How to free stuffy nose

We have already had occasion to mention how important is breathing in martial arts (and in any type of physical activity), in this regard we want to speak about a simple “trick” to quickly free up the airways when they are occluded by mucus.

For a martial artist (especially at the beginning of training) the fact of not being able to breathe in and out freely is a rather debilitating; let’s see in a few steps the Buteyko method to rid the nose and immediately return to breathe regularly:

  • First, let’s sit down in a comfortable position
  • Let’s close our mouth and let’s keep it closed until the end of the practice
  • Let’s do some free stabilization breathing (2-3)
  • Stabilized breathing let’s begin to exhale (the mouth is always closed)
  • After 1-2 seconds of exhalation let’s close our nose with our fingers
  • With closed mouth and nose, let’s bend our head forward
  • Still holding breath let’s start to shake our head to the right / left and up / down
  • Let’s vigorously shake our heads until we start to feel we need to breathe
  • Now let’s breathe deeply through our nose but keeping our mouth shut
  • We have to perform a few more breaths with decreasing intensity
  • If the nose is free we have finished, let’s open our mouth
  • If our nose is still partially closed let’s repeat the exercise (no more than 3 times in a row)


  • The total duration of a liberation cycle should be around 40-60 seconds
  • This is not an apnea exercise, to avoid dizziness we do not have to force us
  • It ‘s obvious that this practice does not prevent the mucus to reform and re-fill our nostrils at a later time
  • The positive effect of this technique is due to the increase of endogenous carbon dioxide
  • This russian method has not only this purpose but also it is indicated as a breathing rieducation to avoid, for example, to go in hyperventilation

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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