Konstantin Buteyko, Soviet doctor

Konstantin Buteyko, Soviet doctor

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko (1923-2003), Soviet medical doctor and researcher. In the 1950s, Buteyko, a Ukrainian, developed a theory on the effects of deep breathing (hyperventilation). He believed that diseases such as asthma are caused by a drop in carbon dioxide blood levels brought on by hyperventilation. Buteyko said that shallow breathing restores these levels to normal. He established a laboratory in Siberia, treating over 1000 people in the 1960s, despite attempted Soviet suppression. The Buteyko method is controversial; sceptics say it works because of a psychological (placebo) effect. Photographed in 1987.

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