Konstantiv Pavlovich Buteyko was born on January 27, 1923
in the village of Ivanitsa (Chernigov Oblast, Ukraine). In 1946 he enrolled
at the 1st Moscow Medical Institute named after I. M. Sechenov, from which he
graduated with Honors in 1952. He was a resident at the Institute under Academician
Yevgeny M. Tareyev-s unvision. In 1952 he was diagnosed malignant high blood
pressure disease and said he had no more than one or two years to live on. However,
in April 1989 he still swam in the Yenissey.
Konstantin Pavlovich was born in 1923
Konstantin Pavlovcih was born in 1923
in sun-lit, fertile Ukraine. His father was a carpenter, mum v a tailor.
big brother Volodya took care of younger Kostya. By the then standards,
their life was fine, nobody starved and they always had bread to eat.
In 1929 (without Volodya, who suddenly died of acute pneumonia) they moved
to Popovka near Konotop, where Kostya was supposed to go to school. Since
his early years, Kostya had a passion for mechanics. After finishing high
school (in Konotop) he was dreaming of building an amazing machine that
would dig, swim and fly to other planets. To do that, in 1939 he went
to the Department of Road Transport in Kiev Polytechnic.
In just two years World War II began. Bombs dropped on his dear Kiev.
Kostya and his classmates rushed to the military commissariat, from where
his friends were appointed to the tank school, and he became just a mechanic
in a Ministry of Health motorcade (too young!). Drugs to the frontline,
the wounded back v that-s what his life was until the end of War, which
found him in Berlin. That-s where he drove several trophy trucks for the
Ministry of Health in Moscow from. And Moscow was where he chose to stay
Man is the most complex mechanism of all
And decided to carry on with education. Not on the Department of Road
Transport, though, but in the 1st Moscow Medical Institute named after
I. M. Sechenov. Having seen so much blood and death at War, Kostya decided
to study Man. At that time he already felt something was wrong about
contemporary medicine. Even as a child he noticed that what cured diseases
were granny-s herbs. Her ointments and tinctures helped enormously,
but should his mum turn to doctors, only drugs and injections, often
totally useless, were prescribed.
During the War years, Buteyko became so good at mechanics that he could
identify disorders by the tiniest differences in how the engine ticked.
That was the level of perfection he wanted to achieve as a Human Organism
specialist. Fast and precise diagnostics was the acme of medical mastery
for him. In late summer of 1946, Buteyko enrolled at the Department
of Therapy, 1st Moscow Medical Institute, but his utter disappointment
in therapy manuals made him move to the Department of Sanitary Hygiene.
Konstantin Pavlovich never let things slide in all his life, but he
was particularly vigorous in studying medicine. A straight A student
and the class monitor: these titles speak for themselves. The institute
library didn-t suffice, and the central medical library was only open
for qualified doctors. However, they made an exception and he literally
plunged into the boundless sea of books.
By the end of the course,
he was diagnosed high blood pressure disease. He, a wonderful sportsman
who-d spend long hours exercising! He, who was so good at boxing, could
not beat the approaching disaster. Neither the Diploma with Honors in
summer 1952, nor the post-graduate course at the Department headed by
his teacher, Academician Tareyev, could make him happy. What was it all
for, if he only had one or two more years to live? Blood pressure would
often exceed 220. His head swelled from terrible, sometimes unbearable
pain. And the heart shrank in a totally non-sportive manner. Buteyko was
at the biggest national theoretical and practical center, but nothing
could have saved him. Even the sinister cancer was outshadowed by malignant
high blood pressure disease. The early stages of cancer were possible
to fight with, sometimes even successfully. The killing ailment could
be muffled or interrupted (often, for long). However, malignant high blood
pressure disease gave him no chance! A year or two, and you die out, even
if you-re the strongest person in the world. Buteyko knew it. He had the
rarest medications at his disposal, including imported ones, he had the
biggest Soviet authority in blood pressure, Academician Tareyev, by his
side, and yet Konstantin Pavlovich (the qualified doctor was now called
by full name) was doomed! Drugs were ineffective, and he was afraid to
say all to Tareyev. They could simply expel him from the course (given
his blood pressure values!). Nonetheless the teacher could judge by hints
and primarily by appearances and looked at him sympathetically, the way
you look at the one who goes for good. Academician had plans for Buteyko
(which he often delicately drew at); he thought he was one of his most
Suddenly v a miracle happened in October 1952. Buteyko, who had been heading
to the gates of the graveyard, first slowed down, and then walked, no,
simply rushed away from them. His cheeks were red again, his grey eyes,
almost dimmed, sparkled anew. The miracle happened on October 7, 1952.
That day, or more precisely, night, Buteyko remembered till his last days.
In the night of October 7, 1952 Konstantin Pavlovich made a discovery...
Erroneous diagnosis leads to
On October 7, 1952 a
young Soviet researcher Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko made such a discovery.
Everything was simple and ordinary. The young resident was on duty in
the 1st Moscow Clinic near Petrovskie Vorota. While explaining the basics
of diagnostics to the other students on duty, he made a diagnostic mistake.
The patient with all bronchial asthma symptoms had the same ailment as
Konstantin Pavlovich himself, malignant high blood pressure disease.
"No way!" thought Buteyko looking in the patient-s back as he
was slowly walking down the hallway. Just no way. Cautious pace. Severe
breathlessness. Steadily open mouth: those were all symptoms of a typical
asthma! And yet, that was malignant high blood pressure disease. How come?
Rarely did Konstantin Pavlovcih diagnose erroneously, and what a wide
go! "What if?!.." it struck him unexpectedly. What if deep breath,
typical for asthmatics and so well-expressed in this boy with malignant
high blood pressure disease, is not just a vivid symptom, but the cause
of both illnesses?
A short talk with the strong, waist-belted patient gave grounds to his
vague suppositions. Yuri Kozlov, 21, had long been in weightlifting, which
means constant "overbreathing": barbell taken v exhale, barbell up v inhale
deeply. Buteyko remembered his own sports story. Immense physical overloads,
"locomotive-type" breathing. When he noticed the signs of the grave disease,
Konstantin Pavlovich had to quit sports, but he still continued to breathe
deeply. He was able to read Kozlov-s record almost to the middle, when
he felt he had a new attack.
As usual, like a lot of hammers, blood began to pulsate in his temples,
signalizing an abrupt blood pressure jump. The killing pain possessed
the back of his head. His heart shrank, and then throbbed, the right kidney
ached. Following the reflex, Buteyko put his hand down in the pocket to
get the drug, but- suddenly pulled it back. Why the drug? What is it good
for if the cause is still there? And the cause of malignant high blood
pressure disease, as he was inclined to think from that night on, was
deep breathing. So, what was up? Who wanted tinctures? Why not try to
take the bull by the horns? Why beat around the bush? Buteyko put the
record aside and leaned against the rigid chair back. He held breath.
"Breathe as shallow as possible. Little by little. Little by little..."
the young researcher thought. He was short of air. He wanted to open his
mouth wide and swallow it in huge gulps, but Konstantin Pavlovich held
himself in hands.
One minute, another- and that was a miracle! The headache was gone; furious
blood throbs in the temples disappeared. The heart didn-t ache any more,
the kidney colic faded away as if from a hot compress. Bingo! His idea
was being most vividly confirmed.
Who can best speak about himself and his discoveries if not the author?
you can read an interview with K. P. Buteyko.