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Other/Mixed Buteyko research

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)

jef

I am a student of strength.
Certified Instructor
Yes .
In the listings I have access to as an instructor (both Oxygen advantage and Buteyko), there are more than 40 papers on Buteyko directly, and many more on different aspects of breathing.

What are you looking for?
 

JeffW26

Level 2 Valued Member
I guess I'm looking for stuff on medical benefits, such as it's effects on asthma. I have been doing a "1,2,2,1" breathing pattern exercise. Supposedly it decreases the the amount of breaths taken per minute. Could this be happening through a similar mechanism?
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
I guess I'm looking for stuff on medical benefits, such as it's effects on asthma. I have been doing a "1,2,2,1" breathing pattern exercise. Supposedly it decreases the the amount of breaths taken per minute. Could this be happening through a similar mechanism?
Author of the Oxygen Advantage states he cured his asthma with Buteyko techniques.
 

silveraw

Level 7 Valued Member
Here is the published research available from the usual places. Note these two overlap a lot, but google scholar gets things that pubmed misses.


For specific articles on asthma there are a bunch of trials, you will have to dig into methods for a specific breathing pattern.

Also note the dates as the one review is from 2005 and two of the trials are from 2020 and 2021.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Author of the Oxygen Advantage states he cured his asthma with Buteyko techniques.
As did I - I took two medications 24/7; when my CP reached about 40, I was able to reduce but not completely eliminate my medications. But once I got my CP past 60 second, I stopped all my asthma medicines and haven't taken any since.

-S-
 

JeffW26

Level 2 Valued Member
The problem with a lot of the research on Buteyko breathing techniques as they affect asthma is that what improves isn't what the studies are measuring.

-S-
What improves? Im kind of on the fence. I've looked at a couple of studies, but Im aware there can be methodological problems.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
What improves? Im kind of on the fence. I've looked at a couple of studies, but Im aware there can be methodological problems.
I encourage you to watch the BBC video - it's a half-hour documentary - on Advanced Buteyko Institute | Buteyko Breathing Courses & Instruction because this issue is discussed near the end. Buteyko breathing teaches reprogramming our breathing habit to allow us to take advantage of the better release of oxygen to our cells caused by the improved ability to tolerate higher blood CO2 levels. Doctors want to measure lung capacity - I'm sure my lung capacity hasn't increased at all as a result of my Buteyko practice, but all my asthma symptoms are gone and have been gone for several years now. I don't think one can rightly characterize this as a methodological problem - there is no right answer to the wrong question. In the video, you'll see children who went from making constant trips to the hospital to having no symptoms in a matter of days as a result of taking a Buteyko intensive course, but the doctor shown at the end seems to consider this some kind of trick since he is convinced that he's measuring the only thing that matters.

Disclaimer: people pay me to teach them Buteyko breathing, and I am listed on the above-mentioned web site as a Master Instructor.

-S-
 

Benjamin Renaud

Level 7 Valued Member
Although I don't have asthma, I've practiced some of the exercises in The Oxygen Advantage to improve my CO2 tolerance. My breath holds while walking went from under 30 steps to around 85 in less than 3 months. I was practicing the breath holds once a week only and mostly doing what Patrick McKeown calls "Breathe light to breathe right" a few times per day. Very easy to implement into daily life, I would do it while driving or watching TV. The book also contains tons of interesting and useful information.
 

JeffW26

Level 2 Valued Member
I encourage you to watch the BBC video - it's a half-hour documentary - on Advanced Buteyko Institute | Buteyko Breathing Courses & Instruction because this issue is discussed near the end. Buteyko breathing teaches reprogramming our breathing habit to allow us to take advantage of the better release of oxygen to our cells caused by the improved ability to tolerate higher blood CO2 levels. Doctors want to measure lung capacity - I'm sure my lung capacity hasn't increased at all as a result of my Buteyko practice, but all my asthma symptoms are gone and have been gone for several years now. I don't think one can rightly characterize this as a methodological problem - there is no right answer to the wrong question. In the video, you'll see children who went from making constant trips to the hospital to having no symptoms in a matter of days as a result of taking a Buteyko intensive course, but the doctor shown at the end seems to consider this some kind of trick since he is convinced that he's measuring the only thing that matters.

Disclaimer: people pay me to teach them Buteyko breathing, and I am listed on the above-mentioned web site as a Master Instructor.

-S-
Are there differences between buteyko breathing and things like high altitude training masks?

Thank you for your thoughts
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Are there differences between buteyko breathing and things like high altitude training masks?

Thank you for your thoughts
Yes, profound differences. Buteyko _teaches_ you to breath differently, even when you're asleep; high altitude training masks _forces_ you to breath differently. I don't think the differences could be any more profound - these are opposite approaches. I will note that Buteyko breathing does not, as I teach it, focus on exercise/training. What happens there is a "WTH Effect."

Is it training a physiologic response or are there measurable changes in blood CO2 levels?
There are multiple mechanisms that cause us to breath more than we need to and therefore result in the chronic, low-level hyperventilation that Buteyko training addresses. Among those mechanisms, we focus on both the habit of breathing and the experience of raising blood CO2. Put another way, you will breath because you feel the need to so at the moment, and also because you're habituated to breathing at certain intervals. Buteyko training addresses both these things.

I am not a scientist and I hesitate to get into the science even as much as I just did. I can tell you that from what I have read of professor Buteyko's work, he estimates that someone with a control pause (sometimes called an easy breath hold) of 60 seconds takes in about 25% of the amount of air that someone with a "normal" CP (of 15 seconds) does. The only way for this to work is for your body to make better use of the oxygen you do take it, and we know from the science of the Bohr and Haldane effects that there is a basically inverse relationship between the amount of oxygen and the amount of CO2 in the bloodstream.

-S-
 

Essexman

Level 2 Valued Member
Yes, profound differences. Buteyko _teaches_ you to breath differently, even when you're asleep; high altitude training masks _forces_ you to breath differently. I don't think the differences could be any more profound - these are opposite approaches. I will note that Buteyko breathing does not, as I teach it, focus on exercise/training. What happens there is a "WTH Effect."


There are multiple mechanisms that cause us to breath more than we need to and therefore result in the chronic, low-level hyperventilation that Buteyko training addresses. Among those mechanisms, we focus on both the habit of breathing and the experience of raising blood CO2. Put another way, you will breath because you feel the need to so at the moment, and also because you're habituated to breathing at certain intervals. Buteyko training addresses both these things.

I am not a scientist and I hesitate to get into the science even as much as I just did. I can tell you that from what I have read of professor Buteyko's work, he estimates that someone with a control pause (sometimes called an easy breath hold) of 60 seconds takes in about 25% of the amount of air that someone with a "normal" CP (of 15 seconds) does. The only way for this to work is for your body to make better use of the oxygen you do take it, and we know from the science of the Bohr and Haldane effects that there is a basically inverse relationship between the amount of oxygen and the amount of CO2 in the bloodstream.

-S-
Interesting, I wonder if it could help anyone who suffers from obstructive sleep apnea?
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
estimates that someone with a control pause (sometimes called an easy breath hold) of 60 seconds takes in about 25% of the amount of air that someone with a "normal" CP (of 15 seconds) does. The only way for this to work is for your body to make better use of the oxygen you do take...

-S-
Very interesting. Having looked into this a little in the past I couldn't find any real research papers except for what amount to behavioral changes in asthmatics - using controlled breathing they were better able to control their symptoms, and this is similar to outcome from other controlled breathing interventions.

Playing Devil's advocate, exhaled air contains (on average) about 80% of the oxygencontent as inhaled air, you could extract a great deal more oxygen without increasing blood CO2 levels, although exhaled air CO2 levels should be higher by inverse amount.

Am also curious about the mechanisms by which heart rate is increased during hypoxia. Is it common for new Butyeko students to experienced elevated resting heart rate?
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Very interesting. Having looked into this a little in the past I couldn't find any real research papers except for what amount to behavioral changes in asthmatics - using controlled breathing they were better able to control their symptoms, and this is similar to outcome from other controlled breathing interventions.
I am not familiar with "other controlled breathing interventions" but here we focus our training on reprogramming the way we breath without thinking about breathing, so I would hesitate to call it a controlled intervention. It doesn't feel like that. If memory serves, I believe Mr. McKeown posits that once you make this change, you shouldn't need to practice/train and it should stick for the rest of your life. I haven't found that quite to be the case, but I can testify, based both on my own experience and that of my students, that the practice/training needs to be intense in order to make the change happen, but over time, one can practice relatively little to maintain.

Playing Devil's advocate, exhaled air contains (on average) about 80% of the oxygencontent as inhaled air, you could extract a great deal more oxygen without increasing blood CO2 levels,
I don't think this is true. If you read up on the Bohr effect, the reason much of blood O2 get expelled unused is because there is a strong bond between hemoglobin and 02, and releasing more 02 from the bloodstream requires a higher blood CO2 level.

Am also curious about the mechanisms by which heart rate is increased during hypoxia. Is it common for new Butyeko students to experienced elevated resting heart rate?
During the course of my own Buteyko training, I took my resting pulse before each session and, perhaps as a result of that, I learned to lower my resting pulse a few beats simply by thinking about lowering it. I cannot comment on heart rate being increased during a Buteyko session, but if this happens, it's not something I'm aware of. At no point did my resting heart rate increase that I'm aware of.

-S-
 

JeffW26

Level 2 Valued Member
It seems possible to me. Professor Butyeko listed a couple of hundred chronic conditions he said were improved by following his practice. I will see if I can find that list.

-S-
In yoga they talk about taking fewer breaths per minute being healthier. Is this what buteyko essentially is doing, stretching the normal breath out?
 
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