Definition of the method by its founder
"Thirty seven years have passed since the time I found the cause of several of the most wide spread diseases which belong to so called "civilisation diseases" (bronchial, cardiovascular, allergic etc.). These diseases have one common cause - alveolar hyperventilation or deep breathing. It had occurred to me: reduction in depth of breathing or normalisation of breathing may treat such diseases. An experimental study proved the validity of this presumption; more so, as it was based on the laws of physiology, biochemistry, biology and other disciplines.
...The essence of the method is to decrease the depth of breathing by will power and by relaxation of breathing muscles until one achieves a slight feeling of lack of air. All mentally healthy adults and children from the age of three can use the method."
Dr. Konstantin Buteyko(from the preface to the collection "Buteyko Method: the experience of the implementation in the medical practice", (in Russ.), Odessa, TITUL, 1991)