Buteyko Breathing Exercises: Buteyko Method How-To InstructionsBy Dr. Artour Rakhimov - Last updated on August 9, 2018
Learning the Buteyko breathing method for free by modules
"Just as lions, elephants and tigers are controlled by and by, so the breath is controlled by slow degrees ..."
Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Sanskrit text, 15 century.
Which breathing techniques can be combined with the Buteyko method?
The Buteyko breathing technique has the most effective system of lifestyle changes for maximum body-oxygen levels 24/7. Learn these how-to instructions here. They can be applied, for fast health restoration, even though you use the Frolov breathing device, yoga Pranayama, Samozdrav, Amazing DIY breathing device, as well as less effective breath training methods, such as Breathslim, PowerLung, Resperate, PowerBreathe, Expand-A-Lung, Pursed Lip Breathing, and any other device or breathing technique.
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Breathing Retraining Process and Buteyko Method
This video explains how we retrain our breath and how the Buteyko method works (overview of the process and what happens weeks or months later).
Module 0. What is this: "Learning the Buteyko method by modules"?
Q: What is it: learning the Buteyko breathing method by modules, and how
to learn them?
A: To learn the Buteyko method means to normalize (or improve) a personal breathing pattern 24/7. Hence, just learning or practicing Buteyko breathing exercises is not sufficient. You should change your unconscious breath pattern. Here is a typical example from real life. If a person usually has a dry mouth every morning due to mouth breathing at night, he will never restore his health and his body-oxygen content will remain low. If someone else sleeps every night on her back, her disease symptoms and usual breathing pattern will likely be almost the same even after practicing the best breathing exercises. Hence, it is important to learn the key healthy lifestyle factors of the Buteyko method and follow suggested Buteyko instructions. Before you start any breath work, you should have a very clear understanding where to go and how to achieve your goals. Hence, based on hundreds (!) of medical studies provided here and for the sake of Buteyko self help, you should learn:
- what is the main purpose of breathing retraining
- why overbreathing (or deep unconscious breathing pattern) reduces cell oxygen content
- what are the normal breathing pattern and ideal breathing pattern
- how should we breathe for maximum cell oxygen content
- how to measure one's body-oxygen level using the Control Pause test
- what are the carbon dioxide uses in the human body, etc.
- which lifestyle factors make breathing heavier (deeper and/or faster)
- which lifestyle factors make breathing lighter (more shallow and slower)
These are the reasons why there are so many web pages on this website. They are created for you!
Q: Which modules are for me?
A: A Buteyko student does not need to know all details and peculiarities of the method to restore their own health. The student can select, with my help, their main relevant modules in relation to lifestyle factors and breathing exercises. This will lead to a more focused approach and faster learning. Hence, it makes sense to create such a selective form of learning based on clear Buteyko method instructions related to how to do this Buteyko self-help work.
Normalization of breathing and the consequent disappearance of asthma, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many other conditions are serious and fundamental personal projects. Follow all required paragraphs, sentences and links. Each idea here is important for your ultimate success.
Module 1. Crucial
Module 2. Learn Buteyko: How to measure the CP (Control Pause)
Module 3. How to Ground Yourself
Module 4. Learn the Emergency Procedure
Module 5. Measure and Record Your MCP (Morning CP) Every Day
Module 6. Prevent Sleeping on Your Back and Best Sleeping Positions
Module 7. Maintain Nasal Breathing 24/7
Module 8. How to Develop Diaphragmatic Breathing 24/7
Module 9. Restrictions, Limits, and Temporary Contraindications
Module 10. Free Buteyko Breathing Exercises
Module 11. Nutrients and Diet for Better Body Oxygenation
Module 12. Who, Why and How Should Take Cold Shower
Module 13. How Focal Infections Keep Body Oxygen Low
Module 14. Buteyko Cleansing Reactions
Module 15. Good Sleep Hygiene
Module 16. Physical Activity and Running
Module 17. Talking Skills
Module 18. Digestive Health
Module 19. Buteyko Breathing Problems
Module 20. Emotional Trauma: Effects and Solutions
Module 21. Breahing Retraining for Children and Elderly
Module 99. Long Term Success
***** Under Construction ***
Level 1. Buteyko Breathing Exercises: Survival (Modules 1-7)
Level 1 goals: The student is able to eliminate the main symptoms of own health problems (e.g., asthma, heart disease, epilepsy, sinusitis, eczema, insomnia, constipation, etc.) using the Emergency Procedure so that the Emergency Procedure can substitute the use of medication or significantly reduce the dosage (e.g., twice). Such students have low morning CPs (usually about 5-15 s ), while elimination or reduction in medication and survival are their main practical results. Only about 10% of learners or less are satisfied with this level. (Most people proceed to the next level.) It takes from about 1 hour to about 1-2 days to learn it.
Imagine about 200 medical professionals who have taught some health therapy
to over 200,000 patients during several decades. Obviously, Russian doctors
accumulated huge clinical experience in relation to teaching the Buteyko method,
chances of success of their patients, final outcomes, etc. They also found that
there are preliminary conditions, of social and psychological nature, which are
linked to the final results of a typical Buteyko student. Your chances of later
success depend on:
1-A. Voluntary hyperventilation or deep breathing test
1-B. Theoretical studies (at least 2 hours)
1-C. Your interactions with surrounding people
"Such patients who have undergone deep breathing tests and assimilated the theory with an excellent mark are allowed to proceed with the second stage of training. Those who have not understood the theory will continue the studies..." Buteyko KP, The method of volitional elimination of deep breathing [Translation of the Small Buteyko Manual], Voskresensk, 1994.
The following steps are:
1-D. Select your goals and own pace for learning
1-E. Your rate of progress (uncontrollable and controllable factors)
Warning. Most people do not have any problems with measuring the CP. However, some people with heart disease, panic attacks, migraine headaches, and few other, exceptionally rare conditions, may experience unpleasant symptoms, which can appear soon after measuring the CP (in 1-5 minutes). If this happens, do not measure your CP for a while. Later, when your breathing will be about 2-3 times lighter and the CP 2-3 times longer, these unpleasant symptoms after the CP test will not appear. Your initial breathing program should focus on the reduction of your pulse (or heart rate).
For over 95% of people, it is safe to measure their CP many times per day and observe the effects of stress, meals, exercise, posture, thermoregulation, and many other life-style factors on their CP, breathing, and health. You can easily measure your body-oxygen level using the stress-free breath-holding time test (this web page is from the Homepage section; with Google Video clip).
The very first and easiest step to increase your (low) CP is to get free electrons from Earth due to grounding yourself. Electrons are Nature's free antioxidants. You can find more information about the health benefits and reasons behind electrical grounding here: Earthing. This is an exceptionally important step to reduce inflammation and normalize sleep, nerve and muscle function, as well as dozens of other fundamental physiological processes.
For practical actions and steps, click here: How to ground yourself.
"Practically, a human can change own breathing using will power and experience how the disease relates to breathing. Reduced breathing can alleviate, in 1-5 minutes, all the symptoms we were talking about: bronchial spasms (attacks of asthma or bronchitis), blocked nose (to unblock the nose), eliminate spasms of brain vessels - migraine or headache, spasms of heart vessels, spasms of blood vessels of arms and feet (endarteritis), ulcer pains (spasms of vessels in the stomach), spasms of bile ducts (cholecystitis), to prevent an epilepsy attack… during frost to warm up the arms or the nose is simple – decrease breathing. Blood vessels dilate and you are warmed up! You are frightened, excited, you have a nervous shiver – slow down the breathing and in 1-2 minutes you will get peace. Using these mechanisms you can control your own body!” Buteyko KP, Carbon dioxide theory and a new method of treatment and prevention of diseases of the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, nervous system, and some other diseases, Public lecture in the Moscow State University on 9 December 1969.
Free Buteyko Breathing Exercise: Combination of Buteyko breath holds and Shallow Breathing or Reduced Breathing Exercise
Follow these links, if relevant for Buteyko self help:
4-A. How to stop or prevent heart attack, stroke, asthma attack, epilepsy attack, and other life-threatening situations using Buteyko breathing exercises (with reduced breathing explained)
4-B. How to unblock the nose, eliminate constipation, and prevent high blood glucose (diabetes' problems) using Buteyko breathing exercises
4-C. How to stop or prevent bouts of coughing, sneezing, sighing, yawning, hiccups, deep inhalations, sniffing, and other deep breathing activities using Buteyko breathing exercises
4-D. How to warm up cold hands and feet, prevent insomnia, skin itching and panic attacks using Buteyko breathing exercises
The same Procedure (4-D) with reduced breathing and no breath holds can be safely also applied for phobias, spasms of the stomach, spasms of the bile duct, edema, eyes' puffiness and other situations.
Each morning, as soon as the student wakes up and is still in bed, he or she
should measure the morning CP, if there are no contraindications. This should be
done immediately after you open your eyes. Why? Just 5-10 minutes later your
breathing parameters can be different and the crucial information about your
breathing during the last hours of sleep can be lost. If you have contraindications,
measure your heart rate during 1 minute and record it in your daily log.
Your changes in morning-CP numbers will be used later for finding the causes of the problem with morning hyperventilation.
How and why your morning CP is crucial for your health restoration
Optional link: Morning hyperventilation* (with Google Video clip) from the Homepage. Follow this link, especially if your CP drops during the night.
Q: Do I need this module?
A: If you find yourself sleeping on your back at least during 2 nights in a week time, yes, you need this module.
When your morning CP is 25 s or more, you do not need any steps in this direction since this problem will disappear naturally.
Manual (Instructional Guide - Workout - Workbook - EBook) "How to prevent sleeping on one's back" with free PDF file to download
Buteyko self-help web page: Best sleep positions.
Q: Do I need this module?
A: If you know that you sometimes breathe through your mouth, yes, you need this module.
If you ask any of your friends, relatives or co-workers, and they tell you that you sometimes breathe through your mouth or have your mouth open, yes, you need this module.
If you wake up in the morning with dry mouth at least 2 times per week, yes, you need this module.
When your CP is 25 s or more 24/7, you do not need any steps in this direction since this problem will disappear naturally.
Manual (Instructional Guide) "How to stop mouth breathing" with free PDF file to download. For more ideas, visit Buteyko mouth-taping technique and Stop mouth breathing treatment.
Level 2 "Existence"
Level 2 goals: Students have partly normalized own breathing until about 25-35 s daily CP and over 20 s MCP (morning CP), so that they have no need for medication and do not experience the symptoms of their main health problem, e.g., asthma, bronchitis, heart disease, epilepsy, sinusitis, eczema, etc. However, such learners can still suffer from airways inflammation, allergies, GI problems, diabetes, arthritis, and other hormonal problems and musculo-skeletal disorders. Most medications are absolutely unnecessary, but some medical drugs (e.g., insulin, thyroxin, etc.) can be required to control symptoms of these “higher-CP” diseases. This is the level (Level 2) which is usually achieved by most people following Buteyko instructions in the West. Depending on amount of practice and other factors, it takes about 0.5 - 2 months to learn.
Here is an important diagram with required steps (how the process works) in order to achieve over 20 s CP 24/7. This diagram is used in my books and it is located just below here. You can unlock it if you share this page.
- Diaphragm function - Overview of the most important functions of the diaphragm in the human body
- How to check one's predominant breathing: is it diaphragmatic or costal? Do you breathe using the diaphragm or chest at rest and during sleep?
- Check your ability to move your diaphragm using a simple technique
- Practice exercises and techniques for development of diaphragmatic breathing
- Find out about exact criteria for transition to unconscious or automatic diaphragmatic breathing at rest
Module 8. How to develop diaphragmatic breathing 24/7.
Normal breathing is the fundamental property of the healthy organism. Hence, breathing normalization is the natural way to deal with pathologies of the human body. However, not all people can use the same method in their breathing normalization. While most people can apply the same general ideas, exercises and techniques (including reduced breathing exercise and DIY breathing device), there are groups of people who require modifications (individual tailoring) in their breathing retraining programs due to certain restrictions, limits, and temporary contraindications.
should adjust your program and follow specific links, if you have:
Migraine headaches, panic attacks, and heart disease (aortic aneurysms; angina pectoris; arrhythmia; atherosclerosis (plaque buildup); cardiomyopathy; ciliary arrhythmia (cardiac fibrillation); chest pain (angina pectoris); high cholesterol; chronic ischemia; congenital heart disease; congestive heart failure; coronary artery disease; endocarditis; extrasystole; heart murmurs; hypertension; hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; tachnycardia; pericarditis; post-myocardial infarction; stroke)
Respiratory disorders involving lungs (asthma, bronchitis, COPD, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, tuberculosis; pulmonary edema; etc.)
Presence of transplanted organs
Brain traumas and acute bleeding injuries
Acute stages (exacerbations) of life-threatening conditions (infarct, stroke, cardiac ischemia, severe asthma attack, metastasizing cancer, septic shock, multiple organ failure, near-death experience, etc.)
Insulin-dependent diabetes (type 2 diabetes)
Loss of CO2 sensitivity
Low weight (underweight)
Warning. Consult your family physician or GP about use of this breathing exercise for your specific health problems.
If your current CP is less than 25 s, your most optimum breathing exercise for faster CP growth is with a DIY breathing device or the Frolov breathing device. Hence, it is smart and much easier to start with the use of Amazing DIY Breathing Device or Frolov Breathing Device (their effects are similar). You can learn the Buteyko reduced breathing exercises later, when your CP is more than 30 s.
Note. On this site, you can get my PDF book "Advanced Buteyko Breathing Exercises" (about 124 pages, 12 USD). Read happy and great reviews of this book on Amazon.com. This book considers effects of overtraining, lost CO2 sensitivity, blunted CO2 sensitivity, "click" effect, "Steps" breathing exercise for walking, Buteyko breathing exercises during physical activity, etc.
Warning. A student who has solid food in the stomach should not practice any breathing exercises that increase CO2 levels in the lungs. This is the most common serious or grave mistake among self-learners. Any air hunger and increased CO2 intensify persitaltic movements in the GI tract and can cause damage to lining of the mucosal surfaces. Therefore, practice this breathwork only when you have am empty stomach or nothing more but water.
The most fundamental Buteyko breathing exercise is called "Reduced Breathing" or "Shallow Breathing". Its diagram and short description have been provided in the self-help Module 4-A above. Buteyko instruction: How to stop or prevent heart attack, stroke, asthma attack, epilepsy seizures, and other life-threatening situations using Buteyko breathing exercises. There are several parts in this workout (workbook or sections from Buteyko eBooks) that explain Buteyko breathing exercises.
Part 1. Preliminary
requirements for learning Buteyko breathing exercises
Detailed description of the following factors and environmental conditions for
success in your CP progress:
- A quiet place to focus one’s attention
- Silence (no speaking)
- Empty stomach
- Hydration (water)
- Clean and fresh air
- Posture during the breathing session
Part 2. Learning relaxation and RELAXED diaphragmatic breathing. This part is for all those students who do not have automatic diaphragmatic breathing at rest. It explains 4 steps how to achieve relaxed diaphragmatic breathing.
Warning. NEVER practice reduced breathing or any other CO2-increasing exercise with food in your stomach.
Part 3. Learning Buteyko Shallow Breathing (or Reduced Breathing) with light air hunger. Detailed instructions for reduced breathing exercise, Dr. Buteyko instruction (formula for the RB in a nutshell) of reduced breathing, and typical sensations and signs indicating that the students indeed breathe less.
Part 4. Your daily log and how to fill it. Download here your breathing-retraining daily log (or your personal breath-work diary; PDF and RTF files) with detailed instructions how to fill it
Part 5. Structure and effects of one breathing session. Details about the structure of one breathing session of Buteyko reduced breathing exercise, typical signs and criteria of success, what can be wrong and other suggestions and tips for your better health and CP. (This breathing session is for those people who do not have relevant contra-indications; see Module 9 above for more details.)
Part 6. Breath holds: their effects and uses. Maximum pauses and other breath holds produce various physiological responses depending on numerous factors, including the initial CP, health state, and hereditary factors.
Part 7. Structure of the program of breathing exercises. How much to exercise (per day), details of week-after-week progress (how fast is one's CP growth), and gradualism in learning air hunger.
You can find more advanced exercises and related topics (including a loss of CO2 sensitivity, the click effect, how to combine Buteyko breathing exercises with physical activity, and others) in my PDF book that is called "Advanced Buteyko Breathing Exercises" (about 124 pages, 12 USD) or in the Kindle book (on Amazon.com) with the same title.
Note that you should adjust this program correspondingly, if you have any temporary contra-indications or restrictions described above. If you have them, you should choose those Buteyko breathing exercises and those Buteyko breath holds that suit your physiological make-up and current health state.
This nutrients guide is based on the
experiences of hundreds of people who made significant improvement in their
health and their automatic or unconscious breathing pattern using breathing-retraining methods. It explains in detail various questions related to vital or
essential nutrients, deficiency signs, dosages, and other practical questions
including the 3-day test to discover macro-deficiencies. Self-help Buteyko
instructions in relation to diet:
Major Nutrients Guide for Better Body Oxygenation
* Part 1. Macrominerals (Ca, Mg, Zn) and fish oil
* Part 2. Fish oil, cod liver oil, salmon oil, krill oil, flaxseed oil: sources of omega 3 DHA-EPA, for better body oxygenation and breathing, benefits, sources, side effects and dangers
* Part 3. Sea salt vs. table salt
* Part 4. Check your iodine deficiency (test)
* Part 5. D3 (sunshine vitamin) or cholecalciferol (most common nutritional deficiency).
* Part 6. Benefits of spices: better health and higher body oxygen levels.
Diet and body weight
* Part 1. Why and how obese students naturally lose weight with breathing exercises
* Part 2. Diet for breathing retraining
* Part 3. Resources about keto diet and ketosis.
Use of a cold shower has always been an indispensable part of the Buteyko method and here is a Buteyko How-To Self-Help Instructions: Cold shower benefits and rules.
Focal infections theory and Buteyko
focal infections - This module
considers the following topics:
1. Western medical research about focal infections and origins of the focal-infection theory (including cavities in teeth, dead or degenerated tonsils, athlete's feet or feet mycosis, worms, helminthes or large intestinal parasites living in humans, and root canals.
2. Buteyko focal infections and Russian Buteyko medical experience: effects of, and what to do with dead tonsils, cavities, feet mycosis (athlete's feet), intestinal parasites, root canals, and mercury amalgams; spine misalignment and health.
Body cleanse reactions and body cleanse myths - Body-cleanse reactions take place due to body-oxygen increase. Learn more about typical cleansing reactions and superficially-similar health-destructive allergic (or pathological) reactions.
Good sleep hygiene - for
high body oxygen and health provides in-depth exploration of lifestyle
factors, methods and techniques to increase morning CP.
Helpful extra pages: How to fall asleep fast - using the Buteyko reduced-breathing exercise for falling asleep and higher morning CP.
How to sleep less: If you want to increase your morning CP, you surely need to know and use methods and techniques that help you to sleep less. Longer sleep means more damage due to hyperventilation and greatly reduced rate of your overall week-after-week progress.
These pages are from Exercise Section, but they are essential for success in breathing retraining:
Benefits of physical activity - Promoting increased cell oxygenation. Learn about the relationship and optimum proportions in relation to breathing exercises.
Benefits of running - Jogging, according to Dr. Buteyko, is the most natural way to improve body-oxygen levels. Furthermore, it can be the key factor to achieve very high CPs and super-health states.
Breathing techniques for running - correct breathing during running (for maximum O2 delivery to cells) is based on nasal, diaphragmatic, and slow breathing. Find the secret of Tarahumara legendary running abilities, which also include barefoot running.
Optional page: Training mask - if you want to maximize effects of exercise (make exercise nearly twice more effective) consider using Training Mask. The mask can be used when one has over 20-25 s CP. It is particularly beneficial for those who like sports, or have too little time for exercise, or do not use breathing devices (i.e., uses only the Buteyko exercises).
Proper public speaking techniques and talking skills - Correct talking skills require reduced ventilation of the lungs for higher CO2 and O2 levels in body cells.
Ideal or normal digestive health has numerous signs that indicate effective work of the GI tract. Most modern people have poor digestive health due to low O2 levels in body cells. This manifested in their use of toilet paper due to the soiling effect.
How to improve digestion - eBook that provides a practical program for people with GI problems, and even most ordinary people.
When a breathing student is stuck with less than 30 s CP, there are numerous causes that can be responsible for their inability to get higher body O2. These causes are summarized as Buteyko breathing problems.
Over 90% of people have emotional traumas that poison their current lives. For some people, this past emotional trauma (usually a childhood trauma) can play a decisive role in their poor health and a low morning CP. Find out more about Emotional trauma: effects and solutions.
There are certain specific factors when edlerly people learn Buteyko and breathing retraining:
- Elderly health and Buteyko breathing (Part 1).
- Health Factors for Elderly Buteyko Breathing Students (Part 2).
Teaching and training of children is considered here: Buteyko method and breathing retraining for children.
Do you know that currently most students achieve better health in 1-3 months, but have worse CP results (and health too) in 1-3 years. Find out more about this challenge and solutions here: Lifestyle for long term success.
Natural lifestyle choices before and after breathing retraining
|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 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|
There are rumors that getting more than 40 or 60 s morning CP is very hard. With the right program, it is relatively easy for younger people (in 20-40s), and I had even people who were over 60 or 70 years old and were able to get more than 60 s for the morning CP in about 6-10 weeks after starting the course. There will be more information here about the required steps. At the moment, there is my big book that provides the general overview of required steps.
This transition to over 40 s for the morning CP requires several
- 33-35 s for the morning CP (if you have less, you need to review Sleep Modules and increase your morning CP)
- 50+ s CP during the day or after Buteyko breathing exercises. If you have over 30 s for the morning CP, but cannot get this result (over 50 s for the final CP), get my eBook that is called "Advanced Buteyko Breathing Exercises" in either Kindle or PDF format
- less than 6.5 hours of sleep naturally (without trying)
- and no soiling (see my book "How to Improve Digestion" and achieve this effect).
*** Further modules or updates for how-to instructions for the Buteyko breathing technique and breathing retraining are under construction ***
Go to Homepage for breathing basics
- The Buteyko method (From buteyko.com)
- Buteyko method (From wikipedia.org)
- The Buteyko breathing technique for asthma (From ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
New breathing students with terminal conditions (end-stage disease) are accepted on CureEndStageDisease.com with Dr. Artour's Triple Guarantee.
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