The Buteyko Effect is the scientific formula that explains why decreasing a persons' minute breathing volume at rest (MVr) leads to better health & fitness and the reversal of chronic disease symptoms over time. The Buteyko Effect is named after Prof. K.P. Buteyko (by Drs. Eduard Reuvers of the Advanced Buteyko Institute).
The Buteyko Effect is a chain of 9 strong causal relationships, starting with a decrease of a person's minute breathing volume at rest (MVr) and ending with improvements in health, fitness and chronic disease symptoms.
When the minute breathing volume at rest (MVr) goes down, the CO2 content in alveoli of the lungs (PACO2) increases.
When the CO2 content in alveoli (PACO2) increases, the partial pressure of CO2 in the arterial blood (PaCO2) goes up.
When the partial pressure of CO2 in the arterial blood (PaCO2) goes up, the pH of the blood goes down.
When the pH of the blood goes down, hemoglobin-oxygen affinity (Hb-O2 affinity) decreases.
When the partial pressure of CO2 in the arterial blood (PaCO2) goes up, hemoglobin-oxygen affinity (Hb-O2 affinity) decreases.
When hemoglobin-oxygen affinity (Hb-O2 affinity) decreases, the oxygen saturation of venous blood (SvO2) goes down.
When the oxygen saturation of venous blood (SvO2) goes down, the arteriovenous oxygen difference (a-vO2 diff) increases.
When the arteriovenous oxygen difference (a-vO2 diff) increases, oxygen consumption (VO2) goes up.
When oxygen consumption (VO2) goes up, general health and fitness improve and chronic disease symptoms revert.
1. Although the first 7 causal relations happen more or less instantaneously, the 8th and last causal relation (leading to improvements in health, fitness and chronic disease) is very different in nature. It can be compared to growing a fruit tree indoors: You need a lot of dedication and commitment to be successful. The breathing exercises need to be done consistently on a daily basis to sustain the increase in VO2 over time, before the health & fitness results really come to fruition. Clearly observable improvements in health & fitness will then gradually develop and become stronger over time. The timeline varies per person and it can take several weeks for initial results to show. The results of the Buteyko Effect will keep growing stronger as long as the breathing volume is continually reduced further.
2. Personal instruction and guidance in Buteyko Breathing is essential to reliably achieve significant health and fitness benefits. Without personal attention by a certified instructor, the reduction of breathing volume will quite likely eventually go wrong. The breathing exercises can easily be done the wrong way or be done in a very weak or inconsistent manner, causing a lack of observable results of the Buteyko Effect. Personal instruction guarantees that the exercises are rightly and skillfully performed for best results.
3. The level of the Buteyko breathing exercises used to lower breathing volume (MVr) is also extremely important. We can roughly distinguish 3 levels: basic, intermediate and advanced. The higher the level, the greater the observable Buteyko Effect in terms of health & fitness improvements. For example, at the Advanced Buteyko Institute we employ 26 different breathing exercise levels which clients gradually learn over time. As they gain experience and proficiency, their breathing exercise level goes up. The higher levels give by far the best results, but clients need to learn the basic and intermediate levels first.
It requires consistent practice of the Buteyko Breathing exercises for at least one month for the final causal relationship of the Buteyko Effect to come to fruition. The Buteyko Effect doesn't come about by itself but requires dedication and commitment.
Personal guidance and instruction to the Buteyko Breathing exercises by a personal and certified Buteyko Breathing instructor is essential for correct practice and reliable results.
The advanced level Buteyko Breathing exercises further reduce the breathing volume (MVr) much more than the basic level exercises. This makes the Buteyko Effect more effective and significant overall with much better results.
The Buteyko breathing exercises are adapted to the individual for best results. The level of the breathing exercises should be raised or lowered according to suitability, individual progress and current health status.
Correctly understanding the theory of the Buteyko Effect is very important: It improves the motivation to learn and achieve success and will help to perform the breathing exercises as prescribed.