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Official Buteyko Thread

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    Oh, I should also add that another statement in the ‘Close Your Mouth’ book that made me put it down and give up on the method was…
    ‘The colour of your urine is probably the best indicator of how hydrated you are. In general, it should be of a light colour. If it is dark, it is a sign you should increase your water intake.’
    Errr… not according to this site!


    I learned Buteyko breathing through Patrick McKeown’s books and DVDs (which have been mentioned already) and also through Artour Rakhimov from and his ebooks. I also used the BreathSlim device, which is the same as the Frolov, but half the price.

    I find it to be amazingly helpful. It totally transformed my unconscious habit of sucking in my belly. I had no idea how tense my belly was until I started relaxing it by doing the breathing exercises. I find that it is also wonderful for anxiety and also for insomnia. All in all, Buteyko breathing has been a god-send in my life.

    I have never had the experience of Buteyko breathing reducing my appetite. I actually find the opposite. For me it relaxes bodily tension, improves intestinal mobility (so much that breathing exercises are a great way for me to have an easy poop – hope that’s not too much information,) and generally helps my digestion.

    I’ve found that Buteyko breathing is a good starting point for me. However, I like to experiment and play around with it. I am a fan of Feldenkrais, and I like Feldenkrais’s attitude toward breathing, which is that the healthiest breathing is when we use the most appropriate breathing in the moment and when we have a full range of breathing styles available to us. So I play around with breathing to explore lots of different ways to breathe and the various effects. I like the ideas behind Buteyko breathing – namely retaining CO2. And so I especially explore various ways to breathe that I expect will retain CO2, but may not fit the mold of classic Buteyko reduced breathing. I plan to write up something about this at some point. If I remember I will add a link to that here when I do that.


    Hi Sophie!

    By way of introduction, I am a Buteyko Breathing Technique Educator. I studied under Patrick McKeown, the author of “Close Your Mouth”.

    You mentioned you are finding reduced breathing creating anxiety. This is not unusual and I see in many clients. Reduced breathing can make you feel like you are suffocating if you reduce your breathing too much. You have to find, what I call the perfect spot, especially when you are starting. The place where the breathing is reduced but without causing any tension. A good Buteyko educator could help you with this. We have techniques to help clients find the perfect balance and avoid the anxiety.

    Also I would not use the Control Pause or a Maximum Pause if a client was experiencing anxiety. I would slow the process down and do very gentle relaxed breathing first and later do the stronger reduced breathing. One size does not fit all with the Buteyko Breathing Technique and I adjust the technique to each individual. I equate it to lifting 300 pounds in the gym. If you’ve never done this before or had only lift a bit of weight, you would not go into the gym at first and lift 300 pounds. You’d probably start with 30 pounds and work your way up. The same is try with Buteyko. Start slow based on what your body can tolerate and work your way up.

    To find a registered educator, go to and click on the “Find An Educator” button. From there you can look up an educator in your area.

    Let me know if you have any questions. I’d be glad to help.

    All the best and health,

    Don Gordon
    Registered Buteyko Educator – CascadeBreath LLC – Bend, Oregon
    Vice-Chairman – The Buteyko Breathing Educators Association


    Not sure Douillard would be such a proponent of 180 Degree Health.

    When i mentioned RARRF to him he said something like “don’t spend too much time on those fad diets. Veggies … blah blah blah.”

    But, when you meet the man you can definitely tell that he knows a thing or two about health. Clearest skin i’ve ever witnessed. And i very nice and calming person overall.


    I have been doing reduced breathing and the biggest difference is no more boogers. Usually in the morning I have a lot of crap in my nose and sometimes throughout the day. I have also been sleeping better, waking up less do to my sleep apnea. I have also been taking cold showers and doing reduced breathing while in the shower seems to be a lot easier.


    This is an interesting old book about traditional practices encouraging nose breathing.


    I am now experimenting with the Frolov device. I have no opinion thus far, however, nose-breathing makes a lot of sense to me. Some people on here seem to be criticizing some Buteyko practitioners because they hold dietary theories at variance with those of Matt. I can only say that we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. The fact that they eat differently does not mean that their theories about breathing are wrong. I have read several books by Artour Rakhimov, and he clearly states that the breathing exercises raise metabolism. Who cares if it might suppress appetite?! I mean, the proposed reason for “Eating the Food” is not to eat food but to raise metabolism. If you can do so through breathing, then what’s the problem. Mind you, I am not sure if it’s possible to raise metabolism through breathing, but I do get very warm subsequent to my Frolov sessions. We’ll see.


    My breathing training & resistance device is a bari sax.
    I definitely warm up during rehearsals. Not sure that it helps long term metabolism, though.


    That’s an interesting point @TinaT. First of all, I wonder how playing a sax compares with using a Frolov device. Second of all, even if they are comparable, I gather that even more important is how you are breathing the rest of the day. Even if you are breathing in a lot of CO2 with the Sax or Frolov device, how you are breathing when not engaged with those devices is paramount. Others here are much more knowledgeable on this subject and will perhaps chime in to correct me.



    I wonder if anybody can help me with the seemingly conflicting approaches of Eat the Food and the Buteyko Method?

    My situation is that for the last couple of years I have been feeling progressively more tired, anxious, down on life, cold hands and all the other usual symptoms described on this forum. Of course I have been searching all this time for a fix and have tried all sorts of ideas and techniques including Buteyko (which I learned from the internet, books etc rather than a practictioner).

    I found that doing the reduced breathing exercises worked to a certain extent and the carbon dioxide gains showed on my Control Pause improving but also feeling that it was not sustainable because to get these results I needed to not eat anything for hours on end, so soon after finishing the exercises my symptoms (especially the coldness) quickly returned. I struggle a lot with burping and trapped wind (especially if I’ve not eaten for a while) which seem to cause large fluctuations with the CP.

    So I kept searching and came across Matt and this website. I must say that his Eat The Food approach has been working well for me and I have noticed my temps, energy and happiness improving over the last few weeks of doing it.

    So why am I posting here today?

    Well I have still been monitoring my CP although only practicing like once a day and have noticed that my Control Pause (especially the Morning CP) has dropped dramatically since doing ETF and wonder if I should be concerned? As per the website if your morning CP is low you are having serious health problems and I wondered if eating loads more food is somehow masking the underlying low CO2 issue in my body? Most of the time I have food in my tummy so can’t really practice Buteyko but on the rare occasions I have not eaten for a while (i.e. like first thing in the morning) my symptoms seem to come back with a vengeance. Could the burping thing be causing the low CP? My normal breathing rate is a bit fast but quite low in volume.

    Thanks for any advice.


    • This reply was modified 9 years, 11 months ago by djf.

    @djf This thread over on Peatarian is pretty interesting:’show=24318

    “High blood CO2 is supposed to increase one’s desire to breathe so I don’t understand how this test would be accurate. Hyperventilating, for example, lowers CO2 which is why divers are warned against it; you reduce your desire to breath, allowing you to remain underwater longer comfortably, but the lack of CO2 compromises your ability to oxygenate your brain. So you’re much more likely to pass out.

    A similar thing happens when restricting versus eating carbohydrates:”

    “I think this is pretty pointless. If you can hold your breath for extended periods of time, it just means that your cellular respiration slowed down and and your body consumed less oxygen than normal – even if you factor in the Bohr effect. I’m not suprised that Buteyko followers may be able to hold their breath for more than a minute, since it is one of the recommendations in the buteyko method to eat a plant based diet with lots of raw vegetables. If you fucked up your metabolism, you don’t need as much oxygen anymore. I would guess that people with very high CPs also have quite a low pulse and body temperature. This is not to say that a very low CP would be healthy either. This may very well point to low CO2 levels.”

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 11 months ago by Sirkama.

    Thanks Sirkama, there’s some great info there. So I guess looking at my overall health measurements is a better indicator that just using the CP?


    Hi Dave!

    By way of introduction I am a Buteyko Educator and Vice-chairman of the Buteyko Breathing Educators Association. I’m glad you started with Buteyko as the symptoms you list are mostly consistent with the types of problems we deal with. Allow me to address some of your concerns.

    It seems you are working Buteyko on your own without a registered educator assisting you. You noted you are only practicing Buteyko once a day and it appears you CP is below 20. When you CP is below 20, you need to do Buteyko breathing exercises for at least 90 minutes a day; it’s better if the exercises spread throughout the day and not all at once. If your CP is below 20 seconds, you will only see modest and temporary relief of symptoms. You should see longer lasting symptom relief when your CP goes through 20 seconds.

    If I am understanding you correctly, you feel you have to go hours without food after doing Buteyko exercises. That is not how I and most educators would proceed. I encourage my clients to eat when hungry but try to do their Buteyko exercises prior to eating; best done on an empty stomach.

    I’ve tried to find links to Eat the Food to see what the diet consists of. All though a secondary factor in why we over-breathe, food plays a huge role in breathing with highly processed foods or sugary/starchy foods contributing to over-breathing and the resulting loss of CO2. An alkaline diet is the best for breathing.

    I would recommend you speak with a registered Buteyko educator, have them evaluate your breathing and review the Buteyko exercises you are doing. You can find one in your area at the following website. If there isn’t an educator in your area, many will do visitor or SKYPE sessions with you.

    You may also want to do a formal training with an educator. Some of the exercises are a bit tricky to do correctly and there are a number of other components, breathing mechanics, posture, source of the breath, etc., that are important to address. Learning how to do exercises and other factors properly truly helps the process.

    Let me know if I can answer any questions. I hope you continue with Buteyko as it is a most powerful modality. In my case, my asthma, allergies, chronic bronchitis and Raynauds (cold hands and feet) were relieved in about 10 days of doing Buteyko. I’ve been over nine years now without any symptoms and use no medication. My website is and my email is

    Good luck!


    I’ve practiced Buteyko breathing for a few years, and I believe that there are some benefits. However, I think that the dietary rules prescribed by *some* Buteyko instructors are mistaken.

    Personally, I have found the most improvement through a combination of eating enough without restrictions, sleeping enough, de-stressing through other means, and breath retraining inspired by Buyteko. And I don’t find that CP is always a good indicator of health.

    I have made the mistake of suggesting CP as a good measure of health in some of my own writing previously, but now that I have a better understanding of breathing biology I don’t believe that it is the best indicator.

    Consider that one way to artificially extend CP is to hyperventilate. That is because one of the things (actually, the primary thing) that triggers air hunger is carbon dioxide build-up. Hyperventilation expels carbon dioxide. That is a problem in terms of health. But it can artificially extend the CP. That is just one example of how CP is not the most reliable indicator of health.

    HOW YOU FEEL is the best indicator. Of course that too can be hijacked. Stimulants of various sorts can make you feel well even if your health is compromised. But increasing metabolic health through whatever means, including eating enough, tends to lead to sustained health improvements.

    Keep in mind that carbon dioxide is one of the products of metabolism. Increases in metabolic rate will produce more carbon dioxide. That will naturally trigger air hunger more rapidly. That doesn’t mean that health is being compromised. It just means that the metabolic rate is increased.

    My own experience is that my breathing has dramatically improved as a result of eating more. I am not terribly concerned about my CP. Although it is not a terrible indicator, it’s not the most reliable in my opinion. Whether my CP is high or low, what I have noticed is that my resting respiratory rate is now about 8 breaths per minute, and when I give attention to it I can easily reduce it to 6 breaths per minute. My chest, neck, shoulders, and abdominal muscles are entirely relaxed. The exhalation is passive and long. I feel good.

    I believe that the Buteyko system has a lot of merit, but it’s not perfect. Like so many things, many people involved become zealous and start promoting ideas that aren’t necessary or even beneficial for everyone.

    In fairness, some Buteyko instructors offer what I believe is sensible advice. For example, Artour Rakhimov of typically suggests that diet, sleep habits, and interest in stimulants and other drugs will naturally change as CP increases. He does not prescribe a diet that I know of. And that approach seems sensible to me. In my humble opinion it is a mistake to suggest that one who is already likely calorie deificient and hypometabolic should apply a restrictive diet.

    By the way, I don’t believe that it is necessary to take the advice to practice breathing exercises on an empty stomach too far. I regularly practice reduced breathing immediately after eating. It would be difficult, of course, to get good results if one has eaten too much. But I have no problems. I normally eat 3000+ calories a day. I eat lots of sugar, dairy, meat, starch, and salt. This has helped to improve my breathing.

    In my opinion, do what works for you. What I find is that for me and for most people that I communicate with eating enough and sleeping enough are usually most important. Sometimes environmental factors are also very important. Once those are squared away then it can be helpful to look at breathing, exercise, etc.

    Don’t restrict food if it is helping you feel better just because you’re afraid of a temporary lowering of CP. My two cents.

    Hope that helps.


    @j-lo, I was hoping you would post as you seemed to have experience of eating this way combined with Buteyko, I appreciate the long post and the wealth of info you have afforded me.

    I must admit the ONLY thing that has improved my health has been following Matt’s advice and although I recognise that Buteyko and increasing CO2 certainly works, it felt like I had to sacrifice eating more to work on the reduced breathing.

    I must admit I wasn’t up on the biology namely that CO2 was generated more with a higher metabolism so I will certainly be focusing more on food, sleep, exercise (which I am glad to say I have actually started to have the energy for) and doing Buteyko to supplement those rather than the main focus.

    I look forward to a time when “My chest, neck, shoulders, and abdominal muscles are entirely relaxed.” as my breathing seems to be all over the place at times. I find that most of the tension in this area is caused/exacerbated by eating and getting trapped wind/burps. Although when my temps are up, or I have been doing Buteyko, I find food goes down easier. Will this sort of thing improve with better metabolism?

    Thanks again.

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