Buteyko For Weight Loss?

I recently went to an information session about the Russian cure for asthma, sleep apnea and snoring – Buteyko breathing. It was fascinating stuff, particularly for someone like me who follows sleep research and the wide-ranging effects of good and bad quality sleep.

Now, Buteyko don’t claim that using their method can bring about weight loss, but if you read my earlier post about sleep and weight loss, you’ll be able to follow my speculation a little closer.

What is Buteyko?

Its main premise is based on improving the Bohr cycle – that is, the way your body delivers oxygen to your cells. Basically you correct the way you breathe, easy to learn and a little trickier to retrain your body, which is done over five consecutive nights with the trainer in a group setting for about two hours; and also some followup homework which is quick and easy.

Over the last 30 years they’ve successfully helped tens of thousands of people come off asthma medication and stop using sleep apnea machines and devices.

Why doesn’t your doctor tell you about this?

Well there’s been some research into it, but not enough to convince the medical profession to encourage their patients to make the switch.

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Why not enough research into Buteyko for asthma?

Think on this: when you use the current therapies for any of these conditions, you’re committed to ongoing spending to replace supplies. The makers of those supplies have money to do research into new drugs and devices, to keep you spending.

There is one spend only with Buteyko – the initial five night course. That’s it, nothing more to spend.

Buteyko for Weight Loss?

Remember that the quality of sleep you get affects

  • your mood
  • your energy levels
  • your memory
  • hormone levels, and so on.

Buteyko’s method guarantees – yes, with your money back – that if after 30 days you don’t get improvements in the things you’re doing the course for (and there’s a comprehensive tick-list on the enrolment form) they’ll give you a full refund.

I’ll be really interested to see how those things improve for me.

I have a permanently blocked ear and ringing in the same ear (diagnosed by an ENT specialist as tinnitus that I’ll just have to live with), post nasal drip, clear my throat quite a lot, and have to blow my nose often when doing physical activities.

One simple exercise last night, taking less than five minutes to both learn and do, improved the blocked feeling in my ear by at least 50%, eased the post nasal drip so I’ve not been aware of clearing my throat since, and I didn’t have to blow my nose on my morning treadmill session.

I didn’t leap out of bed full of energy this morning but they say that will come by about day 3 (well night 3, day 4).

So within a week or so my hormone levels could be levelling out, and I’ll have more energy for life and being physical. I’ll be concentrating better, my memory will be improved and I won’t be clearing my throat constantly or wiping my nose. A whole host of other little annoyances might also improve.

It might sound a little far-fetched to you, but I have been completely convinced for many years that the body is the most miraculous self-repairing machine in existence – and more so when we give it good nutrition and health support (such as acupuncture); the body is far wiser than any part of the best of our medical science.

So Buteyko could be a key here, I’ll report more. (Turns out a lot of the sinus-y issues were due to a CSF leak!)

If you want more information, visit Buteyko trainer Brian Firth’s website.


  1. Richard Friedel on January 20, 2009 at 1:57 am

    Asthma – the case for a catastrophic medical error.
    1. It is established in research (Dr. Gwen Skloot) that an asthmatic has difficulty in fully inhaling.
    2. The research on the asthmatic’s inability to take a deep inspiration omits eastern breathing techniques based on diaphragmatic pressure, because asthma is considered to be a disease of the lungs themselves and not of the mechanism for subjecting them to suction and pressure (so-called respiratory pump) which may well cause lung tissue damage by forcing air flow against the lungs’ own airway muscles needed to distribute air in them.
    3. That in particular well documented Japanese techniques for breathing (for example by Dr. med. T. Nakamura: Oriental Breath Therapy) with their effects on hemodynamics (blood pumping) are not considered in the western asthma world only seems to spring from basic prejudices on breathing like outdated prejudices on sex.
    4. A search of physiological literature on respiration reveals that during an inhale pressure in the abdomen is increased. This in itself is an indication but not a proof, of the appropriateness of Japanese techniques using pressure in the abdomen (so called tanden breathing).Richard Friedel. s3e0101@mailin.lrz-muenchen.de

  2. Sandy Kumskov on January 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Richard
    Well I don’t know much about the Japanese breathing methods you’re describing here, but it doesn’t take a lot of thought to realise that it’s probably worth giving it a try. One thing I absolutely know for sure is the body is an incredible bioenergetic healing machine, and the best way to be healthy is to support the body in healing itself.
    thanks for posting 🙂

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