While the translators are qualified professionals who have made every effort to
ensure the accuracy of their work, neither they nor the publisher can be held
liable for any errors or omissions. In addition, the publisher and translators bear no
responsibility for the accuracy of the information in this work or any use made of

This website and the books of Sergey Altukhov are for general information purposes only. The Buteyko Method should only be practised under the guidance of a trained

Book Excerpt Chapter 3 Buteyko Breathing Exercises Explained in Detail

Please note! Dr Buteyko always used to say that “The exercise in restraining the
breath, or blocking the nose, is not a core part of the Volitional Elimination of Deep
Breathing. It is merely a supplementary exercise, to be allowed in certain situations
with specific exceptions. What those exceptions are, I shall say in more detail later,
in the commentaries and clarifications. But for the time being, the extra-mural
student should grasp one thing: Exercise No 3 merely supplements Exercises 1 and Exercise No 3 will never supplant them!

It was to Dr Buteyko’s eternal regret that even during his life time, trainers gave
pride of place to the exercise in blocking the nose and, naturally, so did their
trainees and patients. Why? Basically because it needed little explanation. You just
needed to say “Hold your nose and don’t breathe” and there you had the whole
technique. Perfectly understandable to everyone: young and old, the halt and the
lame. But just try, for example, explaining Exercise No 2 to an 80-year-old who is
hard of hearing and can’t see very well. Try shouting in their ear that they should
shorten their breath, as though they were filling a tumbler to the lower edge of its

So that is how it came about. The need for a simple explanation drove the majority
of trainers to simplify their work. And the result? The exact opposite of their good
intentions. The patients underwent the course of exercises without discovering the
authentic Buteyko technique. They got just the supplementary part that very often
does not give them relief.

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