Lao zhu

“The perfect man breathes as if he is not breathing”. 


Horses for courses

You wouldn’t expect a flat racer to jump or a Shetland to pull with a Shire. Would you?

Classical Buteyko Method

Classical Buteyko Method

 “A nasal breathing practice to reduce breathing to improve health”

I compiled these notes from those given to me after a beginners’ workshop and from my experience practising at home, on the metro, in public parks and from attending Buteyko web conferences. It’s claimed over 200 chronic diseases can be reversed. I’ve tried medicine; Buteyko works for me. I joined a webinar, signed up and shared this guide with my doctor.


Buteyko teaches you to inhale and to exhale through the nose and not to breathe through the mouth. Practice combines breath holds with breathing exercises. You create more CO2 to oxygenate your cells more effectively. There’s no equipment and there’s no medicine. There are skills to learn such as good posture and relaxation. There are new habits to develop such as rapid gentle nasal breathing, breaking your sleep and taping your mouth at night. It’s quite a journey.

Buteyko improves the quality but not necessarily the length of your life. It’s a cause with many effects. You’ll crave less; breathe, eat and sleep less and you’ll cleanse. Cleansing is your body’s way of detoxifying itself and ridding itself of traces of past ailments. Your weight will normalise.

Prof Buteyko treated chronically ill patients and trained top athletes. When your CP exceeds 25 you can add physical exercise to your daily routine. When your CP exceeds 40 you’ll have no symptoms of poor health and you’ll develop a short pause after you exhale. You’ll have excellent health with a CP of 60. That promise excites me.

I’ve had setbacks. The method itself is not difficult but there have been many days when I’ve felt poorly or just not bothered. Symptoms? Yes. Self-pity? Yes. The only option is to practice.  Think of Aesop’s fable The Tortoise and Hare. Become the tortoise; move in a slow way, don’t rush, take your time, set targets and you’ll win in the end. Ask Mr Vladimir Sukhonosov, who trained with Prof Buteyko, and Martha Roe, Practitioner, about your setbacks on the monthly web conferences and have a Practitioner support you one-to-one if you need it.

I’ve had successes. I use rescues to restore my CP and marvel at the results. My posture is better, my outlook has mellowed and my health has improved. I haven’t had another asthma attack and my body mass index is now 22 which means my weight is no longer endangering my health.

My immediate challenge is to exceed 120 seconds on a MP2, sitting still or 110 steps at a normal pace, and 40 seconds CP, 5 minutes after waking and with no symptoms. I may try for a CP of 60 but if I can’t I’ll practice occasionally and restart daily practice if my CP drops below 40.