Become a Buteyko Teacher
Teacher Training UK
Teacher Training Germany
A course for health professionals
To be eligible for BBT training you need a degree (or equivalent) qualification in a health care profession, for example the following qualifications are suitable BSc(Hons) in Physiotherapy, Osteopathy and Nursing. The Buteyko Teacher Trainers currently running the BBA accredited course in the UK are both Respiratory Physiotherapists.
Health professionals who teach BBT tell us that it is easy to integrate BBT into their practice, and that it provides them with additional tools which they use on most days. The main benefits patients report are improvements in their quality of life; they feel better, enjoy doing more and pleased to have better control of their breathing condition.
Why would patients want to bother with BBT when medication is effective?
BBT is not for everyone, it requires commitment and daily practice. However there are big incentives for many people because BBT has been shown to reduce or reverse unpleasant symptoms. The type of symptoms where a patient will say
‘My chest feels tight’ or ‘My breathing feels like hard work’ or ‘I feel like I need more air’ or ‘I can’t stop coughing’.
Remember the four SSSS
Smother the cough
Stop breathing for a few moments
Slow, gentlebreathing for 30 seconds
Which patients are likely to benefit?
a) Adults and children with poorly controlled or uncontrolled asthma
A recent European survey1 has shown show that less than half of adults with asthma achieve good symptom control. Although effective medicinal treatment exists for asthma, many people continue to have distressing symptoms and impaired quality of life. People who suffer with asthma are interested in complementary treatments, particularly in breathing exercises, and BBT is the most widely known2. Randomised controlled trials have shown consistent benefits from a short course of BBT including decrease in asthma medication use, improvement in quality of life and reduction in asthma symptoms.2
Buteyko and Asthma Management Guidelines & Strategies
The Buteyko Breathing Technique (BBT) is mentioned the BTS/SIGN 2014 British Asthma Management Guidelines, p.56, stating “Behavioural programmes centred on breathing exercises and hyperventilation reduction techniques (including physiotherapist-delivered breathing programmes such as the Papworth method, and the Butekyo method) can improve asthma symptoms, quality of life and reduce bronchodilator requirement in adults with asthma, although have little effect on lung function.”(1++ supporting evidence). The guideline gives the recommendation: “Breathing exercise programmes (including physiotherapist-taught methods) can be offered to people with asthma as an adjuvant to pharmacological treatment to improve quality of life and reduce symptoms.” (Grade A supporting evidence).
BTS/SIGN Asthma Management Guidelines
The GINA Global Strategy for Asthma Managment and Prevention 2016 advises that “Breathing exercises may be considered as a supplement to conventional asthma management strategies (Evidence B), including in anxious patients or those who habitually over-use rescue medication” (appendix, p.56). They summarise their recomendation as “Breathing exercises may be a useful supplement to asthma pharmacotherapy” (main report, p.53, Grade B supporting evidence). Both Buteyko and the Papworth Method are mentioned as examples of breathing exercises which have reported improvements in symptoms, quality of life and/or psychological measures, but not in physiological outcome measures (appendix, p.56).
GINA Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention
b) People with COPD
Physiotherapists trained in BBT who work in the NHS are already integrating BBT into Pulmonary Rehabilitation. They believe that many more COPD patients could benefit from these exercises. Further research is required to investigate the use of Buteyko in those with COPD.
c) People with Hyperventilation Syndrome (HVS) and/or panic attacks.
The BBT includes many exercises which directly work on reducing hyperventilation and panic. A selection of BBT exercises is available, and BBT teachers will put together a programme suitable for each individual.
BBT education and training
The Buteyko Breathing Association sets standards for the delivery of BBT education and training, by awarding accredited status to suitable teacher training courses. Continuing professional development is available via study days, newsletters and discussion forums to ensure that BBA teachers remain up to date on breathing retraining development and research.
1.Demoly P, Gueron B, Annunziata K, Adamek L, Walters RD. Update on asthma control in five European countries: results of a 2008 survey. European Respiratory Review 2010; 19(116):150-157.
2. Burgess J, Ekanayake B, Lowe A, Dunt D, Thien F, Dharmage SC. Systematic review of the effectiveness of breathing retaining in asthma management. Expert Rev Respir Med 2011;5(6),789-807.