Nicky McLeod, Breathing Educator
(Buteyko Institute Method)
Nicky trained with Glenn White of the Buteyko Breathing Clinic in Auckland, New Zealand’s only Practitioner Trainer. She undertook further training in Australia with Tess Graham, Physiotherapist, Buteyko Practitioner and author of Snoring and Sleep Apnoea and Anxiety and Panic. In 2021 she completed one year of advanced training with Russian Practitioner, Misha Sakharoff. She is a member of the Buteyko Institute of Breathing and Health (BIBH).
A life-long learner, Nicky is committed to continual development of her skills and knowledge and she continues to develop her ability to connect the dots when it comes to health. She is trauma-informed and in 2022 she completed the 3 month curriculum of SmartBody SmartMind(™) created by Canadian trauma and nervous system specialist Irene Lyon. She gained her Heart Math Trauma Certification in 2023. She also organises regular ongoing Professional Development for members of her professional body, the BIBH.
My Own Breathing Journey
When I committed to train as a practitioner I had not done a breathing retraining course nor did I know anyone who had. I had read everything I could find about the Buteyko Method and it made a lot of sense. It was soundly based in science and there were many positive reviews on Glenn’s website.
I was impressed with the calibre of practitioners from around the world – medical students, nurses, physiotherapists, dentists, scientists, PhD students, a vet. These were intelligent people and for all of them breathing retraining had had such a profound impact on their health that they had gone on to train as practitioners.
When I began my training I had epilepsy, a snoring husband, two children, a BA in political science and history, a life-long interest in health and well-being, a passion for cooking and a sign on my fridge that said “eat as if your life depends on it.” In my family as well as epilepsy and snoring we had asthma, hay fever and panic attacks.
Initially I tried to convince Glenn that I didn’t need to do the breathing course for my own health. I regularly practised yoga and meditation and I believed I was a great breather. You could not see or hear me breathing. However, I had epilepsy which had come on after the birth of my first child and I was an undiagnosed chronic hidden hyperventilator and had been for many years. The effects of this on my health and my sleep were more far-ranging than I could ever have imagined.
Simple and Powerful
The speed with which my health and life improved once I started the course was extraordinary – more than a 50% reduction in breathing related symptoms within the first week and that was just the beginning.
I am now a Breathing Educator. I no longer have epilepsy and my husband no longer snores. Asthma, hay fever and panic attacks are a thing of the past in my family. The sign on my fridge now says “breathe as if your life depends on it – breathe(less)”. And I am the director of The Breathing Clinic in Nelson.
I believe that every town should have access to the simple and powerful knowledge that comes with a breathing retraining course and my goal is to convey this life-changing information to as many people as possible.
Is it for you?
There are many myths and a lot of misinformation around breathing. Getting the right information, developing your awareness and changing some habits around your breathing can have a profound impact on your health, your quality of sleep, your energy levels and your state of mind.
If you are interested in improving your health I would urge you to get the basics right which means starting with your most vital function, your breathing and having a breathing assessment. There are a number of symptoms that are red flags for breathing dysfunction which will be identified and explored during an assessment. For me a few simple changes to my habits and correction of some incorrect beliefs around breathing along with some very specific breathing exercises led to the end of epilepsy that I had had for 12 years and was unknowingly perpetuating.
Too often we get people on our courses after they have tried many other things first who say that if only they had worked on their breathing first they would have saved a lot of money and time. Other common refrains include “why haven’t I been told this before?” and “this should be taught in schools.”
Free guide reveals 10 common breathing myths that could be affecting you
In this guide we address some key myths and misunderstandings around breathing.