It is well-known and acknowledged by mainstream medicine that chronic cough is the problem that does not have a right medication: over-counter syrups have almost no effects, while steroidal medication is dangerous for wide-spread use. Meanwhile, during last 4 decades over 100,000 patients with asthma became cough-free. They learned the Buteyko technique which is officially approved by the Ministry of Health in Russia for treatment of hypertension and asthma.

Since the Buteyko therapy was able to reduce signs and symptoms in thousands of asthmatics, and cough is the primary manifestation in asthma, then certain elements and techniques of the Buteyko therapy should serve other cough-sufferers to eliminate their coughing too.

The purpose of the Buteyko respiration method is to get rid of habitual
over-breathing so that to make personal involuntary breathing pattern easier and slower and enhance O2 concentration in the body cells.

Did this therapy have medical trials in western countries? Consider the key outcomes of all 6 published western randomized controlled trials of the Buteyko therapy: 4 to 9 times less reliever medication (betta-2 antogonists), twice less cortisol medication, better life quality and less symptoms of asthma after 3 to 6 months of breath-work with the goal to learn how to stop their chronic hyperventilation syndrome and achieve higher body oxygen level.

Note that vast numbers of modern individuals promote a naïve idea that CO2 is a poisonous and toxic gas. They also say that heavy basal breathing pattern (or chronic hyperventilation or breathing more and/or faster than the normal breathing) improves content of oxygen in the cells. Decades of medical research and thousands of professional articles have clearly proven that chronic hyperventilation DECREASES O2 level in the body cells. Furthermore, CO2 executes many important functions in the human organism, which include: repair of alveoli in lungs, regulation of heart rate, regulation of stomach pH, weight monitoring, relaxation of muscle cells, normal immunity, control of blood sugar, synthesis of hormones, sleep regulation, bronchodilation (dilation of airways), control of respiration and many other fundamental effects.

Mechanisms: How coughing destroys health

During normal breathing, while sitting, the air travels though the breathing passages at a velocity of about 10 km/h or less. When we cough, the air rushes out through the mouth at 120-160 km/h. Coughing through the mouth creates a large enough air pressure gradient to injury alveoli (tiny air sacks in the lungs), where gas exchange O2-CO2 takes place.

Coughing is particularly unsafe for people with bronchitis, COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, and other breathing problems with pre-existing damage to the lungs. During bouts of chronic coughing, you respiratory frequency is over 25 breaths in 1 min instead of normal 12. Your tidal volume for one cough is around one liter of air instead of 500-600 ml. Carry out some math to prove that your minute ventilation is a few times more than the tiny medical norm (6 L/min).

Bouts of coughing cause possible production of too much mucus; irritation of the lining of constricted and inflamed airways due to excessive mechanical friction with air flow; irritable state of cough receptors nervous cells in the tracheobronchial tree and larynx due to hypocapnia (CO2 deficiency); damage and rupture of tiny and fragile alveoli due to sudden change in air pressure; chronic respiratory infections and inflammation due to suppression of the immune system; cell hypoxia in the whole body and many other effects caused by hyperventilation.

Tens of studies have conclusively shown that hypocapnia over-excites nervous cells making them too irritable (see and this is the direct mechanism how and why coughing perpetuates more coughing. After stopping coughing, most sufferers continue to hyperventilate keeping the nervous cells in airways over-excited and the immune system suppressed.

How to evaluate the body oxygen level using a simple test

Following your natural expiration, pinch both nostrils with fingers and measure your anxiety-free breath holding time. Take note that your breath pattern following the trial should be the same as your breathing pattern before the test: no strain whatsoever immediately after the test. This unique test indicates a couple of values at once. As a first step, the result indicates oxygen concentration in the cells. Secondly, it measures how large and deep the personal breathing pattern is.

If the unconscious respiratory pattern is approximately normal, the individual must be capable to keep the breath hold for nearly 38 s. If that person has approximately 18-20 seconds only, this person breathes nearly two times the physiological norm (and that is 6 Liters of air in a single min). With respect to the sick persons, their result is much less: most often nearly 15 sec or less as a consequence of over-breathing.

Long term solution to persistent problem with coughing

As soon as your unconscious breathing pattern is so slow-moving that your body O2 level is above 25 s, you will not suffer from troubles with chronic cough. Therefore, you should slow down your bulky breathing (too fast and too deep) in order to achieve this goal.

Breath normalization process involves 24/7 regulation of breath, including:
- prevention of sleeping on your back (we breathe almost two times more air, when we sleep on our backs at night)
- constant nose breathing (hence, it is necessary to learn how to cough through the nose with the mouth closed)
- physical exercise for at least 2 hours every day with only nose breathing (e.g., walking)
- and many other lifestyle-related parameters so that your unconscious breathing pattern is returned back to our physiological norm.

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More details about breathing techniques to decrease coughing

- Stop Coughing Naturally - A simple breathing technique to stop bouts of coughing and reduce their damage to alveoli in the lungs, airways, immune system, and all other body cells
- Stop Coughing at Night - Solution to problems with coughing at night.

Dr. Artour Rakhimov is the creator and author of committed to distributing education with regards to body oxygen content, ideal breathing pattern, CO2 effects, effects of hyperventilation, Buteyko respiratory reconditioning method, Frolov respiratory device and other respiration techniques. The website has hundreds of research quotes, trials results, free Buteyko breathing exercises, and lifestyle modules for lighter breathing and better body oxygenation and health.