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Aerophagia – Excessive Burping: How breath work can help Aerophagia

Aerophagia – Excessive Burping: How breath work can help Aerophagia

Aerophagia is a medical condition characterized by excessive swallowing of air, which can lead to discomfort, bloating, burping, and abdominal pain. The term "aerophagia" comes from the Greek words "aero" meaning air, and "phagia" meaning eating or swallowing. People with aerophagia often swallow air unconsciously while eating, drinking, talking, or even during normal breathing.   People who have aerophagia are often note aware they are taking in more air which makes breaking this habit a challenge. 


Symptoms of Aerophagia

Bloating: Feeling of fullness or swelling in the abdomen.

·      Belching/Burping: Releasing swallowed air from the stomach through the mouth.

·      Abdominal Pain: Discomfort or pain in the stomach area.

·      Flatulence: Excess gas in the digestive tract leading to frequent passing of gas.


Causes of Aerophagia

·      Eating or Drinking Too Quickly: Rapid consumption can lead to swallowing more air.

·      Chewing Gum or Sucking on Hard Candy: These activities increase the amount of air swallowed.

·      Talking While Eating: Engaging in conversation during meals can cause air swallowing.

·      Anxiety or Stress: These can increase the likelihood of hyperventilation or abnormal breathing patterns.

·      Mouth Breathing: Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose can lead to more air being swallowed.


By addressing the underlying causes and adopting specific techniques to manage breathing and eating habits, individuals with aerophagia can significantly reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Breathwork and the Buteyko breathing method can be effective in managing aerophagia by promoting more efficient breathing patterns and reducing the excessive swallowing of air. 


Here’s how Breathing techniques can help:


Diaphragmatic Breathing:  This technique helps reduce stress and promotes relaxation, leading to more efficient breathing and less air swallowing.

Box Breathing:  This exercise stabilizes breathing patterns, enhances focus, and reduces anxiety, which can decrease the tendency to swallow air.

Pursed Lip Breathing:  Helps controls the rate of breathing and prevents hyperventilation, reducing the likelihood of swallowing air.

Alternate Nostril Breathing:  Balances the nervous system, reduces stress, and improves overall respiratory function.


Buteyko Breathing Method

The Buteyko method focuses on reducing hyperventilation and promoting nasal breathing, which can be particularly beneficial for managing aerophagia.

Nasal Breathing: Nasal breathing naturally reduces the amount of air swallowed compared to mouth breathing and promotes more efficient oxygen utilization.

Reduced Volume Breathing:  This exercise trains the body to tolerate higher levels of carbon dioxide, reducing the tendency to over-breathe and swallow air.

Control Pause: The control pause helps gauge your breath control and can be used to track progress. A longer control pause indicates better breathing efficiency and less likelihood of aerophagia.


 How These Methods Help with Aerophagia

Stress Reduction:  Breathwork and Buteyko techniques reduce stress and anxiety, which are often linked to aerophagia. Relaxed breathing patterns decrease the likelihood of excessive air swallowing.

Improved Breathing Mechanics:  Diaphragmatic and nasal breathing promote efficient breathing mechanics, reducing the tendency to gulp air.

Increased Awareness:  Regular practice of these techniques increases awareness of breathing patterns, helping to identify and correct habits that contribute to aerophagia.

Strengthened Diaphragm:  Breathwork strengthens the diaphragm, improving overall respiratory function and reducing gastrointestinal symptoms associated with aerophagia.

Nasal Breathing: The emphasis on nasal breathing in Buteyko reduces the volume of air swallowed and promotes calmer, more controlled breathing.


 Implementation Tips

Consistency: Practice these techniques daily for best results.

Mindfulness: Combine breathwork with mindfulness to enhance relaxation effects.

Monitor Progress: Use the control pause in Buteyko to monitor improvements in breath control and efficiency.


By incorporating breathwork and the Buteyko method into your daily routine, you can manage aerophagia more effectively, promoting better respiratory health and overall well-being.

Book an appointment with one of our Buteyko Breathing practitioners today and start your road to health and wellness. 

Posted on 19 June 2024
Author:Jean Jarrett
Tags:Gut healthButeyko Breathing

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