Breathing technique

The Buteyko Breathing Method is a breathing therapy originating from Russia. The Buteyko Method uses nasal breathing, breath control and breath-holding exercises to treat a wide range of health conditions.

There have been many clinical trials showing that the Buteyko method helps asthmatics reduce their medication needs, while improving asthma symptoms and quality of life [1-5].

There are also some published case studies showing that it can effectively treat sleep apnea [6, 7] and lots of anecdotal reports of people whose sleep studies completely normalized after several months of regular breathing practice.

People have also used the Buteyko Method to improve breathing and circulation, stress and anxiety and general health.

The Buteyko method can be a used along with other types of treatment including asthma medication, dental splints, orofacial myology, manual therapy and CPAP.

How does the Buteyko Method work?

Nasal breathing

The Buteyko method can teach many people how to stop mouth breathing and breathe through their nose.

link to video of Buteyko techniques to stop mouth breathing).

Breathing control

The Buteyko method teaches people how to reduce the volume of breathing while relaxing and mindfully accepting slight breathlessness.  This can correct hyperinflation, improve hyperventilation and increase tolerance for breathlessness.

Breath-holding techniques

Buteyko style breath-holds help to clear the nose, ease tight chests and clear the airways.  Structured breath-holds done as part of a breathing practice routine seem to have many other reported benefits.

Buteyko nose hold

References and reading

  1. Cowie, R., M.F. Underwood, and P.G. Reader, A randomised controlled trial of the Buteyko technique as an adjunct to conventional management of asthma. Respiratory Medicine, 2008. 102(5): p. 726-32.
  2. Cooper, S., et al., Effect of two breathing exercises (Buteyko and pranayama) in asthma: a randomised controlled trial. Thorax, 2003. 58: p. 674 – 679.
  3. Bowler, S.D., A. Green, and A. Mitchell, Buteyko breathing technique in asthma: a blinded randomised controlled trial. Medical Journal of Australia, 1998. 169(7): p. 575-578.
  4. Prem, V., R.C. Sahoo, and P. Adhikari, Comparison of the effects of Buteyko and pranayama breathing techniques on quality of life in patients with asthma – a randomized controlled trial. Clinical Rehabilitation, 2012.
  5. Opat, A., M. Cohen, and M. Bailey, A clinical trial of the Buteyko breathing technique in asthma as taught by a video. Journal of Asthma, 2000. 37: p. 557-64.
  6. Birch, M., Obstructive speep apnoea and breathing training. Australian Nursing Journal, 2004. 74: p. not on article.
  7. Birch, M., Sleep apnoea and breathing retraining. 2012, Buteyko Institute of Breathing and Health.
  8. Courtney, R., Strengths, Weaknesses and Possibilities of the Buteyko Method. Biofeedback, 2008. 36(2): p. 59-63.

How can you learn the Buteyko Method?

It is one of the breathing techniques used in my Integrative Breathing Therapy programs for children and adults.

Healthy Breathing Healthy Child
Better Breathing Better Health
Breath, Mind, Body Stress reduction

You can also make an appointment to see if the Buteyko Method is appropriate for you and then organize private sessions to learn this method.

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