This archived forum used to be called 'Peatarian' (in reference to Ray Peat).

Ray Peat's Only Flaw is Not Accepting Buteyko Method?

I have known the buteyko technique before Ray Peat's diet and have found it to be the most health balancing thing that ever happened to me. It is about breathing less, by inhaling less and holding breath alot. This will built up the CO2 saturation deep within the tissues very easily and promote oxygenation and therefore metabolism. Balancing the thyroid (Ray Peat inspired diet) is a big help in increasing oxygenation.

I find it therefore highly unsatisfying that Ray Peat doesn't give Buteyko the props it deserves. He gives a little nuance to it, yes, Buteyko claimed that it has all to do with breathing less. That is not always true, as Peat said, some people who have a low metabolism can breathe very slowly but still have a CO2 saturation in the tissue that is not sufficient to sustain the regenerative abillities.

However, Artour Rahkimov from has posted several health states and parameters to measure your health. Such as the CP (control pause), which is the length of a breath hold after the exhale, during your natural breathing pattern at that time, after which you don't need to have a bigger inhale than you naturally do (i.e. no stress signs). If the CP is above 40s your health will start to normalize. Most people are around 15-20s CP, in the beginning of the century it used to be around 40s. Mine was 15s, now I'm up to 35 seconds for about a year with eventual breakthroughs above 40, but couldn't stay there for longer than 2 days or so. Buteyko claimed that breaking through the 40s CP barrier is the toughest challenge in the method, because after it is impossible to have a chronic focal infection.

The nice part of it is that Artour's experience has learned him that gut health is always normal (i.e. no stains on toilet wall and toilet paper during the regular bowel movements), that sleep is reduced to 6 hours, that you start craving light aerobic exercise. These are all things I have seen changing everytime I got above 40s CP and from people I know who are also struggling with breaking 40s CP have experienced the same. One of my big issues is a gut that has dysbiosis and athlete's foot and dandruff problems that always start to kick in very heavy after I break the 40s CP, then my body recognizes that infections and due to probable all the prostaglandins and inflammatory signals it damages itself so badly that it will drop below 35 again and I will have lighter problems with these chronic inflammation issues.

Because of the major changes in health that have been very well documented in anecdotal reports of people practicing buteyko (such as reduction of sleeping time, normalization of heart beat of around 60-70 bpm, no stains on toilet paper after bowel movement). I think it is a shame that Ray Peat never dig any further in this issue. How many of you are practicing buteyko? What is your CP?

created May 14, 2013 by Baycase
I used to have sports induced asthma as a child, and even my freshman year of college when I moved to NY and played soccer (pollution in NY is much worse than in Maine). I no longer have any asthma symptoms unless I get myself worked up emotionally - which rarely happens, but when it does, I feel the struggle to breathe. In briefly reading about Buteyko Method, it could seem that my physical activity helps this - I swim regularly (which reduces oxygen intake), do a little yoga, and smoke natural cigarette's occasionally (which I hear they used to use to treat asthma patients, but don't know of its validity as a treatment). Anyhow, all of these things work to regulate oxygen intake.

Hi, I know this is an old thread and I am new to the forum (but a long-time lurker), I have heard that buteyko practice can lower libido and if you see this, I was curious about your experience with that, if it's not too personal? I have just started a pranayama practice myself, so curious to see how it could go. I'm in my 20's and have no interest in losing my sexual appetite, or abilities (not bragging, just that I feel healthy in that area, if not overly skilled).

2 Replies

I have heard of Buteyko, but never practiced it.

Can you recommend a really easy way to start doing it? I'd love to try it out and see the results for myself.

I don't know what Ray thinks of Buteyko ... maybe someone should ask him and maybe he'll look into it?

replied May 14, 2013 by Orangey
A really easy way is never breathing through mouth. Strictly nasal and always by belly breathing. Do as much light effort aerobic exercise as possible, walking is ideal, but running is okay to. Make sure the running is nasally, that way your heartbeat can't break through the aneorobic treshold and you won't produce lots of stress hormones that will give a reverse effect.

What is the difference between nasal and mouth breathing, just the amount of air?

just curious, I'm a newbie, but for some reason I was under the impression that holding your breath is a bad thing - increasing lactic acid?

replied May 14, 2013 by Nicholas
The thing is you have to get through a transition period if you breathe less.
Because the only way the body will adapt to getting not enough oxygen is increasing the effectiveness of oxidative metabolism. In other words less of the inefficient glycolysis and more of the oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria.

If you hold your breathe there is a deficit in oxygen, yes, causing more lactate production due to the increase in glycolysis. However, this only occurs during the breath hold. Your body will, after a breathing session, increase the efficiency of the metabolism and therefore the long term result is less glycolysis and more aerobic metabolism via oxidative phosphorylation.  

Compare it to the chinese iron fist monks, they keep hitting their bones with bags of gravel every day lightly. The body's response is making their bones harder so they can increase the intensity slowly. Same goes for everything in life, and also for breathing and increasing metabolism.