The Buteyko Method

Shut your mouth and live your life

What is The Buteyko Method

Developed in 1952 by Dr Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko, a medical doctor from Russia, the Buteyko Method or Buteyko Breathing Technique was developed as a breathing retraining program to teach patients how to improve breathing patterns.

How the Buteyko Method was Discovered

As a physician, Dr Buteyko spent hours at the bedside of sick people and noticed that as they became sicker, they required more air to breathe. As part of his research, he determined the appropriate composition of oxygen for cosmonauts going into space.

He recorded reduction in oxygen delivery to tissues and organs, constriction of the smooth muscles surrounding blood vessels and airways and even changes to the blood’s pH level as natural gases in the blood can be altered. After some testing, he concluded that restoring normal air volume eliminated the patients’ symptoms and controlled their disease process.

Seeing this piqued his interest, so he began to wonder if they breathe this heavily because they are so sick or does it have anything to do with it?

He also experimented with his own – he was suffering from severe high blood pressure, so by slowing down and quieting his breathing, he was able to normalize his blood pressure
After that, he conducted a great deal of research on other acute and chronic health conditions and how breathing impacts them. He developed this breathing normalization program that has been shown to improve asthma symptoms and others.

Does the Buteyko work?

The Buteyko Breathing method has been proven across dozens of clinical trials and has been shown to be a effective, safe, natural and most importantly effective breathing retraining program.

Based on the results of six clinical trials investigating the Buteyko Method for asthma on average persons who practice exercises will experience a substantial improvement of their asthma with 50% less coughing, wheezing and breathlessness within two weeks. Longer-term results include 90% less need for asthma medication and 50% less need for preventer medication within three to six months.

Results are based on both reported verbal feedback and scientific trials feel free to request relevant trials. (Medication may be reduced only by consensus of a medical doctor).

In 2014, the Buteyko Method of breathing received an ‘A’ grade (the highest grade of recommendation) of rating by the British Thoracic Society. The grade of recommendation relates to the strength of the evidence on which the recommendation is based.

What Conditions can the Buteyko Method Help

Sleep Apnoea is a condition in which people stop breathing for more than 10 seconds at a time while asleep. This occurs due to incorrect breathing or more specifically over breathing or hyperventilation.

Normal sleep occurs in five stages: Stages 1,2,3,4, & REM (rapid eye movement). Stages 3 & 4 are the most restful and deepest sleep. When a person is over breathing, or hyperventilating, they are prevented from easily reaching these deep sleep stages, remaining mostly in the light and easily disturbed sleep of stages 1 & 2.

The Buteyko Institute Method of breathing retraining successfully reduces over breathing and hyperventilation. Normal sleep patterns return to many people who undertake the Buteyko program.

Snoring is caused by over breathing or hyperventilating at night. It is noisy breathing caused by vibration of the airway walls at the back of the throat (pharynx). Normal night-time breathing is quiet, rhythmic and through the nose. Those who snore will breathe a greater volume of air than required, through the mouth.

This creates vibration over the soft tissues of the throat (oro-pharynx) that are relaxed in sleep.
The Buteyko Breathing method is highly effective in silencing habitual snorers. This method of breathing retraining helps normalize the breathing pattern, reducing snoring as normal sleep patterns are restored.

– 70% of attendees of Buteyko Breathing program will cease snoring within three days. The remaining
– 30% will cease snoring within a few weeks.

Hay fever, Rhinitis and Sinusitis affect millions of people in the UK every year. Some sufferers have symptoms all year round whilst others tend to have symptoms only when pollen or spore counts are high as during spring or summer months.

Whether you suffer from Rhinitis or hay fever, both conditions are caused by over breathing or breathing more than the body requires (hyperventilation). Hyperventilation stimulates the over production of histamine in response to the presence of triggers such as pollen or dust mites and encourages inflammation or irritation of the mucus membrane inside the nose.

The Buteyko Institute Method of breathing retraining successfully reduces over breathing and hyperventilation so that hay fever and rhinitis symptoms simply disappear and you can be symptom free all year round.

Sinusitis, which is the infection or inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, can also be effectively treated using the Butekyo breathing method. Over time the symptoms of sinusitis can be greatly reduced.

There are many symptoms of anxiety, including physical and psychological discomfort, feelings of fear, avoidance, restlessness, irritability, fatigue, disturbed sleep, memory problems, muscle tension, poor focus, and panic attacks.

A poor breathing pattern can lead to a negative feedback loop in which shallow, fast, upper-chest breathing creates anxiety. Oftentimes, anxiety and panic attack prone children and adults have chronic breathing pattern problems.

When beginning Buteyko breathing exercises for anxiety and panic disorder, it’s important to remember to go gently. If you rush in full steam ahead, intense feelings of air hunger may trigger a panic attack, highlighting the importance of having a qualified instructor to help guide you.

About your instructor:

Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.

Tom Herron

BSc (Hons)Psych MBPS MICHP DHP (Adv.) PLRT AMBTTI

 Tom is a Member of the BPI Executive Board. He also has the role of Mentoring & Psychology Advisor. Tom Herron holds an honours degree in Psychology from the Open University, is a Member of the British Psychological Society, a Member of the Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy, a Fellow of Buteyko Professionals International, and a Fellow of the International Academy of Breathing & Health. In addition, he holds an advanced diploma in hypnotherapy and psychotherapy from the Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy.

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