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If you are actively searching for answers about how to overcome your chronic health condition and wondering if the Buteyko Method is the right therapy for you, you are probably searching for clues on the web and elsewhere to help you decide. Now, when there is more interest directed at the Buteyko therapy, bits and pieces of information are popping up on the web in every possible form. A variety of self-help kits, manuals and courses are being sold, therapy users are writing “Buteyko challenge” diaries, forum disputes are heating up, people are posting personal blog stories, and claims of miracle cures are made.
And of course, you are a person of practical mind, and you want to hear a bit more proof and support for those claims. Plus, your medical doctor has probably never heard about it or does not take breathing exercise therapy seriously. And the nearest Buteyko Practitioner might be a long air trip away. Also, you are not sure that what he or she will teach you is worth several hundred dollars.
I am a Buteyko Practitioner, and, of course, I am deeply inspired by the power of Buteyko, as it has been the answer to the majority of my health problems (and not only that, it completely changed the way I approach my health problems). Going through my own Buteyko journey I, however, had my fair share of mistakes and disappointments. Now my own experience, combined with the experience of teaching other people the Buteyko Method, allows me to better understand what the Buteyko Method is and what it is not.
If you are unsure if Buteyko is worth a try, I realize your dilemma, as I’ve been in your shoes. To help you gain a better understanding of what will ensure your success with Buteyko, I suggest you consider the following:
- Buteyko is radically different
If you think in terms of conventional medicine, where there are symptoms that you’d need to exhibit in order to go away with a quick fix solution, you might be disappointed. With Buteyko, a commitment to discipline, to taking responsibility, to be willing to learn and to stick with the routine is required. Buteyko is not just a series of breathing exercises (as commonly thought). It is a therapy aimed at the reversal of one disease – Chronic Hyperventilation, or as Professor Buteyko called it – the Disease of Deep Breathing. It is about correcting your breathing to achieve maximum health benefits. In the process, many of your symptoms and ailments will start to disappear, because “…Normalization of breathing immediately triggers a healing process…” (K.P. Buteyko)
Within Buteyko , the majority of terms, assumptions and approaches of conventional medicine don’t apply, and it might be a struggle for people who used to be “passive receivers of health fixes” a.k.a. medications, devices, supplements, manual therapy sessions, etc.
- Immediate relief of symptoms is common with respiratory conditions
If you suffer from one of the common respiratory conditions such as asthma, rhinitis, snoring, sleep apnea, etc., your symptoms might improve dramatically within just a few weeks of recommended practice. If you are an asthmatic of any severity, you will definitely be amazed at how Buteyko controls your symptoms and allows a better quality of life (after being told for years that asthma is incurable and the only way to relieve symptoms is through medication). However, the achievement of a long term remission of the disease would require more time, effort and lifestyle changes.
- With other chronic conditions, results are not as quick or immediately visible
A reversal of a wide variety of other chronic conditions, including skin, circulatory, neurological and others, typically takes more time, effort, perseverance and lifestyle adjustments. However, there are amazing accounts of dramatic health improvements for those who persist with the therapy.
- Buteyko is a very individual journey
There are no two patients who are alike. We all have a very individual genetic, environmental, health and emotional history. Buteyko is rooted in physiology while being in tune with holistic philosophies – the normalization of breathing affects both body and mind, and both healing processes are interconnected. Within the Buteyko therapy, a Practitioner is a guide and advisor, but a patient takes center stage as a healer. As with any fundamental shift in body functions, temporary setbacks, unpleasant symptoms and cleansing episodes could be a part of the healing process. Therefore, it is hard to predict timelines and rates of success.
- If you commit to it, the benefits are undeniable
A normalization of breathing has tremendous benefits for every single person, even those considering themselves as healthy. It might surprise you to learn how many people would come to the Buteyko workshop to relieve their respiratory condition, and during the treatment would find out that their eczema subsided, anxiety decreased or they suddenly don’t need laxatives any more. Improved sleep, concentration and digestion, less mental and physical fatigue, a strengthened immune system and better emotional health are just a few side effects of every successful Buteyko journey.
- Is working with a Practitioner worth the money?
You can learn to play piano by book or with the piano teacher. If you are serious about piano playing then you would probably hire a teacher. As with any learning, how to learn Buteyko is your personal choice, just consider you are gaining a knowledge which will directly affect your health for the rest of your life. To the best of my knowledge, the majority of the Buteyko Practitioners charge not more than any other teacher / instructor would, considering their time investment. A Buteyko Practitioner will not only make sure you are making adequate progress with the therapy, but will also provide a much-needed, ongoing support.
That being said, there are excellent, inexpensive books, DVDs and learning aids available which might get you started, help you gain a better understanding, and support and reinforce you throughout the therapy.
- You have little to lose
and, in case of success, everything to gain. The Buteyko therapy is generally very safe and has virtually no cost in comparison with other traditional or alternative methods.
In the next article we’ll talk about cautions and contraindications, and also discuss the conditions for which Buteyko has limited or no effectiveness.
Buteyko Clinic USA offers unique breathing rehabilitation programs that result in long term drug free control over asthma, allergies, COPD, rhinitis, chronic cough, snoring, sleep apnea, anxiety, panic, chronic hyperventilation syndrome and other chronic conditions. Contact us today for a free consultation.