About Dr. Buteyko and the Buteyko Breathing Method (FAQs)

Does The Buteyko Method help with sleep apnea and snoring?

Buteyko Breathing is a perfect natural solution for snoring and sleep apnea issues. If you suffer from sleep apnea, we recommend taking our individual two-month-long online course Buteyko Breathing Normalization training. You will find more information about the Buteyko self-treatment for sleep apnea and snoring on this page.  We also have many articles and videos about the Buteyko techniques for sleep apnea in this section of Sasha’s Blog.  Read the testimonials of the Buteyko Breathing Center’s clients about sleep apnea and snoring.

Is the word Buteyko trademarked?

Is the word Buteyko trademarked?

In Russia, the word Buteyko (both in English and Russian) is a registered trademark (number 379371). The Clinica Buteyko in Moscow and Dr. Buteyko’s family registered the trademark Buteyko in an attempt to preserve the Buteyko Method and protect it from misuse. This was a reaction to the fact that in the West, many people use the terms Buteyko method or Buteyko practitioner or “Buteyko Clinic” without a proper education in the method or without the necessary legal rights. Some Buteyko practitioners are very enthusiastic about the Buteyko method; however, their instructions sometimes oppose the directions given by Dr. Buteyko and could harm people’s breathing and health. Of course, this is not applicable to all Buteyko practitioners, many of whom are skillful and knowledgeable people, but regrettably, it does apply to everyone. We sincerely hope that this situation will change in the future.
In the U.S, the word “Buteyko” is not a trademark; anyone can use it.

Is the Buteyko Method patented?

In Russia, the Buteyko Method was patented by Dr. Buteyko’s family. Originally, K. P. Buteyko MD-PhD was the author of the patent associated with the Buteyko method. However, the authorship of the patent was transferred by K. P. Buteyko MD, to his wife Ludmila Buteyko and Andrey Novozhilov MD. The patent registration number is 2245171.

Who are Ludmila Buteyko and Andrey Novozhilov, MD?

Ludmila Buteyko was Dr. Buteyko’s wife and his closest collaborator throughout his career. She was one of the most advanced teachers of the Buteyko Method and worked as the director of education at the Buteyko Clinic in Moscow. Along with Andrey Novozhilov MD, Ludmila Buteyko was the owner of the intellectual property associated with the Buteyko Method, namely the Russian patents and trademarks. Andrey Novozhilov MD, is K. P. Buteyko’s stepson, who worked closely with him for many years. He is the foremost medical authority on the Buteyko Method in the world and is currently the medical director of the Buteyko Clinic in Moscow. Ludmila Buteyko passed away in 2014.

What is the Buteyko Clinic?

The Buteyko Clinic in Moscow was formed in 1988 by Konstantin Buteyko MD, along with his wife, Ludmila Buteyko, and her son, Andrey Novozhilov MD. The purpose of the clinic is to treat breathing difficulties and a variety of health conditions using the  Buteyko Method. Andrey Novozhilov MD, Ludmila Buteyko, and many doctors at the Clinica developed a variety of programs for treating specific illnesses. Throughout its years of practice, the Buteyko Clinic has successfully treated thousands of patients, including young children and severely ill people.

The name of the legendary Russian clinic is also used by the Irish Company – Buteyko Clinic International, which has no association with the original clinic.

I’ve read about Buteyko Breathing. Is it a good idea to start experimenting with breath reduction on my own?

Without proper instructions, attempting this kind of breathing retraining on your own could be risky for your health, or you simply might not achieve the results you desire. You should seek out expert supervision and find a  Buteyko Specialist to work with. Dr. Buteyko always insisted that his method was best learned under the supervision of a competent practitioner. Another option is learning on your own by watching Sasha’s instructional video course and booking a Private Session online with a Buteyko Specialist if you need individual guidance.

I am planning on having a baby. Can the Buteyko Breathing Method help me and my new child?

Yes, we can. We strongly recommend that all women who are planning on becoming pregnant take our Buteyko Breathing Normalization course or at least learn some basic information about Buteyko Breathing. It is much easier to give birth to a healthy baby than it is to improve the health of a baby who is born unhealthy. Applying the Buteyko techniques before pregnancy will ensure that your child will not be born as a hyperventilation. According to Dr. Buteyko, if a child is born with good breathing, then they are in perfect health.

Do I over-breathe? How can I check to see if I hyperventilate or not?  

The best way to check if you hyperventilate is to take our Online Self-Test. Your Self-Test results will be submitted to a Certified Buteyko Breathing specialist for review, and you will receive a free Breathing & Health Evaluation Report based on your results.

What is the core principal of the Dr.Buteyko’s approach?

Dr. Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko, a renowned Ukrainian scientist working in Russia, created a revolutionary theory that asthma symptoms (as well as COPD symptoms and other breathing difficulties) are the result of chronic hyperventilation. Physiologically, asthma is characterized by both chronic inflammation in the lungs and bronchial spasm. Severe asthma and COPD are further characterized by structural damage to the lungs, leading to poor gas exchange in the alveoli (air sacs). Dr. Buteyko’s theory was that the deep/heavy breathing of asthmatics (chronic hyperventilation or over-breathing) and the coughing, wheezing, chest pain, mucus, and suffocation attacks (asthmatic symptoms) are related in a unique way.

Based on the laws of physiology, we know that hyperventilation depletes the level of CO2 in the lungs. While CO2 is a by-product of metabolism and some needs to be removed from the body, it is in fact an absolutely essential component of life, which regulates many functions in the human body. To begin with, proper oxygenation of the brain, heart, kidneys and other vital organs and tissues relies on appropriate amounts of CO2 remaining in the body (due to the Bohr Effect). When CO2 levels fall below a certain threshold, the body experiences systemic oxygen deprivation. This is very dangerous for the body. Dr. Buteyko theorized that acute and chronically low CO2 levels in the lungs can cause pH shifts in the body, which create a cascade of negative biochemical reactions, with deleterious effects on metabolism, the immune and nervous systems, and most other body systems.

Dr. Buteyko’s theory is that chronic hyperventilation is so dangerous and damaging to human health that the body creates defensive/survival mechanisms in order to adapt to this constant stress. Asthmatic symptoms (coughing, wheezing, chest pain, excessive mucus, and suffocation attacks) may in fact be a defensive/survival mechanism to protect against over-breathing. Specifically, these symptoms, unpleasant and scary as they may be, have an overall effect of reducing respiration, and therefore maintaining alveolar CO2 levels within an acceptable range. Though these symptoms can cause great suffering, this mechanism actually allows the body to maintain essential biological constants necessary to life.

Dr. Buteyko thought that modern pharmaceutical treatments to eliminate bronchial spasm, though effective in temporarily removing symptoms, were, in fact, disturbing the body’s defensive/survival mechanism. This may explain why asthma symptoms often get worse with prolonged medicating. Over time, medication may be creating an even more powerful asthmatic response, in order to maintain the body’s protective mechanism. However, Dr. Buteyko theorized, if hyperventilation could be eliminated, and breathing normalized, then perhaps the symptoms of asthma and other breathing difficulties would no longer be ‘needed’ by the body to protect itself.

This is the central principle of Dr. Buteyko’s approach for the treatment of asthma and other breathing difficulties. By systematically normalizing air consumption and consequently CO2 levels in the lungs, through the use of the Buteyko breathing exercises, and certain lifestyle changes, Dr. Buteyko found that symptoms of asthma could be tamed, a profound healing could take place in the lungs, and a person could regain their health.

I have a lot of questions about the Buteyko Breathing Method, and I want to speak to a real person. How can I do this?

We encourage any and all questions you have about Dr. Buteyko’s Breathing Normalization method and our educational programs. The best forum for your questions is our Preliminary Consultation. This is a 1-hour conversation with a Breathing Normalization specialist by telephone, Skype or in person, during which you can discuss your health situation in detail. To schedule a Preliminary Consultation, call BrethingCenter anytime at (800) 520-3450, or email us at info@breathingcenter.com. You might also find a lot of answers to your questions by watching The Breathing Normalization Method 5-disc DVD.

Who is K. P. Buteyko MD-PhD?

Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko (1923-2003) was a Ukrainian-born medical doctor and scientist who made multiple paradigm-shifting discoveries about human health and disease. Based on his discoveries and subsequent research, he developed a treatment system, which we call the Buteyko Breathing Normalization Method that eliminates the root cause of many common health issues. You can read more about K. P. Buteyko MD-PhD here.

What did Dr. Buteyko discover?

Dr. Buteyko’s most famous discovery was that chronic pulmonary hyperventilation is the root cause of many diseases. This discovery is discussed in depth during Level 1 Breathing Normalization course. Dr. Buteyko also made several other important discoveries about human health, which are addressed in detail in our Level 2 and 3 programs.

What is Buteyko Breathing Method?

Throughout his five decades of medical practice and research, K. P. Buteyko, MD-PhD, developed and refined a holistic treatment in order to address chronic pulmonary hyperventilation, which he saw as the root cause of many health issues. Originally named the Voluntary Elimination of Deep Breathing Method, later it became known under the name of the Buteyko Breathing Method.

What health issues can be improved with the Buteyko Breathing Method Techniques?

Throughout his medical career, Dr. Buteyko helped many people to overcome breathing difficulties and other health issues. These include diseases of the cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, immune, muscular, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, skeletal, and urinary systems. Here, you can find the full list of reversible diseases as compiled by K. P. Buteyko MD-PhD, which is presented in its original form.

How quickly will my health start to improve with the Buteyko Breathing Method?

Health improvement with the Buteyko Breathing Normalization Training is different for every person. However, in general, many people experience a significant shift in their symptoms within the first session, and 90% experience a major change in the first few weeks. Lasting change ordinarily takes a number of months.

What is a healing crisis?

A healing crisis is a normal and naturally occurring detoxification event. It is experienced by approximately 10% of the people who practice the Buteyko Breathing method. When people normalize their breathing, their metabolism becomes much stronger. As a result, the body starts to flush out toxins, which may have accumulated over many years. For some people, this process may go unnoticed; in others, symptoms may temporarily worsen and become acute. The healing crisis is discussed in detail during the Level 1 Breathing Normalization course. To learn more about the Healing Crisis, please read this blog article.

Can the Buteyko Breathing method be taught to children?

Yes. Most children can learn the Buteyko Method. In fact, by incorporating stories, games, and other teaching techniques, we find that most children learn and apply the method much faster than adults. Furthermore, Breathing Normalization not only improves a child’s health but also their temperament and their ability to concentrate and complete intellectual tasks. For very young children, parents must learn the Method as well, in order to be their child’s tutor.

Are the Buteyko Breathing Techniques useful for couples who are planning to have children?

For women and men thinking about becoming parents, we strongly recommend learning the Breathing Normalization method in order to ensure the physical and mental health of their future child. It is much easier to give birth to a healthy child and maintain their health, as compared to caring for a child who is born unhealthy. Decades of experience by Clinica Buteyko Moscow and Buteyko practitioners show that parents who hyperventilate give birth to children who hyperventilate as well. Be proactive and learn the Buteyko Breathing Method. Remember: prevention is better than cure!

Is Buteyko Breathing helpful for those who are terminally ill?

Yes. In many cases, the method changes the condition of a person; however, there is no guarantee. The Buteyko Breathing Exercises will definitely help to reduce pain and to reduce depression and anxiety. In addition, the method often helps those who are terminally ill to leave this world peacefully.

Is there any age limit for learning the Buteyko Breathing Method?

No. There are no age limits for learning the method. No one is too young or too old to learn and successfully implement the Buteyko Breathing Normalization lifestyle and breathing exercises in their lives.

Who should learn the Buteyko Breathing Method?

Anyone who wishes to improve their health should learn this holistic and drug-free method. Buteyko Breathing Method Specialists primarily work with people who suffer from hyperventilation; they have various breathing difficulties, such as asthmaCOPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), sleep apneasnoringallergies,hyperventilation syndrome, chronic cough, rhinitis (stuffy nose), nasal polyps, and enlarged adenoids and tonsils. However, the Buteyko Breathing Method is not limited by these health issues. Please look at the full list of the health problems that can be sucessfully adressed by this holistic breathing treatment.

What is the difference between The Buteyko Method and other breathing techniques or hyperventilation treatments?

There are many breathing techniques available. Often people say: Try this breathing technique; it will be good for you! However, it’s important to determine the purpose of a breathing technique, treatment or method before applying it. Is it intended to be good for your spiritual development, or is it good for your looks? Will it improve your health? And if the stated goal is to improve your health, its ability to do this should be proven by medical trials, clinical work and testimonials.

Medical trials and clinical work have proved that the Buteyko method is effective for health improvement. In several European countries it is covered by medical insurance. Many of Breathing Center’s Student’s had severe breathing difficulties and other health problems but were able to overcome them by practicing breathing exercises and improving their lifestyle in order to support healthy breathing. Our website contains many testimonials from our clients, who share their stories of successful breathing and overall health improvement. They tell of how this natural treatment improves their asthmaenlarged adenoidsanxiety, COPD and many other breathing difficulties.

What is the goal of this approach to Over-breathing or Hyperventilation?

The goal of Buteyko’s natural hyperventilation (over-Breathing) treatment is to increase the level of CO2 in the lungs up to the medical norm. This has a strong positive impact on the respiratory system and all bodily functions. To understand more, please read this interview with Ira Packman, MD.