The Buteyko Method & GINA
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 that 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 the 2010 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. It received a Level “A” rating for the quality of evidences. Although the Buteyko Method is not designated, of all breath training systems that have been subjected to clinical trials for the relief of asthma symptoms only the Buteyko Method has the extent and quality of research. The document also now mentions dysfunctional breathing as an entity that can co-exist with asthma.
THE BUTEYKO METHOD AND BRITISH THORACIC SOCIETY
The British Thoracic Society Endorsed Buteyko May 2008
The updated British Guidelines for the Management of Asthma have endorsed Buteyko Technique so that GPs and asthma nurses can now recommend it with confidence.
The new guidelines grade the research on Buteyko as a ‘B’ classification – indicating that there are high quality clinical trials supporting the efficacy of the therapy in reducing both asthma symptoms and broncho-dilator usage.
No other complementary therapy has been endorsed by this body for the treatment of asthma. The guidelines are produced jointly by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network and the British Thoracic Society.
“The Buteyko breathing technique specifically focuses on control of hyperventilation and any ensuing hypocapnia. Four clinical trials suggest benefits in terms of reduced symptoms and bronchodilator usage but no effect on lung function. The Buteyko breathing technique may be considered to help patients to control the symptoms of asthma.”
THE BUTEYKO METHOD AND CLINICAL TRIALS
All trials have shown approximately 90% reduction in reliever medication, approximately 50% reduction of steroid inhalers,
reduction in coughing & wheezing,
improvement of sleep and general improved quality of life
All without adverse side effects.
The Calgary Trial 2007
“I’ve been astonished and also very pleased with the excellent result. There is no disruption of their life at all by their disease: normal activities; not waking at night; not needing to use any reliever medications. It’s just great…75% control is about as good as anyone has got in any study of asthma. The neat thing about it is that it has no side effects. It’s very safe. The Buteyko technique certainly has been shown to be an important adjunct to treatment.”
Dr. Robert Cowie Respirologist.
See a listing of all recent trials at: HERE
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