What Is the Buteyko Breathing Technique?

  • by:
  • Source: Healthline
  • 11/10/2021
A Ukrainian doctor, Konstantin Buteyko, created the Buteyko breathing technique (BBT) in the 1950s. This therapeutic breathing method uses breath retention exercises to control the speed and volume of your breath. This helps you to learn to breathe more slowly, calmly, and effectively.
The benefits of Buteyko breathing include enhanced breath control, which helps to prevent breathlessness and promote proper breathing patterns. It’s used to manage and improve a variety of conditions, including asthma, anxiety, and sleep concerns.
Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of Buteyko breathing, how to do it, as well as considerations and alternatives.

Benefits

Buteyko breathing has several benefits that relate to its ability to improve breath awareness, encourage nostril breathing, and limit overbreathing.
By practicing the technique you’ll learn to breathe properly and efficiently, which can help prevent issues such as wheezing, coughing, and feeling short of breath. It can also help to alleviate unnecessary coughing and clear blocked nasal passages.

Regulates breathing

Buteyko breathing is ideal for people who may breathe too much or hyperventilate, which is common in people with conditions such as asthma and anxiety.
It’s also helpful for people who find it challenging to breathe while doing strenuous activities. Additionally, Buteyko breathing can help alleviate stress and improve athletic performance, as well as improve sleep quality by promoting deep sleep, reducing snoring, and relieving sleep apnea.

Helps with asthma and anxiety

Buteyko breathing is often used to treat and manage asthma since it helps to prevent overbreathing, which can be connected to the condition. Hyperventilation can lead to hypocapnia, which leads to low carbon dioxide levels.
Practicing BBT can help you learn to stabilize your breathing patterns by lowering your tidal volume and respiratory rate. It also helps to balance carbon dioxide levels and reduce anxiety.
Several older studies point to the effectiveness of Buteyko breathing in improving asthma symptoms. In a small 2000 study, people who did Buteyko breathing exercises by video improved their quality of life and reduced their need for bronchodilator intake more than the group who watched a placebo video.
Research from 2008 found that people who practiced Buteyko breathing were able to better control their asthma symptoms. They also reduced their need for inhaled corticosteroid therapy.

Eases eustachian tube issues

A small 2019 study found that the Buteyko breathing technique was effective in treating people with obstructive Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD), which causes symptoms due to pressure concerns in the middle ear.
The group that performed the breathing exercises while also using nasal steroids showed greater improvements than the group that only used nasal steroids.
Read the full article: Healthline
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