The Buteyko method or Buteyko Breathing Technique is a form of complementary or alternative physical therapy that proposes chronic “breathing retraining” as a treatment for asthma as well as other conditions. The method takes its name from the late Ukrainian doctor Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko (Ukrainian: ???????), who first formulated its principles during the 1950s. This method is based on the assumption that numerous medical conditions, including asthma, are caused by chronically increasedrespiratory rate (hyperventilation). However, this theory is not widely supported in the medical community due to the lack of evidence supporting either the theory behind the method or that it works in practice. This method purportedly retrains the breathing pattern through chronic repetitive breathing exercises to correct for the hyperventilation, which, according to the method’s proponents, will therefore cure asthma as well as any other conditions purportedly caused by hyperventilation. At the core of the Buteyko method is a series of reduced-breathing exercises that focus on nasal-breathing, breath-holding and relaxation.
Research into the use of the Buteyko method has focused almost exclusively on the treatment of asthma, and have had methodological problems. Studies have not found objective measures to support its use such as improvement in lung function, though there are results showing it could possibly improve subjective measures such as asthma symptoms and quality of life. Reviews of this literature have generally concluded that the evidence is not strong enough to recommend its use for the treatment of asthma based on the available evidence. Those exceptions that have recommended considering its use have noted it should be used with traditional therapies (and not in place of mainstream treatment) and is unlikely to affect or cure the underlying cause of asthma. There is no support for the use of the Buteyko method in other diseases, such as diabetes mellitus or any of the over 150 diseases supporters of this method claim to treat. (wikipedia)
January 6, 2012