Author Topic: Buteyko method  (Read 4647 times)

Offline innercombat

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Buteyko method
« on: August 24, 2014, 10:10:29 AM »
Hey there,
anyone heard of the Buteyko method? Or his views about breathing in general? I stumbled upon this and think it's quite fascinating, but still even though I read a lot about it I still don't know if it holds any truth. The claims seem too good to be true. It's about retraining the breathing center in order to breath less over time which is supposed to increase the oxygen uptake in all cells by keeping more CO2 in the blood and therefore making more use of the Bohr effect. Is it allowed to post links of other websites in here? I would like to share one with lots of interesting articles on this topic.

Offline innercombat

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Re: Buteyko method
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 12:15:40 AM »
Well, I already experimented with it, but I could not keep it up. First time I used a DIY Frolov device about 20 min every day for a month. The next time I was doing "steps" where you exhale, hold your breath and try to go as many steps as possible. Both times after the training sessions I experienced a strongly reduced desire to breathe for almost an hour or so which is the exact purpouse of this type of training. Also I felt very different directly after the training was finished, increased mental clarity, happiness and calmness. I somehow stopped doing the training because mainly it was just horrible. The most important thing is to create and maintain air hunger. For me this feels like a prolonged sense of suffocating. It was very stressfull, I sweat a lot and somestimes started shivering, even though I wouldn't describe myself as sensitive, rather the opposite. I want to start soon with breathing training again, but this time I don't want to fail. I think if I eliminate my doubts about Buteyko's findings I can go harder without giving up, which is why I posted here. Also I'm going to keep track of my control pause (CP) often, which serves as an indicator of body oxygenation, here is a video about how to do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2OdshyS95M  (that's the guy of the website I was talking about earlier, it's linked in the description)
According to Buteyko normal healthy CP is 60 seconds!

Offline innercombat

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Re: Buteyko method
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 11:18:49 PM »
I can only tell what I understand from what I read. First your second point increasing breath holding time is not the goal. If you mean the control pause (CP), that's supposed to be a tool to measure your body oxygenation. High CP means high body oxygenation. Breath holding time will automatically increase if CP is rising, but that's of no interest when you want to increase body oxygenation. So it's actually just your first point, reducing breathing volume per minute. Air hunger is needed as it indicates rising carbon dioxide levels and you want to adjust your breathing center to higher carbon dioxide levels in order to lower your desire to breathe in the long term. Higher carbon dioxide levels will translate into higher body oxygenation through the Bohr effect and vasodilation. It's all about oxygen uptake by the cells, not increasing oxygen content in the blood, which are two entirely different things.
Where does he claim you can cure diseases in 1 minute? He states that depending on your starting point (CP) you will need to train multiple times every day to eventually increase your CP to a level where diseases can be cured. Raising your CP from 15 to 40 seconds for instance takes a lot of dedicated hard work and lifestyle changes and will probably take several weeks to months.

Offline innercombat

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Re: Buteyko method
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 02:22:48 AM »
Very interesting article, thank you! So, basically, if CP really does not correlate with CO2 levels, most of what I read about the Buteyko method was total BS.


But I understand what you mean by saying CP is just a measurement tool. Even so, since increased CP & MP would constitute improvement, I think it is fair to classify increased breath holding time as a goal of the training. That's s matter of definition and is not important, of course.

You're right, but still, CP seems to be the more intelligent approach because it can be done by even severly ill patients and it's less depending on your mental state. If you psych yourself up you will always be able to hold your breath much longer.

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As to Rakhimov's claims. Here are some of them on his YouTube channel:

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How to Get Rid of a Stuffy Nose - Clear in 40 seconds

Constipation Remedy: Cure in 1 Min (Breathing Exercise)

How to Get Rid of Anxiety Naturally in 1 Min: Easy Breathing Exercise


I would rather call that symptoms than diseases, but that's probably a matter of definition. I tried the first one several times and it actually works great, but it doesn't last that long. You're supposed to repeat it until your nose stays clear. According to Rakhimov it's because the CO2 needs to accumulate until it has reached a certain level.

Personally, I think that something else is going on: When you're doing these breath holds you experience stress (feeling of suffocating). When this stress reaches a certain level your sympathetic nervous system gets ramped up in order to protect you. The fight or flight reaction takes place and I think that clear airways are a good thing when you need to fight or run for your life. So maybe pain/suffering/stress could be the reason behind this remedy. Prolongued progressive breathing exercises on a regular basis could mean so much stress that your sympathetic nervous system gets turned on and stays more active throughout the day resulting in clear airways, more energy, less hunger, less need to sleep and increaeed focus. All of this is listed as a direct effect of breathing training, hence increased pulmonary CO2 and cellular O2 levels. But I think it kind of sounds like a description of the fight or flight reaction. Maybe this whole breathing training is not about CO2 after all, but a change in how your nervous system is operating in general. It could be explained by the priciple of hormesis: you impose a constant but mild stress on your body by breathing less and get several health benefits in return, because your body reacts by several non-specific adaptions. That's just a theory of mine, I don't know if it makes sense. I'm a bit confused right now, you broke my understanding of breathing physiology with that article, thanks for that ;)

Offline ZC

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Re: Buteyko method
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2014, 06:25:27 AM »
Maybe 12 or so years ago I did Win Wenger's underwater swimming regimen. I believe I swam underwater for 20 hours in 21 days. I don't have my records at hand but I remember being able to swim quite long distances underwater.

Wenger claimed it would boost IQ 10 points. At the time, I didn't notice any IQ or other improvement. Of course, I had no reliable tests, so my assessment of the results was purely subjective.

Distinct from breath holding is slow breathing. There is some evidence that slow breathing can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.