Why does it work?

The Buteyko method focuses on hyperventilation as the hidden cause for asthma and other diseases. One of the most important elements of the Buteyko is the change of one’s breathing pattern and learning to breathe through the nose. Many patients with asthma and other respiratory problems do not breathe through the nose, because it is often congested. Sadly, mouth breathing causes almost irreparable damage to the sensitive airways in the lungs that are exposed to dry and cold air. Additionally, when we breathe through the nose, nitrogen oxide is produced in the cells in the nasal cavity and this compound enables oxygen to pass from the lungs into the blood with more ease. Clearly, nose breathing is the most effective precautionary measure by far.

For any therapy to succeed, the patient needs to have a positive approach to it. Breathing has a deeply ingrained pattern and it requires hard work to learn this method successfully. The logic behind it is simple: the more effort one puts into it, the more healthiness one can expect to come of it. In contrast to treatment with medication, Buteyko’s exercises do not need to be practiced every day or for the rest of one’s life. When ones achieves the breathing pattern change (after approximately 5 weeks of regularly training every day), one can simply monitor their state with a simple test. If necessary, the patients repeat the exercises from time to time.

The Buteyko method is not physically challenging. The majority of the exercises are actually performed in a comfortable sitting position. The most challenging part is sticking to the new way of breathing, because one needs to fully change an inappropriate pattern that is rooted deep in their body and psyche.

Many asthma patients know from experience that stress and intense emotions worsen their condition. This is why learning to properly relax is an important aspect of the Buteyko therapy. Additionally, a minor change of diet is suggested, because it can help establish overall balance.