Buteyko Method

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Buteyko Method Recognition

Official recognition of Buteyko breathing has grown over the years, especially in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Russia. Backed by scientific research and multiple clinical trials, the Australian Association of Asthma Foundations endorses the Buteyko Method in the treatment of asthmatics and in improving their general health and quality of life. Furthermore, independent medical trials have shown its effectiveness in reducing asthma symptoms, with the Mayo Clinic listing the Buteyko breathing technique among the top promising alternative asthma treatments. Buteyko breathing courses are also on the rise, training doctors and nurses in the technique and how to teach the breathing method to patients.

Conditions Treated by Buteyko Breathing

More people are seeking Buteyko treatment for disorders and conditions such as:

  • Chronic hyperventilation
  • Bronchial Asthma
  • Chronic respiratory conditions
  • Allergies
  • Sleep apnea (sleep disorders)
  • Snoring
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Angina (Heart palpitations/Chest pain)
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Ulcerative stomach disease
  • Psychosomatic disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Post stress/trauma recovery (i.e. after chemotherapy, surgery)

In addition, the Buteyko Method is increasingly being used for immune system strengthening and as a tool in preventive health. It has successfully improved athletic performance by increasing endurance in high-demand aerobic sports and activities.

How the Buteyko Method Works

What does the Buteyko technique do? In a nutshell, Buteyko teaches people to manage the rate and depth at which they breathe in order to prevent hyperventilation. The method corrects unconscious incorrect breathing patterns by teaching patients to control their breathing, resulting in reduced symptoms of breathlessness and anxiety.

Explained by its founder, Dr. Konstantin Buteyko: “Thirty seven years have passed since the time I found the cause of several of the most wide spread diseases…(bronchial, cardiovascular, allergic etc.). These diseases have one common cause: Alveolar hyperventilation or deep breathing. It had occurred to me that reduction in depth of breathing or normalisation of breathing may treat such diseases…The essence of the method is to decrease the depth of breathing by will power and by relaxation of breathing muscles until one achieves a slight feeling of lack of air.”

Buteyko Breathing Theory

In summary, the primary postulates of the Buteyko breathing practice are:

  • Many people chronically hyperventilate, breathing in volumes of air that are above normal ventilation volume
  • Hyperventilation causes loss of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the lungs, which over time may lead to: PH balance changes, blood vessel/muscle constriction, the Bohr Effect (poor tissue oxygenation), and the development and progression of disease
  • Over-breathing has been linked to lifestyle factors such as: poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, toxins, overuse of medications, and incorrect deep breathing
  • Restoring healthy breathing patterns reverses chronic hyperventilation and reduces or eliminates symptoms and diseases

Buteyko Workshops: Learning the Buteyko Method

Buteyko training is available via Buteyko workshops led by qualified practitioners or by DVD. Options include group sessions and individual training; attendance of patients and their family members are also encouraged.