What is the Buteyko breathing method and who was Dr. Konstantin Buteyko?
The Buteyko breathing method was developed by Dr. Konstantin Buteyko, a physician of Ukrainian descent who worked and lived in Russia.
Dr. Konstantin Buteyko (1923 – 2003), was born in Ivanitsa (about 155 km from Kiev) in 1923. He began his medical education in 1946 in Russia at the First Medical Institute in Moscow. One of his practical tasks involved monitoring patients’ breathing and thus determining how each patient’s breathing increased as their condition worsened.
At the time, Dr. Buteyku was diagnosed with malignant hypertension, a serious form of high blood pressure disease that, if left untreated, usually leads to death within three to six months. Dr. Buteyku was then predicted to have only 12 months to live. Under the guidance of his teachers, Dr. Buteyko researched his illness, although there seemed to be very little he could do to cure it.
On October 7, 1952, after studying clinical therapy, he began to wonder how much the cause of his condition, which went from bad to worse, could be deep breathing. He checked this by slowing his breathing. In a few minutes, his headache stopped, as did his right kidney pain and heart pain. To confirm his discovery, he took five deep breaths and the pain returned. He slowed his breathing again and the pain disappeared. Dr. Buteyko thus found that breathing, so vital in sustaining life, could not only be a cure, but also, unbelievably, the cause of so many diseases of our civilization.
Dr. Buteyko’s next step was to investigate his discovery. Books available at the time (1952) confirmed his hypothesis. It was then known that exhaling carbon dioxide during deep breathing results in spasms, which have reduced the supply of oxygen to vital organs, including the brain, causing the person to start breathing deeper again. It formed a vicious circle.
Dr. Buteyko measured the breathing patterns of patients suffering from asthma, but he also included in his research those who suffered from other diseases and in many cases found that they were also hyperventilated between attacks. After years of research, he continued to work on the theoretical aspects of his discovery at the Central and Lenin Medical Library. He developed a program to measure breathing and a method that would change patients ’breathing to a normal level. These included:
- Switching from mouth to nose breathing.
- Relaxing the diaphragm to a feeling of shortness of breath.
- Small lifestyle changes to achieve a full recovery.
In 1959, dr Buteyko began clinical trials of a mixed group of two hundred people, some sick and healthy. On January 11, 1960, he presented in front of the Scientific Forum at the Institute the correlation between breathing depth, carbon dioxide levels in the body and health status. Dr. Buteyko received the temporary support of Professor Meshalkin, president of the Forum, to allow the research to continue. In the years that followed, Dr. Buteyko continued his research, with the help of a team of 200 members of qualified medical staff and the use of state-of-the-art technology. By 1967, more than a thousand patients with asthma and other diseases had recovered from their conditions by this method.
In January 1968, Health Minister Academician Petrovsky promised to accept Buteyko’s method as an acceptable standard medical practice if Dr. Buteyko could show an 80 percent success rate with patients. This was to be based on a scientific assessment of severe cases that could not be treated with conventional drugs and therapies. Forty-six patients learned his method, and the results were astounding: 100 percent of patients were officially diagnosed as cured. However, in an extraordinary development and without any reason that can be determined, forged results were forwarded to the Minister. This then resulted in the temporary closure of Buteyk’s lab. But Buteyko persevered, and in April 1980, after experiments in Leningrad and the First Moscow Institute of Pediatric Diseases, the Buteyko breathing method was officially recognized as a method with a success rate of one hundred percent. The research was led by the Science and Technology Committee of the Soviet Ministry.
The Federal Committee for Inventions and Discoveries officially recognized Buteyk’s discovery in 1983 and issued a patent entitled “Method of Treatment of Hypocapnia” (Authorization Certificate No. 1067640 was issued on September 15, 1983). Interestingly, the date of discovery stated in the document is dated January 29, 1962. His discovery was officially recognized twenty years after it was achieved.
More than two hundred medical professionals are currently teaching this therapy from centers located in major cities across Russia. Buteyko has written over fifty scientific publications detailing the relationship between respiration and carbon dioxide, and five of his colleagues have written their thesis on the subject of the Buteyko breathing method.
Professor Buteyko died on May 2, 2003 in Moscow.
It is estimated that over the last five decades, more than 100,000 people have learned and applied this therapy in Russia, about 25,000 in Australia and New Zealand, and thousands of people in the UK.
International Clinic for Buteyko Breathing Method – Buteyko Clinic International
World-renowned Irish teacher of the Buteyko method Patrick McKeown visited Professor Buteyko in 2002 at the Buteyko Clinic in Moscow and obtained his Buteyko diploma directly from Dr. Konstantin Buteyk. Today, Patrick McKeown is dedicated to working with clients, writing books on the Buteyko method, and disseminating the method through educating new practitioners at his clinic.
Members of Buteyko Clinic International come from 53 countries, and Ana Klikovac represents the Croatian practitioner of the Buteyko method.
What does Buteyko breathing therapy look like?
For the Buteyko breathing method, the client applies to an accredited practitioner, with whom he arranges a monthly package of breathing exercises, which can take place individually or in a group. Usually, the price of this package includes 5 or 10 hours of therapy in that month. At the first consultation, the accredited practitioner will explain the basic settings of the Buteyko method and present the advantages and disadvantages of the so-called deep and calm breathing, as well as breathing through the nose or mouth. After the theoretical part, the practical part starts quickly, when the client practitioner learns the basic exercises of the Buteyko breathing method. Clients will have the task of doing these exercises at home every day, until the next appointment with the practitioner, when the client’s progress is determined and recorded, and the exercises continue to be done with the client. The first positive effects of breathing according to the Buteyko method are recognized already during or after the first term at the Buteyko practitioner, and during the next 2-4 weeks there is usually a significant improvement in the client’s condition. After completing all monthly exercises and meetings with the practitioner, the client continues to do their exercises independently at home and there is no need to come to appointments with the practitioner.
What are the most significant settings of the Buteyko method?
The Buteyko method is based on the following settings:
- Breathe through your nose, not your mouth.
- Breathe by relaxing the diaphragm
- Measure your progress with a control pause (CP)
How does “wrong breathing” affect our body?
Chronic hyperventilation creates very loud breathing, which burdens the body and affects a person’s health in a variety of ways. When too much breathing becomes a habit, the body tries to balance the imbalance of gases in the blood and every organ in the body will suffer:
Respiratory system: wheezing, stuffy nose, loss of taste and smell, runny nose, runny nose, difficulty breathing, coughing, chest pressure, frequent respiratory infections, frequent yawning and snoring.
Nervous system: poor concentration, dizziness, numbness of arms and legs, fainting, trembling and headache.
Heart: rapid heartbeat, chest pain, irregular heartbeat.
Mind: restlessness, frustration, irritability, tension, depression, lethargy, stress.
Other symptoms: dry mouth, fatigue, insomnia, nocturnal awakening, insomnia in the morning, decreased productivity, bad dreams, nightmares, dry skin, itchy skin, sweating of the palms, frequent urination, frequent urination at night, bedwetting, diarrhea, constipation, general weakness, chronic exhaustion.
How will I know I’m not breathing properly?
If you have any of the above symptoms, it means you are hyperventilating. Nine out of ten people do not breathe properly. But you can check the quality of your breathing as follows:
- Sit comfortably in a chair and relax
- Observe your breath for a minute or two
- Inhale lightly, exhale lightly and hold your breath (stuff your nose)
- Count the seconds to see how long you can hold your breath with ease. It is not measured here how long you can hold your breath, but how long you can hold it until the first impulse to breathe appears, that is, until you feel the first sign of discomfort.
- Then let go of your nose and continue to breathe normally.
If you had to inhale strongly, it means that you have been holding your breath for too long, because your breath must be calm at the end as it was at the beginning. Then perform the measurement again.
The number you get when you measure the seconds is your CP, or Control pause.
What does your CP number mean?
- Above 60 seconds – you do not hyperventilate / breathe properly, you do not have major health problems
- Less than 60 – hyperventilate / do not breathe properly
- 20-40 seconds – you are relatively healthy
- Less than 20 seconds – you suffer from some ailments and your quality of life is impaired
- Less than 10 seconds – you suffer from a multitude of ailments
Asthmatics usually have a CP between 0 and 20 seconds.
Can children practice Buteyko breathing?
Children older than 4 or 5 years can normally learn and apply the Buteyko breathing method. Children will come to the breathing exercises accompanied by one or both parents, and the parents will learn the Buteyko breathing method together with the child. Exercises for children and adults differ in some segments and the Buteyko practitioner will guide you in all the information related to practicing the method with your child.
Children usually like Buteyko breathing exercises, and a particularly good effect in learning this method is achieved when more children learn this method together in a group. Children then approach this method as a kind of game and easily master the exercises and progress. Some children also awaken their competitive spirit, so the child’s progress is even faster, because the child easily counts and monitors his progress, and sometimes “races” with other children or with himself, because he constantly tries to surpass his results. .
Some of the benefits of Buteyko methods for children are:
- Better sleep
- Better results in school and better concentration
- Calmness, relaxation
- Greater self-confidence
Parents do not pay a fee to participate in breathing exercises with the child, but only pay the amount of the monthly package to the child. If the parent sees the benefits of using the Buteyko breathing method and wants to treat some of their ailments with this method, then they will order special Buteyko methods for adults.
Can pregnant women practice Buteyko breathing?
It is not recommended that pregnant women start practicing the Buteyko breathing method during pregnancy. But women who have learned the Buteyko method of breathing before pregnancy can contact their Buteyko practitioner when they become pregnant and consult about the possibility of performing some lighter exercises during pregnancy. Self-determination of Buteyko breathing method exercises during pregnancy is not recommended.
Can asthma or high blood pressure medication be stopped when the Buteyko breathing method is learned?
It is possible that the need to take asthma medication will decrease or that your doctor will reduce the dose of your high blood pressure medication. However, never stop taking the medication prescribed by your doctor on your own. Please always and in every situation consult a doctor, follow the instructions of your doctor and continue to take your medication as prescribed by your doctor. Practicing the Buteyko method does not require you to stop using any medication and your Buteyko practitioner will never ask you to stop your treatment.
What if I’m already taking homeopathy, Bach drops, or Schuessler’s salts for my ailments?
Simultaneous therapy is possible and desirable. The application of homeopathy, Bach drops, Schuessler’s salts and similar natural methods with the application of the Buteyko breathing method will lead to faster results and improve the quality of your life.
Where can I find an accredited Buteyko Breathing Method practitioner?
At the Annah Center for Homeopathy and Health Support, you can learn breathing exercises according to the Buteyko method from Ana Klikovac, Ph.D., accredited practitioner of the Buteyko method at Buteyko Clinic International. Ana Klikovac earned a degree in Buteyko breathing methods in Ireland, after training and clinical practice in Dublin, Cork and Galway.
How can I book an appointment with Ana Klikovac?
To book your appointments for Buteyko breathing method with Ana Klikovac, please call +385 1 7988870 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
PRODUCTS THAT CAN ASSIST YOU IN PRACTICING BUTEYKO BREATHING METHOD
Ana Klikovac may recommend you to use some of the following products, while you are practicing your Buteyko breathing exercises.
Small tape: suitable for children and teenagers aged 4 – 16 years
Large tape: suitable for adults and teenagers 16 years +
This mouth tape is a purpose-built lip tape, designed by Patrick McKeown to support nose breathing during sleep and exercise.
Unlike other lip tapes, this mouth tape does not cover the mouth. Instead, it gently surrounds the mouth. Its light elastic tension brings the lips together so the wearer can maintain a closed mouth, ensuring correct resting tongue position and nasal breathing.
- Easy to use
- Adheres to skin, even when you sweat
This mouth tape is made from a soft, stretchy material. Once in place, the tape stimulates the skin, triggering a neural response in the muscles of the face. This helps the brain to build the habit of nasal breathing. For use during sport, it allows the wearer to open the mouth to communicate and hydrate. During sleep, it offers a safe, comfortable alternative to tapes that cover the mouth.
When used alongside breathing exercises, this mouth tape:
- Prevents mouth snoring
- Reduces symptoms of sleep apnea and supports CPAP
- Boosts focus,
- Improves sleep quality, reducing fatigue
- Lessens the symptoms of asthma
- Improves dental health
- Relieves anxiety
- Enhances athletic performance and stamina
This mouth tape (small) can be used by children aged four years and over. It restores healthy nasal breathing when worn during the day for between 30 minutes and two hours. It is beneficial to use while the child is focused on another activity such as reading, using a screen or playing. It can also be used during sleep.
- Better sleep
- Supports functional orthodontics
- Helps grow healthy teeth
- Supports airway development
- Reduces symptoms of behavioral and learning disorders
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How can a workout mask help YOU?
This workout mask is designed by Patrick McKeown, an individual that is very well known in the sphere of breathing. One of the goals in designing the sports mask has always been performance increase. There are several ways that a workout mask can benefit you. If you think you are ready for your next workout level, then definitely give the workout mask a try.
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