Dr Konstantin Buteyko

Dr Buteyko spent many months sitting at sick patients’ bedsides observing their states of health. He noticed that each person’s breathing got heavier as his or her health deteriorated. As their illnesses advanced, he saw that his patients breathing movements from their chests and tummies increased, that their breathing became more audible, that their breaths became faster and that they sighed more and breathed through their mouths. In time, he was able to predict the onset of death just by observing their breathing.

This raised a fundamental question for Buteyko: was it his patients’ sickness that contributed to their heavy breathing or was it their heavy breathing that contributed to their sickness?

At the time, Buteyko suffered from severe hypertension. He began experimenting by breathing less and quietening his breathing. Within a short while, the pains that he had experienced for months went away.

Over the following decades, Buteyko extensively researched this subject and had a dedicated laboratory to further his findings. The Buteyko Method was widely used in Russia from 1985 onwards after it was approved by the Soviet health ministry. Government approval was based on conclusions from clinical trials which were conducted by First Medical Sechenov's Institute (Moscow Medical Academy), Moscow, 1981 and National Scientific Institute of Pulmonology of Soviet Health Ministry, Petersburg, 1968. 

The Buteyko method was brought to the West in 1990. Several years ago, Prince Charles of Wales had a private meeting with Professor Buteyko in London. Prince Charles highly regarded Professor's discoveries and expressed interest in their use in the British Health care system.

Buteyko Breathing is now taught in many countries and practised by hundreds of thousands of people for a variety of conditions including asthma, blood pressure, sleeping difficulties, anxiety, stress, panic attacks and depression.


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