Dr. K. P. Buteyko
From personal experience to a
revolutionary breathing method
Dr. Buteyko suffered from severe hypertension that was threatening his life.
In 1952, he was working with patients with serious respiratory problems. In a "lightbulb moment", he realised that his own breathing resembled that of his seriously ill patients.
He decided to change his breathing: to soften it, breathe in far less air, and to relax. His symptoms disappeared. He followed the same procedure with a patient who was struggling for breath - take slow, quiet inhalations and exhalations, through your nose - and he, too, began to breathe normally.
Thus began his investigations into the effects of what we now call "dysfunctional breathing", including hyperventilation, i.e., taking in more air than is needed for what we are actually doing. This passion lasted the rest of his life. Dr. Buteyko's teachings have helped thousands and thousands of people all over the world.
Dr. Buteyko's life's work developed from that moment he discovered the connection between hyperventilation and illness. The more sick we are, the stronger we breathe. What comes first? the illness or the heavy breathing? He discovered that by normalising breathing, correcting the volume of air we inhale, many illnesses may be relieved, and especially chronic illnesses.
The Buteyko Breathing Method is best known for helping asthmatics. In the majority of cases, people report they no longer suffer and are no longer in need of medication.
Certainly, if breathing isn't right, nothing is going to work well. Poor breathing can affect any system and any function of the body. Of course, it can also affect the mind.
What a mystery it is, therefore, that something so important, so fundamental to good health, is met with little interest in our modern lives. The benefits of physical exercise and of good diet are well known and accepted ... but breathing?