Buteyko Breathing Method can be an incredibly effective asthma management tool. Asthmatics who attend a Vida Breathworks courses are taught specific exercises to help control asthma symptoms acutely, and longer term to help to restore healthy, functional breathing. This leads to reduced reliance on reliever medications, and over time participants are able to work with their doctors in order to reduce or completely come off their preventative medication.
The British Guideline on the Management of Asthma recognises the value of Buteyko Breathing for asthma management - in 2008 it granted permission for British health professionals to recommend Buteyko breathing. The guideline grades clinical research on Buteyko with a 'B' classification - indicating that high-quality supporting clinical trials are available. No other complementary therapy has been endorsed by this body for the treatment of asthma.
Numerous published studies show that breathing retraining based on Buteyko Breathing Method can help reduce both the symptoms of asthma and the need for both bronchodilator and inhaled corticosteroid medications:
1. Bowler SD, Green A, Mitchell CA. Buteyko breathing techniques in asthma: a blinded randomised controlled trial. Med J Aust. 1998 Dec 7-21;169(11-12):575-8. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1998.tb123422.x. PMID: 9887897.
2. McHugh P, Aitcheson F, Duncan B, Houghton F. Buteyko Breathing Technique for asthma: an effective intervention. N Z Med J. 2003 Dec 12;116(1187):U710. PMID: 14752538.
3. Cooper S, Oborne J, Newton S, et al Effect of two breathing exercises (Buteyko and pranayama) in asthma: a randomised controlled trial Thorax 2003;58:674-679.
4. Patrick McHugh, Fergus Aitcheson, Bruce Duncan, Frank Houghton Buteyko breathing technique and asthma in children: a case series NZMJ 19 May 2006, Vol 119 No 1234
5. Robert L. Cowie, Diane P. Conley, Margot F. Underwood, Patricia G. A randomised controlled trial of the Buteyko technique as an adjunct to conventional management of asthma Respiratory Medicine May 2008 (Vol. 102, Issue 5, Pages 726-732)
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death globally. Research and clinical evidence indicate that along with lifestyle factors, diet and stress, dysfunctional breathing is a significant risk factor in impaired cardiovascular health. There is a clear relationship between over-breathing and cardiac arrest and heart attack.
Vida Breathworks' courses are designed to help restore a functional breathing pattern improving cardiovascular efficiency and helping reduce cardiovascular risk factors.
Breathing in excess of normal metabolic requirements (i.e. dysfunctional breathing) causes a loss of carbon dioxide from the blood leading to hypocapnia. This alters oxygenation of the heart and cardiac rhythm. Reduced arterial carbon dioxide affects cardiac functioning in three ways:
1. it causes reduced blood flow to the heart;
2. the bond between red blood cells and oxygen is strengthened leading to reduced delivery of oxygen to the heart muscle, known as the Bohr effect; and
3. there is increased oxygen demand on the heart due to myocardial contractibility and blood vessel constriction.
1. Subramanian VH, Arora RD. Study of the effect of Buteyko breathing technique in patients with hypertension – A case series. J Soc Indian Physiother 2020;4(1):14-5.
2. Neill, W.A. Hattenhauer, M. 1975 Impairment of myocardial O2 supply due to hyperventilation. Circulation. Nov; 52 (5):854-8.
3. Foex, P. Ryder, W.A. 1979 Effect of CO2 on the systemic and coronary circulations and on coronary sinus blood gas tensions. Bulletin Européen de Physiopathologie Respirtoire. Jul-Aug; 15(4):625-38.
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