What is Buteyko Breathing? Can it help me?

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As a breath coach, I’ve studied and trained in various breathing techniques but I chose to do my certification in the Buteyko Breathing Method from a leading global breathing expert, Patrick McKeown. I thought it would help to give  a short explanation of the Buteyko Method and what issues it can help with.  

I chose the Buteyko Breathing because it is one of the only methods that has been clinically studied (for decades) and proven to be effective at alleviating and significantly reducing symptoms of many varied physical and mental health conditions. Most breathing techniques were founded on principles of breathing by ancient people that were healthier and far less stressed than we are today. We are living in a world where chronic stress and disease are the new normal. The Buteyko Method was designed specifically for those with health conditions as well as anxiety and chronic stress.

What is the Buteyko Breathing Method?

Developed by Dr. Konstantin Buteyko, this method revolves around the principle that many of us have developed inefficient breathing habits over time, leading to a range of health issues. The technique focuses on retraining our breathing patterns, promoting nasal breathing, and optimizing the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the body. Functional breathing is biochemical, biomechanical, and cadenced (speed). Buteyko exercises address all three.  

What conditions can be addressed by Buteyko Breathing?

Conditions most studied to date:

Respiratory Disorders

The Buteyko Method has shown to be effective in addressing respiratory conditions including asthma, rhinitis (allergies), COPD, and long COVID.

Anxiety, Panic Disorder, and Chronic Stress

The method activates the parasympathetic nervous system, opens airways, and improves oxygen exchange to the body. Techniques can stop a panic attack and reduce overall anxiety.

Sleep Disorders:

Insomnia, snoring, and sleep apnea can all be improved with Buteyko techniques. Individuals may experience improvements in sleep quality and duration.

Physical Performance Enhancement:

The method also impacts physical performance. By improving oxygen utilization, individuals may notice enhancements in endurance, stamina, and overall fitness levels.

Other conditions which the Buteyko Method can be helpful include:

  • Migraines and Headaches
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Hormonal Imbalances, PMS and Menopause
  • GERD/reflux issues
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Children’s Issues: asthma, sleep, ADHD and more

The Buteyko Method continues to expand in use. Buteyko breathing instructors share stories about helping with a variety of conditions from vocal issues to cystic fibrosis and more.  

Integrating Buteyko into Your Wellness Journey

You can Google "Buteyko breathing exercises" to find some of the basics. The benefit of working with me is that we can not only tailor exercises to your goals, but also discover which exercises your body likes and will be easiest to be practice consistently.

I also teach complementary wellness practices that can be a “habit stacked” together so that in just minutes you can do your Buteyko exercises and other practices at the same time. Together, we'll work towards cultivating wellness habits, tailored to address your unique needs contributing to a resilient foundation of well-being.

It's the small, intentional changes that you find easy, enjoyable, and produce tangible results that lead to lasting transformations.

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