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buteyko breathing method - faqs

What is Buteyko?

The Buteyko Institute Method (BIM) is a system of breathing retraining which delivers immediate and sustained improvement for people with asthma, as well as a reduction in apnoeas and snoring. It is based on the work of Professor Buteyko from Russia, and is taught by BIM Practitioners accredited by the Buteyko Institute of Breathing and Health (BIBH).

The significant features of the BIM are that it is:

  • Effective - over 90% of course participants come off all asthma reliever medications within one week (medical trial results published in MJA Dec 1998)
  • Safe - the BIBH follows international best practice asthma medication guidelines
  • Scientifically based - based on the standard medical principles of respiration, the normalisation of breathing and the Bohr Effect

What are typical outcomes from using the Buteyko Method?

  • Significant reduction in, or elimination of asthma reliever and preventer medications (the reduction of preventer medication is done in consultation with the client’s medical practitioner)
  • Significant reduction in, or elimination of asthma symptoms and attacks and also the relief of other respiratory disorders
  • Improved sleep patterns including reduction or elimination of apnoeas and snoring
  • Increased stamina and energy levels, better work performance, and improved management of the symptoms of stress.

Who does the Buteyko Institute Method Help?

The BIM is suitable for children from 3 years of age and adults of any age. It is effective for people with all types and degrees of severity of asthma and sleep disorders, as well as people with other respiratory disorders such as emphysema, COAD, COPD, sinusitis, hay fever, rhinitis, blocked nose, allergies, bronchitis, bronchiectasis, panic and anxiety conditions.

What does the Buteyko Institute Method involve?

The Buteyko Institute Method is a program of breathing exercises and posture, health and lifestyle guidelines to support a functional breathing pattern. Practitioners review each client’s symptoms and relevant aspects of their breathing pattern. They focus on posture, the rhythm, rate and pattern of breathing, the use of the diaphragm, the ability to nose breathe and the tolerance to breath hold. The program is then tailored to address the client’s specific needs.

In addition to the breathing exercises taught by their practitioner, clients also learn how to monitor their breathing while engaging in daily activities.

The breathing exercises are designed to help normalise the breathing pattern and restore comfortable, natural nasal breathing.

The Buteyko Institute Method does not include herbal remedies or vitamin supplements. Clients are advised not to make any changes to prescribed medication or treatments without first consulting their prescribing medical/health practitioner.

People who are on medication for asthma may find that as their breathing improves they need less reliever medication. However, they are advised not to change any prescribed medication without consulting their doctor.