"According to my specialist, my Crohn's disease has not just gone
into remission, but has vanished. "
M.E, London, United Kingdom
"Buteyko saved me from a fate of slow stangulation"
Ken Mickleson, emphysema sufferer, U.S.A
Positive results from practicing Buteyko occur because of physiological changes - improvements to the functioning of the organism.
It is not so much a function if the method works or not, but more a case if the patient is able to improve their breathing and thus normalise/improve critical biochemical parameters.
The degree which the breathing is improved, will be the degree which a related condition improves. If for example, a student fails to improve their breathing, there will be no improvement.
Combined, our practitioners have seen over 80,000 students and their results are more or less always the same. To the degree that students improve their breath holding ability and breathing, they experience proportitonal improvement.
The following testimonials are representative of the many thousands.
Bronchitis – Anthony Leonard
I took the Beginner’s Workshop in November 2011. Since then I have been steadily practising the Method and have attended Advanced Classes. During this time there have been profound changes in my state of health, some of which I mention below.
Most of my life I have suffered from bouts of bronchitis. This has completely cleared up. Mybreathing is quiet and easy – what a joy! My heart rhythm has become more regular and I notice after practice how silky smooth my pulse feels.
As was expected, I have been through various healing reactions. Having been forewarned, I was able to move through these without undue concern or resistance knowing that I was on the path to better health.
In common with others, I have found my eating and drinking preferences changing quite naturally and for the better. I seem to be more in touch with my body and its needs.
Perhaps the biggest gain for me is just feeling more centred and so able to handle whatever comes up in day-to-day living with greater ease – taking life in my stride and finding smarter solutions.
Doing the practice takes persistence but for me the motivation was there as I received the benefits. As a result of my experience, I would encourage anybody who is over-breathing (which means most people) to look into the Method.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia – Joe Morrell
Joe Morrell grew up on a farm. Exposed to agri-chemicals he developed symptoms that included seizures, constipation, jaundice, anxiety, depression and ADHD. He appeared to grow out of most of these issues However, at the age of 39, he had his home treated for woodworm. Already sensitised to pesticides, this triggered symptoms of acute chemical poisoning, including fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle trembling, hallucinations, vertigo and the sense that he was suffocating, despite gasping for air.
These symptoms soon morphed into chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, as well as mental dysfunction (anxiety, depression, mood swings and ‘brain fog’) and hyper-sensitisation to all petro-chemical products and pulsed electrical signals (EMFs).
Joe was shocked to discover that there was almost no medical provision for ‘environmental illness’, and made it his mission to find a cure for himself and others. For the following nine years he experimented with every healing modality available, including formal training in nutritional therapy and Shiatsu.
However, it wasn’t until just over two years ago when he enrolled on a five evening workshop, run by the Learn Buteyko organisation, that he experienced significant improvement. Under the guidance of the organisations’ highly experienced practitioners, he was able to retrain his respiratory centre and reduce his breath ever-closer to a level that correlates with healthy function.
Both amazed and grateful that he has finally found a set of self-managed techniques that enable him to live a normal and productive life, he has since enrolled on the Learn Buteyko practitioner training course to help provide others with the same opportunit
Chronic Asthma and Bronchiectasis – Louise Anderson
My name is Louise Anderson, and I have been practising Buteyko for over 4 years.
My symptoms before doing the practise were chronic asthma and bronchiectasis or lung damage. I needed a dose of oral steroids every 4-6 weeks as well as regular doses of antibiotics and stays in hospital including intensive care.
I was not able to walk very far and was living a very restricted life.
Since practising Buteyko I am able to rebuild my life, becoming increasingly active, I recently walked 9 miles with ease.
I have not had antibiotics for years and have not needed to go to hospital. I have learnt to titrate other medication to suit my condition.
My husband and two of my children have also learnt the method having seen the benefits first hand.
I would like to spread the benefits of Buteyko especially for those with asthma as I personally know how much the method can help support this condition.
M.S, Severe Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia and Frequent Infections – Sarah Dennis
I have M.S, had severe depression, anxiety, insomnia and frequent infections. I tried many alternative therapies but nothing worked and I eventually, out of desperation gave in to medical drugs. Buteyko has enabled me to take control of my health by stabilising and reducing the symptoms of M.S; I am no longer anxious and depressed and have stopped all medication. My immune system is much stronger so that I can fight of infections and I generally feel I have more energy and vitality.
My children and partner have used Buteyko to stop allergies, hay fever, migraine rheumatic joint pain and sinusitus.
Asthma – Pam Gonsalves
The Buteyko method of breathing has completely transformed my life. I have used inhalers for many many years, to relieve my asthma symptoms. With Buteyko I am on the way to giving up all medication for GOOD!
ME – Bernadette
Bernadette developed M.E in 1998 after a bout of shingles.
I was working as a Headteacher in a primary school. Instead of taking time off to recover from shingles, as instructed by my G.P, I went straight back to work to prepare for an imminent Ofsted inspection. Although the inspection went well, I became increasingly unwell and, despite various alternative treatments such as acupuncture I never recovered my health.
My symptoms included exhaustion, IBS, poor sleep, snoring and sleep apnoea, inflamed joints, irregular pulse, depression, memory loss, lots of colds and just feeling totally fed up. I put on loads of weight so my clothes didn’t fit either! All in all, these symptoms were not a recipe for a great life. I still kept working as a head, supported by great colleagues and a lovely husband.
Eventually, in April 2010 I took early retirement so that I could live a better life.
How I started
I first met Buteyko Breathing in March 2011, when I had just turned 58, when I popped into see my friend Liz whom I hadn’t seen for a couple of years. She had been ‘doing’ Buteyko for two years and she gave me a leaflet about the method and the dates for the free introductory lectures. Seeing her looking slender, full of energy and bursting with health was astonishing and inspired me to attend one of Christopher Drake’s lectures in London.
To be honest, the whole thing seemed bonkers but, because of Liz’s example and because of Christopher’s sincerity, I booked myself onto a week’s course; this started in April 2011.
Full of doubt, but really a bit desperate to improve my health, I diligently started doing the breathing exercises.
Despite my total scepticism, after the first evening of the course I went to bed and had the best night’s sleep since 1998 – no sleep apnoea, no snoring, no waking up and not getting back to sleep for hours. My appetite also became normal and I started the path to losing weight.
I completed the week’s course and then launched myself into the world of Buteyko, still feeling that the whole thing was a bit weird. However, supported by Martha Roe and my friend Liz, I kept going and going and going. I had the cleansing reactions promised by Christopher and Martha for ages but gradually I began to feel better that I’ve felt for years. The cleansing included the worst cold I’ve ever had in my life, flu, shingles, cold sores, sore joints (really painful) but because of Martha (who was my particular support for the programme) and Liz I persisted. I also went back to the regular courses run for top up sessions.
Now, just over a year later...
The M.E. is well on the road to leaving my body. I still have a week or so when I feel limp but these weeks are always brought on by things such as anaesthetics (for dental treatment) and air travel or by talking too much! I no longer feel that I am defined by being a M.E sufferer and I am sure that I will continue on the way to full health.
Over the last year, I have discovered that if I am filled with an intense desire to eat, a bout of M.E is attempting to assert itself so I have learnt just to rest and not to be too harsh on myself – a lesson that I could have done with learning years ago.
As I write this, I am getting ready to go on a week’s advanced class where I expect to meet the concepts of fasting and saunas, neither of which fill me with joy! I have no idea whether or not I will take these on board but Christopher and Martha are really persuasive.
I just know that my life has been transformed. I have lost 49 pounds in weight, have had to throw out all of my old clothes and am in the process of assembling a new set of outfits. I am so much happier with my life because I have the energy to live it. Friends who haven’t seen me for a while are astonished by my look of glowing health.
I think that it helped me to see in my friend Liz a living example of how Buteyko can change a life as it helped me keep going even when the cleansing left me feeling awful. I am still diligently doing the breathing exercises every day; as Liz told me at the beginning, it would only work if I put in the work.
I cannot thank Christopher enough for leading the course I attended because I was able to change my life, Martha for always being available to talk me through my low moments and my friend Liz for answering those stupid questions that I didn’t want to bother Christopher and Martha.
I still think the whole method is a bit strange but, oh boy, it certainly works!
Arthritis and bad back – Louise B.
Louise is a yoga teacher in her 60s who has been practicing Buteyko for the past nine months. She knew about the Breathing Method since the 1990s when she had watched the Sally Magnussen Buteyko documentary about it on QED.
When Louise was a child she had suffered from asthma so she understood the benefit the Buteyko Method could be for those with asthma but has been astonished how it has affected so many other aspects of her life since she has been practicing the exercises.
What drove Louise to try the exercises herself was a niggling feeling of not being the best she could be. She had always slept lightly and was constantly tired, however within weeks of starting the programme Louise felt herself having deep restful nights and even needing less time asleep. Correspondingly her mood shifted from moody to becoming more upbeat and generally feeling happier.
Her body’s reaction to the new method of breathing brought out a multitude of cleansing reactions in Louise, from aching joints to a wildly fluctuating temperature. After three rather painful weeks of these deep cleansing reactions, Louise emerged the other side with renewed vigor. She was surprised to find she no longer fancied an occasional glass of wine to relax and her appetite decreased resulting in losing ten pounds.
A few years ago Louise’s arthritis and severe back problems had become so painful that she resorted to having her hip replaced. Now after starting the Buteyko Method she is now pleased to say she is almost pain free.
Another benefit for Louise is the deeper spiritual aspect of the Buteyko Method that has also affected her yoga. She believes the meditation has helped her become more connected to her self. Louise concludes with deep satisfaction “I am living in the now.”
Asthma, sinusitis and fatigue – Kath
Kath reverses 20 years of sinus pain, irritability and fatigue
Kath was 3 weeks into an ear infection brought on by a swine flu jab when she bumped into Martha Roe at a natural health centre.
At 38 Kath was tired of feeling constantly sick. She had been in sinus pain since getting brittle asthma when she was 17. And from her early 30s she could feel her condition deteriorating. Acupuncture, light exercise, meditation and a vegetable-based diet all helped a bit. But nothing really cleared the underlying inflammation.
More intensive version of Buteyko gets results.
Kath was impressed by Martha’s calmness and her results reversing her own ME. But she was reluctant to fork out on Buteyko because she’d tried it before in London and was left feeling cynical.
“The teacher gave a good presentation. He was a good salesman,” says Kath ”But I felt awkward ringing him up after the workshop. And when I got a cold, the pauses did nothing to help so I gave up on it.”
Martha explained how LearnButeyko teaches the Classical Buteyko Method, and students must do their maximum pauses in sets 4 times a day – to give the body high doses of carbon dioxide. Intensive support is crucial, she said, for most people to recover from chronic hyperventilation.
Lesson 1: breathing relaxed and clearer head
In her first lesson in December 2009, Kath’s control pause was 10-12 seconds. Doing the pauses, she felt her breathing relax into her belly as her ribcage dropped.
“I felt clear headed and light in my sinuses. My back muscles started to relax. I smiled as I thought – God this thing works!,” says Kath.
Martha says relaxing Kath’s breathing has enabled her mind to and body to relax too.
“Kath’s breathing was up in her chest. This caused her a lot of mental agitation resulted in sore ribs and back muscles, ” says Martha. “Now she’s much more at ease.”
Within a few weeks of starting the exercises the constant sinus spasm above her left eye that had been bothering her for at least 4-5 years had cleared. Kath also reported that the maddening itching she had had in her ears mostly had gone too.
Daily support kept Kath going. Kath was worried when she started that she wouldn’t have the discipline to keep practising. But it was easy with Martha phoning her every day in the first month.
“Knowing Martha would be checking up on me inspired me to keep going do my best in my practice sessions,” says Kath
Within her first 4 months of practice, Kath got her control pause up to 20-35.
Work is easier.The biggest change has been mental agility – Kath used to spend 4-5 hours resting and drinking tea before she got the energy to get dressed and go into work, often about 2pm. Since doing Buteyko she wakes after 6-7 hours sleep and can start work in the morning.
When she was first doing the method, working on her laptop brought on symptoms including mental agitation, and she had to do practice every hour to bring her control pause back up. Now laptop work is easy and comfortable.
“The biggest difference is in my mind. I’m clearer-headed. I don’t worry about what other people think,” says Kath. “I know what matters to me, and the rest of it will work itself out. I’m more accepting of myself and other people. My brother has said how I’ve calmed down a lot. My friends tell me how clear my eyes and skin look.”
Big cleanses clearing out deep infection. From August 2010 onwards Martha supported Kath through the first of 3 big cleanses, clearing out deep infection in her lungs, ears and sinuses. Kath managed these through pauses, and advanced techniques including sauna and mind exercises. And Kath took several courses of oral prednisolone afterwards to support her adrenal glands.
Since January 2011 her control pause is now back in the 20-30 second range, and it’s back on the rise. The next step is to get her control pause up, and finish the repair work and hopefully reverse out her psoriasis, which she’s had since age 9.
“I plan to be feeling great in time for my 40th birthday. Good health is the best present you can have so I’ll be dancing on those tables,” she says.
Asthma – Louise
Louise has suffered from severe asthma and breathing problems since she was a baby. She was frequently hospitalised throughout her teens. And her asthma got worse after her two daughters were born – putting her in intensive care.
Louise’s first stab at Buteyko gave her instant results but she couldn’t keep up the momentum on her own. Second time around with LearnButeyko, she is still well two years later, and keeping up the practice. Retraining her breathing has helped when all else has failed – including macrobiotic diet, alternative medicines and Harley St consultations.
First stab at Buteyko – hard to keep it up.
Louise had her first stab at Buteyko 15 years ago – inspired by seeing LearnButeyko’s Christopher Drake on TV. Louise went to a workshop led by another practitioner in London. The initial results were great. But they tailed off after a few years.
Before the wrokshop Louise had been too wheezy to walk at times. Within three days of doing the workshop she could breathe through her nose for the first time in years and within three months was striding up one of the steepest known streets in Sussex near her home. She tried to continue with her breathing exercises once a day as instructed, but the results tailed off and she stoppped practising.
2nd time lucky with LearnButeyko. In 2008, a good friend suggested Louise go to a introductory lecture led by Martha Roe and Christopher Drake. Martha’s approach was far more hands-on than the previous practitioner’s had been. Instead of running on two weekends, LearnButeyko’s workshop runs for 5 consecutive days. Louise was expected to practise four times a day. And she received twice daily phone calls and encouragement from Martha. When Louise was too ill to walk, Martha even came to work with her at home.
“Martha was stern but encouraging, She helped me see how serious my condition was,” says Louise. “I knew what the benefits could be. There wasn’t a question about giving up again. I did not have a choice if I was to continue living.”
Over two years, Louise has gradually been able to cut back from practising four times a day to twice a day and is still maintaining the benefits.
“It is hard work, but if you are in a situation of life or death, it is worth making that effort. I have got my life back,” says Louise.
Louise’s two teenage daughters have learnt the Buteyko Method with Martha. The elder has improved her asthma, and the younger daughter staves off migraines through daily Buteyko practice.
Bronchiectasis and asthma – Karen
When Karen Davidson was diagnosed with a serious lung condition in 2004 she was devastated. The self-made businesswoman was only 39. She’d just met new partner Alessandro. And the couple were desperate to have a child together – as company for Karen’s daughter Atlanta.But doctors warned Karen that getting pregnant could be a big strain on her health. A CT scan revealed Karen was suffering with diffused panbronchiolitis an inherited lack of the protective protein Alpha-1 Antitripsin congential bronchiecstasis – a condition where the larger tubes in the lungs become inflamed, weak and prone to collapsing.
Her lung disease was progressive, doctors warned her. And she would probably be too ill to work within 10 years.
“They said I had quite bad damage to the lungs,” says Karen. “I was very miserable after that.”
Check up shows lungs on the mend
Fast forward 6 years. And Karen’s lungs are already on the mend after only 3 months of daily Buteyko practice. An annual chest check up in September 2010 showed her lung function is better than it was in 2007. That’s despite Karen having daughter Aurora, in 2007.
“I always dread the hospital visit as I am scared they’ll tell me I am deteriorating,” says Karen.
“I had comprehensive lung function tests where you sit in a little box. And my lungs are better than they were 3 years ago, which is fabulous! I can’t tell you how happy this has made me. It is a great feeling to be told you are better.”
Karen’s overall lung function is now about 60% (up from 50 something in 2007). And her small airways have scored 20% – compared with only 12% in 2007 – according to the tests at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London.
“OK my lungs are crap, and they function a lot less than a normal person,” says Karen. “But it is so encouraging and I am feeling so much better.” Karen’s chest specialist has encouraged her to keep practising the method. “The doctor was delighted with my progress and the fact that I am now doing Buteyko practice and he seems all for it,” says Karen.
In bronchiectasis, the weakened, inflamed tubes trap phlegm. This becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. And infections can spread to the air sacs, reducing lung function. Karen says her Butekyo practice has helped her to: Get more energy and run up the stairs a lot better. Think more clearly and remember things. Resist chest infections (just 2 in winter 2010-11 instead of the usual 3).
Karen found it concentrating hardgoing because of the pain and draining effect of bronchiectasis.
“When your memory is very, very bad it affects everything,” she says. “I was quite worried because I couldn’t remember where I’d left my keys and I kept missing appointments. ”But within two weeks of doing Buteyko Karen felt much calmer. “I noticed how clear my mind was. It’s much sharper now. It’s almost like getting a new brain,” she says.
Easier breathing. Her breathing is more relaxed too. “After practice my lungs feel like balloons that have been blown up. They feel less obstructed,” she says. And she’s having fewer flare ups so she needs fewer antibiotics. Each flare up lasts about 3 weeks and needs at least two courses of pills – she says. And the Azithromycin pills make her feel dizzy and cause ringing in her ears.
“It’s horrible. When I’m ill I feel like my lungs are on fire, all round the rim, every time I breathe,” she says. “I’ve only had 2 flare ups in October, November and December. Fingers crossed I won’t get another one this winter.”
Karen’s message to you – “just do it”. Karen admits she finds it hard to squeeze her Buteyko practice into her working day – especially around Christmas time when family life becomes hectic. “I know I should make Buteyko practice my number 1 priority because it is helping me so much. I’m going to give it another big push again in 2011,” she says. If you’re thinking about starting the Buteyko method Karen says: “Don’t Dither, Just do it. It’s gonna be tough and you may have some cleansing reactions but it’ll make your life better. Martha is a totally dedicated teacher. She’s very tenacious and she’s there for you every step of the way.”
Karen’s health timeline
3 – diagnosed with asthma. Wheezing.
12 – frequent asthma attacks
17 – yearly hospitalisation every October until age 32
20s – eczema and asthma flare ups from certain foods such as potatoes
31 – pregnant with daughter Atlanta – very wheezy
36 – Pneumonia bout. Karen gives up smoking for good. Ongoing chest infections and large amounts of phlegm in lungs.
39 Diagnosed with congenital (from birth) bronchiecstasis
42 Pregnant with daughter Aurora
45 Started learning Buteyko. Rolls back lung function by 3 years.
Want to improve your obstructive lung disease? The LearnButeyko team has helped thousands of people manage and reverse symptoms of COPD, emphysema and bronchiectasis. It’s tough work. But it can make a huge difference to your quality of life.
Collapsed lung – Keith
Keith coped with severe health problems caused by pneumothorax, or deflated lung, since he was a teenager. Over time his lungs develop small holes that reduce their power to bring in and push out air while breathing. Over the years Keith tried a variety of complementary procedures such as acupuncture and herbal remedies looking for help.
He had been well for three or four years when last summer both lungs collapsed suddenly. His consultant suggested surgery as a routine solution for this problem but Keith’s immediate reaction was “It sounded hideous.”
Fortunately while he was considering having the operation, he bumped into a friend with long-term heart problems who suggested Keith try working with his Buteyko Practitioner, Martha Roe.
Keith decided to try the Buteyko Breathing Exercises with Martha, supported by Christopher Drake, Martha’s Senior Practitioner. Christopher would phone Keith and talk him through the exercises when he needed encouragement. Keith’s lungs are now working well again. Christopher has even suggested that the lungs repair their tissue and become more elastic through continuing with the Breathing Method.
Keith definitely feels looser in his chest and has less tension in his back as well. Mentally he is feeling more on the level too. “I actually feel good. My brain is noticing more now I have advanced tools to play with” he says.
Thinking back on it, Keith remembers that going to the talk and hearing all the good things Buteyko could do he was not convinced at the time but now he can actually say it really works for him.
Keith has an appointment booked with his original consultant and will be telling him that after doing the Buteyko Breathing Exercises for a year he feels more expansive in his breathing and considers himself well. “It is an empowering experience.”
ME – Jo Anne
Jo-Anne is reversing her ME after 23 years of chronic fatigue. And now she’ s fit enough to go out on regular walks and cycle rides. Here she tells how her Buteyko practice is reaping its rewards.
By October 2009 when I began Buteyko, I’d had ME/CFS for almost 23 years. At first it had been quite mild but from the early 1990s I had severe ME after a vaccination. I was bed-bound for about 4- 6 months. And my memories of that period are very hazy.
Over the next 13 years I would make some progress quickly followed by relapses. I was housebound and in constant pain, with very limited mobility. In the 3 years before I started Buteyko, I made some more progress and gained mobility. I was driving again and becoming more independent. I wish I’d found Buteyko earlier.
Months 1 and 2 – soaring energy and coming off tablets. In the first 2 months of Buteyko, my energy soared and I experienced a great sense of calm. I was able very quickly to begin reducing the tablets I took to support my adrenals, and I was later able to become medication-free in June 2010.
After the first 2 months, for about 6 months, I experienced challenges as my body went through a healing process. It was no worse than the ME, and most of the time easier. I kept going, as I knew I was on the right track. And I had Martha’s caring expertise as guidance to support me. This healing is ongoing, but is now mild and manageable within everyday life commitments.
From housebound to walking and cycling up to 7 miles. One of the big changes in my life since the summer of 2010 is that I have been able to gradually do more aerobic exercise mainly walking but also a little cycling. Before, exercise – however short and gentle – would leave me feeling shattered. Now I can walk 6 or 7 miles at a moderate pace. I am tired afterwards but in a healthy way.
My tao yin teacher has remarked on my increased strength and suppleness. People tell me how well I look, which is wonderful after years of being pale and hollow-eyed. I keep to a healthy diet. But if I feel like eating chocolate cake, I know I won’t suffer particularly. I have lost about half a stone and now weigh 128 pounds, which is an unexpected bonus.
Clear mind and more stamina for life’s ups and downs. My mind is clear and I can concentrate for long periods. I can also deal with the small dramas and larger crises of everyday family life in a smooth, efficient way. I think this encapsulates Buteyko. Your mind and body begin to work with calm endurance. And I am keeping this up day after day. I feel a deep well of physical, mental and emotional stamina.
ME, food allergies and more – Jules
Previously healthy I contracted glandular fever at 24 years old. With misdiagnosis and four courses of antibiotics I went on to develop ME and over the past 5 years a respiratory allergy, chronic sinusitis and sugar imbalance.
Even though on a daily basis I felt unwell I continued to work and ploughed through daily only to feel exhausted and only fit for my bed at the end. I did socialise too but felt like I was dragging myself around.
Over the years I tried various therapies, diet, exercise, relaxation techniques they had some measure of success but never really made much difference to my health.
How I started.
Through a friend I heard about Christopher Drake and Martha Roe and how Butekyo had produced some excellent results, especially with ME. I hadn’t tried anything for years but could feel more and more my body getting weaker (It was speaking more loudly to me) and I also seemed to be developing “add on” diseases. So more clearly than ever before I felt this was my time to get well. So I spoke with Martha and buoyed by her story and energy, I had a good look at the videos on the website. It was like these videos were speaking directly to me and the content and practice of Butekyo made such obvious sense that I couldn’t believe it wasn’t more widely known in the medical profession. I had never heard of it before.
I signed on to do a 5 day class in August 2011. What struck me immediately was the how healthy Christopher and Martha looked and how alive in spirit they seemed. I started with a CP of 15 on day 1 and an MP of 20 which was pretty poor and just further magnified the dire state of my body and respiratory system. I found the breathing exercises difficult and my progress was slow. I started mini cleanses almost immediately. There is alot to cleanse.
Over three months later.
After consistent practice four times a day I feel I’m heading in the right direction and feel like I’m genuinely on the right path to reverse all my chronic disease. My CP is now 25-35 and I regularly hit an MP of 70-85.
My blood sugar problems have almost reversed. This is so great – I was hungry all the time and it made me feel so ill. I have lost nearly a stone too which is great. I now eat little and often and don’t have to eat gigantic meals that I used to eat
The puffiness has decreased from my face due to my sinuses gradually improving. I sleep less and my energy is starting to improve (except when I’m cleansing).
My mood is starting to improve. I feel so much calmer and less stressed. I feel like I can tackle things in such a clear and calm way. I’m starting to feel a sense of inner calm that has eluded me.
My muscles in my body seem stronger than before, and my breathing is becoming stronger. I’m less out of breath. I can do gentle swimming and cycling without heavy breathing. In fact with my mouth closed.
I used to mount the stairs like an old lady, breathing heavily but now I whizz up them. Not Zola Budd style but you know!
I do feel quite tired still whilst my body is repairing but the tiredness somehow seems more normal and less “wired “tired.
I have also noticed my allergy symptoms are becoming less protracted and severe.
I have just come through my first major “Big Cleanse” from Buteyko which isn’t for the faint hearted by a sign things are starting to shift and my body is getting ready to expel all the nastiness inside.
Martha has been great throughout. Solid support. She understands what you go through as she has experienced it all herself. She knows how to alleviate the cleansing symptoms and will encourage you all the way. Martha will push you, but more importantly, she won’t let you give up on yourself and your practice. If you want to get better and end years of being “caged in “with your miserable diseases you have to take the Butekyo Challenge. It is a challenge and but have to be ready to make that change.
I’m glad I found Butekyo. Maybe it found me. If you believe that sort of thing!
I honestly think I’m on the right path and that I’m shedding my “ ill skin “ and getting my former self back …..Gradually.
MS and overweight – Judi
I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1991. My health and mobility started to seriously deteriorate about four-and-a-half years ago. My weight was getting out of control, I was constantly fatigued and heading for a wheelchair. In the summer of 2007 I met up with an old friend Martha Roe. I knew something had changed her, not least, she had lost a lot of weight. I pressed her for answers. It turned out she had started doing the Buteyko breathing method under the personal tutelage of Christopher Drake a Senior Practitioner in Buteyko. I emailed Chris, who lives in Thailand, and started the Buteyko method six months ago.
Within just two weeks things started to change. In the beginning I felt like I was on a roller coaster as my body responded to the technique and went through a lot of Cleansing Reactions. They were not always pleasant but very necessary in terms of becoming well. Not every Cleansing Reactions was unpleasant; I have had some very powerful energy sensations running through my spine.
I started by learning one of the basic tenants of the Buteyko breathing method by working on extending my Control Pause. A Control Pause is the length of time a person can comfortably hold their breath before feeling a strong urge to breath again. As my Control Pause rose the Cleansing Reactions seemed less troublesome and more infrequent. I now have a Control Pause of around 50. When I started learning Buteyko my Control Pause was 14!
It’s essential to mention how the method is imparted from practitioner to student and followed up. The Buteyko practitioner, Chris in my case, works very closely with the student, sometimes by Skype, in person or sometimes by telephone. This is to make sure that the correct procedure is being followed and also address any questions or concerns that the student may have. It is a tailor-made, personal approach for each student and the complete antithesis of learning ‘One size fits all’ Buteyko from a DVD, or going to a short workshop! During the early days Chris would follow me up once a day, or more, if I was going through some challenging Cleansing Reactions that needed managing.
I am under no illusion; I have a long term incurable health condition which supposedly will inexorably progress over time. Yes, my mobility has worsened over the last five years, however I have now been stable for over nine months since I have been doing the Buteyko technique and I feel that slowly everything is coming to right.
In order to support the practice I am making sure that my body’s healing capacity is fully engaged to give myself a fighting chance.
So far, the main benefits have been :
Huge weight loss – over 55 pounds (55 kilos, 3.9 stones). I have dropped three dress sizes. An amazing feat considering I was unable to exercise due to the MS.
The technique seems to control appetite and I am hardly ever hungry.
Lack of reactivity. I’m very calm and laid back, even in stressful situations. Stamina has increased and fatigue has lessened.
My leg seems to be getting stronger.
I have a diagnosed arthritic thumb joint. It was very painful and difficult to articulate. This has become a lot better and I can unscrew lids again.
I can do without as much sleep
No more crippling migraine type headaches.
I’ve been ill for nearly seventeen years and I don’t expect an overnight miracle. So I’m giving myself eighteen months to assess the gains I’ve made. People are starting to comment on how well I look and even my physiotherapist told me I was looking glamorous!
It seems the body has the capacity to heal if it’s given the right tools and materials and in my own short experience Buteyko is proving to be the most important component of getting back to peak health and maintaining it. In order to get well a consistent, persistent application and rigorous approach is important along with having expert instruction and an exceptional teacher. I feel blessed that this arrangement has been available to me.
Smoker’s cough and fatigue – Iza
Iza, Health conscious female executive, aged 50
Before I started the Buteyko exercises almost a year ago, I had been finding my age and lifestyle were starting to catch up with me. I had thought I was taking care of myself by eating a vegetarian diet, regularly swimming, jogging and relaxing with yoga. Now that I was fifty, I found the regular air travel that was necessary in my work was beginning to take its toll.
I also smoked occasionally, but began to have a smokers’ cough. The constant colds, mood swings and increasing stress associated with jet lag, constipation and all the other downsides of longhaul travel and a busy schedule began to wear me down.
Within days of starting the Buteyko workshop, I needed less sleep and the craving for sugary foods almost disappeared. I even found I was now being complimented on my revitalised appearance; less wrinkles and more energy!
Part of the Buteyko teachings included the suggestion to give up on physical exercise until I improved my breathing by lengthening the Control Pause. A Control Pause is the time that you can hold your breath until you feel the first impulse to breathe in again. This is an indication of the level of carbon dioxide CO2 level in the lungs, and the efficiency of the lungs to work for the benefit of the body.
Within five months of regular practice I had increased my CP over three times and my smokers’ cough was gone. I felt clear-headed, less hormonal and no longer suffered from jetlag.
After the intense Buteyko exercise regime at the start I now practice less often but the benefits remain. One of the techniques, Very Shallow Breathing, is now a natural part of my life while swimming, jogging and even walking to the station.
Because I still now longer crave sugar I have lost weight and find myself more relaxed, tolerant and more contented. I even can continue to enjoy my smoking in the knowledge that I’ll not end up wheezing.
Buteyko has revived my enjoyment in life.
Stress and poor digestion – EM
A male in his mid forties; EM had suffered from a lack of energy and tiredness for many years
My concentration was fairly poor and I suffered from low level but persistent stress which resulted in low mood and low confidence levels. I also have always had very dry skin, poor digestion and chronic indigestion was also a problem. My legs were constantly tired and heavy.
Symptom History: Over eating, over sleeping, slightly overweight, lack of energy in the morning and it took a long time after getting up to be fully alert.
Social history : I am self employed running a growing business with little time for leisure pursuits.
Control pause before starting: 8
Control pause now: 25-30
After days of practice.
After initially starting the program I felt much more alert and was eating less. My mood improved and I felt much more calm; I also felt much less under the pressure of time.
After weeks of practice
As my practice progressed and control pauses went into high double figures (15-20), I felt the impact of cleansing and at times found this difficult. Support from the teacher (Martha) was critical to my continuing with the practice when this was happening. Symptoms included gum infections, kidney infection and other minor illnesses. These usually lasted a couple of days, unpleasant while happening but I felt much better afterwards.
After months of practice
I feel that the practice has enabled me to cope with a very very busy lifestyle. Since beginning my practice I have undertaken a degree course in the evening. This is in addition to running my own business. I am certain that without the Buteyko breathing practice I would not have been able to take on the extra commitments. After several months of practice I have more energy overall and am able to get an awful lot more done in the day than previously. I eat less and have lost some weight and feel better because of this. My digestion has improved dramatically and my feet and legs feel better with the tiredness and muscle fatigue gone.
I strongly recommend this Buteyko breathing practice to others. I was very sceptical before starting the course but now am absolutely convinced of its value. Martha was a wonderful support throughout the difficult times when symptoms were an issue and this enabled me to keep going with the breathing and reap the benefits long term. I now plan to make another push with my practice and get my control pause up to 35-40.
Underactive thyroid – Sue
Sue is a gardener in her 50′s. She suffered from an early menopause and whirring head at age 37!
At age 48 she had many unexplainable niggling problems e.g. aching legs, falling asleep a lot at any time of day and diabetic like symptoms (needing to eat regularly).
This coincided with a steep decline in thyroxine levels, at which point the GP could diagnose the problem as Under-active thyroid – Hashimotos syndrome.
Medication: Thyroxine 100mg/day
Control Pause when starting: 12 seconds. Average air intake 4 times more than is optimal
Control Pause after months of practice:54 seconds
Treatment: Buteyko Breathing Method Workshop plus a bit of extra help
After days of practice:
My head would feel more awake, (head whirring that precedes sleepiness was much reduced). I could stay awake deep into the night and didn’t need to eat every 2 hours.
After weeks of practice:
As above and I was generally able to sustain a lot more physical ctivity feeling much more alert. Niggling problems that weren’t addressed by thyroxine were solved, e.g. I had felt that I was deficient in some crucial vitamins or minerals. I started to lose some weight and can take or leave eating. I didn’t get severe cleansing reactions; Martha says because I am vegetarian and eat fairly well. (I did get about 2 hours of alarming excruciating pain where I broke my arm!)
After months of practice:
After 18 months, I suddenly lost all my fat!. (It did coincide with a major trauma). It has taken 18 months to put some weight back. Now 22 months on I have completely stopped taking thyroxine after gradually reducing the dose. Now I am hardly ever reminded of my under-active thyroid.
Occasionally, I would have a bad day when I would need to take some extra thyroxine. This particularly seemed to coincide with illness outbreaks e.g. swine flu or nororvirus. I had some minor symptoms which only lasted a day or so.
Wellbeing and energy – Russell
Russell, an athletic man in his forties has been practicing the Buteyko Breathing Method for just over eight months. He led a healthy and physically active life and held the belief that he just wanted to be healthier. His girlfriend suggested attending one of the free lectures with Martha Roe and Christopher Drake that she had been told about by three different people within a day. Russell had seen a program on the benefits of Buteyko a few years earlier so they were keen to give it a try.
He was feeling amazing within the first month. Russell said “My mind was clear and I was coping with stresses from work so much better.” Martha guided Russell through the initial techniques and within six months he was ready to move on to the advanced levels with Christopher. The advanced Buteyko Method works on “The Fire Within” dealing with spiritual understanding of reality linked with the philosophy of Buddhism as well as maintaining optimum health. Russell’s training in psychology reinforces his belief in the ethics of mental health for well people.
Russell has continued his daily run and finds that breathing through his nose has helped make it a much more enjoyable experience. His partner has also continued with the exercises. They were astonished to find their appetites have changed and the attraction of sweets and biscuits has vanished. They both feel incredibly healthy and clear-headed.
Russell is confident that it is time for the Buteyko Method to be embraced by the medical profession particularly as the Buteyko Method stemmed from years of highly detailed medical research. “It is criminal that every asthma sufferer is not taught how to breathe with this method” he declared. “I will be talking with my GP about how important this is to everyday health. Buteyko Breathing makes the body better.”
Winter depression (SAD) – Assuntina
After meeting Martha one day and noticing how healthy and well she looked Assuntina came to one of Martha Roe’s introductory talks on the Buteyko Breathing Method. She was inspired. She had been feeling generally run down, with continual colds and battling severe depression each the winter. She realised it was time to take herself in hand and to get the energy and verve back into her life. Within weeks of starting the breathing Exercises Assuntina could feel the benefits from learning how to breathe correctly. Her mind was agile again and she stopped sleeping in the afternoon.
Unfortunately she had lots of cleansing reactions from the beginning; a weekly migraine and a constantly streaming nose culminating in severe sinusitis. It was after this she really felt the benefits of Buteyko.
That winter she kept expecting the doldrums but was overjoyed to be full of bounding energy and enjoying the winter for a change.
Assuntina then brought her young asthmatic son to one of Martha’s workshops to help him strengthen his chronically weak chest and mentally prepare him for his forthcoming move to secondary school. Since the workshop a year ago he has maintained good health and not missed any days off school during the winter as had been usual. He is now able to forgo his inhaler and has barely had any asthma attacks.
The exercises were useful for other kinds of stress too. Before starting his new school he got very agitated. With his mother’s encouragement he practiced his breathing exercises and managed to prevent himself from having a panic attack.
They are both very proud of his improvement and self-confidence. He still continues with his exercises. It is a grind at times but he knows the benefits if he keeps it up. Assuntina has let things slip at times but always comes back to it.
It is a family thing for Assuntina and her son. They are both convinced of the benefits of the Buteyko Breathing Exercises and are great advocates about the improvements it has brought to their health and mental well-being.
Hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma - V.T. Manila, Philippines
“I am 59 years old – a mother of 9 children. After 3 months of applying Buteyko’s method in my life, I’ve lost 14lbs, and I’ve been able to safely stop taking all of my maintenance medicines – for hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and asthma. My blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels are now within normal range without the maintenance medicines. My Body Mass Index also went down considerably. Many friends have commented about my trimmer, firmer body and that I’m more relaxed.”
Empysema - Diana Petrie, Cape Town, South Africa
One year ago I was desperate. I have chronic emphysema, and was constantly gasping for air. The slightest exertion (eg climbing as few as 5 stairs) caused further gasping, and usually resulted in a panic attack. I was on three different inhalers which I used at intervals throughout the day. Winter was a nightmare, one bout of pneumonia or bronchitis after the other. The future was bleak, and my condition was worsening rapidly.
One day I came across the Buteyko method on the internet, and then my Practitioner, Jac Vidgen. (I was unable to locate a practitioner in South Africa). Jac has very kindly and very patiently taught me to breathe correctly via e-mail. I have not looked back. Within six months my husband and I went to China for a months holiday. My medication has reduced to one inhaler, which I use only at nightand in the morning. My general health has improved dramatically. Where before I was the colour of cheese, I now have rosy cheeks. People are always commenting on how well I look. Jac is a wizard. He says it is the Buteyko method, and yes it is. But it is he who has trained me and encouraged me, and is always there when I need him. I will always be grateful to him for giving me quality of life
Severe asthma and rhinitis- E.L. Manila, Philippines
I found that at 11,000 ft. elevation when it was cold and rainy outside, I had to take it easy as I climbed steps. Once I went inside I had no difficulty. Now that I am back in Manila, my husband and I walk one and a half to three miles a day at a brisk pace to and from work. Sometimes we add 45 min. to an hour of walking in the evenings on to that.
Three days a week I exercise on a ball and then lift light weights (5 lbs). Every day I also do exercises to strengthen my back and knees. The hill that I had to stop at least three times when I climbed it prior to Buteyko, I can now climb to the top at a fast pace and not have to spend time to recover. It seems that on cloudy and cloudy, hot days that it is more of a challenge to climb than other days. I can usually feel somewhat of a strain in my breathing but not so that I pant or am so out of breath when I get to the top that I need time to recover.
My husband read on the internet that people who have taken Buteyko don’t seem to perform significantly higher on lung test than before they took the course. I tried my peak flow meter. I blew 450 which is about the highest that I achieved when on maintenance medicine before. More of the time I was at 425 or 400. So I am doing as well or better now without medication than I was before on medication if you can trust the peak flow meter results. I have not used medication since two years ago this past Christmas. I have also been able to safely halve my blood pressure medicine and eliminate medicine to regulate my heartbeat.
Various - K.E., Hong Kong
I was born with various disabilities while drugs & the birth trauma aggravated those challenges. I am profoundly deaf with low vision (myopia, macular & early cataract issues), moderate dyslexia & various structural challenges including the neck. It is early days, yet Buteyko Method is greatly transforming & rejuvenating my life in various ways. Life has always been challenging like when I am in public. I rely on the writing board, binoculars &/or digital camera to get around. Buteyko Method gives me more courage & confidence to face & resolve new experiences & challenges. For example, I took a new train route & located a new store. In the past, such experiences were very stressful. Nightly, I sleep better & need less sleep. Whenever I come home, I am calm & not wired up. Hearing & dyslexia is slowly improving. I have more vitality that I didn’t have for the past 4-5 yrs while various supplements were stopped &/or reduced. HK smog no longer bothers me thus it is a joy to hike in the hills. I am optimistic that in time, my disabilities & quality of life will improve as I integrate Buteyko in my daily life.
Performance, general health - V.G., Hong Kong
I have realized my goals of better sleep, more stamina and weight loss, so I’m very pleased to have taken your program.
General - G. S., Hong Kong
Since learning the Buteyko method my concepts regarding health and the human body have changed dramatically. Thanks to you for committing your time to teach this valuable information.
Asthma - R.V. Manila, Philippines
“I’ve not used Ventolin since the first day of our workshop a month ago. Also, I no longer experience any of the usual shortness of breath, general fatigue, tinnitus, numbness in my arms and legs, heartburn, hyperacidity, constipation and frequent urination. I’ve lost 20 lbs. I wish to thank you again for your sincere concern for helping us to overcome our various illnessess and for our unnecessary dependency on expensive medicines. I’m very happy Buteyko’s method has enabled me to perform intense gym work again after years of having to stop.”
Child asthma and various - M.R. Manila, Philippines
My daughter and I were your pupils when you were here two years ago. The Buteyko method has helped us a lot. She didn’t need an operation for her ears (she was supposedly due for a myringotomy) as her ears cleared up as a result of the Buteyko breathing method – which she still practises religiously to this day. She is now 8 y.o. and is no longer troubled by asthma and needs no medication.
Child health - M.A. Manila, Philippines
“I’m so pleased with the way my 12 y.o.daughter has naturally taken to Buteyko. I guess children have less skepticism so they can fully benefit from Buteyko . . . and they intuitively follow what's best for them. She’s become more aware of what helps with her health. Her asthma and migraine attacks haven’t bothered her for over a year now – since the workshop. Her swimming performance has also improved. and she’s showing a lot more strength in Taekwondo. I’ll be delighted to continue inviting my friends to benefit from your workshops.”
Asthma - Lewie Argoso, Manila, Philippines.
Its been two months now that I am enjoying my new life. No ventolin, no nebulizer, no wheezing in my chest, above all no asthma attack. Thanks to Buteyko Method being the safe and effective alternative for the management of asthma, I can do whatever I want to do without fear of an asthma attack.
Jac, thank you for bringing Buteyko Method here in the Philippines. GOD BLESS!!!
Various - S A, Hong Kong
” It’s now a year since that relapse/breakthrough I had when I emailed you.
Since then, no medications of any kind (I’ve even given up my vit C and other ‘healthy’ pills) and not one cold or flu. The pollution is no better so it’s a great success…. you were right about everything.”
“I would, just like to send you my thanks Jac, for changing my life.. since doing Buteyko, I am a complete different person, I am now 35 kilo’s lighter as I am no longer Steroid dependant, I can breathe with ease and I feel terrific.
I have only been, on steroids once, since your workshop 12 months ago, My G.P. cannot believe the improvement in my Asthma, when I tell people I was a Chronic Asthmatic, for 26 years, and now they see, I am so healthy they can’t believe it either, I highly recommend Buteyko, to all who will listen.
Asthma - Kerrie-Anne Rees, Taree, NSW, Australia
I am currently down to 2 x flixotide daily, that is all the medication I am taking…. I can’t remember the last time I reached for my Ventolin puffer.. I have not been on my nebuliser machine for 12 months.
I no longer suffer, servere chest infections, I got through last winter without pneumonia or pleuracy, which is a great as I usually suffer with pneumonia most winters or pleuracy and I am then sick for most of winter, I am so well I am holding down full time employment in my teacher job.
I have been on two overseas trips since Buteyko, and it felt great not having to carry a machine around with me, on the plane or have it close by in case I began to have breathing difficulties.
Previous to Buteyko, it was such a hassle to go overseas as I had to pack a suitcase for clothes, and one for my machine and medication.. not to mention the high medical insurance I had to take incase I, was rushed to hospital.
My Control Pause is now 50 secs, not bad, for someone who, was struggling to hold their CP for 5 secs. when I first came to you for Buteyko.
I cannot thank you enough Jac, for giving me a new life, I feel fantastic… I have enclosed a picture of myself, to show you how healthy I look, now I am not bloated on Steroids,
Thank you Jac…”
Various - NT, Manila, Philippines
“I don’t hyperventilate as much anymore. On the few occasions that I do, I just do the exercises. I always feel much better afterwards. I rarely get headaches now and my overall well-being is so much better.
With my friend ,N., the change has been really dramatic! She’s very, very happy she took your workshop. After we wrote you regarding her cough and bout with the flu, she took your advice. She soon recovered completely and up to now, she hasn’t had a real asthma attack (just slight tightening of the chest which easily goes away with the exercises) and has never again resorted to the use of Ventolin. She does the exercises in the mornings in the car on the way to work. She’s now taking Flixotide only occasionally, maybe just one puff once a week (only when she feels she needs the support of some extra steroid).
Also, her constipation is completely gone, plus she no longer experiences dysmenorrhea with her monthly periods. And the best news is that several people have commented that her skin now looks so smooth and clear! Bet if you advertised this benefit, you’d get more women to take the Buteyko workshop!”
Asthma - JL, Hong Kong
“I am very happy to report that I have been free of asthma, colds and flu for the first time in my life while visiting here at my mother’s home in Birmingham.
Besides using Buteyko I am taking a low dose of Flixotide – very different from numerous puffs of Bricanyl every day with regular attacks!”
Asthma - J.H. Bangkok, Thailand
“Before practicing Buteyko I was taking my ventolin to a dance class. Three months after I started practicing, I climbed a mountain to 12,000 feet above sea level without any medication whatsoever.”
Snoring, weight loss - TJ, Manila, Philippines
“Snoring has decreased if not ceased. I am better at breathing – especially when I go to the gym for aerobic exercise. All the benefits in my health like no asthma attacks for over a year, I attribute to the Buteyko Method.
I’ve also lost much weight since the workshop.”
Sinus, allergy, asthma - MG, Manila, Philippines
“Prior to learning the Buteyko Method, I had been suffering from hideous sinus allergy attacks for several years. The doctors kept giving me progressively stronger
PA, Hong Kong
“I got a tremendous amount out of the sessions. Apart from the tangible benefits of reducing ventolin intake, better sleep and an improved sense of well being, I came away with something much more valuable. This is a sense of being back in control, and not being on an inevitable downhill slide to inactivity and difficulty over the next 20 years or so.
As someone who has suffered from asthma since he was seven and basically seen everyone about it, and been in hospital 4 times with serious attacks, Buteyko is the only thing that has made sense intuitively, and offered a hope of medication reduction.”types of anti-histamines which I took on a regular basis. After only a couple of days of doing Buteyko, my sinus allergies were gone and my medicine intake was completely eliminated. I couldn’t believe it. I now have a lower pulse rate, need less sleep and am in generally better health.”
Asthma - JMZ – Manila, Philippines
This is my long overdue testimonial about the Buteyko method. I have been an asthmatic ever since I was in Preschool. This pretty much hampered my athletic activities when I was a kid because I could only do so much before I wore out from breathlessness and exhaustion. This went on through college; I had to take a minimum of 3 doses of my inhaler daily…even more if I had to engage in physical activities. A little bit of vehicle exhaust or smoke would trigger an attack. Then, I discovered the Buteyko method and attended the Ateneo sessions way back in 2001.
Though unconventional and drug free, the science makes sense and I followed through the steps diligently through the sessions. My asthma lessened the weeks thereafter and eventually I had weaned myself away from the inhaler. A year after I would only have my inhaler for emergency purposes. And 10 years after, I am still asthma free and now engage heavily in sports and body building – worry free.
…and I am guilty of not continuing with the actual breathing exercise routines after the first year! But my consciousness has changed….. Thanks Buteyko and Jac!