Buteyko Breathing Training

The Breath Connection does not treat any condition specifically but teaches clients how to correct the dysfunctional breathing that is invariably associated with most health problems.

By normalizing the person’s breathing the body is better able to function, most symptoms are reduced, energy is increased, there are usually improvements in: immune system, body oxygenation, circulation, digestion, sleep, concentration and frequently less medication is needed for their condition.

  • Asthma Sinusitis Hay fever Rhinitis
  • Stress Anxiety & Panic Attacks
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME
  • Circulation Angina Hypertension Arrhythmias
  • Insomnia Snoring & Sleep Apnoea

Asthma Sinusitis Hay fever Rhinitis

What can breathe training do?

Asthmatics over-breathe. This means breathing heavily, rapidly or through the mouth when there is no need for it. Often over-breathing, or hyper- ventilation, occurs unconsciously, resulting in irritation, inflammation and constriction of airways. The Buteyko Method consists of specially devised breathing techniques to control this over-breathing. The exercises restore normal breathing patterns and greatly reduce symptoms.

Clinical trials have shown the usual benefits include:

Less wheezing

Less coughing

More energy

Better sleep

Up to 90% less reliever medication needed

Up to 50% less preventer medication needed

No adverse side effects

Long lasting benefits after training

A safe adjunctive aid to better asthma management

We are dedicated to improving the management of asthma with clinically proven training methods and lifestyle advice. Asthma is a growing problem with ever-increasing numbers of children being diagnosed and put on medication for life with all the potential health hazards of side effects on their development and general health. We believe it needn’t be like this and that individuals, young or old, can learn, in just a few weeks, how to take better control themselves with simple lifestyle changes and breathing exercises to correct their dysfunctional breathing.

Endorsed by the British Thoracic Society

Endorsed by GINA (Global Initiative for Asthma) for class A evidence.


Stress Anxiety & Panic Attacks

How does Breath Training help these conditions?

Hyperventilation Starts The Panic Attack

Any stress or fright will trigger the “fight or flight” response that leads to increased breathing (hyperventilation) but without increased physical activity (running or fighting) & this causes a drop in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the body.

This has two main physiological effects, first, as the blood becomes more alkaline, less oxygen is released to the tissue cells and more lactic acid is produced causing the breathing sensors in the brain to increase the breathing rate. Secondly, the low CO2 levels cause smooth muscle throughout the body to spasm. Blood vessels affected narrow, reducing the flow of blood to the brain, for every 1mm of Hg pressure reduction of CO2 the brain receives two per cent less blood flow (Raichle 1972).

The above combined with the Bohr Effect (reduced release of oxygen from the blood), can mean the brain may receive up to 50% less oxygen, which is a major stress that can result in feelings of extreme panic (Ley 1994). The brain reacts by stimulating more breathing and if hyperventilation continues the person faints. Once this happens the brain releases opiates and the breathing slows. (Danavi-Saubie 1978)


Fried R ThePsychol& Physiology of Breathing. Plenum. New York 1993 pp214-215 Hibbert GA Hypervent. as a cause of panic attacks.Brit. Med J 1984 pp263-264 Raichle ME Hypertension & cerebral blood flow. Stroke 1972 3. pp566-575 Ley R In Behavioural &Psychol Approaches to Breathing Disorders Plenum NY 1994 p87 Danavit-Saubie M Effect on opiates &metionine- enkephalin.. Brain Res. 1978 155 pp55-67 Magarian GJ Hypervent syndromes: Infreq. recog common .. The Williams & Wilkins Co 1982 61 (4) pp219-236 Gardner WN Hyperventilation in clinical practice Brit J of Hosp Med 1989 41 pp73-81 Owen RT Benzodiazepepine dependence a review of evidence Drugs 1983 25 pp385

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME

How does Breath Training help these conditions?

To find yourself feeling tired almost all the time, that any physical activity causes extreme fatigue that may take hours or even days to recover from and to be exhausted almost as much by even mental activities, is the experience and life for sufferers of ME or CFS.

This has been made worse in the past by the erroneous belief of many people that such patients were malingerers or hypochondriacs. Diagnosis was difficult because there were no analysis criteria for doctors to rely on, but in 1994 a group of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome researchers (Fukuda et al) set down specific criteria as a diagnostic aid.

How effective is breath training?

Chronic over-breathing creates cell hypoxia, elevated lactic acid, constant production of free radicals in cells, free radical damage, possible inflammation in various areas of the body, leading to decreased vagal power (Sisto et al, 1995), blocked nose and chronic sinusitis, digestive problems, face acne, liver inflammation (with abnormal liver test results), and many other pathological effects.

Inflammatory processes and the mental state of chronic stress (fight-or-flight response) exhaust cortisol reserves (cortisol is a steroid hormone or glucocorticoid produced by the adrenal gland). This explains how Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome and chronic insufficiency in cortisol reserves develop. Particularly, for most patients, symptoms of chronic fatigue are worst during early morning hours (Togo et al, 2008; Guilleminault et al, 2008).Chronic fatigue syndrome & body-oxygen levels.The degree of chronic fatigue syndrome in an individual can be found using a stress-free body- oxygen test, the Control Pause, which measures one’s body oxygenation in seconds

ReferencesFukuda J et al The chronic fatigue syndrome….”Ann Intern Medicine 1994 121. pp956-959
Lloyd AR et al Prevalence of chronic fatigue syn in Australian population. Med J Aust.1990 153 pp522-528 Selye H The Stress of Life Library of Congress Catalogue in Pub Data 1984 p82 Ley R Behavioural & psychological approaches to breathing disorders Plenum New York1994 pp83,89Raichle ME Hyperventilation & cerebral blood flow Stroke 1972 . 3 pp566-575 TortoraGj Principals of Anatomy & Physiology Harper & Row New York 1984 p429
Timmons BH Behavioral& Psychological approaches to breathing disorders Plenum New York 1994 p449 Innocenti DM Cashʼs Text Book for Physiotherapists 1997

Circulation Angina Hypertension Arrhythmias

How does Breath Training help these conditions?

Our breathing and heart function are intimately connected. These two functions work together to ensure our bodies are well oxygenated, well nourished and well protected from infections or damage. Anyone can therefore understand why dysfunctional breathing may be contributing to a wide range of circulatory or cardiac problems. It would therefore reasonably follow that improved breathing patterns will be of benefit to any of these conditions.

Better breathing will complement any other treatment that is being given and may even safely reduce the need for medication, with the approval of their doctor.

Studies show that by slowing down the breathing rate to ten breaths per minute for fifteen minutes at a time, three or four times a week improves hypertension. (Grossman 2001, Schein 2001) The Buteyko Method is not about just slowing your breathing down in this manner but learning better breathing habits and many people have experienced great improvement in their control over hypertension simply by practicing the Buteyko exercises.

Since stress leads to increased breathing and heart rate with consequent increased blood pressure, it follows that the better our control of stress in our lives the healthier we shall be. The Buteyko Method helps reduce stress levels by normalizing your breathing patterns. Stress has been shown to increase cholesterol levels. (Steptoe 2005). Chronic stress and chronic hyperventilation (over breathing) go hand in hand and feed each other. The physiological effects of hyperventilation include spasm of smooth muscle (increasing blood vessel resistance to flow), reduced oxygen delivered to tissue (ʻ the Bohr Effect, triggering demand for more blood to be pumped around the body, and increased blood pressure) and impaired sleep (see insomnia, snoring & sleep apnoea leaflet) which will generate more daily stress trying to cope.

Peter Nixon, a British cardiologist suggests that 80% of people suffering from angina are primarily suffering from hyperventilation (Perera 1988)

References:Steptoe Prof Andrew Health Psych.2005,Vol.24, No.6, p601 Youngsen R Peoples Medical Society Blood Pressure Questions You Have – Answers You want Thorsons London 1997 p28 Grossman E ʻBreathing-control lowers blood pressure” Human Hypertension 2001; 15(4);263-269
Schein M “Treating Hypertension with a device.” Human hypertension 2001 15(4) pp271-278 Perera J “Hazards of heavy breathing” New Scientist Dec 1988 pp 46-48Guyton AC Human Physiology & Mechanisms of Disease WB Saunders CO Philadelphia 1982 pp161-168 Tortora G J, Anagnostakos NP. Princ. Of Anatomy & Physiology, Harper & Row, New York 1984


Insomnia Snoring & Sleep Apnoea


How does Breath Training help these conditions?

Insomnia: Constantly feeling tired and battling with sleep each night not only encourages health risks but it can also made the rest of your life harder to cope with, so people who lack sleep often crave it, spending eight to ten hours in bed whenever they can. There is no proof that this is healthy and in fact a studyconducted in the United States on over one million adults revealed that people who sleep for eight or more hours die younger than those who sleep less. This is one good reason to stop worrying next time you are wide awake and wishing you were asleep. (Kripke 2002)

Snoring: Since breathing through the mouth is unnatural when sleeping, then breathing through the mouth so vigorously that to makes a noise is even more so. Anyone can snore if they have a cold, nasal polyps, a nasal infection or enlarged adenoids, but it seems to be primary linked to obesity, aging and alcohol. Men snore even more than women. The person doing the snoring usually feels they have slept quite well but it is the effects of snoring that are not healthy. As well as making the person feels rather tired and perhaps guilty for waking other people, snoring can also cause health problems of (Lumb 2000)

Sleep Apnoea: Hyperventilation is considered to be the fundamental cause of OSA, according to Professor Buteyko’s theory. He argues the apnoeas or pauses in breathing which occur in OSA are the body’s defence mechanism against the excessive loss of carbon dioxide due to hyperventilation and consequent hypoxia. Breathing retraining with the Buteyko Method offers a safe, effective, convenient, and more appealing option for people with OSA, which can usually eliminate the need for surgery, oral appliances, or CPAP. We are now able to offer sleep studies in your own home (UK only) using a Pulse Oximeter worn overnight on your wrist for constant measurement during your sleep.

Jennet. S Behavioural & Psychological Approaches to Breathing Disorders. Ed BH Timmons & R Ley New York Plenum 1994 p77. Cole P Haight J S Posture and nasal patency.Amer. Rev. of Resp. Diseases 1984 129, pp351-4
Davies AM , Koenig JS, T Hach BT Am Rev of Resp Dis. 1989 139 pp668-673. Barelli P Behav. &Psychol Approaches to Breathing Disorders. BH Timmons & R Ley New York Plenum 1994 p51 Hough A Physiotherapy in Resp. Care TanleyThornes Ltd London 1997 p7 Kripke Arch Gen Psychiatry 2002 59 pp131-136. Lumb AB Nuu’s Applied RespPhysiologyReed London 2000 pp347 348 Tortora GJ Princ of Anat& Physiology Harper New York 1984 p358 Skatrud JB J Applied Physiology1983 55 pp813-822