British Lung Foundation
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Buteyko Breathing course

Has anyone else done this course with a practioner, I did years ago and had some success with stabilising my asthma, but its gone haywire again .

The courses now are very expensive, and it was suggested I had a top up session.

Professor Buteyko's idea was that asthmatics over breathe because of "hidden hyperventilation" causing a change in the oxygen/co2 balance and his breathing exercises help to control this and can lessen or overcome the symptoms.


12 Replies


Have a look at.


Pls don't take this as a joke, but if i get a bad asthma attack, i find the old remedy of ,putting my head over a bowl of steaming water, a towel over my head and inhaling the steam works great.


Correct breathing, + above azaard. I dislike spending a lot of money unless results are guaranteed and permanent.


Hi Annie , yes dint spend unless i know it works, i have a neb, but by the time i get it sorted, kettles boiled, and I'm starting to feel better, then i think about using the neb, :)


I did this about 12 years ago and, for me, it was a total waste of money - lots of money! My asthma nurse is dead against it, thinks it raises people's hopes. As you say, it is simply a matter of very shallow breathing, and we can all teach ourselves how to do that. I bought the book before the course, it gave a little demo, which showed how to lower the pulse rate, but how that can help with asthma symptoms I have no idea. It really is just shallow breathing! And don't we all have the need for a 'recovery breath' occasionally? I would say don't waste your money on this, but it must work for some people I suppose. Haven't heard a lot about it in recent years.


Hi, you can watch a very good, free demo that another member " bobshire " posted back in Feb. Find bobshire in the directory and in his blogs look for "here is a good one.. bob never give up."

hope this will help, su


I believe this method is very helpful for asthma patients, I am pretty sure you can find some videos on You Tube about it, here's one about unblocking your nose:

There are quite a few other buteyko exercises on youtube by an Australia guy too.

Hope that is helpful to you.


Hi Knitter, you mentioned this to me yesterday so I looked it up.

I was just about to order a book, DVD & CD for £20 from Amazon - think I'll hang fire for a bit as there are the youtube clips mentiond above to try first


Hi Knitter, I did a course in 2000. Asthma had got very much worse, and initially the buteyko breathing was brilliant - my "control pause" (which is the amount of time you can hold your breath after breathing out) rose from about 8 seconds to 29 at best. This lasted for about 2-3 weeks, then it started decreasing and I could never get it back up again which was very frustrating and disappointing. My buteyko trainer was quite newly trained and had no idea what was happening though she did speak to her own trainer who also had no idea.

A month after I was diagnosed with copd. What i reckoned had happened was that i improved for a while, presumably with my CO2 rising which in Buteyko theory is good as he says that hyperventilation makes us lose CO2 which is not just a waste product but is needed to interact with O2 for optimum breathing and i could breathe much better.

But then as it continued rising as i did more B exercises, i imagine the CO2 got too high - my heart started missing beats which my consultant in my NHS job said does happen when there's too much CO2 in your blood.

So, my concern is that Buteyko can work well for some people with asthma - i think its quite mainstream in Australia for instance - but is potentially dangerous to treat a condition like copd (Im not sure you have this but useful for people living with copd to think about) as we often retain too much CO2 and raising it more can be really dangerous.

I hope this makes sense. The unblocking your nose video above does work from personal experience. jean


Also as Sylvsmum has said, it is horrendously expensive. The benefit from a lower pulse rate is less strain on the heart. I had forgotten the shallow breathing part which is central to it. But if you breathe shallowly you need to breathe much more often. My tai chi teacher told me that the Chinese say that taking more than 3 breaths a minutes is bad for your health! So many theories, so little time . . . . .


I did a very early course several years ago, it really helped my asthma, since then a lot of the ideas have changed, and things that people were worried about have been removed.

It's all about breath control, and balancing the gasses in your body, but it will only work if you are committed to doing the exercises every day

. If you suffer with asthma then it is worth considering the CD :

The doctor on the cd is the one I learnt with originally he is very knowledgeable and takes this subject very seriously, so you can feel safe spending money with them


Thanks everyone for all your help, The exercises i did years ago did need a lot of commitment and athough they look easy you need to do them properly otherwise there could be problems

My control pause in 2001 was just six.and I managed after months and months to reach 40, but I still had lots of chest infections and hospital admissions.

On the otherhand the Buteyko idea does seem to explain that weird effect I get when my SATs are high and I am still struggling to breathe.

I will look at all the info you have given me and try the exercises without the top up course

(I also find steam inhalations good as well as saline nebs).


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