Conditions That Have Been Shown To Respond Well to the Buteyko Breathing Technique, plus Contraindications and Cautions

The Buteyko Breathing Technique is an alternative approach and is not the practice of medicine, psychology, or a form of psychotherapy, nor is it a substitute for seeking medical or psychological advice from an appropriate professional  health-care provider.  We want to make the important distinction between using the Buteyko Breathing Technique for health and well-being and the practice of medicine, psychology or any other licensed health-care profession.

Conditions That Have Been Shown To Respond Well to Breathing Retraining and the Buteyko Breathing Technique

It is believed that Buteyko Breathing improves the performance of every body system because it boosts oxygen levels in all tissues.

While it's not possible to provide any guarantees, users of the Buteyko Breathing Technique have reported improvement in the following conditions:

Besides references to scientific studies listed on condition pages, the book The Buteyko Method by Jennifer and Russell Stark lists studies showing improvement in the above conditions.


If you have one of these conditions, please do not learn breathing-retraining at this time.

  • severe renal failure (includes dialysis)
  • uncontrolled hyperthyroidism
  • sickle cell disease
  • acute schizophrenia
  • COPD with cor pulmonare
  • arterial aneurysm
  • hemorrhagic stroke
  • thrombosis
  • current cancer treatment
  • recent heart attack within last six months
  • brain tumor and trauma
  • uncontrolled hypertension
  • history of serious cardiac rhythm disorder
  • pregnancy
  • arterial aneurysm
  • presence of transplanted organs

Make sure to advise us if you have one of these conditions so we can design a very gentle program for you.  Breathing retraining and breathing exercises produce a mild stress on the body so that it can adapt to new conditions and function better in the future. It's similar to weight or aerobic training at the gym. If the demands due to the exercises are too high, there is no adaptive response and, as a result, the exercises can even produce a negative effect.
  • diabetes, particularly Type 2
  • hypertension
  • thyroid disease
  • angina/previous heart attack
  • past history of serious mental illness
  • reduced kidney function
  • history of blood clots
  • loss of C02 sensitivity

"The perfect person breathes as though he is not breathing."

--Lao Tsu, Chinese philosopher