Related Terms

  • Buteyko breathing training, Buteyko Institute Method, Buteyko technique, Eucapnic breathing technique, Eucapnic Buteyko breathing.


  • The Buteyko breathing technique (BBT) consists of breathing techniques, relaxation exercises, and asthma education. The technique aims to reduce hyperventilation. BBT originated in Russia in the 1950s and has since been adapted for use elsewhere.
  • BBT is most commonly used to treat asthma and other breathing conditions. Some evidence suggests that BBT may help reduce reliance on asthma drugs, especially among patients who frequently use a rescue inhaler. However, studies have not shown improvement in other measures of asthma severity.

Evidence Table


    These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

    A – A

    B – B

*Key to grades:



    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.



    Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.


  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().



    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

  • Abramson M, Borg B, Doran C. A randomized controlled trial of the Buteyko method for asthma. Int J Immunorehabil 2004;6:244.
  • Bruton A, Lewith GT. The Buteyko breathing technique for asthma: a review. Complement Ther Med. 2005;13(1):41-46.
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  • Bowler SD, Green A, Mitchell CA. Buteyko breathing techniques in asthma: a blinded randomised controlled trial. Med J Aust. 12-7-1998;169(11-12):575-578.
    View Abstract
  • British Guideline on the Management of Asthma. Thorax 2008;63 Suppl 4:iv1-121.
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  • Cooper S, Oborne J, Newton S, et al. Effect of two breathing exercises (Buteyko and pranayama) in asthma: a randomised controlled trial. Thorax 2003;58(8):674-679.
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  • McGowan J. Health Education: Does the Buteyko Institute Method make a difference? Thorax 2003;58(suppl III):28.
  • McHugh P, Aitcheson F, Duncan B, et al. Buteyko Breathing Technique for asthma: an effective intervention. N Z Med.J 12-12-2003;116(1187):U710.
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  • Opat AJ, Cohen MM, Bailey MJ, et al. A clinical trial of the Buteyko Breathing Technique in asthma as taught by a video. J Asthma 2000;37(7):557-564.
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  • Walters EH, Johns DP. Unravelling the Buteyko effect. Med J Aust. 1-15-2001;174(2):64-65.
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  • Weiner JM, Burdon JG. Severe allergen-induced asthma despite the use of Buteyko breathing technique. Med J Aust. 7-19-1999;171(2):109.
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