About Buteyko Health & Breathing

Paul O’Conpaulphotonell

BSc, Dip Ed, MBA, MBIBH

As a founding member and the original Executive Secretary of the Buteyko Institute of Breathing and Health (BIBH), Paul played a key role in establishing the BIBH. He was elected as the Chief Executive Officer in July 2000 and still holds that position. He has been actively involved in several projects on behalf of the BIBH including:

  • Teaching on the major clinical trial of the method in Glasgow, Scotland
  • Making submissions for acceptance of the Buteyko Institute Method by health insurers
  • Liaising with hospitals and research institutes to instigate further research opportunities
  • Training new practitioners in the Buteyko Institute Method
  • Establishing a Charitable Trust (The Buteyko Institute Trust) in the United Kingdom to support current and future research initiatives (established April 2001)
  • Developing standards, codes and guidelines for the teaching of the Buteyko Institute Method
  • Arranging pro bono legal assistance for the BIBH from Allens Arthur Robinson (2001-9), and leading the project to further establish the BIBH and the Buteyko Institute Method within Australia as the preferred first line management system for asthma
  • Being part of the UK team which visited New York in October 2002 to introduce the Buteyko Institute Method to Police and Fire personnel affected by respiratory problems from 11 September 2001 (featured in Australia on National Nine News)
  • Gaining Australian Taxation Office approval of the BIBH as a Registered Charity
  • Introducing the Buteyko Institute Method to Cuba in January and May/June 2004 in conjunction with Jill McGowan (award winning asthma researcher from Glasgow). This involved training 14 Health and Education Professionals as Buteyko Practitioners and teaching the Buteyko Method to 240 individuals for their own health.
  • Being a keynote speaker at the 3rd International Buteyko Conference in Glasgow, August 2005
  • Featuring in the first 3 television reports on the use of the Buteyko Method for Sleep Apnoea (Ch 9 A Current Affair – March 2005, Ch 2 Second Opinion – August 2005, Ch 7 Today Tonight – May 2009)
  • Introducing the Buteyko Institute Method to Turkey in August 2006 with Jill McGowan
  • Opening and presenting at the 4th International Buteyko Conference, Brisbane, Nov 2007
  • Conducting Buteyko courses with federal government funding for a total of 100 people in George Town, Tasmania in 2007 & 2008
  • Being a key note presenter at the 1st Buteyko Schools Conference, Glasgow, April 2008
  • Presenting at Celebrate Buteyko, Melbourne State Library, November 2008
  • Teaching Buteyko Breathing in Glasgow schools in 2008/9 as part of the formal education curriculum
  • Teaching Buteyko Breathing for sleep apnoea in a pilot study in Glasgow in January 2009 as a prelude to a clinical trial by Dr Jill McGowan
  • Responding to and meeting with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) in 2009 in response to complaints made by competitors in relation to the management of sleep disorders. No action taken.
  • Training Buteyko Practitioners in a school (a sports teacher) and a hospital (a physiotherapist) in Glasgow, UK in 2011
  • In conjunction with BIBH colleagues, contacting sleep specialists in Australia and overseas in 2012-13 with a view to participating in research into the effectiveness of Buteyko Breathing for Sleep Apnoea.
  • The BIBH achieved ISO 9001 accreditation in May 2014 for a period of three years.

Paul O’Connell suffered from asthma for over 25 years having first been diagnosed with it at the age of five in the 1960’s. After using various early medications, Paul was given ventolin for the first time at the age of 10. Despite getting good symptomatic relief from this drug, Paul was soon also prescribed several other medications including becotide, and intal. From there it was progression to nebulisers and oral steroids and still further deterioration.

Needless to say all the asthma and medication severely restricted Paul’s lifestyle – particularly the capacity to play sports to the expected level, and also in terms of the ability and confidence to undertake other activities. After trying many other health options over the following years with little improvement in asthma, Paul first saw Buteyko featured on a television current affairs program in Australia in early 1994. This resulted in him learning the Buteyko Method from Alexander Stalmatski (who brought the Buteyko Method from Russia to Australia in 1990) in Melbourne and subsequently eliminating the need for asthma medications.

Realising what a significant breakthrough in health management Buteyko provided, Paul made contact with several major Australian health authorities, politicians and the media in regard to raising awareness of Buteyko and having it clinically trialled and introduced into Australian health care management. This proved an interesting experience, as there seemed to be very little knowledge or awareness of the method within these groups and people.

Paul then decided that the best way to progress the formal introduction of the Buteyko Method in Australia was to train as a Buteyko Practitioner, teach the method, and to establish a professional organisation to provide information to the public and health professionals and organisations. With a background in science, education and business management, Paul felt he had a lot to offer in regard to this work.

He subsequently trained as a Buteyko Practitioner under Stalmatski and began teaching Buteyko at the end of 1994. This has since involved teaching the Buteyko Institute Method in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Cuba, Italy and Turkey. He has been featured in newspaper articles in Australia and the United Kingdom, given numerous radio interviews, been interviewed on national television and been featured in published books. Paul regularly conducts Buteyko courses for both adults and children. Paul has also been endorsed by the BIBH as a Buteyko Practitioner Trainer and has trained over thirty other Buteyko Practitioners.

Paul completed a Master of Business Administration in 1996, the final unit of which involved the preparation of a business plan for his work as a Buteyko Practitioner and the establishment of the BIBH in Australia and throughout the world. The stated objective of this business plan is to improve community health by helping individuals, families and groups in the Australian community. He is also both undertaking and conducting further training in the Buteyko Institute Method through the Buteyko Institute, as well as organising and participating in further research into the Buteyko Institute Method on behalf of the BIBH.

Based in Melbourne, Paul regularly conducts Buteyko courses around Australia, and has taught the method to over 8,500 people and trained over 60 Buteyko Practitioners. He is committed to improving community health and aims to promote professional research, development and training in Buteyko’s principles of natural healing and health maintenance, through breathing re-conditioning.

With an interest in the history and development of new ideas in science, Paul is leading several initiatives to introduce the Buteyko Institute Method as safely, responsibly and quickly as possible. He firmly believes everyone has a right to the best information and programs for their health, and that the Buteyko Institute Method provides the way to reverse the epidemics of asthma and sleep disorders in Australia.

Paul M O’Connell BSc, Dip Ed, MBA, MBIBH
Buteyko Health & Breathing Pty Ltd
PO Box 2409, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065, Australia
Phone (61) 3 94194211 Mobile 0411 225 731
Free call 1800 001 700
Email: paul@buteykoairways.com.au