Buteyke Method: Anyone tried it?


Im after anything to help me take charge of my asthma and came across the Buteyko method DVD and CD guide - glossed over the close your mouth book by patrick mckewon which came in the kit. Has anyone here tried it? Is it false hope?

Seeing as my last moment of being a lab rat paid off im wondering if its worth testing this out and being an alternative medicine lab rat?

11 Replies

  • I have the very same dvd/book set and emailed Patrick as I had questions, but do read the book and make sure you don't fall under one of the categories of people who shouldn't try the method.

    If you type Buteyko into the search box on the left you'll find loads of posts on the topic, unfortunately I can't now locate a post of mine from my profile since the site got changed where it displayed all your old posts in your profile, needs fixing I think.

    Yes I have tried it, and the nasal breathing for daily life I agree with, high intensity exercise no, really don't get that one as I tried it and it was possible but that and the abdominal breathing just made my asthma worse, and actually hasn't recovered so do be careful, but then some could put it down to the cold winter, but the nasal breathing should if it really does work have helped and looking at my peakflow data this year it's lower than last winter and I've used loads more inhaled steroid and ventolin.

    By all means give it a go and some on here will tell you it works wonders, just didn't work for me.


  • HI,

    Been doing it for a while now when out in the cold and went on fine ,

    if needed to rest would stop and rest and then carry on.

    I Only do it in cold weather.

    Love Glynis xxx

  • I tried it and it made me more breathless!


  • I did some with my local hospital, combined with some breathing exercises, which i think was the right way to go as it was medically supervised and with the bits that didn't help my asthma there were medical staff there to help. I didn't do any of the mouth taping and trying to increase time of pauses as that made me more wheezy when we tried. But, trying it with the physiotherapist there was good as could check that what things helped and wasn't making things worse.

  • Did some of the excercises got respirations down to 6 per minute. SometI'mes even 4 That's when resting unfortunately when active I can't multi task very well being a bloke so couldn't count and safely do the task..,,, see if physio can go over the stuff safes buying a book plus u getter better instruction

  • mobymelony - bumped up for you

    edit-addad name

  • i have used it for the last 7 or so years


    I have used buteyko for the last 7 or so years and found it very helpful.

    I went to a course by Pat McKeown when i lived at the time in dublin and believe that personal attendance at a course makes a big difference. There is so much information to learn and its easy to not quite have the proper technique. By slight adjustments to your own technique then you can see far more benefit. I went back a couple of times and learned more and tweaked my technique resulting in huge improvements to my breathing and symptoms.

    I have had two periods where my asthma played up, one after slipping a disc and taking medication that doesnt agree with asthma (i thought it would have little effect) and the other this winter which happened to be very cold and for a prolonged period. Fortunately these slight wheeze was dispelled for me by doing my breathing exercises or if i was too tired, a single puff of ventolin (usually happened at night and hard to wake up and do exercises) so i am aware that its not always straight forward.

    In relation to reducing the number of breaths per minute on its own, this has been found in studies to have little effect on the minute volume of breathing(amount air inhaled per minute) thus helping to control escalation of symptoms during an attack (very useful) but not addressing the key underlying hidden hyperventilation. Breathing through your nose is about 25% or so of the technique. Reducing the minute volume using exercise is the other 75%. With reduced rate of breathing i will give an example: John breathes 12 times a minute and breathes 500ml each time giving a 6 litre volume per minute. By reducing his rate to 6 times per minute his volume per breath increases to 1000ml resulting in a slower ratre of breathing but the same 6 litre minute volume. Thus this exercise is missing a key element of buteyko's original technique. It does work for establishing control and the further step to reduce the minute volume should not be overly difficult though will take some work.

    In relation to high intensity exercise, i have found that the technique reduced my speed for a short period of time and resulted in me being far quieter (less vocal) than before in team sports. Over a period of 8 or 10 weeks i got back to where i was. In terms of sprinting, if i needed to sprint then i would breathe through my mouth which is fine as long as your CP (control pause) is over 20 consistently.

    I didnt use the tape on my mouth as i learned the techique before they were comfortable telling people to do so- it would be like having the tape on my elbow at this stage - no difference. It is not advisable for people who have been drinking excessive or are nauseous. In a trial held in Nottingham 78% of people in the Trial found it ok to wear over their mouths at night (you fold over each end so it is easily removable to remove the panic element of not being able to breathe- everyones rate of breathing increases when we lie down. If you are going from mouth to nasal breathing it is entirely normal to feel more short of breath as your body is used to getting more than you are delievering through your nose.

    Have any of you seen the BBC programme by QED from the 1990's on buteyko and asthma?


    very interesting and an independent look at buteyko.

  • Depends on the condition of your asthma.


    this is purely based on my own opinion and i think that the success of this method is based on the condition of your asthma. if i tried this say three years ago i'd be able to see a difference and then say this works. but for me it did'nt do much i think the pranayama yoga and qi gong had the best results and more quicker.

  • Hi Confused! Your last reply seems at odds with your original question!

    If you have further information on pranayama yoga and qi gong techniques or courses i would love to know. Are their results shown in any trials yet? HAvent heard of any but there is only limited info out there on either or so i havent found yet.

    With your attempt at buteyko, did you use a book or attend a course or use part of it only? It becomes a way of life and needs to be a full incorporation into a new breathing method. Sinusitis is also a symptom of hyperventilation, makes sense that it is too.

    The severity of one's asthma does make a difference in the range of exercises one can do,the more severe the asthma the person is restricted to only the most gentle exercises. Also a persons overall fitness levels make a difference.

  • I did'nt see much results from using the book but then i think it is a situation based think. i got better results from pranayama yoga as it addressed my posture issue and covers nasal irrigation. i really found qi gong helped with my rib aches and helped to keep me calm during attacks when i used to techniques- shame is that nothing has stopped me from getting them though as its so stubborn.

  • Hi

    I tried Buteyke, I enrolled onto a weeks course ~ unfortunately for me I was on ITU before the end of the week .It's not for everyone- for some it works for some it doesn't. Try an actual class but if your breathing gets worse stop the course early

    Good luck

    Truly x

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