So many people have no idea that embarking on a Buteyko program is a journey of self awareness and self discovery. For many people, it is the first time they ever get to concentrate solely on themselves and their breathing.
The word “Psyche” – which forms the basis of words we use to express our understanding of our mind and how it works – comes from the Greek word, translating as “Breath”, and there has long been a tradition of altering breathing to enhance or encourage relaxation and calm. Humans have long known – almost intuitively – that changing our breathing changes our experience, but most of us believe that this means we need to incorporate Eastern styles of meditation or deep breathing practices into our lives.
While we know that meditation practices are very useful, most of us find that we simply don’t have the space and time to instill such a focused practice into our daily routines. It seems like yet another “thing we have to do” or “find time” for – which really defeats the purpose of meditation in the first place. Relaxing is, after all, something that you don’t do – it shouldn’t be chore.
Buteyko is not a meditation practice. But it does allow you to learn how to focus – even if only for seconds at a time, and to effect corrective changes that will change how your body reacts to stress. Using small, natural chemical and metabolic reactions that are powered by gentle and subtle alterations to breathing, Buteyko is a clinical science-based method of breathing practice (among a host of other adjunct activities included in a program) that creates focus and initiates healing – at a cellular level.
This is very apparent in people with breathing disorders, as clinically stabilizing the breathing patterns assists to reduce symptoms immediately. Because people with breathing difficulties are so focused on their breathing all the time, they quickly learn how to make the small changes necessary to prevent symptoms from escalating. They feel the effects immediately and are able to enhance their current medical treatment using simple and practical modification and awareness techniques that are easily integrated into their usual routines. This has the result of lessening their symptoms, which means less medicine needed over time.
Buteyko is a training program that is able to eventually overcome the aberrant settings of a disordered breathing pattern and help to normalize and restore breathing dysfunction.