j-lo, your post about the Buteyko CP is spot on. As a Buteyko educator, I use the CP as a diagnostic tool for me, not a goal for my clients. At the end of the day, the only thing important is how you feel. I have seen clients with high CP’s that were still not feeling well. I’ve seen clients after a few week’s of breathing exercises who fell much better and who’s CP did not move. The “type a” clients often focus so much on the CP, they loose track of what is important and interestingly, their CP usually does not improve much.
This is why a good Buteyko educator will use a “symptom tracker” to manage/monitor a client’s progress. For me, each time the client comes in for a coaching session, I give them their symptom tracker and ask them to rate their symptom severity. I will do a CP test with them during each session along with some other diagnostic checks, but the symptom tracker is the most important one for determining their progress. It is not unusual to see symptom reduction of 15%-20% in the first week and 80% plus over the 4-6 weeks of breath retraining.
You are also correct that Buteyko is not perfect and is not for everyone. However, for most who follow their educator’s directions, do the breathing exercises (mechanics) correctly and put the time into it come out feeling better. I and many other Buteyko educators offer clients a money back guarantee if they are not satisfied with the results. I’ve not had to give anyone their money back yet.
Again you are correct, how you feel is all that’s important. The CP is just a tool.
All the best and health,
Registered Buteyko Breathing Educator