official!

Asthma patients breath 2-3 times more than normal

Inappropriate prescription of asthma drugs,  inadequate A&E support, poor compliance of patients with their asthma management programs and excessive reliance on medication rather than greater education and training  of asthma sufferers have all led to the current situation.

The UK is one of the worst countries in Europe for asthma treatment according to the latest official reports.

The reason for our failures is being put down to inadequate funding, but more cash is not always the panacea.

If every asthma nurse were to teach their patients the significance of breath control based on the clinically proven Buteyko Method there would be two major outcomes; the asthma drugs bill for the NHS would be reduced by half and patients would be better able to manage their asthma with less reliance on drugs and enjoy a better quality of life.

The cost of the additional training would be offset within months by the ensuing savings on drugs, doctors appointments and reduced A&E admissions.

Check out other references to asthma in this series of blogs for further information.

All clinical trials of the Buteyko Method for the support of asthma patients have demonstrated up to 90% reduction in the need for reliever medication and up to 50% reduction of steroids, reduced coughing, reduced wheezing and less breathlessness along with improved sleep and general quality of life.


What is the connection between your smartphone & a long heathy life?

Click on this image to refresh your memory of “If”.

If you could increase your energy levels for life

If you could improve your sleep & manage with less

If you could boost your immune system without supplements or drugs

If you could help your body deal better with any disease or condition

If you could be less affected by daily stressors of life & be more calm

If you could improve your golf handicap or other sporting activity by a few percent

If you could save your child from developing orthodontic problems

If you could reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes, and many other common diseases

And if you could learn to do all this with your smartphone for £1.99, why would you not be interested in knowing more?

The connection referred to above is your breathing, the most important activity in your life yet the most neglected area of study in medicine today.

Almost 90% of us in the West over-breathe or hyperventilate and this has profound adverse effects on our health but is often just a bad habit that can be eliminated easier than other bad habits such as over-eating or smoking.

With apologies to Rudyard Kipling’s “If”, sort your breathing out and you’ll be a better person in many ways!

Get the App for your smartphone HERE and make a start today to kick the bad breathing habit with the MyButeyko App.

If you feel you need us to help you keep to the straight and narrow path with some support & monitoring  then check out this Skype distant learning  option HERE

Does Your Child Mouth Breathe? Why This is a Serious Health Problem.


sleeping_babies_with_open_mouth-1680x1050Most parents would rarely notice that their child was a mouth breather and even if they do would not think it mattered much. As long as they are breathing and are healthy that’s all that matters surely?

Well the truth is no! It matters a lot but the unfortunate problem is that you won’t be advised by your GP or dentist otherwise! With rare exceptions I may add.

Problems that may often arise for mouth breathing children include:

Chronic hidden hyperventilation

Crowded teeth & many other orthodontic problems

Poor facial bone development

Repeated throat infections

Asthma in children genetically predisposed

Poor concentration due to brain hypoxia

Behavioural problems associated with the above

A lifetime of many varied health problems if not corrected

See the other blogs relating to some o the above for more detailed information.

Check your child’s breathing today:

1. If a baby, does he or she breathe through the mouth a lot of the time?

2. If an older child see how many steps they can do after a normal out-breath whilst holding their nose and keeping their mouth shut. If they can’t easily manage over 40 steps the chances are they are hyperventilating.

3. For your adult child get them to see how long they can hold their breath for comfortably after a normal out-breath. If they can’t manage more than 30 seconds they have a over-breathing problem that will be adversely affecting their health.

4. Does your child snore in sleep?

Most children can learn to correct their breathing with a little training very quickly and permanently. Contact us for details of distant or face to face training.


Hyperventilation: The Tip of The Iceberg

Dr Claud LumDr L Claud Lum 1916-2008

Emeritus Chest Physician Papworth Hospital UK

Under the heading of ”hyperventilation syndrome” standard English texts mention only the classic triad of massive overbreathing, paraesthesiae and tetany: a syndrome well known to any recent graduate but spontaneous tetany is one of the rarest manifestations of hyperventilation and in my experience occurs in about one per cent of cases. This is merely the tip of the iceberg; the body of the iceberg, the ninety nine per cent who do not present in this fashion (and are not accorded the dignity of a mention in any standard
English text), presents a collection of bizarre and often apparently unrelated symptoms, which may affect any part of the body, and any organ or any system. The many organs involved are often reflected in the number of specialists to whom the patient gets referred, and my colleagues have variously dubbed this the “multiple doctor” or the “fat folder syndrome”. Indeed the thickness of the case file is often an important diagnostic clue.

Some of the conditions found associated with hyperventilation are shown below in the
table. Symptoms may show up anywhere, in any organ, in any system; for we are dealing with a profound biochemical disturbance, which is as real as hypoglycemia, and more far-reaching in its effects. Such patients are often pursued relentlessly with every investigative device known to modern science, and end up with the label of “anxiety state” and the implication that they are inadequate or in some way inferior.
They may be advised: “pull yourself together, it’s only your nerves” or possibly a more sympathetic surgeon may be persuaded to tinker with or remove the complaining organ–an organ, which, I may say, is merely protesting against an unbalanced diet deficient in carbon dioxide, bicarbonate, oxygen, and calcium ions: to name but a few of the well -known biochemical disturbances which accompany acute hypocapnia.

Hyperventilation has often been labelled–stigmatized is perhaps a better term–as anxiety
state. I would emphatically disagree with this. Anxiety, in my experience, has usually been the product, not the prime cause. Emotional upset has been the most frequent trigger which has set off the chain of symptoms; the anxiety state seems to have most frequently been engendered by doctors who have failed to recognize the profound biochemical disturbance just outlined. Unfortunately when his many investigations prove negative the patient is left with the belief that he is suffering from something which is beyond modern medical science, or he may begin to question his own sanity. Are these not sufficient
grounds for chronic anxiety?

It has always seemed to me that hyperventilation is essentially a bad habit; a habit of breathing in such a way that the day-to-day level of PCO2 is relatively low. Given this basic bad habit, any physical or emotional disturbance may trigger off a chain reaction of increased ventilation, rapidly producing hypocapnic symptoms, alarm engendered by the symptoms, consequent sympathetic arousal resulting in increased ventilation and increased symptoms.

(Oh yes! Some of the symptoms that you may be treated for with drugs that might be largely due to your over-breathing include: asthma, anxiety, panic attacks, angina, palpitations, hay fever, IBS, hypertension, sleep apnoea, snoring, headaches, migraines, orthodontic problems with young children, ME, tiredness, breathlessness, and more. M.Lingard)

Michael Lingard BSc DO BBEC

Chronic Hidden Hyperventilation – 21st Century Epidemic?



It is estimated that up to 90% of the population in the West are in the habit of over breathing; they suffer from CHHV (Chronic hidden hyperventilation). Because CHHV is not easily recognized, it is rarely diagnosed and even when it is, patients are given little advice or support to deal with the habit. The Buteyko Method appears to be the most effective training system to correct the problem.

  1. Why is it termed hidden? Normal breathing at rest involves breathing about 5-6 litres of air per minute with a respiratory rate of between 8-12 breaths per minute.

a. If a person breathes slightly faster, say 12-16 breaths per minute this will not be easily noticed by any observer but will increase their minute volume by 2-3 litres.

b. If they breathe slightly larger breaths, perhaps 25% larger, this will increase their minute volume by another 2-3 litres but this increase will not be easily observed.

c. If they habitually sigh or yawn this can add another 2-3 litres per minute.

The total effect will be to increase their minute volume to 10 to 15 litres per minute.

  1. Chronic hidden hyperventilation is frequently associated with habitual mouth breathing since it is far easier to over-breathe through the mouth than through the narrower air passages of the nose.
  2. The effects of CHHV is to lower the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the body, to increase the risk of airborne infection as the filtering and immune system of the nose is by-passed, to irritate and inflame airways as dry or cold air is breathed through the mouth and to cause loss of nitric oxide normally produced naturally in the nasal cavities.
  1. The lowered CO2 disturbs the entire physiology of the body:

a. The blood does not release its oxygen to tissue as freely due to the Bohr effect.

b. Smooth muscle wrapped around all hollow organs in the body (airways, arterial blood vessels, bladder, gut etc.) is caused to spasm, restricting circulation, breathing, or digestion.

c. The acid/alkalinity of the body, the pH, is shifted towards alkalinity. This adversely affects every biochemical activity of the body.

Do You Hyperventilate? Check your own breathing HERE

If you have a CP(ControlPause) of less than 20 seconds, here is a simple way to improve your health and fitness in just a few weeks, learn to breathe normally again.

 The health consequences of CHHV because of the above can be many and serious. Conditions invariably associated with CHHV include: asthma, sinusitis, breathlessness, angina, diabetes, hay fever, low energy, gut problems, sleep problems, childhood developmental problems, hypertension, anxiety, CFS, panic attacks, snoring, IBS etc. Improved breathing helps reduce symptoms of these conditions and generally improves wellbeing.

General information :   Asthma information:

St Bridgets  Rye Road  Hawkhurst  Kent TN18 5DA     Freephone: 0800 781 2534

Michael Lingard BSc DO BIBH Buteyko Educator