In this video, I will explain the history and development of the Buteyko Method and suggest that we can probably even claim that are 2 or more Buteyko versions that grew out of the original method that was developed by Dr. Buteyko.
Before going into this, I would like to first point out some important facts related to the Buteyko Breathing Technique. First of all, the Buteyko Breathing Retraining Method has a 100% success rate, provided that students are able to retrain their breath. So with slower breathing, the student will improve body oxygenation and, according to the Buteyko Table of Health Zones, increase their level of health. When normal level (7) of health is achieved, there will be no symptoms of disease and medication will not be useful at all.
Now to understand what versions of the Buteyko method we currently find today, we have to look back at history. More about the history of Dr. Buteyko https://www.normalbreathing.org/buteyko-history/ Dr. Buteyko developed his original method in the 1960s and worked only with severely sick people. These people were hospitalized and had a lot of time (no work etc.) to work on their health. Moreover, as their conditions were very serious (with a life expectancy of months or years), they were extremely motivated to work on their breathing. As such, they would achieve much more dramatic improvements in health compared to the average sick person that practices the method today. Dr. Buteyko worked with a team of 200 practitioners and improved the health of 1000s of patients.
Later, in the 80s and 90s, the method was also approved for the treatment of asthma by the minister of health and Dr. Buteyko started to teach the method to people that were not medical professionals.
The method was adjusted for people with asthma and other respiratory problems, as the treatment of asthma alone does not require such drastic changes in the level of health. If a morning CP of 20 is reached, medication for asthma would not be needed anymore and when level 5 or 6 is reached there would be normal lung function and symptoms would be mostly gone.
Therefore, the adjusted and simplified version did not include the drastic and time-consuming protocols necessary to achieve health levels 7 and up. As such, there is a huge difference between the two versions of the Buteyko Method.
For practitioners that wanted to apply the original method, Buteyko required a health level of at least 7. As such many practitioners had levels 10 or 11. However, for treating asthma patients only, such requirements for practitioners are not necessary. As such, most practitioners in the west, do not focus on levels of health above level 5.
The second or simplified version of the Buteyko method, therefore, does not include for example the necessity to exercise prolonged hours (2 or 3 per day), the necessity to practice breathing exercises 2 hours (or more) per day, to take cold showers and sleep on hard beds, etc.
Now there was an unfortunate event that left many students confused about the effectiveness of the Buteyko Method. A well-known practitioner (Peter Kolb) that was trained by Dr. Buteyko, died of cancer. This should of course not happen to a person that advocates a health method that is supposed to cure cancer.
Although this practitioner was well-known for teaching the Buteyko method, he was only teaching and spreading the second version of the method. The word ‘physical exercise’ was not even included in his writings. Cancer can only be cured with higher levels of health (which requires physical exercise) and this practitioner obviously did not live by the standards of the original Buteyko Method.
Dr. Buteyko himself claimed that for good health, physical exercise is actually more important than breathing exercises. It is only for sick people, that the Buteyko Method would emphasize breathing exercises over physical activity. However, as one’s health improves, physical exercise should increase and the amount of work on breathing exercises should be reduced.
As a final note, I would like to mention something about the way that many practitioners present the Buteyko Method to their students. There are many western practitioners of the Buteyko Method that have learned about the method but who have not reached level 7 (or higher) themselves. As such, I have found that many of them do not speak about the whole spectrum of health (including all the health zones) to their students. As such, students are not informed about the necessary steps to reach true normal health. Furthermore, super health levels (levels 7 to 12) are very frequently neglected by teachers. This is really sad because such levels bring with them many benefits such as extra-sensory perception, the ability to digest many types of foods and dramatically reduced needs for sleep (between 4 and 2 hours).
It should be up to the patient themselves what level of health is ultimately desired and they should not be put in a box by the practitioner by withholding a complete overview of the possibilities.
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