For doctors

Contraria contrariis curantur.

There are several studies that confirm the fact that asthma patients start hyperventilating and coughing in the early stages of their symptom deterioration. Therefore, it is completely clear that lung tissue becomes even more exposed to stress, which stimulates further deterioration.

The Buteyko breathing technique teaches patients how to avoid this initial hyperventilation and enables them to relieve the partial bronchospasm naturally in a few minutes. It is a fairly easy method which does not interfere with any kind of drug treatment. In addition to that, the patients are taught how to properly take their medication in order to optimize the efficiency and minimize adverse side effects.

Many patients with asthma and other respiratory problems breathe through the mouth. The Buteyko method teaches them how to clear their nasal congestion themselves and help them change their primary breathing to nose breathing. The benefits of nasal breathing are well known and among others include warming, cleaning and moisturizing air. According to various studies, another major element in maintaining the body’s balance and its immune response is nitrogen oxide, a strong endogenous vasodilator that is discharged in the nasal sinuses and affects pulmonary gas exchange. This further supports the importance of establishing a habit of breathing through the nose.

The principles of the therapy:

  1. Encouraging nasal and diaphragmatic breathing.
  2. Regularly practicing the Buteyko method for 20-25 minutes three times a day during the initial phase of therapy. This becomes less frequent as the patient’s state improves. The exercises are meant to help master the technique of controlled and conscious hypoventilation and breath-holding. Additionally, the patients use relaxation techniques that lower the effect emotional stress has on respiratory inflammation.
  3. Mouth tape is made available to the patients in order to help them start breathing through the nose by partially taping their mouths before going to bed.
  4. More physical activities focusing on the coordination of breathing and movement.
  5. Attention directed toward a healthy diet and natural dietary supplements.
  6. Taking medication according to the physician’s prescriptions. Changes are made only under the authority of the patient’s physician.

We teach the participants the following:

  1. The importance of nasal breathing.
  2. A simple method of clearing nasal congestion that involves short breath holding and a special technique of moving the head.
  3. How to measure chronic hyperventilation by comfortably holding one’s breath.
  4. How to prevent chronic hyperventilation by using breathing techniques.
  5. Suggesting a change in the way of living and the bad habits that negatively influence our health and especially respiratory organs (the right diet, regular exercise, emotional stability).
  6. Practical and safe measures which help the patients maintain the proper breathing pattern.

Complementary, not alternative

One of the main principles of the Buteyko method as well as our way of work is the harmony with the conventional way of controlling asthma with medication. One of the doctrines of the Buteyko method is cooperating with the patient’s treating physician. In the end, the goal is the same; relieving the symptoms and the eliminating the cause of the disease. With this in mind, we are always available to the physicians if they seek further information about their patients who are attending the therapy or want to know more about the Buteyko method itself.

For more detailed information intended especially for doctors, please refer to the following website:

Author: Peter Kolb BSc (Eng), MSc (Med), Biomedical Engineer

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British doctors officially recognized the Buteyko method back in 2008

The official instructions for treating asthma published in 2008 in the UK that are based on a variety of research methods suggest or advise using the Buteyko method for asthma treatment.

The sponsors of these instructions are:

  • The NHS,
  • The British Thoracic Society,
  • The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network,
  • Asthma UK,
  • The College of Emergency Medicine,
  • The Royal College of Physicians,
  • The UK General Practice Airways Group.

Unfortunately, Slovene health care is extremely conservative when it comes to applying traditional or complementary medicine. Luckily, there are numerous doctors that are open-minded and recommend the Buteyko method to their patients.