Buteyko Practitioner Training: Russian vs. Western Schools

Review - By Dr. Artour Rakhimov

Artour Rakhimov, PhD, Buteyko breathing practitioner trainerButeyko teacher training is now organized by numerous centers around the world. Since the Buteyko method was brought to the Western world mainly by Alexander Stalmatsky, who taught thousands of patients and numerous practitioners, his pupils and some other practitioners also offer their courses in Buteyko practitioner training.

From a typical Buteyko course, you can expect to get about 25 seconds for the body-oxygen test, with some possible unnecessary additions and adaptations of the original Buteyko method taught by Soviet and Russian MDs for the Western world. These additions and adaptations of the Buteyko method are also reflected in Western training of Buteyko practitioners.

In order to understand the levels and content of many training courses for Buteyko practitioners, one needs to know first what is to expect from a typical Buteyko course and what the differences between typical Russian medical and prevalent Western teaching are.

Training of Buteyko therapists: Russian MDs vs. Western teachers

The main advantages and important features of Russian medical teaching of the Buteyko method and Russian training of Buteyko practitioner relate to the following topics:
- much better knowledge related to lifestyle and other factors in order to get the Buteyko golden standard of health or 60 seconds for the body-oxygen test
- more professional use of cold showers, hard beds, barefoot walking and barefoot running for breathing retraining
- better knowledge and application of the Buteyko method to people with hypertension, panic attacks and migraine headaches (some Western practitioners apply maximum pauses for these groups of people when they still have low CPs)
- some other topics mentioned below.

In order to evaluate the efficiency and professionalism of Buteyko practitioner training and practical skills of the Buteyko trainers who organize Buteyko practitioner training, you can ask them the following questions:
- Do you know the methods and techniques that are required to break through 40 seconds morning CP threshold?
- Do you know how to deal with loss of CO2 sensitivity?
- What are independent signs that appear after breaking through the 40 s CP threshold?
- Is taking cold shower an important part of the Buteyko method?
- How much physical exercise per day is required to achieve over 60 s CP?
- and some others.

Generally, most Western additions and adaptations, in Buteyko courses and Buteyko practitioner training, relate to the poor health of trainers (according to Buteyko standards - 60 s CP, they have low CPs) indicating simplification and popularization of teaching the Buteyko method. However, even this application still makes a huge difference on the health of students, who after 3-6 months make about the same improvements as for the Buteyko clinical trials. However, later, most students stop practicing breathing exercises and their health gets slightly worse or about at the same level as the majority of population.

While many Buteyko practitioners encourage their students to go further, there are many Western Buteyko practitioners and trainers who do not tell to their students that, at over 50-60 s CP, there is another life up there (see the Table below). This prevents their students from being motivated to become really healthy. Possibly, this omission also relates to the low CPs of many trainers and practitioners, as well as to a desire to look more confident in the eyes of their students. All these factors indicate that there are serious improvements that can be made in training of Buteyko practitioner.

Lifestyle factor: Body oxygen < 30 s Body oxygen > 50 s
Energy level Medium, low, or very low High
Desire to exercise Not strong, but possible Craving and joy of exercise
Intensive exercise with nose breathing Hard or impossible Easy and effortless
Typical mind states Confusion, anxiety, depression Focus, concentration, clarity
Craving for coffee, sugar and junk foods Present Absent
Addictions to smoking, alcohol, and drugs Possible Absent
Desire to eat raw foods Weak and rare Very common and natural
Correct posture Rare and requires efforts Natural and automatic
Sleep Often of poor quality; > 7 hours Excellent quality; < 5 hours naturally

Contact details:
Postal address: Dr. Artour Rakhimov, 6250 Bathurst St. #525, Toronto M2R 2A4 Ontario Canada
Email: "artour", then "@", and then "normalbreathing.com"
Skype ID: artour_rakhimov

Or you can leave your contact details in the comment box below and explain your situation and reasons of your interest in breathing retraining and the Buteyko method

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