WHAT IS THE BUTEYKO BREATHING METHOD?
The Buteyko Breathing Method (BBM) is a series of breathing exercises that use nasal breathing to correct over-breathing, which is seen in a variety of health problems resulting in worsening oxygenation, increased sensitivity to carbon dioxide, and reduced production of nitric oxide. These physiological changes result in worsening gas exchange. In addition, there is an element of mindfulness that is practiced with these exercises.
Patrick McKeown, a world-renowned instructor in BBM, best describes this breathing method as follows: "Dr. Buteyko saw that sick people breathe hard. He asked, is the sickness causing the hard breathing, or the hard breathing causing the sickness? People are often told to take deep, full, big breaths, in the belief that this will increase oxygen delivery to the tissues. If we look at the science, it doesn't work that way. If you take big breaths that increases the volume of air beyond what it should be, you get rid of too much carbon dioxide. Due to the Bohr Effect, this causes red blood cells to actually hold on to oxygen instead of releasing it. By practicing the Buteyko breathing technique and developing subtle, soft, slow, light breathing while also maintaining diaphragmatic, nasal breathing, you're increasing oxygen delivery to the cells. This is where it's going to transform health."