Buteyko Celebrates 20 years of success in Australia Source: (Saturday, April 17, 2010)
The Buteyko breathing programme has enabled thousands of Australians to reduce asthma symptoms and enjoy the benefits of improved sleep. After initial controversy and scepticism, the breathing method called "Buteyko Breathing Training" after its Russian inventor, Professor Konstantin Buteyko, this year celebrates 20 years in Australia, coincidentally in 2010, the international Year of the Lung. Professor Buteyko developed the method of breathing training for people with asthma and other breathing disorders in the early 1950s. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, when the Soviet Union was opened to the West, the method was brought to Australia in 1990 by Buteyko Practitioner Alexander Stalmatski who had been taught by Professor Buteyko. The first clinical trial of the method outside of Russia was held in Australia. This trial, published in the Medical Journal of Australia in 1998, showed an average reduction of 96 percent in asthma reliever medications such as Ventolin and a 49 percent average reduction in preventer medication. Since then, a further seven trials have been published internationally, including two in New Zealand. All have demonstrated similar reductions in medication and symptom relief. After 20 years in Australia many GPs have seen the benefit of Buteyko Breathing Training in their patients. This and a growing body of clinical evidence showing the essential role of breathing techniques in asthma management has led to increasing numbers of Australian GPs recommending Buteyko Breathing Training. Equally controversial in recent years, however, has been the use of Buteyko for people with sleep apnoea, a condition where people suffer from repeated upper airway obstructions during sleep. An increase in the number of people diagnosed with sleep apnoea in Australia in the last ten years has meant that more people with sleep apnoea are turning to Buteyko to improve sleep and gain relief from the fatigue and lack of energy that this condition causes. Anecdotally, people with sleep apnoea gain improvement with Buteyko but clinical trials of the method for sleep apnoea have yet to be done. Since its arrival in Australia, thousands of people in Australia and overseas have learnt Buteyko and there are now Buteyko Institute accredited practitioners in most Australian capital cities and in many cities throughout the world. Buteyko Institute CEO, Paul O'Connell concludes: "After decades of suppression under communism during the cold war, the Buteyko Institute of Breathing & Health now proudly celebrates 20 years of Buteyko Breathing Training helping thousands of Australians reduce symptoms and medication, and improve sleep."