Welcome to Buteyko Vitality – Breathing Strategies for Better Health! I’m guessing you’ve landed here because you, or someone you care about, suffers with asthma, chronic cough, COPD or panic attacks. Or perhaps you snore or have sleep apnoea (on the other hand you might be a fatigued bed-partner hunting down a mutually agreeable solution!) Maybe you are parent to a child who is developing crooked teeth and you want to avoid the cost of braces. Perhaps you have no real medical issue but you simply want to improve your sports performance as an athlete.
And after reading through that list I’ll bet you are wondering how all these medical conditions (plus improving sports performance) could possibly be related! Each of the medical conditions above develop from (or in the case of COPD – are worsened by) a single common denominator: incorrect habits of breathing that alter human physiology. The great news about that is that new breathing habits can be learnt and the resultant changes in human physiology can be reversed. What you are about to discover is a breathing re-training program that:
- Is supported by a growing number of evidence based clinical trials
- Has a sound scientific explanation based on human physiology. In other words? The reason why breathing re-training works can be explained by what scientists already know about how the human body works
- Has been used by thousands of people around the world to improve their health and quality of life
If you’d like to know more about breathing disorders, why they are on the increase, how they impact health, and what causes them, you have come to the right place.
The Science of Breathing Disorders
Have you noticed that there seems to be an increase in breathing related disorders like asthma, snoring and sleep apnoea? Like all diseases, breathing related disorders have very real causes – causes that are rooted in our modern environment and way of life. Buteyko breathing re-training addresses the cause of breathing related disorders instead of just treating the symptoms. The Buteyko method of treating dysfunctional breathing was developed by a Russian physician by the name of Professor Konstantin Buteyko in the mid 1950’s. He found that correcting faulty breathing habits reduced the incidence of a variety of diseases, particularly asthma. What Professor Buteyko discovered is that dysfunctional breathing upsets the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. This then causes a range of flow-on effects in human physiology:
- Disturbances in the body systems that govern blood plasma pH
- Tight bonding between oxygen and haemoglobin which results in oxygen not being released to the body cells including brain cells (causing a lack of energy and feelings of oxygen deprivation). This is known as the Bohr effect, after Christian Bohr who discovered the role of carbon dioxide on oxygen bonding in 1904.
- Vasoconstriction (the medical term for constricting of blood vessels) – causing high blood pressure and lowering the amount of oxygen that is released in the body
- Broncho-constriction (the medical term for constricting of the airways) – causing asthma
- Spasmming of smooth muscle – causing a range of symptoms throughout the body
- Release of histamine – exacerbating allergies such as hay-fever
With the connection made between breathing and various disease processes, it became possible to begin treating the root cause of breathing related disorders rather than just medicating the symptoms.
Buteyko Spreads to the West
As Buteyko’s methods were increasingly adopted in Russia as a low-cost solution for asthma and other breathing related disorders, it was inevitable that it would eventually spread to the West. Since arriving in Australia in the 1990’s there has been avid interest in the Buteyko technique, sparking a number of clinical trials and TV documentaries. The first trial was held at The Mater Hospital in Brisbane in 1995 and examined the use of Buteyko’s methods with a group of asthmatics as compared to a group who received regular physiotherapist care for their asthma. The results showed over a 90% reduction in the use of broncho-dilators (such as Ventolin) and over a 50% reduction in the use of inhaled steroids in the Buteyko group, with better symptom control and improved quality of life. A number of subsequent trials have had similar results, and Buteyko began to be used increasingly by other Western countries.
In the last few years the Buteyko method has been increasingly used with great success for snoring and sleep apnoea. Buteyko is a great option for those who cannot tolerate CPAP machines or would like to sleep without one. This is because the Buteyko method addresses the breathing disorder that drives mouth-breathing, one of the significant causes of snoring and sleep apnoea. For this reason Buteyko is also being used increasingly by dentists, as mouth-breathing is the number one cause of incorrect jaw formation leading to crowded teeth in children. By helping children to learn to breathe exclusively through their nose, expensive orthodontic interventions can be avoided or shortened.
Breathing and Health
Professor Buteyko’s discoveries have shown us exactly how healthy breathing makes for a healthier life. Oxygen is king! The Buteyko method of breathing re-training maximises oxygen uptake in the lungs and delivery to body cells, giving you mental clarity, energy, vitality and better health. I’m a Buteyko Practitioner because I believe in natural, science-based solutions and I am one out of those thousands whose life has been significantly improved by breathing re-training. (If you’d like to know more about my Buteyko journey check it out here). If you are like the vast majority of people who enrol in a Buteyko breathing re-training program you’ll find that your symptoms start to disappear within 5 days or less. Just think – 5 days to better health! It will take some effort on your behalf, but if you are up to it, and if you are sick and tired of being sick or tired (or both) I’d be delighted to help you make your dream of better health a reality.