The Buteyko Method has prominently been reviewed in the Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines. Let us look back into a history of the love affair of GINA and Buteyko.
2010: First Appearance of Buteyko in the GINA guidelines
The Buteyko Method first appeared in the 2010 update of the GINA guidelines. Under the heading of “Complementary and Alternative Medicine”, the 2010 version noted that the Buteyko Method may provide a useful supplement to conventional asthma strategies, particularly in anxious patients or those habitually over-using their medication. This version also began to mention the existence of emotional stress which can lead to hyperventilation and hypocapnia.
2012: Recognized effects
it improves symptoms, quality of life and/or psychological measures of asthma patients. It also reduces medicine use.
The 2012 update of the GINA guidelines gave a more comprehensive analysis of the Buteyko Method. The document recognizes that the studies on the Buteyko Method shows that it can improve symptoms, short-acting B2-agonist use, and quality of life and/or psychological measures of asthma patients. It met the same conclusion as to its predecessor: that the Buteyko Method may provide a useful supplement to conventional asthma strategies , particularly in anxious patients or those habitually over-using their medication. Hyperventilation is again mentioned in this version stating that it can complicate the diagnosis and assessment of severity and control of asthma.
Unfortunately, in both documents, the authors have decided not to post their assessment on the level of evidence. They did however mention that the Buteyko Method had “some” evidence.
2014: Highest rating attained
In the 2014 version of the GINA guidelines, the heading of “Complementary and Alternative Medicine”, was removed, and the Buteyko Method (listed as breathing exercises) was included as a non-pharmaceutical treatment option. As included in “Breathing Exercises”, It received a Level “A” rating for the quality of evidences. The document also now mentions dysfunctional breathing as an entity which can co-exist with asthma.
The 2014 GINA document does not formally endorse the Buteyko Method as the only form of breathing exercise it reviewed. However, it did specifically mentioned the Buteyko Method along with the Papworth technique, as breathing exercises included in the category.
To read more about the Buteyko Method in the latest guidelines, click here
To read about the history of GINA, click here
Dr. Charles Edward G. Florendo is a certified family physician with training in interventional wellness. He is probably the first hyperventilation and dysfunctional breathing specialist in Southeast Asia. He has taught breathing retraining to patients and healthcare workers in Africa, United States, and the Philippines. He holds an advanced certificate in Buteyko from the Buteyko Breathing Association (UK). He is presently the medical adviser of the Buteyko Clinic International and a consultant at Mary Chiles General Hospital (Philippines) and the Clinica Salutare (Philippines).
You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: This article is based on the personal opinion of the author and does not constitute medical advice. Trademarks and copyright of names and logos of organizations, corporations, or products belong to their respective owners. The mention of any particular product or service does not constitute their endorsement by any particular entity. The Buteyko Method is not endorsed by the Global Initiative for Asthma. The author is not affiliated with the Global Initiative for Asthma.