Frequently Asked Questions Buteyko USA
Question: I have had asthma for the past thirty years. Can I get benefit from the Buteyko Method?
Yes, expected reduction of coughing , wheezing, breathlessness is 50% within two weeks. This is a standard expectation and is regardless of how long one has had symptoms for. Mild to moderate asthmatics can expect to significantly reduce or eliminate their need for reliever and steroid medication following correct application of the Buteyko Method.
Question: I have coughing attacks, wheezing attacks, excessive mucus. Will the Buteyko method help me?
Yes. Regardless of your respiratory condition- the Buteyko method is very effective for stopping wheezing, coughing or breathless. The Buteyko Method is practically 100% successful in dealing with these symptoms. Chronic hyperventilation is the cause of coughing, wheezing and excess mucus. The Buteyko method reverses chronic hyperventilation thereby reversing these symptoms.
Question: Does the Buteyko Method help with conditions other than asthma?
Yes. The complete list of conditions and symptoms alleviated by the Buteyko Method is available by clicking on this link.
Question: How can I determine whether I chronically hyperventilate?
Central to the Buteyko Method is a breath hold measurement called the Control Pause. This measurement is a breath hold time until you feel the first hunger for air or first involuntary movements of your breathing muscles. You can apply this test from here. The lower your control pause, the greater your breathing volume.
Question: How should we instruct a patient to choose the level of physical activity?
The level of physical exercise should be determined by your Control Pause (CP) and age. The lower the CP and older the patient, the more the duration but less the intensity. If the CP is in 3rd stage of disease, physical exercise should be very limited. If patient is young and in 1st stage of disease more intensive exercise can be applied.
Question: I have just discovered the Buteyko method and I feel I have finally found my answer. I have ran through each exercise in your book. During the day I focus on keeping my breathing very relaxed and small and I actually feel much better. But I am concerned. If I keep reducing my breathing will I be depriving my body, heart and brain of oxygen? How do I know if I am breathing too little. This concept of reduced breathing goes against everything I have ever known about breathing. Everyone says breathe deeper. When I am not performing the exercises, how should I be breathing throughout the day? If I reduce breathe 24/7 is this dangerous? My CP is around 17.
The objective of the Buteyko Method is to change breathing volume from being too much to the required four to six litres per minute. During normal breathing of four to six litres, the blood is saturated with 95 to 98% oxygen.
Breathing more air than normal does not increase the saturation of oxygen in the blood. Instead it causes the removal of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is not just a waste gas. We need a certain amount of it for normal bodily function. A reduced partial pressure of carbon dioxide causes blood vessels and airways to constrict, changes pH of the blood in an alkaline direction and impairs the release of oxygen from haemoglobin. When you bring your breathing volume to normal, organs and systems receive more oxygen. Chronic hyperventilation reduces oxygenation of organs and systems. You are chronically hyperventilating until your CP is forty seconds.
Your breathing throughout the day should be relaxed. The objective is not to reduce breathing by constricting tummy muscles. The objective is to create a tolerable air shortage by relaxation of the respiratory muscles. It is very helpful to feel relaxation of the chest and tummy throughout the day. Bringing relaxation to the body will reduce breathing volume. Everyone says breathe deeper- these people do not know about respiratory physiology. You have a stomach but you don’t fill it with food at every moment of the day. In the same way our lungs should not be filled with air by deliberately breathing heavy. There needs to be a match between our breathing volume and metabolic requirements.
Question: When I go to the doctor, I am asked to blow into the peak flow. Is this wrong?
The standard test for measuring airway obstruction is the peak flow or spirometry. Spirometry measures your forced expiratory volume or in more simple terms how much air you can blow out in one second. However, as many asthmatics experience the test itself is enough to bring on a cough, wheeze or chest tightness. As the test itself causes airways to obstruct, it is not a reliable indicator. A more reliable indicator of asthma symptoms is the Control Pause.
Question: I start Buteyko breathing without a Buteyko instructor?
There are self help products on the market. These can be very worthwhile and we have found that many patients can greatly reduce their symptoms. The benefits of attending a Buteyko instructor is that they can tailor a program to your needs, teach you the exercises, provide feedback as to whether you are doing it correctly, help you through cleansing reactions.
Question: Where can I find Buteyko instructors in the USA?
Question: How do you treat my asthma, snoring, sleep apnoea and other conditions?
As Buteyko instructors, we provide complete instruction on the reversal of chronic hyperventilation. Chronic hyperventilation causes airways and blood vessels to constrict. When you correct breathing volume, you stop coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. Learn more about the effects of chronic hyperventilation syndrome by clicking here.
Question: How much does it cost to attend a complete Buteyko program in the USA?
Answer: The cost will vary according to the number of sessions required. A typical cost ranges from 300 to 500 dollars.
Question: I do not have access to a Buteyko instructor. Can I learn the Buteyko method online through skype?
Answer: Yes, Buteyko instructor Patrick McKeown provides courses by Skype to clients throughout the world. The program is provided on a one to one basis, of four one hour consultations each held about one week apart. Further information on Buteyko Skype online courses by Patrick McKeown is available from here. The cost for the entire Buteyko Skype program including download DVD, manual is 250 USD.
Question: I would like to learn the Buteyko Method to teach to others.
Answer: You can find information about teaching the Buteyko Method to others by clicking here. Buteyko instructor training is available from Ireland, UK, USA, Denmark and Holland.
Question: Can I learn the Buteyko Method from DVD?
Question: I wake up each morning with a blocked nose. How can I unblock it?
Answer: Your nose is blocked because you were breathing heavy and probably breathing through your mouth. Click on this link to view a free video on how to unblock your nose.
Question: What is the Buteyko Method?
Answer: The Buteyko Method was developed by Russian doctor Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko (1923-2003). The method consists of breathing exercises and lifestyle guidelines to reverse chronic hyperventilation. The method was originally called the “voluntary elimination of deep breathing”. This later changed to the Buteyko method following the advice of Russian Buteyko instructor Sasha Stalmatski.
Question: How did the Buteyko Method arrive to the west?
Answer: During the early 1990s, Buteyko sent his protégée Sasha Stalmatksi to the West in order to spread the word of the Buteyko Method. Stalmatski first arrived to Australia and spent several years teaching patients and Buteyko instructors. Since the mid 1990s, he has taught the Buteyko method in a number of countries including the UK and USA.
Question: How quickly can I expect an improvement from the Buteyko method?
Answer: Common asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and blocked nose can be alleviated within hours from application of the Buteyko method. Insomnia, snoring, sleep apnoea, anxiety, stress, asthma etc is greatly helped within days. The time to make improvement for other conditions will vary according to the condition, duration, fat stores and medication usage.
Question: What are the Buteyko breathing exercises?
Answer: Buteyko is defined as reduction of volume of breathing by relaxation of the respiratory muscles to create a need for air. The method using correct posture, concentration, awareness of breathing and mental commands to reduce breathing movements thereby creating a need for air for set periods of time. This resets the respiratory centre to tolerate a higher partial pressure of carbon dioxide thereby bringing breathing volume to normal.
Question: How safe is Buteyko?
Answer: Buteyko is very safe for all persons when an air shortage is created through relaxation. For most patients, relaxation with gentle reduced breathing is akin to taking a walk and this will be well tolerated by most.
It is the degree of air shortage that determines the risk. The air shortage should not disrupt the breathing rhythm or should not generate jerky breathing or tense stomach muscles. (slight tension is okay) Nor should clients freeze their breathing to create the air shortage.
The problem with complicated cases is that it is very difficult for some clients to generate the ideal air shortage. Their CP is generally too low and any reduction of their breathing volume can generate tension. This can lead to stronger cleansing reactions and aggravation of symptoms. Too much of an air shortage can induce tension and increase breathing.
The problem is that it takes experience and skill of an educator to observe the air shortage of their client. In this vein, it is best to work with easy cases for the first 100 clients.
Question: Can the Buteyko Method be taught to children?
Answer: Yes, children make very quick progress with the Buteyko method. The exercises can be tailored depending on the age and health of the child. Our clinics teach children from four and five years of age upwards. Parents can be teaching their children the basics of the program from a very early age. Good habits include breathing through the nose, correct physical exercise, avoid overeating, avoid overheating. Our Buteyko DVD set for children is available from www.buteykokids.com (link) Here you will find a number of exercises available for free.
Question: Can the Buteyko Method be used during pregnancy?
Answer: It is not advisable to use the Buteyko method during pregnancy. The best option is for mothers to learn the method and have a high CP prior to becoming pregnant. Having a CP at the beginning of pregnancy is very beneficial for the health of the mother and foetus.
Question: What happens during a cleansing reaction?
Answer: Roughly two thirds of those who apply Buteyko will experience a cleansing reaction within the first two weeks. Cleansing reactions are indicative of the powerful physiological change which the body undergoes. For people with asthma, the most common reaction is excess mucus from the nose and airways. For a few days and weeks, the nose may be runny, especially during physical activity with nasal breathing. It is also possible to experience an increased amount of mucus moving up from the lower airways. In addition, there may be other symptoms such as a slight headache, diarrhoea, increased yawning, and cold like symptoms or a general feeling of being unwell. Symptoms are, in general, not disruptive and will pass in two or three days. Like any detoxifying process of the body, there is a short adjustment phase. On a positive note, everyone will experience signs of health improvement including: fewer asthma symptoms; less coughing, wheezing and congestion especially in the mornings; increased calmness and concentration; better sleep and more energy, and reduced appetite and cravings for chocolate and other foodstuffs.
Question: Is there any age limit to learning the Buteyko method?
Answer: No, the Buteyko method can be taught to any age. It is simple, safe and effective for all ages.
Buteyko Origins In United States & Canada
Buteyko was first brought from Russia to the western world by Russian instructor Alexander Stalmatski. Stalmatski arrived to Sydney, Australia in 1990 and began teaching friends the Buteyo Breathing Method from his small apartment.
Dr Buteyko and Alexander kept closely in touch with each other during the early dissemination of the Buteyko method throughout the western world. In addition to working in Sydney, Stalmatski made a number of trips to the UK and USA in the early 1990’s to train groups of patients and educators. Stalmatski also wrote the first books on the Buteyko Method in the western world including “Freedom from Asthma” and “Freedom from Insomnia”.
Buteyko Pioneers in North America
The initial Buteyko Pioneers in North America were Susan Neves, Bud Weiss and Liv Browning.
Susan Neves. She first began teaching the Buteyko Breathing Method in 1998 after she trained as a educator through the BIBH, an Australian Buteyko Organization. She established Buteyko Asthma Education USA in late 1998 and began teaching throughout the Midwestern, Southern and Eastern states. She and her company have been featured in newspaper articles and television shows in Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, Lexington, Detroit and Indianapolis since that time. In December of 2000, Susan underwent further training under the tutelage of the late Dr Buteyko. Susan currently teaches classes in the United States and is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Bud Weiss. He retired from the New York City Board of Education in 2008 having served there as a social worker for 25 years. He worked with many children and parents teaching the Buteyko method he had learned from Alexander Stalmatski. His first exposure to the method and beginning training was in 1995 in New York City, initially promoting the work of Chris Drake who was a protégé of Stalmatski’s. He has presented many workshops about the method to teachers and clinicians since that time.
In 1999, He assisted in the organizing and training of Buteyko Instructors by Alexander Stalmatski at the Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington Massachusetts. In addition to training with him, he also organized and assisted Stalmatski in several Buteyko workshops in New York City from 1998-99 including the first one sponsored by Teresa Hale prior to the publication of her book on Buteyko called “Breathing Free”.
He additionally trained in the BIBH method of Buteyko with Jennifer and Russell Stark beginning in November of 2007. He sponsored and assisted in the presentation of the first 2 week long phase of the BIBH instructor training in New York City. It was led by Jennifer Stark in July of 2008 during which the method was taught to over 30 participants for the remediation of their various breathing issues.
Liv Browning. She originally learned the Buteyko Method as a solution for her own chronic asthma. She later trained in 1999 under Jennifer Stark. She has been asthma free since that time and no longer uses medication. In December 2000, she trained with and earned additional certification from the founder of the method, Dr. Konstantin Buteyko.
In May 2000, she opened the doors of Northwest Buteyko Center for Asthma Control and introduced the Buteyko Method to Seattle, Washington and the Western United States. For the first two years, Browning taught her courses at Bovenkamp Chiropractic located in West Seattle. In the spring of 2002, she moved to a new office on First Hill across from Swedish Hospital and shortly after, changed the company name to Kick Asthma™ LLC Center for Asthma Control.
First Clinical Trials Of Buteyko In North America
The Buteyko Method has produced tremendous results for a variety of conditions most notably Asthma and Rhinitis. In early 2000, a child from New York made an excellent recovery from life-long Asthma after he was taught the Buteyko Method. The results were such that his father made a donation of a million dollars to further research of the Buteyko Method. This donation allowed for the first clinical trial in North America that took place in Calgary, Canada at the Foothills Hospital.
Chris Bauman was the Buteyko instructor involved with these trials in Calgary. Results at six months follow up were a 41% reduction in the need for inhaled steroids with Asthma control improving from 40% to 79%.
“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Buteyko Technique works,” said Doctor Bob Cowie MD, resident Respirologist at the Foothills Hospital and Manager of Calgary Buteyko Clinical Trial. “The results of this study shows it is a wonderful adjunct to conventional treatment of Asthma. We had super results that no one else has been able to match even with the best medication.”
Typical clinical trial results is 50% reduction in Asthma Symptoms in two weeks. And a 95 -98% reduction in Asthma Symptoms, 100% reduction in short term Asthma inhaler use, and 50% decrease in long term acting Asthma medications within 8 – 10 weeks or sooner.
NOTE: The British Medical Thoracic Society has approved the Buteyko Breathing Method as a complementary treatment option for Doctors to use on people with Asthma in England. It has been proven to be highly effective treatment for Asthma.
Buteyko Austin Texas
Pilates Centre Of Auston
8229 Shoal Creek Boulevard #104
Austin, Texas 78757