The Buteyko method Developed by Dr. Konstantin Buteyko (Russia 1923-2003) involves a total approach to health. It includes not only special breathing exercises but principles for exercise, food, and sleeping that Dr. Konstantin Buteyko considered vital in order to maintain or restore balance and a return to vital health.
The basic underlying theory and practice involves the counterintuitive method of voluntarily reducing the volume of air breathed per minute. This conserves carbon dioxide ( CO2 ) which is not a waste gas.

According to Dr. Yandell Henderson of Yale in his article "Carbon Dioxide" in the Cyclopedia of Medicine ( 1940 ): “Carbon dioxide is the chief hormone of the entire body; it is the only one that is produced by every tissue and that probably acts on every organ. In the regulation of the functions of the body , carbon dioxide exerts at least 3 well defined influences: (1) It is one of the prime factors in the acid-base balance of the blood. (2) It is the principal control of respiration. (3) It exerts an essential tonic influence upon the heart and peripheral circulation.”

To elucidate further: Sufficient levels of CO2 allows for the reduction of spasming of smooth muscle tissue such as that surrounding the bronchi, arteries, bladder, sinuses, and gut. As you can see this relates to a large number of possible disease states. As noted above regarding a major function of CO2 is the release of Oxygen from the hemoglobin to the cells and tissues. This is largely accomplished as a consequence of the Bohr effect.

“Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the key players in oxygen transport and normal oxygenation of cells due to the Bohr law (or Bohr effect) that explains how and why oxygen is released in tissues. The effect was first described in 1904 by the Danish physiologist Christian Bohr (father of physicist Niels Bohr). He stated that at lower pH (more acidic environment, e.g., in tissues), hemoglobin will bind to oxygen with less affinity. Since carbon dioxide is in direct equilibrium with the concentration of protons in the blood, increasing blood carbon dioxide content causes a decrease in pH, which leads to a decrease in affinity for oxygen by hemoglobin. The description of this physiological law can be found in standard physiological textbooks.”

The Buteyko method is about empowerment. When properly taught by a recognized well trained Buteyko practitioner, the method gives you the control that you want naturally without medications, supplements, or machines in most instances.

Clinical trials in regard to Asthma, for example, show a reduction in symptoms by at least 70%, making other treatments largely redundant. “I’ve been astonished and also very pleased with the excellent result. There is no disruption of their life at all by their disease: normal activities; not waking at night; not needing to use any reliever medications. It’s just great...75% control is about as good as anyone has got in any study of asthma. The neat thing about it is that it has no side effects. It’s very safe. The Buteyko technique certainly has been shown to be an important adjunct to treatment.”..... Robert Cowie, M.D. Resident Respirologist of Foothills Hospital in Calgary Canada and head researcher on the Buteyko Breathing Technique Medical Trial. (October 2004 – April 2005) Dr. Robert Cowie is one of the most respected researchers in the world in this field.

By using the Buteyko method properly, you will notice all of the following:
• A greater understanding of your condition
• Considerably fewer allergic reactions
• Reduction or elimination of various breathing related illnesses: Asthma,
Apnea, COPD, High blood Pressure, Anxiety, Panic attacks, Attentional
problems and more.
• Dramatic reduction or elimination of medication
• Improvement in your sporting performance
• Better stress management and reduction of stress-related symptoms
• A good night’s sleep.

While there are many fine websites about the work of Professor Konstantin P. Buteyko M.D.,including the ones of my present mentors Russell and Jennifer Stark, my own web pages at provides a wealth of information and videos as well as hyperlinks to many other fine Buteyko websites.

Author's Bio: 

Barnett Weiss resides in the New York Metropolitan area. He is a retired New York City Board of Education Social worker who continues as a consultant to public and private schools in his work with parents, teachers and other care givers for so called "difficult children" as an advanced Trainer in the Nurtured Heart Approach. He is also one of the principal organizers of the North American Buteyko Breathing Educators Association. He is highly regarded internationally having been nominated to the Buteyko Hall of fame by his peers due to his efforts at bringing the Buteyko Method to the public including many public and private presentations and several key radio and TV programs since 1995.
He has been a chief Pediatric Social worker and chief psychiatric social worker at two of the major hospitals in the New York Area. He was the director and innovator of one of the largest municipal programs for the developmentally challenged in the US.
Mr. Weiss has presented in many modalities of therapy and education both nationally and internationally over the past more than 40 years.