The Buteyko Method is based on the concept that much ill health is the result of the body’s defence mechanisms trying to compensate for the lack of oxygen.
Hence the Buteyko Method involves the individual learning a new pattern of shallow breathing through a series of exercise. The principle underlying this technique is that asthmatics and sufferers of other breathing conditions such as hyperventilation (overbreathing which can resulting panic attacks) deplete their stocks of carbon dioxide by over breathing and thus exhaling valuable carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide is required to move oxygen from the blood into the cells and tissues of the body and most of the air around us contained a much smaller proportion of carbon dioxide. Shallow breathing increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the body which in turn oxygenates the cells and tissues of the body.
This Buteyko Method was developed by a Russian professor of physiology,Professor Konstantin Buteyko, about fifty years ago. Interestingly, when he conducted his study, he observed that patients with cardiac problems, allergies and breathing disorders breathed more than normal and concluded that deep breathing was not just a symptom but a cause of their ailments.
Although, primarily, Buteyko Method was used as a treatment for asthma, it can also be used to treat high blood pressure, heart conditions, eczema, diabetes, migraines, hay fever and other allerges. It has also shown some success in helping people to stop snoring.
Practitioners believe that children with asthma who do not have a lifetime of bad habits to unlearn, may achieve results more quickly. However, the Buteyko Method is not suitable for anyone suffering from the acute stage of an infectious disease.