Buteyko Breathing Exercises Explained In Detail

Distance learning has been an established teaching technique for some time now and we are not the first to have recourse

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Buteyko Breathing Exercises Explained In Detail

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  • Buteyko Technique, Breathing Exercises Explained

Table of contents :
The Author
Foreword to Volume 1 - The Destruction of the Laboratory
Short Intensive Practical Course
Exercise No 1. The Right Hand Rule
Afterword to Chapter 1
Exercise No 2. The Left Hand Rule
Auxiliary Exercise No 3. Maximum Pause under Load
Cleansing Reactions
Further Reading
Buteyko Organisations

Citation preview

CONTENTS PAGE The Author Foreword to Volume 1 - The Destruction of the Laboratory Short Intensive Practical Course Contents Foreword

CHAPTER 1 Exercise No 1. The Right Hand Rule Commentaries Afterword to Chapter 1

CHAPTER 2 Exercise No 2. The Left Hand Rule Commentaries

CHAPTER 3 Auxiliary Exercise No 3. Maximum Pause under Load Commentaries Clarification

Cleansing Reactions Further Reading Buteyko Organisations

The Author

Sergey Altukhov Twice certified trainer in the Buteyko Method Training Inspector Director of the Centre for the Effective Study of Dr K.P. Buteyko’s Method How I Came to Buteyko People gravitate towards teachers of genius in any number of ways. I discovered Buteyko in November 1987, when I was 35 years old. I myself was born in Novosibirsk in 1952 and finished school in 1967 with straight ‘A’s. At that point I had no preference for which university I went to: with my grades I would get in anywhere – including the medical institute…. But at that time, the medical profession seemed to me to be the height of tedium – an all-out fight with interminable epidemics; if not flu, then the common cold. And so in 1969 I enrolled in the Construction Faculty of the Novosibirsk Institute of Railway Transport Engineering and in 1974 I graduated with a distinction. In passing I might say that even a genius like Buteyko did not immediately choose to become a doctor. First, he enrolled in a road transport institute in Ukraine, completing two years of the course. It was only then, in the post-war years, that he entered a medical institute, so that he could study the human body as closely as he had previously studied the automobile… This is probably why I found Dr Buteyko’s first, engineering-based, calculations so very accessible. Work on a building site was fairly evidently not to be my vocation, but I did love writing books about outstanding people and that is what I did from 1978. By 1987 I had two published books under my belt: one about Siberian partisans, and the other about a Hero of Labour who worked in an aircraft factory. A third book, about a woman from the same factory who was also a Hero of Labour, had reached the proofing stage. 1987 was also the year that I met my future wife, Ludmila Sokolskaya. She was an extremely gifted woman, a physicist by training, who worked in a

research institute of the university complex just outside Novosibirsk. Unfortunately, she had been tormented by illness from early childhood and in 1984 was literally dying from the terrible pain in her spine. Her life had been saved by Konstantin Buteyko, and it was Ludmila who gave me the idea of writing a book about him and his technique for the volitional elimination of deep breathing… I didn’t immediately take to the idea. My fourth book was about police work and about to hit the shelves, and I was interested in trying my hand at crime writing too… In November 1987, Ludmila introduced me to Boris Mitrofanov – not to Dr Buteyko himself, but to the disciple who had been directly responsible for curing her terrible back pain, under Buteyko’s tutelage. Nevertheless, this is the date that I consider I joined the Buteyko camp. Ludmila brought me into contact with Dr Buteyko personally in June 1988. My third book, about the outstanding aircraft designer woman had just come out. Dr Buteyko had all three of my books in his hands and said something along the lines of just look at the drivel new writers churn out today - but they haven’t the guts to write about an alternative way of healing that is saving hundreds of people from asthma and hypertension! I told him I was prepared to write about his technique. Dr Buteyko narrowed his eyes, then said that only a teacher of the Volitional Elimination of Deep Breathing could write about it, so I should study with him -- to learn the finer points of the technique -- to heal a patient or two -and to write a book as I did so. And that is what we decided to do! I shall not forget that morning of 14 June 1988, when I came to Dr Buteyko’s Centre for 8 o’clock, in the handful of offices it then occupied in the District Hospital of Novosibirsk university complex on Arbuzov St. I was met by Boris Mitrofanov, whom I knew already, and who was one of Dr Buteyko’s deputies. Neither he nor I thought then that literally six months later I should take up the post of Deputy Director for Media and Information, in the same centre….

I told him that Dr Buteyko wanted me sent round a number of trainers for instruction. Boris looked round. Next to him there was a woman of about fifty in a black beret. She had a rather pleasing, nice face, and he said: "Well right now you can go with Clara Lagunova. She’s just about to take her group over to the Academy cinema". Clara greeted me with her bewitching smile. This was fate! From my very first moment with the Novosibirsk Centre for “Breathing in the Buteyko Way”, I had fallen under the mentorship of the Best Teacher in the Soviet Union, as it was then!! That was the award that Dr Buteyko would give our Clara later, in 1989. Some time later I got to know many of the teachers at the Novosibirsk Centre for “Breathing in the Buteyko Way”, as well as teachers from other towns, attending classes with the most famous of them. But Clara Lagunova has remained my MAIN teacher in the Buteyko technique, throughout my life! I had more than one two-week training session with her -- I must have had about 20, at least. I never ceased to admire the depth she brought to teaching the practical aspects of the Buteyko Technique, nor the selfless way she taught them! She used to give her whole soul to people who were ill. Most of Dr Buteyko’s practitioners were not doctors by profession. Professional doctors find it hard to let go of the idea that highly complex diseases like asthma, hypertonia and stenocardia can be cured by non-MEDICINAL means… Just the thought of that could nearly kill them. They were unable to cure illnesses like these using even the most expensive pharmaceuticals at their disposal. Then blow me down! Some sort of ‘normal’ breathing would clear it all up! Professional doctors found it awfully hard to overcome this psychological barrier, and extremely few of them completely succeeded. If Clara Lagunova had no compunction about cutting out part of her patients’ normal drug intake within the first two weeks’ of teaching them, (and sometimes all of it), doctors…would not always let their patients make a clean break from their drug treatments after six months! They preferred to combine the non-toxic Buteyko Technique, with dosages of their conventional ‘pesticides’. Clara Lagunova did not merely teach the Buteyko Method. She would also

tell her patients how she personally used the method when diagnosed with cancer. That was an amazing story! – and is told in part in Volume 2 of my trilogy. These days so much is said and written about cancer that it is simply mindbending. You have the impression this illness cuts through the population in swathes – and that conventional medicine is powerless to stop it. People are urged to have it diagnosed it early, because otherwise - it’s a death knell. But where are people supposed to acquire these early diagnoses, when doctors still cannot identify or prognosticate far simpler diseases with any accuracy? Clara Lagunova came to see Dr Buteyko when she had a malignant tumour in her right breast that was already the size of an egg! In her case there was no talk of an early diagnosis whatsoever… The cancer was at a final stage, and it was very clear she did not have much longer to live. But the reason Clara Lagunova went on to become a first class Buteyko Therapist was that she had a first class brain in her head. Her grasp of the theory behind Dr Buteyko’s Method was so clear, and so profound. She would get up at six every morning then sit for thirty minutes, scrupulously practising the Buteyko Method. Then she would walk around in accordance with the Method etc. Ignaz Semmelweis lived and worked as a gynaecologist and obstetrician about 100 years before the Discovery of Illnesses Associated with Deep Breathing. You would think that he could have no connection to this revolution in medicine, but his life is extremely instructive. Through it you can see 19th century quite clearly leave its mark upon the 20th . In those days nursing mothers used to die of puerperal fever – infected blood – on the wards. People would account for it in different ways. Some said the moon had come out wrongly during the delivery, and others that the priest had said the prayer too late. Then suddenly one of Semmelweis’ friends died after carrying out an autopsy on a woman who had died of sepsis! The friend had not had a baby… but he had nicked his hand while he was carrying out the post mortem – and so Semmelweis went public about the presence of poison in the corpses! All he was trying to achieve in the early days was that surgeons should

carefully scrub up before they operated – because at that stage they only washed their hands afterwards! Semmelweis recommended using commonor-garden bleaching powder as a disinfectant. You would think this was a pretty minor request – that his colleagues give their hands an extra wash – but no! Joseph Braun – the 18th century Academician and physicist, who was the first man to freeze mercury -- hounded him for 13 years for his good advice, then put him away in a psychiatric hospital and destroyed him with drug injections. Twenty years after Semmelweis’ public statement – he had a successor appear in the shape of the British scientist, Professor Lister. Joseph Lister recommended carbolic acid instead of bleaching powder, but he was hounded to death for that too. Basically it took an average of 50 years to prove this self-evident truth – and umbrellas came to the rescue. Common-or-garden umbrellas… because relatives began belabouring anyone with them who operated without washing their hands. Light years from the Discovery of Illnesses Associated with Deep Breathing you would think, but how vividly it prefigured Dr Buteyko’s own thorny journey! It was about half a century before Ignaz Semmelweis’ innocent, simple discovery bore fruit, and daylight dawned for the medical profession. Perhaps poked or prompted into awareness by the umbrellas of their patients’ families - who knows? – surgeons did at last begin to wash and disinfect their hands before they operated, and not just afterwards! Fifty years for something so trivial. How many years would it be before The Volitional Elimination of Deep Breathing was incorporated into daily practice? Dr Buteyko himself thought it would take 50 years for each of the 115 principal diseases that can be eradicated, or significantly improved, by use of his Method. First and foremost, this includes all forms of allergy! Bronchial asthma; bronchitis; sugar diabetes; stenocardia; ischaemic coronary disease; hypertonia and hypotonia; gynaecological pathologies and kidney diseases. That is the spectrum of influence that Dr Buteyko’s Method may have! And how awfully sad that people suffering from these complaints should need to wait for CENTURIES to hear the medical establishment acknowledge this fact!

I made a close study of The Volitional Elimination of Deep Breathing, with Clara Lagunova as my mentor, and after one year I moved from being an ordinary trainer to the Deputy Directorship of Media and Information for the Novosibirsk Centre: “Breathing in the Buteyko Way”. The Director was Dr Konstantin Buteyko himself. In May 1989 I was one of the first to be awarded a starred diploma as Senior Trainer in the Technique for the Volitional Elimination of Deep Breathing. Ten years later, in April 1988, Dr Buteyko carried out a qualifications’ review and awarded me a second diploma. On 22 August 1990, he gave me the exceptionally rare title of Training Inspector – which in Buteyko terms is the equivalent of ‘General’. He awarded extremely few of those. Apart from Clara Lagunova’s classes, as Deputy Director for Media and Information, and a Training Inspector, I attended the sessions of DOZENS of Dr Buteyko’s trainers. I took the best from each of them and reproduced their common experience in my trilogy “The Discovery of Dr Buteyko”. I spent hours copying down the great scientist’s every word, and took part in his main theoretical and practical conferences. I saw a lot, and discovered much. It seems no time since the summer of 1989, when my dear Clara Lagunova conducted a successful state clinical trial of the Method on 50 of the most chronic diabetics, at Dr Buteyko’s behes, in the Novosibirsk Univesrity Complex. She provided official proof to the whole world - even people who knew nothing about the trial - that the VEDB Method can completely eradicate sugar diabetes. Then in April 1991, with Dr Buteyko’s permission and endorsement, his old student, Dr Vladimir Novoselov, assembled 13 HIV-infected patients in a clinic on the River Dnepr in Ukraine, and conducted a successful state clinical trial of the Method on patients HIV infection! His success has been hushed up to this day. Then there is pain-free childbirth on the Method. One could write volumes about that – and I have already described it in Book Three - Part Two, of my trilogy – a section that has yet to be published. My own wife gave birth painlessly using the method – even though she had been categorically forbidden to have children because of the host of illnesses that attended her! They told her the baby would die – ut it was born on 19 October 1981, the healthiest of the eight born in the maternity home that day! We called him

Kostya, in honour of Konstantin Buteyko, and Dr Buteyko and Clara Lagunova helped christen him in the summer of 1991 in a Novosibirsk church, as his god- parents. The pill-pushing mafia did their best to nip Dr Buteyko’s discovery in the bud. They persecuted him unmercilessly, and brought him to an early grave. They put him in a mad house and fired his most loyal students from their jobs. But they did not quite succeed in crushing the Method. Throughout all these years, Dr Buteyko’s wife Ludmila was his guardian angel. She succeeded in forcing documents through the system that no one else had the strength to force through! She put her son Andrey Buteyko into medical school and today he continues his father’s work. And our boy Kostya has also started his second year at the medical institute – the boy the medical establishment said would never survive! The pill-pushing mafia may be powerful – but the power of human genius is even greater! The fire that burned in the great Dr Buteyko should never be allowed to die. And people like Alex Spence (thebreathingman), who has taken on the labour of publishing an English version of the trilogy: “Dr Buteyko’s Discovery”, confirm by the strength of their own spirit, that it is unlikely to flicker out and die. As do colleagues at the – Centre in Voronezh Vladimir Buteyko and Maria Buteyko - Buteyko Centre in Moscow Andrey Novozhilov and many more people, whom there is no opportunity here to name. All of them are working FOR people who are ill, and this is the reason the pill-pushing mafia rewards them with unpleasantness and abuse. But still they stubbornly continue their difficult work, and I am proud that it has fallen to me to be the first chronicler of the Buteyko movement. Let us all close ranks! It is a struggle to the end. How can we not fight for him and a Great Discovery that brings recovery to so many people.

Foreword to Volume 1 - The Destruction of the Laboratory For over 30 years – from October 1952 to September 1985 – the medical establishment hushed up my discovery. It did everything to trample on and destroy the strongest weapon in the fight against many modern diseases. I was called a charlatan, a schizophrenic and a raving nutter, among other names. They tried to poison me three times, and organised two car crashes. There were several attempts to put me in a psychiatric hospital. They physically destroyed my laboratory, which was unique throughout the world. And all of this because I had discovered a lever that patients could pull to be free from their piles of pills and complicated surgical procedures that were far from safe. But of course, this is the mainstay of pharmacology, and thousands of surgeons have won State prizes. What, after all, is easier: to recognise a discovery and decrease your own specific weight or to accuse the author of pseudoscience? The latter is easier and more profitable… Much has changed today, but those who simply criticised the Method previously are now trying to ram the genie back into the bottle from which it had begun to emerge. The discovery seems to have been recognised, but there’s just one tiny catch. A trifling reservation crept into the decision. 1 They say the Method only cures asthma, mild asthma at that, instead of the list of 150 diseases that I compiled during my decades of medical practice. Well, what of it. I spent 30 years working with diseases, and in five millennia, everyone will recognise my work, you’ll see. Of course, there might not be anyone left to treat… Nevertheless, for you who are suffering from the basic diseases included in the significantly shortened list below, I resolutely declare: they can be treated with my Method! Every last one! But there’s no need to shout about it being a panacea – only the uneducated would think so. How can it be a panacea when the list contains a few dozen illnesses but modern medicine recognises around 30 thousand? This is a mere fraction, but they are the most common. That's the whole point. I would stake my life on every line, but only for those who believe that the Method is the only chance of deliverance. People who believe in massages, acupuncture and yogi-mogis and shmogis had better not practise the Method. It only helps those who are its complete supporters. Not because it involves some kind of hypnosis or some other kind of suggestion, as my enemies claim. No, the Method is completely physiological – but half-

hearted belief is always worse than disbelief. LIST OF DISEASES OF DEEP BREATHING that can be treated by the VEDB (Volitional Elimination of Deep Breathing) 1. Pre-asthmatic conditions: a. allergic respiratory disease b. polyvalent allergy c. laryngospasm (voice loss) d. allergic conjunctivitis e. food allergies f. drug allergies g. pseudocroup h. pharyngitis i. laryngitis j. tracheitis 2. Asthmatic bronchitis 3. Bronchial asthma 4. CNSLD (chronic nonspecific lung disease): a. chronic bronchitis, including obstructive bronchitis b. chronic pneumonia c. bronchiectasis d. pneumosclerosis e. emphysem a f. silicosis, anthracosis, etc. 5. Chronic cold 6. Vasomotor rhinitis 7. Frontal sinusitis 8. Maxillary sinusitis 9. Sinusitis 10. Adenoids and polyps 11. Chronic rhinosinusitis 12. Pollinoses (hay fever) 13. Quincke's oedema 14. Hives 15. Eczema, including a. neurodermatitis b. psoriasis

c. diathesis d. vitiligo e. ichytosis f. acne 16. Raynaud's disease (spasms of the vessels of the upper extremities) 2 17. Obliterating endarteritis 18. Varicose veins 19. Thrombophlebitis 20. Haemorrhoid s 21. Hypotension 22. Hypertension 23. Autonomic neuropathy 24. Congenital heart disease 25. Rheumatism of the joints 26. Rheumatic heart disease 27. Diencephalic syndrome 28. Ischemic heart disease (IHD) 29. Chronic IHD (CIHD) a. rest and effort angina b. postinfarction cardiosclerosis 30. Cardiac arrhythmia: a. tachycardia b. extrasystole c. paroxysmal tachycardia d. atrial fibrillation 31. Generalised atherosclerosis 32. Arachnoiditis (post-traumatic, influenzal, etc.) 33. Post-stroke conditions: a. paralysis b. paresis 34. Parkinson’s disease (early stage) 35. Hypothyroidism 36. Hyperthyroidism 37. Graves’ disease 38. Diabetes 39. Irregular menstruation 40. Toxaemia of pregnancy 3

41. Menopausal problems 42. Cervical erosion 43. Fibromyoma 44. Fibrocystic breast changes 45. Infertility 46. Impotence 47. Threatened miscarriage 48. Radiculitis 49. Osteochondrosis 50. Metabolic polyarthropathy 51. Rheumatoid polyarthropathy 52. Dupuytren's contracture (contracture of the palmar fascia) 53. Gout 54. Pyelonephritis 55. Glomerulonephritis 56. Nocturia (need to urinate at night) 57. Cystitis 58. Kidney stone disease 59. Obesity of all degrees 60. Lipomatosis 61. Chronic gastritis 62. Chronic cholecystitis 63. Biliary dyskinesia 64. Chronic pancreatitis 65. Gallstone disease 66. Duodenal ulcer 67. Irritable bowel syndrome 68. Peptic ulcers 69. Multiple sclerosis 70. Epileptic syndrome, (epilepsy)-convulsive syndrome 71. Schizophrenia (early stage) 72. Systemic autoimmune disease (scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus , dermatomyositis ) 73. Glaucoma 74. Cataracts 75. Temporary squinting 76. Long sightedness

77. Radiation sickness 78. Acute and chronic hepatitis 79. Cirrhosis of the liver 80. HIV (AIDS) Yes, now, today, and not in 5,000 years time (when it will be possible, but too late), being of sound mind and memory, I declare: my discovery of the diseases of deep breathing revolutionises the whole of medicine! K.P. Buteyko From the Author We especially appreciate the truth when it comes to our health. Is what is written here true? Of course it is! Dr Butenko 4 is based on the famous Siberian scientist, Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko. This character was more than real… But his life and the fate of his discovery are so complicated and tragic that they should be written about in blood. Everything that is written here is true. However, the trilogy is a documentary novel. A request is therefore made not to anyone offended not take personally anything that is particularly aggravating. Works of fiction have their own specific style. The names of those guilty of hiding Buteyko’s discovery and method from the world are not given. And as the wise saying goes, they are innocent until… With regards, the VEDB practitioner S. Altukhov

Short Intensive Practical Course In the Volitional Elimination of Deep Breathing This is the main practical guide for extra-mural students of the Volitional Elimination of Deep Breathing. It can give significant results if reinforced by preliminary study of Volumes One and Two of the trilogy: “Doctor Buteyko’s Discovery”. Contents 1.



Chapter 1


Chapter 2

Exercise No 1: The Right Hand Rule: a) Description of the exercise itself b) Commentary on separate points

Exercise No 2: The Left Hand Rule: a) Description of the practical part of the exercise b) Essential commentaries Foreword Distance learning has been an established teaching technique for some time now and we are not the first to have recourse to it, although it has never formally been used before to teach Academician K.P. Buteyko’s methodology. On the other hand, I worked as a trainer with Dr Buteyko from 1987 until the day he passed on (on 2 May 2003) and I can vouch that the first Buteyko handbooks began appearing in the early 1960s. And what is a handbook, if not a form of ‘distance’ learning? True, they were always designed in a way that could not be followed without a trainer’s help. There was always the assumption that the trainer would be on hand with the handbook. But it’s a big world. Time has passed and everything changes. I wrote the trilogy on “Dr Buteyko’s Discovery” and it seems to me that now Dr Buteyko is dead, the time has come to use distance learning more actively, or the

wider world will never know about his Discovery of Diseases Associated with Deep Breathing. Dr Buteyko himself dreamt of getting his message across more widely. The main reason for the present guide is my belief that trainers teach an excessively narrow version of the technique. Most of them teach only the third supplementary exercise – on how to stopper your nose! But that is only the last exercise and a supplementary one at that. Why do they say nothing about the first two core exercises? Because they either don’t know them themselves (or have only a hazy grasp of them) or because they can’t be bothered. They always just say ‘block your nose and hold your breath as long as you can’. All clear. All simple. But that is not what Dr Buteyko’s Method! It merely supplements the two first main exercises. And we need to know all three. Yours respectfully, Sergey Altukhov Buteyko Breathing Centre Winner of two trainer diplomas in the Buteyko technique Author of the trilogy “Dr Buteyko’s Discovery” Email: [email protected]

CHAPTER 1 Exercise No 1. The Right Hand Rule First of all I want it said that although the reader may think this short practical course merely repeats chapters in Volume Two of the trilogy, I can assure them straightaway that this is not the case! I can be quite categorical about this, because I am the author of both and why would I want to repeat myself? Volume Two does indeed give practical exercises, but in the context of a creative documentary novel, with all the digressions and descriptive flourishes essential to the genre! In other words, it is not a manual, it is a novel - and while you read to the end of a chapter, you could forget what was at the beginning. This guide is a distillation: succinct, laconic, and with commentaries. It also includes many important tiny details that are simply not in the novel. Exercise No 1. The Right Hand Rule Why is it the right hand rule? Because Dr Buteyko drew round his right hand, then wrote along each of his fingers, as a sort of visual aid. The first finger represents a comfortable position, and the second finger – a correct posture. Drawings are easier to remember. Here we will just use plain English. Exercise No 1 1. Place a normal comfortable chair in the middle of the room, with one corner turned forward. 2. Stand with your back to the edge of the chair, so that you are astride the corner. 3. Correct your posture, ie straighten your shoulders and let your hands drop down by the side of your legs. Hold your head straight ahead, with your mouth closed, and breathe through your nose, not your mouth. 4. Put your left palm on your naval and cover it with your right one. Apply faint pressure to the inner abdomen. 5. Maintaining that slight pressure to your abdomen, slowly lower yourself to the corner of the chair. When you have sat down, let

go of your abdomen and freely toss your hands onto your knees, palms down. 6. Your feet should be placed slightly under your legs. Slightly straighten your shoulders again. Your head should be facing straight in front. Your mouth should be closed, and your gaze should turn slightly upwards. 7. You should sit in this pose for between 8 and 10 minutes, breathing quietly through your nose, so that neither your diaphragm nor your chest heaves. That’s it! It is all brilliantly simple, but with a simplicity in the positioning of the hands and eyes that Academician Buteyko took 40 long and difficult years to achieve. So, believe me. This simplicity came at a high price.

Commentaries Commentary to Point 1 of the Exercise a) The chair should be basic normal height. But if you are over 6’1” - or 1 metre 85cm – you might need to put something under it to raise the level of your seat. A low chair will not do, since your knees should go smoothly downwards and not jut upwards. This would increase tension in the diaphragm and we need maximum relaxation. b) You should not use a hard wooden chair. It should be reasonably soft. Utility kitchen chairs in the 1960s were ideal, with a padded seat panel that lifted out. They gave the perfect firmness – you don’t need something too soft. Chairs without the removable panel can often be too hard. Bare wood is out, because it puts pressure on your coccyx and will make your breathing deeper! Commentary to Point 2 of the Exercise The corner of the chair should be between your legs, so that you straddle it like a horse. Academician Buteyko thought that sitting in a saddle was a very good posture for doing the technique.

Commentary to Point 3 of the Exercise Correcting your posture means straightening your shoulders slightly – but not like a solider standing to attention, or your spine will hurt and you will start to tense up, instead of relaxing. Breathe through your nose, quietly. And if your nose is blocked up? Squeeze it after an ordinary out-breath and gently squat down. Do a series of half-squats, while you squeeze your nose. You should squat as long as you can keep holding your nose. On average this is 12 seconds, and if your nose does not immediately clear, wait a moment, then repeat. Three pauses will unblock anyone’s nose! Not for long, it’s true, but you only need 10 minutes for the exercise. Commentary to Point 4 of the Exercise You should apply only the slightest pressure to the diaphragm. There is no need to squash it, or you will once again achieve great tension. The point of putting pressure on the abdomen is to make it slightly taut, so that it relaxes when you let it go. We lightly toss our hands onto our knees, without effort, and only with our palms down. In a book that is going the rounds at the moment, the author recommends holding the palms up. This is a travesty of Academic Buteyko’s guidelines, because turning the palms upwards causes perceptible tension in the area round your neck and shoulders, that deepens the breathing, instead of making it more shallow. Books like this are put out by people who wish Dr Buteyko ill, to undermine his results and put people off doing the Method. Commentary to Point 6 of the Exercise When you place your feet slightly beneath your legs, your toes are usually in contact with the floor while your heels are slightly raised. If you are tall, it may be that the sole of your foot simply plants flat on the floor. That’s not a problem. Straighten your shoulders slightly so you feel no pain from your spinal discs and no tension. As you do that, sit with your spine away from the chair back. Do not slump against it and do not prop yourself on it either. Train your gaze slightly towards the ceiling – what doctors call the MartinBell syndrome. You will experience faint discomfort when your eyes turn upwards, but this also reduces the depth of your breathing. Gaze upwards, and your head facing straight ahead! Some older patients complain of

dizziness and blurred vision when they do this. They can simply close their eyes, but keep their pupils turned upwards behind closed lids. Commentary to Point 7 of the Exercise Sit in this posture for between 8 and 10 minutes, breathing quietly so that neither the abdomen nor the chest heaves. How do we manage that? This is how. A) We sit and follow our breathing. We take small breaths, not deep ones to the bottom of our lungs. To start with, we only observe our inbreaths. If we take shallow in-breaths, we will make shallow out-breaths too. We may start inhaling a little more frequently. It doesn’t matter. Our breathing will revert to our norm later and become less frequent. B) I said that we should sit and breathe in this posture for about 8 to 10 minutes. When you start you will only be able to manage 2-3 minutes without wanting to draw a deep breath. This means that you are still learning the exercise. On day two you will already be able to sit for 4 minutes, and on day ten you will easily sit for 10. C) To know if your abdomen or chest are heaving, you can run your hand over them from time to time, and see how they move. Each time you do this they will move a little less. Afterword to Chapter 1 a) Practise Exercise No 1 to begin with, for a couple of days at least. That is for the time being. For a start. You should exercise at least three times a day. It is better to sit for 15 minutes at a time. You can sit for longer, but only if your abdomen does not start tensing up. b) Do not exercise straight after eating. Wait for about one hour after a meal, or practise before eating. Do three practice sessions, in the morning, noon and evening. c) How will you know during the exercise if you are using the Buteyko Method or not? Well to start with, if you are, you might simply feel better. Your head ache, irritation etc might vanish. Secondly, your hands and feet might warm up. Carbon dioxide gas heats you up. And thirdly, you might feel a slight tingling, like a tickle, under your skin. This is the passage of carbon dioxide gas through the blood under the skin. Fourthly, you might feel drowsy and want to yawn. Carbon dioxide gas is calming and has a soporific effect. Dr Buteyko says:

“Yawn as much as you want! It is good for you. But yawn in a way that allows you still to breathe through your nose. Don’t gulp air through your mouth.” d) Dr Buteyko was adamant that you measure your control pause and pulse before and after the exercise. If your pause had increased by as little as one second afterwards, it means you did the exercise well. And if it had decreased, it means you were unable to relax your abdomen. Quite the reverse in fact: it had been tense. Your pulse rate should go down slightly after the exercise. How do you measure the control pause? And what is it? The control pause is a holding of the breath after an ordinary exhalation of air, until you experience the first TINY desire to breathe in! Until the very first, very tiniest desire! After an ordinary exhalation (not a deep one), you should squeeze the tip of your nose with your fingers and look at a stopwatch. If you experience the slightest inclination to breathe in after six seconds, you should immediately let go. You have measured it all correctly. What does ‘correctly’ mean in this context? – it means that after letting go of your nose you did not gasp for air, your chest did not heave, and your face was not red (or even faintly flushed). If you let go of your nose after 15 seconds and immediately gasped for air – that was no longer a control pause. That was a maximum pause! So if your control pause before the exercise was 6 seconds, and afterwards was 7, 8 or 9 seconds, then you did it very well. You stoked up your supplies of carbon dioxide gas. Ideally you should take these measurements three times a day, over six months, and log them in a diary. The increase (or decrease) in the length of your pause is an important indicator. The ideal control pause for a healthy individual is 60 seconds - that’s the record. But you don’t have to chase after it. If you can move from a control pause of 6 seconds to one of 25 seconds in two months, you are doing very well. With a control pause like that you can live very adequately. To give you an example, I started in 1987 with a control pause of 6 seconds and when I sat my exams as a trainer in autumn 1988, it had gone up to 45 seconds, consistently. So be glad of even verage increases.

Here I will immediately qualify what I just said. Changes in the length of the pause are extremely subtle. Measuring it is a very approximate and provisional thing, which is why many trainees get flustered doing it. They simply don’t know how to measure it properly. If that is your story, don’t worry about it. The control pause is not a cure! It is merely a means of measurement, like a thermometer. I have not taken my temperature for years now, but I am still alive and well… The main thing is to do the exercises. If you are good at measuring your control pause – fine. If you are not, it’s no problem. Just do the exercise sitting on a chair. The main thing – is to do the exercise. This is enough information for Exercise No 1. Master it now. Two days or more should be enough. It is one of the basic exercises in the Buteyko Method. A bit later, we shall come to Exercise No 2, but it is best not to mix them in the early stages. Good luck. Safe journey.

CHAPTER 2 Exercise No 2. The Left Hand Rule Why is it called The Left Hand Rule? Because Academician Buteyko was a lover of graphic depiction. Put your left palm on a blank piece of paper, and draw round the fingers with a pencil. On the thumb write ‘gradual’; on the index finger write ‘reduction’; on the middle finger, write ‘of the depth of breathing’; on the ring finger write ‘by means of relaxing the diaphragm; and on the pinkie write ‘until you are aware of a slight shortage of air’. There you have the Left Hand Rule: gradual reduction of the depth of breathing, by means of relaxing the diaphragm, until you are aware of a slight shortage of air. But how do we achieve this in reality? A)

To start with, we repeat all seven elements of Exercise No 1. All seven. That is to say, we set up a chair with one of its corners turned forward. We sit down and relax our diaphragm. We turn our gaze upwards, and by now we are 50 seconds into Exercise No 1.


1b) Next, after an ordinary out-breath, we squeeze the tip of our nose with our left hand, and hold it closed for approximately 2-4 seconds, until we start to feel a slight shortage of air.

2b) When we are aware of a very slight shortage of air, we let go. 3b) The first breath we take afterwards is a partial one ie we slightly restrict our intake of air. Only slightly. This is why we previously captured that sense of being short of air. 4b) And now we sit still for 10-15 minutes, breathing quietly through our noses, so that neither our abdomen nor our chest, heaves. 5b) We carry on under-breathing and slightly abbreviating our in-breath. We do this so that we can maintain right through to the end of the exercise, the sense of a slight shortage of air that we attained by holding our noses! That’s all! That is the absolutely classic version of the standard exercise in the technique of Volitional Elimination of Deep Breathing. It is the exercise Academician Buteyko always officially described as the bedrock of his technique. But 99% of trainers teach only Exercise No 3 and that is bad. Very


Commentaries Commentary to Point 1b Why do we usually squeeze the tip of our nose on average for 2-4 seconds and no longer? Because we are aiming to achieve a sense of a very slight shortage of air. A very slight one! If you hold your nose for about 8 or 10 seconds, the deficit will be quite significant. You could not sit doing the exercise for 10-15 minutes with such a large shortage of air. You would quickly feel like taking a deep breath – and all your previous efforts would be wasted.…. In principle you should be able to squeeze the tip of your nose for as long as you can hold a control pause. That is what we were taught at the Buteyko Centre. But more often than not, patients do not know how to measure their control pause correctly. They over-extend them. So it’s best to be safe, and to squeeze the tip of your nose for 3-4 seconds, if you have a control pause of 8 seconds. If your control pause is 5 seconds, then 2-3 seconds’ holding your nose is enough. Commentary to Point 3b Our very first in-breath after letting go of our noses, should be incomplete. What does that mean? Something that is both very simple and at the same time not….And it is the crux of Exercise No 2. How is it simple? Basically because you are not breathing deeply. But not simply that; you are maintaining your new awareness of being slightly short of air. How can I convey the nub of the exercise more clearly? I always like to do it graphically. Imagine that you are at the cinema, in front of a giant screen showing your lungs in magnified form. They are alive, and they are breathing, and a glass tumbler has been put in their midst. And now here comes your first breath since you let go of your nose. Air bubbles into the

tumbler like sparkling mineral water, plain for all to see. The water (ie your first intake of breath) carries on filling the glass, right towards the brim. You have two choices. You can either carry on breathing and fill the glass brimful, or you can choose not to breathe right to the rim. At the lower edge of this round rim, you can make an imperceptible exhalation that will result in a slight shortage of air, and you should do this will all subsequent breaths. I have described this invisible process in a very visual and exact way, but in real life, of course, you cannot observe your first, or subsequent breaths, so clearly. But still, if you picture this screen in your mind, and this slow-motion shot of inhalation and exhalation, believe me -- on average you will succeed. This slow-motion film will help regulate the whole process. Unconsciously you will start to under-breathe slightly. Now for statistics. The tumbler holds 200ml of air and the rim takes up 10-17 mm, which means that you are under-breathing by roughly 8%. Academician Buteyko himself recommends that we breathe to three quarters of our capacity ie. we under-breathe by 25 %. But not everyone can manage that. Academician Buteyko himself could under-breathe by one quarter and sit for a long time breathing in the Method on it, but when you are a novice, you can manage perhaps only five minutes. So it is safer to start with inhalations that just fall short of the rim, then as you get used to it, perhaps under-breathe by the equivalent of two rim-depths. But do not aim to under-breathe by 50%. Even Academician Buteyko could not manage that for long, and you will manage it for less. And there is no need to. It is best if your under-breathing is less than your capabilities. Commentary on Point 4b “And now you sit still for 10-15 minutes, breathing quietly”. What if you need to take a mighty breath after one minute, or after three? Or maybe more than one… And what if you lose that sense of being slightly short of air, that you captured when you were squeezing your nose? No problem. Just squeeze it again for about 3 seconds, after an ordinary exhalation. Capture that awareness of ‘under-breathing’, and with it, carry on breathing quietly through your nose. I think the remaining points of the instructions need no commentary. I can

simply add some clarifications. We talk about an ‘incomplete inhalation’ and about ‘making an exhalation’ etc. But in fact, in classical breathing according to the Buteyko Method both inhalation and exhalation are inaudible. The breathing is DIFFUSE. It is not you who breathes in air and breathes it out. The air itself somehow flows into your nose and flows out again. Diffusion! It is as though we were to squeeze drops of violet ink from a fountain pen into a glass of water. It dissolves of its own accord. By diffusion. At this point, we can wrap up Exercise No 2. I think that extra-mural students may derive more benefit from this description than they would from a practical class, because no one there is going to explain things to them in such detail. You will be lucky if they mention it. More often than not – alas – they will only tell you about stoppering your nose. Now you should practice Exercise No 2 for two or three days, logging in your diary: ie a detailed log of your practice, by the hour, with an indication of how you felt, and the increase in our control pause and reduction in your pulse rate. Happy practising! P.S. It is always better to do the exercise to music. At the Buteyko Centre we always put on the Moonlight Sonata, but you should listen to whichever piece of music relaxes you. Play it quietly, because you still have to listen to your breathing – otherwise how will you reduce the depth of your breathing if you can’t hear it? If the music gets in the way, then practise for a month without it, then put it on. It’s more fun.

CHAPTER 3 Auxiliary Exercise No 3. Maximum Pause under Load Exercise in ways to block the work of the nose Let me explain from the outset that I shall deliberately use some rather colloquial words for the exercise on how to block the nose. Academician Buteyko himself expressed himself more gracefully and described this as an exercise in maximising pauses in the nasal load. I shall use more homely terms so that everyone immediately understands what I mean. We are of course not talking about stoppering the nostrils with cotton wool – although many trainers do. We are talking about squeezing the tip of the nose shut with our fingers, and the reason we are doing it is to block, or shut down, our breathing for specific periods of time. Please note! Dr Buteyko always used to say that “The exercise in restraining the breath, or blocking the nose, is not a core part of the Volitional Elimination of Deep Breathing. It is merely a supplementary exercise, to be allowed in certain situations with specific exceptions. What those exceptions are, I shall say in more detail later, in the commentaries and clarifications. But for the time being, the extra-mural student should grasp one thing: Exercise No 3 merely supplements Exercises 1 and 2. Exercise No 3 will never supplant them! It was to Dr Buteyko’s eternal regret that even during his life time, trainers gave pride of place to the exercise in blocking the nose and, naturally, so did their trainees and patients. Why? Basically because it needed little explanation. You just needed to say “Hold your nose and don’t breathe” and there you had the whole technique. Perfectly understandable to everyone: young and old, the halt and the lame. But just try, for example, explaining Exercise No 2 to an 80-year-old who is hard of hearing and can’t see very well. Try shouting in their ear that they should shorten their breath, as though they were filling a tumbler to the lower edge of its rim… So that is how it came about. The need for a simple explanation drove the majority of trainers to simplify their work. And the result? The exact opposite of their good intentions. The patients underwent the course of exercises without discovering the authentic Buteyko technique. They got just the supplementary part that very often does not give them relief.

So, Exercise No 3: 1) Stand in the middle of the room 2) Adopt the correct posture, namely: straighten your shoulders; drop your hands down by your sides; hold your head up straight with your mouth closed, and breathe through your nose. 3) After an ordinary out-breath squeeze the tip of your nose with your left hand, and gently lower yourself into a semi-squatting position. That is, squat, but not the way an athlete does. Squat down slowly and not right down to the floor. 4) Squat and squeeze your nose closed for the duration of your maximum pause. That is, squat down until you experience a powerful desire to inhale. 5) At the end of the maximum pause, we stop our semi-squatting. We let go of our noses, and experience a desire to take an immediate deep breath. We take it, of course, but in a restrained way so that we don’t allow ourselves to over-breathe. 6) Immediately after we let go of our nose, we begin slowly walking round in a circle. We calm our breath and still try to breathe through our noses. We keep our breathing under control. 7) We walk round in a circle. To calm our breath takes three times as long as we squatted. So, if we were squatting for 15 seconds, we will need to calm our breath for 45. 8) Then we again squeeze the tip of our nose and semi-squat, followed again by walking round in a circle to calm our breath. And we alternate these positions for the whole 10-15 minutes of the exercise. Commentaries Commentary on Point No 3 Why do we semi-squat and not go the whole way down?... Because your nose is squeezed tight shut. Some patients are elderly, and we don’t need to set any world records. We squat down slowly and not very far. We are taking care of our hearts. Commentary on Point No 4 “We squat for the duration of the maximum pause”. But what is the maximum pause? How does it differ from the control pause? The maximum

pause involves holding the breath after an ordinary exhalation until the first powerful desire to inhale. Please remember the term “after an ordinary exhalation”. After an ordinary exhalation. Some people make a deep inhalation followed by a deep exhalation, and this is wrong. That will inflate your control pause. Commentary on Point No 7 You should note that you need to walk round in a circle at the end of your pause for the duration of at least three maximum pauses. Why? So that you have time to calm your breathing after the pause. If you squat for 15 seconds and walk round in a circle for just 5, you will not reduce your breathing. In fact, you will make it deeper! It is extremely important to know this. Yet fans of maximum-pause exercises almost always forget about it. Clarification Academician Buteyko always used to say that Exercise No 3 was merely a supplementary exercise, intended for a number of specific situations. We will give examples of them here. At our Buteyko Centre in Novosibirsk, which was called “Breathe the Buteyko Way”, we used to talk about two: 1) It makes sense to use Exercise No 3 at the onset of any acute respiratory illnesses, on days one or two. Be it influenza or angina etc, but you should definitely exercise at the very start. Why? Because Exercise No 3 is a way of topping up the quantity of CO2 in the body by means of maximum pauses. Rapid pumping, which is necessary when you need to suppress an influenza virus quickly with carbonic acid. 2) When I was training, they usually gave the example of a Professor Vasilyev, who was supposedly an acquaintance of Dr Buteyko. He had no faith in the EDBM, but suddenly got gangrene in his right leg and 12 days later a decision was taken to amputate at the knee. They used to say that Dr Buteyko advised him to practise a series of pauses in his breathing, as long as ever he could possibly hold them, and 9 days later, the dark blue of the gangrene left his leg, leaving only a little on his right big toe, which, history relates, was cut off.

I have described under Point No 2 what they used to say to us in classes; I myself never actually asked Dr Buteyko about the professor. I would just like to underline that Exercise No 3 is supplementary, to be used in emergency circumstances when the body needs urgent topping-up with CO2. It cannot, however, replace the main breathing technique, and for people who have suffered a heart attack, it is generally not to advised: what if the patient doesn’t emerge from the maximum pause at all, with their weak old heart… But a large number of trainers now teach Exercise No 3 as though it was the core therapy. This is wrong. There is Academician Buteyko’s classic method: exercises in the Right Hand Rule (No 1), and exercises in the Left Hand Rule (No 2). Exercise No 3 is supplementary to these, and so patients using it do not need additional teaching material. What is the danger of overdoing Exercise No 3? 1) It is dangerous for cardiac patients- although I know some who swear by practising their pause exercises, and are alive only because of them. That is done at their own risk. 2) But the main danger is that a life built on ‘pauses’ is inorganic. Respiration is a continuous process, and we cannot live on ‘pauses’ alone! If we succeed in reducing our breathing (as in Exercises 1 and 2), we can live perfectly well. And in harmony with our bodies. Practise Exercise No 3 for a few days, literally, and you will be able to go further in the programme. Now choose which exercise you enjoy the most . P.S. Here is a piece of general advice. During the day we practise reducing the depth of our breathing. Consciously! But what do we do at night time? At night time we mostly over breathe. Academician Buteyko paid a lot of attention to the position in which we sleep. He did not recommend sleeping on our backs, for example, which he claimed was “The corpse pose”, because “No one gets buried on their side: they are buried on their backs.” Dr Buteyko believes that we take in most air lying on our backs, because our chest space is totally free. It is completely unhindered and the deepest of breathing can take place. Many of us were taught to sleep on our right side, as I was, but Dr Buteyko considers that sleeping on the left is more comfortable. The heart lies slightly to our left side, and so when we sleep on our right, it is suspended rather higher over the bed. Dr Buteyko considers this an

uncomfortable position. So, those of you who want, can try sleeping on your left side if you find it easier. Academician Buteyko advised asthmatics to spend part of the night sleeping on their stomach, to restrain the movement of their thorax as far as possible. But not everyone can do that. The most important thing is still to do the exercises regularly. The position you sleep in is just a detail.

Cleansing Reactions Something to be aware of Note: The strength of the cleansing reactions, all depends on how intensively people practise and on the severity of their condition (University of Calgary, Canada 2008: Randomized controlled trial of the Buteyko breathing technique. Conclusions: Buteyko safe, effective and no adverse effects). Excerpts from Volume 1 Chapter 19 Cleansing reactions using the Buteyko Breathing Technique... “Yes, that’s right,” the Doctor confirmed. “In the handbook we took the line of caution. We said that in some severe cases, the overall picture will be one of gradual improvement but some symptoms may temporarily recur in the second to eighth week or later. Such recurrences are part of the healing process. That’s what we said - but actually there’s no hard and fast rule about it. In the Lab - as you can testify - we’ve seen cases where cleansing reactions have started just a few hours after breath training gets underway. It all depends how intensively people practise and on the severity of their condition. ” Buteyko found the passage he’d been quoting in the handbook and marked it with his fingernail. He leant back a little, making himself more comfortable. “Cleansing reactions are an interesting phenomenon. For ten years after the Discovery of the diseases of deep breathing I myself knew nothing about what we now call the cleansing processes. So I didn’t mention them anywhere. Of course patients had no knowledge of them either - and things generally went without a hitch. No-one was scared of anything. People just thought, ‘I’ve go a bit of an upset stomach’. Or maybe a patient had to empty his bowels an extra time. Maybe someone’s urine was a different colour. So what? People might have a bit more saliva. Or a period of disrupted sleep…" “The cleansing reactions are actually quite simple. Deep breathing disrupts the metabolic process in the cells, starving them of oxygen. The body then excretes beneficial salts - sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus - as it compensates for the increasingly alkaline environment. You’ll know how that movement towards alkalinity occurs, I’m sure.” The Doctor wrote down the chemical formula on a piece of paper and moved it over to Natalya. “Carbon dioxide dissolved in water is exactly the same thing as carbonic acid.” He jabbed a finger at the formula he had written. “And

since deep breathing brings about a deficiency of carbon dioxide in the body, the inner environment naturally becomes more alkaline. Deep breathing distorts immune reactions since it leads to an accumulation in the body of partially oxidised metabolic compounds that cause allergic reactions when they come into contact with external allergens. When deep breathing is eliminated using the Method, the metabolic processes are normalised. The excretory organs work more efficiently, and that’s what leads to the body cleansing itself. In the majority of patients, cleansing reactions are observed through all possible channels: salivation increases, as does lachrymation and sweating; people experience head colds, the elimination of phlegm and so on. It’s a very beneficial process. But unfortunately it can be a bit painful. It’s actually like the patient’s illness re-run backwards. The fainthearted can take fright. But cleansings don’t occur without any let-up - they happen when the maximum pause reaches the 10, 20, 40 and 60-second thresholds. And it’s important that these thresholds do get reached! It takes some people months to get there Excerpts from Volume 2 Chapter 34 Cleansing reactions with severe radiation exposure...“Something else which helped me was that the VEDB Method seems to me to be very straightforward but also uncompromising. If you work at your health you’ll be healthy. If you’re lazy, you’ll fall ill again." Of course, mastering the Method will also bring you up against hidden stumbling blocks which you’ll need to have the strength of character to overcome,” he continued, leaning his prematurely greying head to the right. “For example, a lot of patients are really scared of coming up against the past. When you warn them that during cleansings they’ll experience a kind of accelerated re-run of their illnesses, you can get an immediate refusal. But the Method is based on two fundamental reactions: oxidation and restoration. So everything to do with the Method happens entirely on the physiological plane and is entirely explicable. It’s the surest way to real longevity and perfect health. Given all that, why panic about health-giving cleansings? “Six times between 1983 and 1987, when I was training intensively, I was completely poleaxed. This was when I had pauses of twenty two and twenty four seconds - despite the received wisdom that major cleansings occur only

when the pause reaches multiples of ten seconds. While I was using the Method the stones accumulated in my kidneys passed out so violently that my ureter got blocked. I even had to be operated on. Over the four years I was also hospitalised three times for dermatological problems: the accumulated toxins and poisons were just streaming out through my skin.” Alevtina Kovrova’s plump shoulders shuddered with fright at the thought. She was listening intently. “But there’s no reason for you to go getting scared,” said Sarantsev, who had noticed. “Don’t compare your case with mine. Remember, I was a victim of severe radiation exposure. Nobody ever used to be cured of that. Lots of my workmates have been six feet under for years.” He went back to pick up the main thread of his story: “Since in the meantime I’d transferred to the construction department... Excerpts from Volume 3 Chapter 22 Cleansing reactions during pregnancy...“Any doctor who hears my account, at least any doctor who is not familiar with Dr Buteyko’s theory, just says that what I experienced was ‘typical nausea and vomiting of pregnancy’.” “Of course”, Maria Suvorova’s daughter, moving so she had her back to the sun, nodded in agreement. “No! And I must emphasise it again: NO!”, Ludmila Sokolovskaya even struck the rickety garden table with her fist. “It was a ‘typical cleansing’ episode! That’s what I kept telling myself during that period and I’m saying the same thing to you today. The cleansing process is characterised by the abruptness of its beginning and end. It starts suddenly and stops suddenly. In contrast, ordinary nausea and vomiting of pregnancy begins gradually and gets worse by degrees. It requires immense medical effort to treat it and it recedes equally slowly and the woman can still feel its effects for a long time afterwards. “Moreover, the fact that in my case, exactly three days after it had begun, on Sunday at 11.30am (the same time it had all started), it suddenly stopped just like that and I felt all light and wonderful, definitely suggests that it was a typical cleansing episode! “A good way of checking this is to look at the control pause. Immediately before a cleansing episode, the control pause unexpectedly undergoes a dramatic rise. It can suddenly increase by two or three seconds – or more.

And, as you all know only too well, ordinarily, doing the exercises to achieve an increase in the control pause of even one or two seconds is, alas, no easy matter”, Ludmila Sokolovskaya pushed back her hair, which had been ruffled by the wind, and looked meaningfully at plump Anna Zotova who squirmed uncomfortably beneath her understanding gaze. Everyone is different but getting Ms Zotova to increase her control pause by these few additional seconds would be an achievement indeed. “Then, at the start of the cleansing process, the length of the control pause suddenly drops as abruptly as it rose. Sometimes it drops as low as the level it was at initially, back when the individual first started doing the Buteyko Method exercises.” Anna Zotova drew her voluminous wrapper more tightly around her and shivered, although the garden in which they sat was suffused with summer heat. “The pause remains quite short throughout the period of cleansing, because all the CO2 which has been produced goes towards rebuilding the specific system of the body being cleansed at that particular time (and note that it’s important to keep practising the Method during the cleansing process, though not to excess).” “Could you repeat that last bit again, please”, asked the actress, who was making notes in an exercise book. “Yes, yes! One particular system of the body is being ‘retuned’ during the cleansing process”, Dr Sokolovskaya uttered the words slowly and clearly. “The end of this process is accompanied by a sharp increase in the length of the pause. The control pause rises above the level at which the cleansing took place. The individual who has just experienced this cleansing process immediately feels they have attained a new, higher state of health. They experience a surge of energy,” the trainer’s voice became noticeably stronger. “You see, the individual has overcome their ill-health. They have ‘purged’ themselves of the accumulated ‘pathogenic grime’.” THE END

Further Reading 1. Volume 1 - Doctor Buteyko’s Discovery: The Destruction of the Laboratory English Translation 2009 eBook sold on Amazon (www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004FGMT90 ) The content of this written work is fact and is written in the style of a documentary novel. Sergey Altukhov was commissioned by Professor K.P. Buteyko on June 1988 to write the truth about his method. Professor K.P. Buteyko approved the first volume in March 1990. Summary of Volume 1 The Ukrainian scientist Dr Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko believed that many of the commonest diseases today (such as asthma, angina pectoris and hypertension) were caused by insufficient levels of carbon dioxide in the body. Patients therefore had to be taught to breathe more shallowly to improve their health, in contrast to the frequently heard injunction to ‘breathe deeply’. Dr Buteyko developed a unique piece of equipment, his ‘combine complexator’, which could measure multiple physiological parameters at the same time. He collected empirical data from hundreds of patients confirming his theories, and from this data drew up charts and equations linking carbon dioxide levels and disease. A key discovery was the ‘control pause’ - the amount of time that a person can comfortably hold his or her breath after a normal expiration. The length of the control pause gives an approximate measurement of the level of carbon dioxide in the body and hence is a good indicator, according to Dr Buteyko, of the patient’s state of health. This is clearly illustrated by Buteyko’s ‘Table of Pulmonary Ventilation Criteria’, which shows the correlation between a patient’s control pause, alveolar carbon dioxide levels, depth of breathing and physiological condition. Dr Buteyko’s theories did not go down well with the medical establishment, which preferred to treat diseases with surgery or drugs. When he was eventually allowed to conduct an official trial of his Method, results were falsified, leading to the closure of his laboratory. There were even mysterious

attempts on his life by a car accident and poisoning. Eventually his discovery was recognised in 1983 by the USSR Committee on Inventions and Discoveries and a patent was at last issued for his Method. Today his Method is taught by professionals throughout Russia. Volume 1 of the trilogy describes Dr Buteyko’s childhood in 1930s Soviet Ukraine and his experiences in World War II. It recounts how Buteyko’s own experience of malignant hypertension as a medical student led him to his discovery, and describes his constant fight for recognition, including his difficulties in gaining a PhD on the basis of his research. The book details his struggle to keep open his Laboratory of Functional Diagnostics on a shoestring budget in the teeth of strong opposition from the medical establishment. The stories of his closest collaborators at the Laboratory are also recounted. Guide to Volume 1 Doctor Buteyko’s Discovery: Volume 1 contains 11 charts illustrating the Buteyko Method: Figure 1: Pulmonary ventilation criteria (p. 51, p. 151, p. 179) Figure 2: Evolution of the atmosphere (p. 52) Figure 3: Respiration in the human fetus (p. 52) Figure 4: Diagrams used in the 1964 manual (p. 92) Figure 5: Spirogram of an asthma attack (p. 134) Figure 6: Equations linking respiratory parameters (p. 216) Figure 7: Buteyko’s VEDB Method (p. 229) Figure 8: Alveolar CO2 in mmHg (p. 229) Figure 9: Respiration (p. 230) Figure 10: The effects of hyperventilation (p. 230) Figure 11: Protective mechanisms (p. 231) The most important of Buteyko’s practical teachings are contained in the following sections: Training Khodakevich (a patient with heart disease) in the Method (Chapter 13, pp. 65-70) Stopping an asthma attack in a celebrated school teacher (Chapter 16, pp. 83-88)

The recipe for Buteyko’s famous ‘borschch and porridge’ (Chapter 20, pp. 116-120) Stopping an asthma attack in a World War 1 veteran (Chapter 23, pp. 142-145) Victory of Sablin (a patient) over ischaemic heart disease (Chapter 24, pp. 150-152) An account of a complete lesson in the Buteyko Method given as part of the 1968 Leningrad trial (Chapter 24, pp. 147-157) Gudzenko (a patient) learns to control his angina pectoris (Chapter 25, pp. 165-167) It is important to remember that even the best book is no substitute for training by a Buteyko practitioner, but these practical sections provide a wealth of information for patients. 2. Buteyko Breathing Course over 10 days (Part of Volume 2 Doctor Buteyko’s Discovery: The Death and Rebirth) (www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B087ZRM4B7 ) Teaching of The Buteyko Method by Clara Fedorovna Lagunova (Best Buteyko Methodist 1990) with Dr. Buteyko present (Chapters 25-34). Excerpt from Chapter 25 Your first priority is to learn how to remove your symptoms! ...“When you have really learned how to remove any symptoms using the Method, you will start to take shallow breaths of your own accord. And by measuring the length of the pause we will be able to measure the depth of the breath. Your first priority is to learn how to remove your symptoms! “ Clara Ozertsova drummed in Dr Buteyko’s message for new patients at their first class... Except from Chapter 30 You have been overbreathing

...“Remember, if a symptom vanishes through using the Method and then reappears – that means you have been overbreathing. Unfortunately, the way life is now, any number of things can make us overbreathe.” She looked sympathetically at the group, who were still not quite fully awake. “People are incredibly bad-tempered nowadays. Queuing up to buy milk or soap doesn’t exactly put a smile on your face. Everything’s a strain. We get stressed - and that makes us overbreathe... Excerpts from Chapter 33 After school ...Tell them they can quieten themselves when they’re in class listening to the teacher or to their classmates answering questions. At break time, a child should move about and make use of his legs, then afterwards calm the rush of air from his nostrils. After school, he should have something to eat and relax. Then homework time – he should study for twenty minutes, then observe his breathing and measure the pause. It’s important to explain our ideas to children in a way that doesn’t put pressure on them. I wish you good health! ...“Clara!” The retired schoolteacher determinedly interrupted this brief exchange by getting up from her seat. “May I make an announcement?” From behind her back she produced a bunch of bright red flowers which she had carefully concealed until the right moment. “We found out that today is your birthday…” At this, Clara allowed her tired arms to flop and smiled shyly: somehow or other people always got to know! She herself was so busy she’d almost forgotten about it - there was no time for anything but work. “We all of us wish you good health and happiness!” said Zoya Sosnova, giving her the flowers. “That poem I read out - I’ve dedicated it to you…” she went on, blushing like a girl. “Thank you so much!!” said Ozertsova with genuine gratitude, clasping the sweet-scented carnations to her breast. “And thank you for wishing me good health. That’s the most precious thing you can wish for anyone. I once had a student here – a high-ranking commercial manager. She had leukaemia. She’d probably had everything she could ever have wished for, except the water of life. But she herself said that she’d always felt there was something

missing. And when she fell ill, all she wanted was to get better! That’s what she said to me: ‘I don’t need anything else – just to get better!!” Clara leant on her elbows, cupped her head in her hands and looked round the group. Her eyes had misted over. “You’re right,” agreed the trainee doctor from Omsk. “Health is the most precious gift we can ever have, that’s for sure. And,” she spread her plump hands wide, “there are not many people who bestow that gift on their fellows as generously as you do.”... Excerpt from Chapter 34 Cleansing ...When you warn them that during cleansings they’ll experience a kind of accelerated re-run of their illnesses, you can get an immediate refusal... 3. Dr Buteyko Recommendations for Movement & Exercise https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08KYLVFTC/ Excerpt from Part Two: Why is Jogging with VEDB Such an Effective Supplement to Sedentary Exercise? "So what accounts for the first heart attacks among joggers? Why did they sometimes collapse with a coronary? Because they did not know Dr Buteyko’s theory! Because even when they jogged they tried panting for breath, and would try to set “records” that were no use at all for their health. Instead of accumulating healing CO2, they would lose it…And instead of improving their health, they would damage it!" Excerpt from Part Four: Supplementary detail provided by Sergey Altukhov "We are all aware of the great Ancient healer Hippocrates, but very few of us know that he was the pupil of the Ancient philosopher, Herodotus – who advised the “father of medicine” that walking would cure most illness. And very many people found that walking helped them. But some patients died while attempting the walk between Athens and Megara that Herodotus had recommended. The benefit of Herodotus’ advice was that he suggested that people accumulate CO2 while they walked. The drawback was that he did not take their dosage into account. "

Buteyko Organisations Buteyko Breathing Educators Association (BBEA) Buteyko Institute of Breathing & Health (BiBH) Buteyko South Africa Educators Association (BSAEA) Buteyko Breathing Association (BBA)


Translator’s note: this is probably a reference to the Order of the Soviet Ministry of Health on Measures to introduce the method of the volitional regulation of the depth of breath in the treatment of asthma, 30 April 1985. 2

Translator’s note: Raynaud’s disease affects all the extremities, but Buteyko specifies the upper extremities. 3

Translator’s note: It is not clear here if Buteyko means early toxaemia of pregnancy (morning sickness) or late toxaemia of pregnancy (pre-eclampsia) or both. 4

Translator’s note: In the original Russian version of this book, the protagonist is called ‘Dr Butenko’. As the fictional 'Dr Butenko’ and the real ‘Dr Buteyko’ are clearly one and the same, we used the name ‘Buteyko’ in our translation for the sake of clarity.