Breathing Retraining: From Sick/Victims to Superhumans

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Doctor Konstantin Buteyko: Direct Telephone Line Calls, 1997

Russian National Newspaper Komsomol Truth, Recorded on 29 October 1997

“Buteyko speaking”

“Good day, Konstantin Pavlovich. This is Bobrov from Moscow. I have a grandson, eight years old. He is sick due to an allergy for 4 years.”

“I preach the medicine, which first finds the cause of the disease and then cures. The cause of allergy, bronchitis, asthma, and lungs’ diseases, I am sure, is excessively deep breathing. Only its elimination allows complete treatment of these apparently incurable diseases. I proved that 45 years ago…”

“How can I get rid of deep breathing?”

“You should learn the method under supervision of a practitioner exercising at least 3 days for 2 hours each. If practitioners do not have certificates and licenses, they are charlatans; they can bring only harm.”

“Is it right that even children with chronic asthma can be cured?”

“We can treat chronic asthma, in particular, in the most severe form, even faster than the usual one.”

“Why is it so?”

“Because the patient experiences improvement and practices seriously.”

“Could you respond to Krasnodar? My name is Irina Konopleva. What is most important in your method?”

“To decrease deep breathing (the volume of inspiration) until the norm. Not to hold breathing, but gradually normalize it. This is difficult, although primitive people and animals breathe like that. However, a man, if he is sensible, needs at least 6-7 hours. Or more than 1 month.”

“Can the man get accustomed to that?”

“He did not get accustomed, he learns. He gets to the normal breathing forever.”

“Good day, Minsk is worrying you. My daughter suffers from diabetes mellitus since she was 2 years old. Now she is 16, insulin-dependent, injections 3 times per day.”

“For people with diabetes, especially in the severe form, we can guarantee only relief. To cure diabetes, especially severe one, immediately is impossible; time is required. The process of weaning off insulin is going to be slow and gradual, with mandatory control.”

“Can we find some literature?”

“There are publications, but I categorically against do-it-yourself approach. That is dangerous.”

“My name is Stanislav Fedorovich. I have a son 16 years old; he suffers from asthma for more than 11 years. Do you think that asthma can be cured completely?”

“If deep breathing is suppressed, he is going to be absolutely healthy.”

“Thank you. Can oncology be treated using your method?”

“Yes, but the more severe the disease, the harder the normalization of breathing and cure.”

“You are worried by Igor Dubrov from Ribinsk. I want to hear from the first lips about the influence of your system on the character, sleep and energy of a man.”

“The breathing and metabolism normalize; the immunity is restored. And hence, such diseases as bronchial asthma, hypertension, stenocardia, diabetes mellitus, allergies, and frequent colds disappear.”

“How do you breathe? Right?”

“I could die from deep breathing 45 years ago; I had malignant hypertension. The kidneys were failing. And I tested my ideas on my own organism. This year I am going to be 75, and I am healthy.”

“Good day, Konstantin Pavlovich. We are from Mogilev, Belorussia. Could you please explain shortly your principle of breathing.”

“Here it is: we know that deep breathing decreases the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood, lungs and cells. Russian scientist from Perm Verigo discovered, already at the end of 19-th century, the law, which is, as it seems, strange: fall of carbon dioxide increases the chemical link between oxygen and haemoglobin. As a result, it is more difficult for oxygen to get from the blood to the brain, heart, kidneys, and other organs. In other words, the deeper the breathing, the less oxygenation of the cells in the brain, heart, and kidneys. This law is in the foundation of our discovery. CO2 deficiency causes constant spasms in all organs. Hence, it is necessary to learn right breathing.”

“Are pills essential?”

“We use medical drugs only when it is necessary.”

“Ok. Thank you”

“Good day. I’ve heard that you can treat female frigidity. Is it so? And if yes, how?”

“How old are you?”


“The most frequent cause of female frigidity is wrong breathing. Osteochondrosis is the second cause. When, among causes is infection in teeth, and so on. Therefore, the goal is to eliminate the cause.”

“And one more question. I practice swimming. Naturally, breathing is deep. How dangerous is this?”

“I’ll explain now. Here is everything vice versa. Deep breathing is dangerous not by itself, but because it blows off carbon dioxide and causes carbon dioxide deficiency in the organism. Physical exercise helps to produce carbon dioxide.”

“Thank you very much”

“Good day, my name is Marina Tulupova. I am from Yaroslavl’. I read somewhere that official medicine did not accept you for a long time; you worked almost in secrecy. Was it so?”

“Of course, we had terrible persecutions. We worked in private apartments, practically illegally. In order to stop persecutions from militia – we treated them…That was because I proved that official medicine was standing upside down, doing everything vice versa. Although I am a candidate of medical sciences and a pupil of the First Medical Institute. A honour student. Only in 1983 did I get author’s certificate and the patent to treat. That happened 21 years after the invention of the Buteyko method.”

“Good day. I have a question. I do not know if it is relevant. There is a disease: nasal polyposis. Should it be treated only using a surgery?”

“What are polyps? This is Nature that creates plugs in order to restrict breathing through the nose. Therefore, if breathing is decreased in accordance with the method, then they are expelled, rejected, and dissolved. But if you get them cut off, they will grow again.”

“What to do?”

“Try to decrease your breathing till the norm. You will be healthier and younger.”

“Hello, doctor, I am from Odessa. Rita Ivanova. My daughter has an allergy. What can we do?”

“We treat allergies. Recently, Kuklachev’s son, who is working with cats, got cured from allergy here. How old is your daughter?”

“She is already thirty.”

“She is still young. She will be cured.”

“Then thank you.”

“My name is Victor Dmitrievich Khazov. When I was a student, I was second when running 100 metres. When I became a research scientist, all got in front of me. Backache holds back all my activities.”

“You can have osteochondrosis. Displacement of disks. Or abnormal breathing. These are two possible causes. If the pain worries you, then it is likely to be osteochondrosis. You need hands of an experienced practitioner. We do that partly.”

“Thank you. I will be more optimistic.”

“Hello, my name is Natalia Buteyko. I have the same surname.”

“Are you? My first encounter.”

“Is it right that you were first to discover this method of breathing?”

“I discovered not the method, but the cause of the most severe and incurable diseases: asthma, hypertension, cancer, and infertility.”

“Is it so, that ancient doctors could not figure out that?”

“Nobody. Some time ago I wrote an article “Hippocrates did not guess”. Hippocrates and Avicenna died from deep breathing (Hippocrates had ischemia) – and could not guess. But I guessed.”

“That is amazing. Then influential people of the this world should get treated by you…”

“And very influential. First, I treated the Secretary of the Novosibirsk regional CPSU counsel; he was Brezshnev’s friend. Later I started to treat generals, admirals, people from the Central Committee of the Communist Party, so that to be rescued from being confined in a madhouse.”

“Were KGB after you?”

“No, KGB saved me. Because I treated them.”

“Could you tell me if you are a supporter of the western or eastern medicine?”

“Not western, eastern. The Western medicine is standing upside down. All of it, together with maximal and minimal doses (homeopathy). Both are examples of extreme medicine. Eastern medicine eventually normalizes breathing, if one correctly follows it.”

“Konstantin Pavlovich, hello! My name is Olga. According to your theory, can love kill on the same way, as deep breathing? Consider lovers who get very emotional and breathe heavily…”

“Olechka, in reality we should do those things in our lives which we want very-very strongly. To eat - not according to the time schedule, but when there is a strong desire; and never to overeat. To sleep - also when there is a desire; and under no circumstances to oversleep. And to love, as to breathe, we should do so that not to overlove. Just imagine a man crazy in love: mad eyes and irregular breathing. What a horror! I think that the woman should first express her love. She can do that more physiologically. Everything that is excessive (“over”) is leading us to death.

“Can you be more specific? An example?”

“Consider me as an example. I sleep 2-3 hours per day, from 5 to 7 in the morning, and fifteen more minutes during the day. Enough for me. I am a vegetarian, I try to eat everything, if possible, in a raw natural form. I like Ukrainian songs. The favourite one is “Thoughts mine, thoughts”. By the way, Ukrainian singing, as Italian one, in the sense of breathing, is most correct. All songs with prolonged vowels “[o]” and “[u]” and consonant “[m]” normalize breathing. If one repeats slowly extending “[oum]” thousands time per day – then my method is not required…”

The direct line was prepared and carried out by: Valentina Terekhina, Anna Amel’kina, Anna Dobrukha, and Yaroslava Tan’kova.

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