Man with asthma inhaler

How Buteyko Breathing Helps Relieve Asthma

Living with asthma can be challenging, especially when it comes to living with symptoms. As more people seek alternative approaches to complement the more traditional treatments, the Buteyko Breathing Method has emerged as a promising option for treating asthma.

In this article, we’ll dive into how the Buteyko Breathing Method helps relieve asthma and can offer a new path to those suffering with asthma.

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Understanding Asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Its hallmark symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. The condition occurs due to the inflammation and narrowing of the airways, making it difficult for air to flow in and out of the lungs.

I remember it always felt like someone was sitting on my chest when I was a child with asthma. It wasn’t ever a good feeling. I also recall telling someone it was like trying to breathe through a straw.

The Buteyko Breathing Method

The Buteyko Breathing Method was developed by Russian physician Konstantin Buteyko in the 1950s. Put simply it aims to correct improper breathing patterns. Unlike traditional treatments that often rely on medication, this method takes a non-invasive approach, focusing on retraining the way we breathe.

The Buteyko Method can help reduce asthma symptoms.

How Buteyko Breathing Relates to Asthma

At its core, the Buteyko Method acknowledges the profound connection between our breathing patterns and asthma triggers. Many of us inadvertently engage in shallow, rapid breathing, also known as “overbreathing.” This pattern can disrupt the delicate balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body, potentially aggravating asthma symptoms.

Key Techniques of Buteyko Breathing

The Buteyko Method introduces several key techniques to address improper breathing patterns.

One of the cornerstones is nasal breathing. Breathing through the nose filters, humidifies, and warms the air before it enters the lungs, reducing the risk of irritation. Many people breathe through their mouth and get none of these benefits.

Another vital technique is the “control pause.” This involves taking a normal breath in, then exhaling fully and holding the breath until you feel the first signal to breathe in. You count the seconds it takes. This provides a measure of breathing function and gives an idea of what work is needed to conquer asthma.

Benefits of Buteyko Breathing for Asthma

While individual experiences vary, many asthma sufferers have reported improvements after incorporating Buteyko Breathing into their routines. Research indicates that the method may lead to decreased use of rescue inhalers, reduced severity of symptoms, and an improved overall quality of life.

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One study performed in Brisbane in 1994 and published in 1996 reported reliever medication usage was decreased by 90% and inhaled corticosteroids were decreased by 49%. You can download the study and read it here.

Incorporating Buteyko Breathing into Daily Routine

Practicality is key when it comes to adopting any new technique. To integrate Buteyko Breathing into your daily life, start by practicing nasal breathing during periods of calm, like reading or watching TV. Gradually, extend these practices to light physical activities and even during sleep. Remember, consistency is key – small steps can yield significant results over time.

When you are ready to get the full benefit of the practice, get in touch with a professional Buteyko Method instructor. If you want to work with me, please book a call and we can discuss whats involved.

Nasal breathing is an essential part of better breathing.

Consulting Healthcare Professionals

If you want to incorporate any new asthma management approach, including the Buteyko Breathing Method, I suggest keeping your healthcare provider involved. While this technique can complement medical treatments, it is not a replacement. Your healthcare professional can guide you on how to incorporate the method safely into your overall asthma management plan.


In the world of asthma treatment and management, the Buteyko Breathing Method offers a unique perspective – one that focuses on correcting the way you breathe to alleviate symptoms. It’s not a cure-all, yet it can certainly be a valuable tool in your asthma toolkit.

Additional Resources

For more info about the Buteyko Breathing Method and its potential benefits for asthma relief, consider checking out the following resources:

You now know how the Buteyko Breathing Method helps treat asthma. If you need help with your symptoms, please book a call.

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