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Scientific Research

The Buteyko Institute of Breathing & Health (BIBH) recognises the need for evidence-based research, to complement the increasing anecdotal evidence of health improvements following application of the Buteyko Institute Method. To date the BIBH and its members have actively supported and participated in clinical trials in Australia 1, New Zealand 2 the UK 3 and Canada4 by providing practitioners to teach trial groups, offering input to research design and giving other assistance as requested.

Dysfunctional or abnormal breathing patterns in people with asthma are well documented in published medical literature. The Australian Doctor (11 May 2001), in an article entitled “Study explains success of Buteyko” 5, quoted research published in the British Medical Journal (May 2001) establishing a strong link between asthma and “a complex of abnormal breathing symptoms suggestive of hyperventilation syndrome or dysfunctional breathing”. The researchers recommended that, “if dysfunctional breathing is as common as our data show, facilities for breathing training need to be available as part of the overall management of asthmatic patients”. 6

Further trials need to be conducted, to investigate and report on the application of the Buteyko Institute Method for asthma, and also for other conditions such as sleep apnoea, sleep disturbances and allergies. The BIBH has established the 'Buteyko Institute Gift Fund' (Australia) to help provide resources for current and future research. Donations to the fund are tax deductible. Please contact the Buteyko Institute for further information.

1 Buteyko breathing techniques in asthma: a blinded randomised trial
Simon D Bowler, Amanda Green and Charles A Mitchell
Medical Journal of Australia 1998; 169:575-578

2 Buteyko Breathing Technique for asthma: an effective intervention
Patrick McHugh, Fergus Aitcheson, Bruce Duncan, Frank Houghton
Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 12-December-2003, Vol 116 No 1187

3 "Health Education: Does the Buteyko Institute Method make a difference?"
Jill McGowan, Education and training consultant in Asthma Management.
Thorax Vol 58, suppl III, page 28, December 2003.

4 A Randomised Controlled Trial of the Buteyko Technique for Asthma Management
Robert L. Cowie, Diane P. Conley, Margot F. Underwood, Patricia G. Reader
Respiratory Medicine May 2008 (Vol. 102, Issue 5, Pages 726-732)

5 Study explains success of Buteyko
Megan Howe
Australian Doctor, p 20, 11 May 2001

6 Prevalence of dysfunctional breathing in patients treated for asthma in primary care: a cross sectional survey
M Thomas, RK McKinley, E Freeman, C Foy
British Medical Journal 2001;322:1098-1100 (5 May 2001)

7 Bronchodilators appear to increase inflammation, potentially worsening asthma, heart failure, and lupus, study findings suggest.
J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006

8 Breathing exercises for asthma: a randomised controlled trial.
M Thomas, R K McKinley, S Mellor, G Watkin, E Holloway, J Scullion, D E Shaw, A Wardlaw, D Price, I Pavord
Thorax 2009; 64:55-61

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