Interview with Doctor Konstantin Buteyko, MD, PhD, Newspaper Soviet Siberia (1998)
Newspaper “Sovetskaya Sibir'" (Soviet Siberia)
No. 19, 31 January 1998.
Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko recently celebrated his 75-th birth-date.
Thinking that the cause of the most common diseases has been deep breathing, he
was and is now the most mysterious character in medical and public circles. He
has many supporters in our country and abroad, who promoted to award “Buteyko
genius” with the Nobel Prize. At the same time, many doctors do not accept his
ideas and the method of “liquidation of deep breathing”. In recent years, while
touring far from Siberia, the president of Folks’ Academy of Spiritual Culture
agreed to talk with our reporter N. Zubritskaya.
“You are usually do not say about your childhood, but there was the beginning
of your character”
“When I was 5 years old, I gave myself one oath. I was returning home from
the shop, but a stranger, a grown lad, beat me and took away all my shopping
goods. I yelled towards his back, “When I am adult, I’ll eliminate all robbers!”
I’ll keep my word; I’ll do that… I went to school one year earlier – I cheated
that I was seven years old. By that time I could write and read Byron;
therefore, I was assigned to the third form.
“You studied successfully later as well. What was driving you?”
“I could not tolerate that somebody was in something above me. The main law
of organic matter is perfection. After the school I decided to go to Kiev
Polytechnic Institute, in order to build spaceship, which could fly in cosmos.
The study was interrupted due to the war. I was in automobile unit, which served
the reserves of the frontal line. After the war I decided to go to a medical
institute; I studied with all my grades excellent. Wishing to solve the mystery
of death, I decided to observe death of a hundred hopeless patients. I was
sitting for hundreds of hours in the ward for the dying and I learned how to
predict, with hourly, or even daily, precision, the last breath of the patient.
I have a special quality; it is rare, acute sensitivity to breathing. Just in
those times I noticed the relationship: the closer the death, the deeper the
“Breathing is called the bridge to Universe”
“Yes. And awareness of the own breathing can give the man a lot. Breathing
and life are synonyms. To breathe consciously is to live consciously.”
“They say, that it is not easy to learn your method. I know that due to my
experience – using books it is impossible to get. But in a group with your
practitioner learning is easy. But many are scared to try your method, because
air hunger, as hunger for food, is an example of extreme discomfort. In reality,
that is not so.”
“In order to introduce the method to a clever person, I need only 5-10
minutes. I start with the same, what I did myself, when I was a student, who was
severely sick with hypertension. My state was almost hopeless; I tried best
medications. I had to expect the speedy perspective of myocardial infarction, or
insult, or kidney failure. The blood pressure was beyond all imaginable limits.
However, I have causative thinking; I tried to find the cause of my disease.
During my medical service in the hospital near Pokrov’s Gates, I got an idea
that my hypertension due to deep breathing. I started to monitor my breathing. I
felt that my air moved through nasal passages, throat, trachea, and bronchi. The
ribs were expanded, the abdomen expanded, and the air reached the abdomen.
Several inhalations and exhalations – and I felt better. The problem is that
deep breathing, Satan, as I call it, does not like to be observed. Later, I
consciously decreased my breathing, and the headache got released, the heart
calmed. I went into the method in 3 minutes. I immediately went to wards,
reached the maternity unit, cancer patients. I said, ”Let us conceal breathing.”
And pain was taken off as by a magic wand. By decreasing the depth of breathing,
I cured and established the foundation of my method: during deep breathing,
hyperventilation of the lungs, the level of carbon dioxide in the blood is
lowered; that causes interruption of all metabolic processes, which finally
leads to diseases.
“From the book “Discovery of doctor Buteyko” we know, that official medicine
had unfriendly attitude in relation to the method. Some its representatives
tried to eliminate you physically and to poison; twice you had suspicious road
accidents. They tried, although without success, to put you in a mad house. Why
all these persecutions?
“The problem is that I found a method to get rid of drugs and complex and not
safe surgical operations. The thought, that the most common diseases, which kill
humanity, can be treated with normalization of breathing, insults the official
medicine. Even Academicians do not want to think about the causes of the
disease. There are few of them who possess causative thinking. The mind of the
man is nailed with: sleep more, eat more, get more sex, breathe deeper, work
less – and you will be healthy. But these are the laws of the anti-world. Deep
breathing makes the person aggressive and provokes violence. In essence, deep
breathing is some type of madness and the cause of robbery, theft, infidelity,
and pollution of environment. If breathing is deeper certain number of times,
the person is duller, weaker, and sicker the same number of times; and he lives
“Do you want to turn the world upside down?”
”To turn the anti-world is my goal. It is the Hercules task to clean the
Augean stables, which are human brains. And Medicine is to blame for the cause
of collapse of civilization, because medicine, in essence, is anti-medicine. It
blessed such sins as overeating, laziness, and promiscuity. It nailed into
brains that to breathe deeper is useful. And the more people are perverted, the
deeper they breathe.
“Could you tell more about causes of overbreathing?”
“Consider the origins. When the life appeared on Earth, the air had no
oxygen; it consisted of carbon dioxide, from which all life cells were built.
They are built now too. Investigations showed that for the cells of the brain,
heart, and kidneys, about 7 percent carbon dioxide and only 2 percent oxygen are
required. Now air has 200 times less CO2 and 10 times more O2; and the deeper we
breathe, the stronger the violation of the necessary balance. In the formation
of deep breathing we are to blame: overeating, physical inactivity, nervous and
psychological stress, sexual immoderation, street drugs, and food allergens. My
discovery is 45 years old, but medicine is still on its head. The students are
still taught that during deep breathing the organism gets more oxygen, although
it is proven long time ago that everything is vice versa. Therefore, medical
schools become the bases of foolishness.”
“Such assessments can disturb many people.”
“Many people do not understand why I fight fiercely. The destiny of the
mankind, its survival, is at stake. Fame and money are not of my concern. Now I
inquired the Health Ministry with the question, “Why is the 1985 Directive about
the use of the method not fulfilled?” Up to the present time, nothing, what was
specified in the Directive, is done.”
“During the International Congress on Respiratory Diseases in Novosibirsk, it
was surprising that nobody mentioned a word about the Buteyko method, which
radically treats asthma. The conclusion of Academicians is that asthma is
“Moreover, asthmatics get dangerous forms of drugs, which dilate bronchi and
vessels. They have a disease of deep breathing; and “help” of doctors makes the
state of the patients worse.”
“We discussed asthma. In this area your method is accepted by many doctors
and patients. Now there is tuberculosis outbreak; and, if we say that your
method can treat this tough disease, some “professionals” would be insulted,
that we are embarrassing people.”
“People are deceived by pseudo-science. Modern medicine is such a science.
Treatment of patients with tuberculosis using normalization of breathing was
tested by my colleagues long time ago, and in different institutions. It was 100
percent success. By the way, we taught one lady, and she, claiming that the idea
was hers, received a certificate of authorship. In regard to my method, pupils
and colleagues obtained dozens of scientific degrees, but even that did not lead
to rejection of mistaken ideas in medicine.”
“The fact that tuberculosis can be treated by breathing is indeed a shocking
“Normalization of breathing strongly increases immunity. We tested that in
Moscow, in the Institute of Immunity. Skin was stained with staphylococcus, and
after 3 days of training, in accordance with the method of elimination of deep
breathing, all skin of patients get sterilized. That was increase in immunity!
All were shocked. They started to test again – the same result. We re-tested
that using numerous patients. Those, who have right breathing, do not suffer
from tuberculosis and can not get cancer.”
“There are rumors that you can treat AIDS.”
"Normalization of breathing can defeat even AIDS."
“Why did you not announce that to the whole world? That would be an
international sensation and could lead to recognition.”
“We do not advertise that because AIDS is the punishment for human
promiscuity. If people now find out that AIDS can be defeated, epidemic of
wrongdoing and perversion will be catastrophic.”
“How is your method met abroad?”
“In the first place, desperately sick people, as at home, believe in it. For
example, the financial manager of the UK asked me to help him to get rid of
asthma. I delegated my pupil there, and they defeated asthma in one week. The
friend of this manager asked us the question: could this method be used to treat
epilepsy? It is possible, we helped hundreds patients. By the way, there are
already published books about normalization of breathing using my method.
However, speaking about health and medicine, the situation abroad is even worse
than ours. That is consequence of so called luxury life.”
“You told that you intend to clean Augean stables, or human brains. How?”
“I believe that stupidity is the result of deep breathing. It is Satan, which
extinguish best human abilities. Deep-breathing mothers, due to spasms of
umbilical cords, give birth to invalids. They, in their turn, have even deeper
breathing and mentally deficient children. Hence, deep breathing is a global
cause of degradation of humanity and the way to world disaster.”
“Let us consider the local soil. What is the situation in the mega polis –
Thirty years ago, rate of diseases and mortality was 3 times lower. In the
past, when I asked the audience, which listened me, to exhale and hold the
breath – to carry on their maximum pause, the pause was in average about 25
seconds. Today the pause is 15 seconds. That is an indicator of poor health,
which has a stable tendency of further worsening. Everybody can be convinced in
that, by checking with a clock, how long breathing can be hold.
“How is it done?”
“Try to keep your breathing after normal exhalation as long as possible.
Monitor the second arm of the clock. If the maximum pause is only 10 seconds,
then carbon dioxide value in the lungs is only 4 percent. The organism hardly
struggles for life. 20 seconds is also bad; from 20 to 40 seconds -
satisfactory, from 40 to 60 – good, more than 60 – excellent. By the way, there
is a dissertation, which proves that the maximum pause, among other indicators
of health state, including X-ray analysis, is best. I insist that the Health
Ministry issued a Directive about measurement of the maximum pause and its
addition into medical charts of medical institutions. If a doctor does not
measure the pause, fire him. Besides, I would survey the population if they know
that deep breathing is dangerous and that diseases should be treated by
normalization of breathing. In Novosibirsk the method of elimination of deep
breathing is known only by 1 percent population. I want that all people of the
region know that the deeper the breathing - the sooner the death, the less the
breathing – the healthier the organism. However, the training must be done under
supervision of our practitioners and doctors. ”
“Do you suggest to people to live without usual pleasures, causing diseases.
What for, in your opinion, should the man live?”
"The main goal of the sensible creature is to understand the universe and God.
The laws of Nature rule everything that takes place in the micro-cosmos – the
living cell and the macro-cosmos – the universe. The set of these laws is the
most precise definition of God. We must realize, that we never can get the exact
definition what is God, because our brain is limited, but God is infinite. We
must comprehend these laws and live in accordance with them. Since the man
cannot understand and follow all laws, he must choose and follow the main ones.
The first law is common of all mater, which I divide on lifeless and alive. A
stone, grass, and tree also think and feel, but using their own way. The main
law is the law of cause and effect; it is irreversible in time. The cause
results in the effect. As my grandmother used to say, “Nothing takes place
without a cause.” Therefore, the truth is the law of Nature; and sin is
violation of this law. The first sin is deep breathing. Look what is suggested
by all religions: fasting, pray, work, restraints, and the attitude to others as
to himself. The commandment “Love each other” means do not get excited. Clear?
All what is suggested by all real thinkers is connected with normalization of
“What can you tell about your plans?”
“We are going to build the palace of breathing and children centre in
Novosibirsk. I hope for support of all sensible people.”
End of the interview.
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