The Buteyko Method

The following article has been provided by Wendy Jones, a qualified Buteyko practitioner and physiotherapist.

Introduction

The Buteyko Method is a complementary therapy for controlling the symptoms of asthma and other breathing related disorders. It is based on the work of Professor Konstantin Buteyko from Russia who pioneered the radical method in the 1950's. The Buteyko Method involves very specific breathing exercises together with reduced breathing work and some dietary and life-style changes. It is now being used increasingly throughout the western world, particularly in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. It is taught by specially trained Buteyko practitioners. The therapy has been featured on the BBC's QED science programme, ITV's "Tonight with Trevor McDonald" and also on the Pride of Britain awards on ITV.

The basis behind the Buteyko Method

The assumption behind the Buteyko Method is that asthma and other breathing related disorders result from chronic over-breathing, the technical term for which is hyperventilation. Over-breathing commonly occurs without you being aware of it happening. However, if you observe your breathing pattern when you experience breathing difficulties, you may notice the rate of your breathing, and sometimes the depth, has increased. What the Buteyko Method can do for you is teach you how to relax and normalize your breathing, thereby reducing your symptoms and the need for rescue medication.

Normal breathing (4-6 litres per minute) results in 98% oxygen saturation. Breathing more than this internationally recognized amount cannot increase your oxygen uptake but will deplete Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This is important since CO2 is not merely a waste gas as many people mistakenly believe. CO2 when lost in abnormal quantities alters the whole body chemistry, and directly or indirectly affects every system in the body. In relation to asthma, its effect on opening up airways and facilitating the transport of oxygen, is of prime importance.

How do you learn the Buteyko Method?

The Buteyko Method is taught in workshops consisting of five sessions of two hours each. Clients are taught how to retrain their breathing to enable them to breathe correctly when sleeping, exercising, speaking, eating and performing all daily activities. None of this is arduous but it does require commitment and effort from you. Benefits arrive quickly and you will almost certainly experience an improvement in your condition within the first 5 days of practising the exercises. The breathing exercises are tailored to your individual condition and medical history. You are encouraged to attend follow up classes for as long as it is necessary or desirable.

Outcomes

Clients who practise the Buteyko Method can expect:

  1. A significant reduction in, or elimination of asthma reliever and preventer medications (the reduction of preventer medication is done in consultation with the client's medical practitioner).
  2. A significant reduction in, or elimination of asthma symptoms and attacks, and also the relief of other respiratory disorders.
  3. Increased stamina and energy levels, better work performance, improved sleep, better management of the symptoms of stress, and a better quality of life in general.
Clinical trials have indicated that asthmatics using the Buteyko Method reduced their use of reliever medication by 90% during the first week (maintained at 3 months), and over 3 months a reduction in steroid medication of 49% was achieved. The full text of the trial undertaken at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane, Australia can be found at the following website address: http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/xmas98/bowler/bowler.html

Who can be helped by the Buteyko Method?

The Buteyko Method is suitable for children from 5 years of age and adults of any age. It is effective for people with all types and degrees of severity of asthma, as well as people with other respiratory disorders such as chronic cough, emphysema, COAD, COPD, rhinitis, sinusitis, hay fever, snoring and sleep apnoea. Other conditions such as anxiety, migraine and allergies can also be helped by the Buteyko Method, as Professor Buteyko identified a connection between dysfunctional breathing and over 200 diseases during his research work in Russia.

Further information on the Buteyko Method

Further information on the Buteyko Method can be found at my website address: http://www.buteyko-asthma.co.uk

Wendy Jones, qualified physiotherapist and Buteyko practitioner.

Buteyko Books and DVD's

Further information on the Buteyko Method can also be found in the following books and DVD's:

Cover of Buteyko Clinic DVD set: The complete instruction to reverse asthma, rhinitis and snoring permanently Buteyko Clinic DVD set: The complete instruction to reverse asthma, rhinitis and snoring completely. Includes 130 page manual 'Close Your Mouth'. by Patrick McKeown.
Cover of Close Your Mouth book Close Your Mouth book written by Irish practitioner Patrick McKeown.
Cover of Self Help Asthma - The Buteyko Method: DVD package Self Help Asthma - The Buteyko Method: DVD package with Dr James Oliver and Janet Brindley.

Please click on the book/DVD title or picture to buy or to obtain further information on the book/DVD.
(In association with Amazon.co.uk)

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