Buteyko, Dr Konstantin
The Buteyko method or Buteyko Breathing System is a form of physical therapy that uses both Relaxation as well as breathing exercises as a treatment for asthma and other respiratory problems. The method takes its name from Ukrainian doctor Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko (1923 – 2003), who first formulated its principles during the 1950s.
Dr Buteyko gained his degree in medicine in 1952 at the First Moscow Institute of Medicine and became a resident. During his medical studies he undertook a project in which he had to make observations on patients’ breathing rates and correlate these with the severity and prognosis of their illness. He soon came to the conclusion that there was an association between these two factors, such that as a patient’s condition became more severe so their breathing rate increased.
Buteyko reasoned that if there really was a connection between hyperventilation and illness it should be possible to reverse this by deliberate breath control. Buteyko had studied texts on yoga and so began to experiment both on himself and with his patients. These early trials became known as the Buteyko method.
By the early 1980s the Russian authorities were sufficiently impressed with Buteyko’s results to allow him a formal trial with asthmatic children in a Moscow hospital. Although very different in design from the standard controlled trial now predominant in the west, the results were sufficiently impressive to persuade the State Medical System to approve the method for widespread use.
And from there the method has spread world-wide.
As you will see from the description it is widely supported by patients, if not by conventional doctors.
The technique employed by this method is very similar to that used in the Relaxation technique.
A PDF, is available for free download from the Buteyko Association, which describes the approach in more detail.
The website for the Buteyko Association can be found by following this LINK
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