Buteyko Breathing Techniques In Asthma: A Blinded Randomized Trial

Source: Simon D Bowler, Amanda Green and Charles A Mitchell Medical Journal of Australia 1998; 169:575-578

Objective: To evaluate the effect of Buteyko breathing techniques in the management of asthma.

Design: Prospective, blinded, randomised study comparing the effect of Buteyko breathing techniques with control classes in 39 people with asthma. The study was conducted from January 1995 to April 1995.

Participants: Subjects recruited from the community, aged 12 to 70 years, with asthma and substantial medication usage.

Results after applying Buteyko techniques for twelve weeks:

Reliever usage – median reduction of 96% (from daily median of 943ug to 39ug)

Preventer usage – median reduction of 49% (from daily median 1500ug to 765ug)

Minute Volume – median reduction of 4.6L/min (from 14 L/min to 9.6 L/min)

The relative reduction in reliever medication use in the Buteyko group was related to the proportionate reduction in minute volume. (r=0.51; P=0.04)

Results after applying placebo breathing techniques – Control group:

Reliever usage – median reduction of 5% (from daily median of 843ug to 801ug)

Preventer usage – no median reduction

Minute Volume – median reduction of 0.9L/min (from 14.2 L/min to 13.3 L/min)

Conclusion: Those practising Buteyko breathing techniques reduced hyperventilation and their use of reliever medications (beta2 agonists ) and preventers (inhaled steroids).Participants in the Buteyko group showed improved scores for Quality of Life whilst the Control group saw no significant improvements in either hyperventilation, medication usage or Quality of Life.



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