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The Buteyko Method is a set of breathing exercises developed by Dr K P Buteyko to develop healthy breathing patterns, which help to maintain the correct ratio of oxygen and carbon dioxide within the bloodstream.
According to his research, some 150 diseases are linked to dysfunctional breathing: asthma, allergies and emphysema are just a few examples. More than 40 years of research have produced the Buteyko Method, which can recondition and normalise the breathing and restore the body's most important function.
Many thousands of asthmatics and those with breathing difficulties have experienced remarkable improvement in their condition with this amazing Method, which has allowed them to reduce their dependency on medication and enjoy a quality of life they previously thought impossible.
Asthma - intrinsic, extrinsic, allergic and Exercise Induced. Responds very well to the Buteyko method. Clinical trials showed that asthmatics can expect up to 96% reduction in reliever medication within three months of starting a course of intruction.
Is the Buteyko Method a cure for Asthma?
Following a number of successful medical trials showing the efficacy of the Buteyko method in reversing the symptoms of bronchial asthma, Buteyko is now recognised by the BRITISH THORACIC SOCIETY as a valid intervention for Asthma, category B. This means Consultants, GP's and Asthma nurses can refer patients to take the Buteyko course with us. No other complementary therapy has this category relating to Dysfunctional Breathing. The Buteyko Method involves taking no additional medication and can be safely used by people over the age of 3 years and well into the eighties.
50% less coughing, wheezing and breathlessness within two weeks
90% less need for reliever medication
50% less need for preventer medication within three to six months
Snoring - Breathing through the mouth during the day is unnatural - breathing through the mouth at night is even more so. Snoring can cause health problems such as hypertension, rheumatism, heart disease and depression. These tendencies may increase as the person gets fatter, older or after over-eating or drinking alcohol. Snoring can be the precursor of a more serious, more debilitating condition - sleep apnea
Sleep Apnea - This condition may follow from snoring and is characterised by 'stopping breathing' for more than 10 seconds at a time during periods of sleep. There are two types of sleep apnoea; obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and central sleep apnoea (CSA).
A person with sleep apnea may have the following symptoms -
Mouth breathing/dry mouth or throat on waking
Breathlessness while exercising
10 sec – 2 minute apnoeas (cessation of breath)
Restlessness, movements during sleep of the whole body or just the legs
Thirst overnight and/or on waking
Waking tired, and feeling tiredness through the day
Daytime - lack of concentration and tendency to fall asleep
Normal sleep occurs in five stages: Stages 1,2,3,4, & REM (rapid eye movement). Stages 3 & 4 are the most restful and deep sleep. When a person is over breathing, or hyperventilating, they are prevented from easily reaching the most restful and deepest sleep stages, remaining mostly in the light and easily disturbed sleep of stages 1 & 2.
If sleep apnoea is being experienced each apnoea finishes with a gasping breath which drags the sleeper near to consciousness. They may not realise this has happened as they remain asleep. If they have a sleeping partner that hears the gasp/snore however, and may become very concerned. Many people who take our course have been persuaded to participate by their long-sufering partner!
Bronchitis - this condition is characterised by chronic inflammation and damage to the bronchi and lungs, giving rise to increased mucus production with a frequent productive cough, especially in the winter months. The Buteyko programme quickly produce a reduction in mucus thereby lessening coughing, diminishing two of the most distressing symptoms of bronchitis. With practice of the exercises the body becomes more efficient at resisting infection.
Bronchiectasis - this local or generalised dilation of the bronchi with susceptibility to increased sputum and infection can be greatly helped by Buteyko breathing exercises. Hyperventilation gives rise to increased sputum; so by decreasing the breathing, the large amounts of mucus produced reduce. The dilated "pockets" have no cilia, so mucus can be hard to clear. With open airways due to good CO2 levels, clearing infected mucus becomes very much easier.
Chronic cough - coughing increases hyperventilation and phlegm is part of your lung's defence mechanism. Coughing on top of wheeze can lead to an asthma attack. With Buteyko you learn how to reduce the incidence of cough and wheeze.
Emphysema, COAD, and COPD. With these conditions a more gentle approach is required, but even after just one week people commonly make enough improvement to encourage further practice. Although not a "cure" you should experience some improvement in symptoms, reduction in medication and improved ability to exercise .
Rhinitis - Breathing through your nose may at first seem impossible if you have chronically blocked nasal passages. The first exercise of Buteyko is nose clearing and learning correct breathing will keep your nasal passages clear. An ongoing clinical trial in Ireland is showing excellent results in improving rhinitis alone. (March 2008)
Sinusitis - The Buteyko method has been demonstrated to improve sinusitis, providing there is no severe nasal fracture, septum deviation or foreign body present. Over time this usually means the frequent antibiotics often taken with this condition become redundant.
Hayfever - Called by Professor Buteyko "asthma of the nose" this condition responds quickly to the Buteyko method. Can Buteyko cure hayfever? Buteyko practitioners worldwide have thousands of case studies showing evidence of complete removal of all hayfever symptoms within 6 months of practising the techniques regularly.
Allergies - Many triggers for allergic reactions reduce in power as your breathing normalises. During a course you will learn a simple method for clearly establishing your allergy triggers, which makes it easier to avoid them.
Anxiety symptoms - Hyperventilation, and subsequent depletion of carbon dioxide (CO2), can in itself lead to symptoms and will exacerbate any feelings of anxiety and stress.The Buteyko exercises increase levels of CO2, even out the breathing pattern and go a long way to reducing symptoms.
Migraine - the low levels of CO2 resulting from chronic hyperventilation cause constriction of the blood vessels. This is thought to be a main contributory cause of migraines and headaches. Using Buteyko breathing can lead to a lessening of the incidence of these painful episodes and with contnued use of the exercises and strategies finally eradicating them.