What is Buteyko Breathing technique

Buteyko Konstantin Pavlovich (1923-2003) was a Russian scientist and Professor of Medicine, who discovered a leading role of hyperventilation in the development of many chronic diseases including bronchial asthma.  Doctor Buteyko received his medical degree from the First Medical Institute in Moscow, where he studied from 1946 and graduated with honors in 1952.
During last years of his studies he observed a lot of patients with hypertension, heart disease, asthma and other serious health conditions. He noticed that with symptoms aggravation and health deterioration their respiration got heavier. It helped Buteyko to realize the connection between the respiration and overall health. He then devoted his life to studying that connection.
He joined the Department of Clinical Therapy at the First Medical Institute in Moscow as the manager of the Laboratory of Functional Diagnostics.  In 1960 Dr Buteyko became the manager of another Laboratory of Functional Diagnostics organized at the Institute of Experimental Biology and Medicine in Novosibirsk, where he created a unique diagnostic complex.
K.P. Buteyko, his students and the doctors he trained in Soviet Russia were working in many clinics and hospitals across the USSR and collected valuable research and practical application data on the effectiveness of the Method. They had dozens of publications in Soviet medical literature in 1960s. 

Despite slow acceptance from conventional medical world, The Buteyko Breathing Method continued to gain popularity and to spread not only in the Soviet Union but around the world. In 1990s Buteyko’s students and followers eventually brought the Method to Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and many other European countries.
In 1983 the Buteyko Breathing Method was recognized by the Russian government, and in April of 1985 the Soviet Union Ministry of Health released a regulation to recommend teaching The Buteyko Breathing Method to asthma patients.
From 1995 to 2006 a number of medical trials confirmed the effectiveness of The Buteyko Breathing Method.
In June, 2002 there were Debates in the British House of Commons about the Buteyko Breathing Method.
In 2007 Mayo Clinic listed The Buteyko Breathing Technique among the most promising alternative therapies for asthma.
In 2008 one of the major medical insurance companies in Ireland, VIVAS Health offered Buteyko workshops coverage as members benefit (expand Asthma Care tab at the linked page). The Buteyko courses are covered in Australia as well.
In 2008, The British Thoracic Society in their Guideline on the Management of Asthma upgraded Buteyko Breathing technique to category B, meaning that there are high quality clinical trials supporting the effectiveness of the method in reducing asthma symptoms and bronchodilator use.
In April of 2009 Coventry University in the UK offered a course to train nurses how to teach the Buteyko Breathing Method to patients with asthma. 
In 2012 The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ, finds the Buteyko breathing technique achieves “medium to large improvements in asthma symptoms and reductions in reliever medications”. The AHRQ findings mirror studies by the British Thoracic Society in 2008 and The Australian Department of Health and Aging in 2005

The cornerstone of the Buteyko theory is that chronic hyperventilation (prolonged breathing of larger volumes of air that our body needs) causes a loss of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the lungs and in the blood. A deficit of CO2 disturbs body's acid alkaline balance, causes smooth muscle to constrict and leads to poor oxygen absorption by body's tissues.

Overbreathing signs and symptoms

Short summary of the theory

K. P. Buteyko spent over 40 years expanding his theory through clinical experience with hundreds of patients. Thanks to his great legacy, today we are equipped with powerful drug free healing technique which continues proving to be effective for hundreds of sufferers worldwide.

Practical application

The goal of practical application is to reverse chronic hyperventilation and restore healthy breathing pattern. Buteyko practice is essentially a gradual breathing retraining program, which allows patients to experience fewer symptoms and significantly reduce or eliminate medications. Reversal of the condition is the goal, but success largely depends on a student's perseverance. Years of experience of western practitioners show that, with a correct application, Buteyko therapy can considerably reduce symptoms and dependency on medication, and in many cases, completely reverse the condition. Best practices of the Buteyko therapists in the West usually include a series of workshops where students learn to apply the Buteyko breathing technique. They also include a theory introduction as well as lifestyle guidelines.

Buteyko Breathing Educators Association (BBEA)

The Buteyko Breathing Educators Association (BBEA) presents a high standard professional organization for the teaching and certification of Buteyko Educators in North America and worldwide. The BBEA formation has been finalized at the 2nd Annual BBEA Conference in October 2010. BBEA is a non-profit professional association of Buteyko Breathing Educators incorporated in the USA and Canada. The members of BBEA are required to comply with rigorous teaching and certification standards. This will ensure that anyone who seeks help from a BBEA certified Buteyko Educator receives Buteyko Breathing education of the highest standards.

Related Blog links

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