How Does the Buteyko Institute Method Work?

  1. The body requires carbon dioxide in order to free oxygen molecules from haemoglobin in the red blood cells. Without an adequate carbon dioxide level, our bodies cannot effectively make use of the oxygen we breathe. This is called the
    'Bohr Effect' and is described in standard medical textbooks.

  2. Professor Buteyko, a Russian medical doctor, discovered during his research that over-breathing (breathing too much air in and out) results in "blowing off" essential carbon dioxide. In people genetically predisposed to asthma, the body tries to retain carbon dioxide by narrowing the air tubes: the airways become inflamed and go into spasm. Professor Buteyko stated that over-breathing and the consequent loss of Carbon Dioxide causes asthma. Asthma reliever medication temporarily opens the airways up again, reducing symptoms, but the underlying problem - over-breathing - remains.

  3. The Buteyko Institute Method retrains people who over-breathe to reduce the volume of air they breathe in and out and therefore retain carbon dioxide. Buteyko exercises enable clients to achieve comfortable nose breathing with less air volume. As shown by independent clinical trials, this method is extremely effective for people with asthma, providing a better quality of life, a decrease in symptoms and a significant reduction in asthma medication. The method is now a mainstream therapy for asthma and other breathing conditions in Russia.

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