Brisbane Trial

In November 1994, medical trials sponsored by the Australian Association of Asthma Foundations and led by Professor Charles Mitchell and Doctor Simon Bowler were started at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane.

Forty asthmatics were split into two groups - one was taught Buteyko exercises and the other was taught physiotherapy exercises.

The study found that asthmatics over-breathed in 100% of cases. The Buteyko Method teaches Asthma sufferers to reduce their breathing to normal levels.



Bronchodilator Reduction:
12 weeks later the group practicing Buteyko exercises had reduced their bronchodilator (reliever) medication by 96%, whereas the control group had no significant improvement (1).

Inhaled Steroid Reduction:
The Buteyko breathing method allowed asthmatics to reduce their anti-inflammatory medication by 49% over three months, whereas the control group had no reduction (2).

Results:
What was of particular interest, was that those who reduced their breathing (the minute volume) with Buteyko breathing were the ones who also had a simultaneous reduction in reliever medication this supports:
a - the known link between hyperventilation and asthma
b - the value of the Buteyko Method in normalizing breathing
c - the relationship between the normalization of breathing and the reduced need for medication

Comments about the trial:
 

"Asthma can be greatly or even completely relieved, even in those who expected to rely on drugs for the rest of their lives," said Ms. Tess Graham, Buteyko researcher and Chief Executive Officer of the Buteyko Institute.
"The trial results clearly show that asthma is associated with an abnormal breathing pattern".

 
Associate Professor Charles Mitchell, who supervised the medical trials in Brisbane, expressed the opinion that "if steroids could be reduced, it would be evidence that the underlying disease process must have been affected." He went on to say at the conclusion of the trials, "...further studies are clearly justified.
 

The outcome of the Brisbane trial has led the Australian National Asthma Campaign to include Buteyko in their doctor's Asthma Management Handbook, giving official blessing to the Buteyko method.