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The Buteyko Breathing Method 

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Over 30 years ago, a Russian scientist, Professor Buteyko, developed a practical method that got consistent results in treating asthma, sinusitis, snoring and emphysema (among many other illnesses). Widely used in Russia for the past 20 years, western doctors have also begun to hold Clinical Trials. A hospital in Australia held such a Clinical Trial for asthma patients the 30 patients achieved an average of over 90% reduction in reliever medication within a 6 week period. The control group reduced theirs only 5%!

It has long been recognised medically that hyperventilation (over breathing) causes airways and arteries to narrow. Professor Buteyko was among the first to recognise that BREATHING LESS WOULD CAUSE THEM TO OPEN AGAIN!

Simple logic, like eating too much without exercise causes weight gain, so to lose weight, eat less and exercise!

A working definition of Hyperventilation:

   hyper = too much ventilation = lung ventilation/breathing

the act of breathing too large a volume of air for the bodys needs, causing a reduction in carbon dioxide. 

Habitual hyperventilation (sometimes known as hyperventilation syndrome) occurs as the result of breathing a larger than volume of air than the body can use, washing out too much carbon dioxide (CO2) over an extended period. This may be only 10% too much, or 300% too much. The more a person overbreathes, the more pressure is put on the body. After a time, any extra stimulation (whether physical or mental) can result in the overload we know as illness.

As healthy person breaths out, the CO2 level in the blood stream will build up to about 6.4%, and a chemo-receptor in the brain will trigger the next breath in. This is self-regulating, to be maintained whatever the level of activity. Over time, if the habit of overbreathing develops, the chemoreceptor learns to register an unhealthily low level of CO2 as normal.

However, when carbon dioxide levels in the bloodstream are reduced below 5%, the body begins to respond in one or more of the following ways:

It is unable to release oxygen from the red blood cells as efficiently, so the mind and body react more slowly, and memory and energy levels are affected.

Airways may begin to close down in sinuses and lungs, in the bodys instinctive attempt to prevent the loss of more CO2, with an increase in mucous production this could result in sinusitis, asthma, snoring, bronchitis, and long term, emphysema.

Alkali levels increase, which has a negative impact on the immune system. Underactive and there is a tendency to catch colds, flu, etc., in extreme cases the body cannot combat cancer. Overactive, and you have auto immune diseases such as ME, lupus, MS, allergies, diabetes etc.

Arteries begin closing down, and veins swell, preventing proper blood flow, increasing pulse and blood pressure

Weight changes (up or down) as the metabolism alters

Increased anxiety levels and adrenaline production

What You Can Expect

The core of the Buteyko Method is to raise awareness of the way the client is breathing, and to use specific, gentle exercises to retrain the client to breathe appropriately for the level of activity they are doing. They will be trained to always breathe through the nose, and for many people, this in itself feels miraculous after years of mouth breathing. Over time, the exercises permanently retrain the chemo-receptor responsible for breathing rates, and many clients will eventually only need to monitor their breathing every so often. Exercises can be resumed in any stressful period to prevent a return of symptoms.

Clients are taught a method of self assessment and record keeping, given an action plan, and ideally, will also be taught relaxation techniques to reduce stress and breathing rates at the same time.

After an assessment consultation, these simple exercises are generally taught over 5 sessions during one week, or if that is inconvenient, over a weekend. People with mild symptoms may expect noticeable relief after the first session. Even people with severe symptoms will feel an increase in energy and a decrease in symptoms over the initial 5 sessions. The more presenting symptoms, the more time it will take to stabilise the breathing, but improvements will be rapidly felt. After that, the Practitioner may recommend a follow up programme, depending on the severity of the condition.

Clients are encouraged to keep in contact with their doctor, and only to decrease prescribed medication with medical supervision.

Individual sessions are around 40 - 60 and last about an hour and a half.  The basic Buteyko course for people with mild to moderate symptoms is generally 5 sessions.  More complex or severe issues may require up to 10 sessions.






















Contributed by
Jen Tiller. Buteyko Practitioner
NLP Trainer, Reiki Master, BIH Member



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Further Reading...

Buteyko Clinic Method;
(with DVD and CD) the Complete Instruction to Reverse Asthma, Rhinitis and Snoring Permanently
Patrick McKeown

Click to Order

One of the most experienced Buteyko practitioners in the western world, Buteyko training manual teaches adults and children with asthma how to successfully apply the Buteyko Clinic Method. This set contains the complete instruction of therapy from Patrick's clinics. Written by a lifelong asthmatic until he successfully applied the Buteyko Method. Accredited by the Late Professor Buteyko in 2002, McKeown has since taught thousands of asthmatics how to work with their condition.
Click to Order

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