Buteyko Method

Information Sheet

Hundreds of thousands of people in the Western world have successfully applied the Buteyko Method to resolve and relieve symptoms of breathing problems such as:

Asthma, Rhinitis, COPD, Cystic FibrosisSnoring, Sleep Apnea, Difficulty Falling Asleep, Waking Up TiredStress, Anxiety, Panic Attacks & DepressionPoor Concentration, Brain Fog, Chronic Exhaustion
Allergies, Sinusitis, Coughing, Breathlessness, WheezingDisrupted Sleep, Nightmares, Bed Wetting, Regular Bathroom Visits During the NightHigh Blood Pressure, Loss of Smell, Dry Mouth

Racing Mind, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Dental Health

Who is Butekyo?

Named after Russian Dr Konstantin Buteyko, the Buteyko Method consists of a series of breathing exercises and guidelines specifically designed to reduce over-breathing.

Bringing breathing volume towards normal levels results in the drastic reduction of common breathing-related issues and brings many additional health benefits such as greater energy and better sleep.

What is over-breathing?

The simple fact is that many people breathe too much (clinically known as chronic hyperventilation), altering the natural levels of gases in the blood and leading to numerous health problems, including asthma. Habitual over-breathing is primarily due to the elements of our modern lifestyles such as processed foods, lack of exercise, pollution, smoking, and excessive talking. As a result of this, breathing volume can increase to as much as 2-3 times the norm, resulting in a variety of common complaints including lethargy, difficulty sleeping, and poor concentration.

How do I recognise over-breathing?

Typical characteristics of over-breathing are breathing through the mouth, noticeable breathing during rest, breathing using the upper chest, regular sighing, taking large breaths prior to talking, and breathing loudly during rest.

Developing a habit of breathing too much can have significant negative consequences for long-term health, as it reduces oxygen delivery to tissues and organs, and leads to the constriction of the smooth muscles surrounding blood vessels and airways. Please view Patrick McKeowns TEDx talk for more information regarding the practical application of the Buteyko Method.

The Buteyko Method involves

  • Learning how to unblock the nose using breath hold exercises
  • Switching from mouth breathing to nasal breathing
  • Relaxation of the diaphragm and creating a mild air shortage
  • Making small and easy lifestyle changes to assist with better long-term breathing methods
  • Measuring your breathing volume and tracking your progress using a special breath hold test called the Control Pause (see below for more details)

How Over-breathing Affects the Body

Chronic hyperventilation creates a high breathing volume which puts extra strain on the body and affects an individual’s health and well-being in many different ways. When over-breathing becomes a habit, the body struggles to cope with an imbalance of blood gases and every system and organ in the body can be affected, including:

  • The respiratory system: wheezing, blocked nose, loss of smell and taste, runny nose, post nasal discharge, breathlessness, coughing, chest tightness, frequent chest infections, frequent yawning, and snoring.
  • The nervous system: poor concentration, dizziness, light-headedness, numbness, sweating, dizziness, brain fog, vertigo, tingling of hands and feet, faintness, trembling, and headache.
  • The heart: a racing heartbeat, pain in the chest region, and a skipping or irregular heartbeat.
  • The mind: anxiety, frustration, restlessness, irritability, tension, depression, apprehension, and stress.
“Chronic hyperventilation can affect any organ or system to different degrees.” – Dr Claude Lum