I hope with this blog to teach you how to take control of your asthma safely and effectively without any side effects. The approach I use encompasses the Buteyko Clinic Method on diet, sleeping, physical activity and other lifestyle factors. I, myself, had chronic asthma for twenty years but since adhering to the Buteyko program of exercises to foster correct breathing and making changes to my lifestyle, I have been completely asthma free. The Buteyko Clinic Method is recognised by the Russian medical authorities. Not alone that, but it has been backed up by five independent scientiﬁc trials held in the Western world. The method has received widespread attention including a detailed debate in the UK House of Commons in July 2001. Evidence from thousands of people worldwide – who improved their lives forever by applying Buteyko breathing exercises – is also available.
I’m often told that people with asthma are fortunate to have such a wide range of medication available to them now, and I agree. We are fortunate. However, as a person with asthma myself, I feel that being dependent on medication for survival generates feelings of weakness and vulnerability. That being said, I always stress to my patients that medication, especially prevention medication, is very important, but that they should take enough to maintain control – no more and no less. Likewise, I advise patients to try to avoid situations that are likely to trigger an attack.
I was diagnosed with asthma as a child, a condition that worsened as I grew older until I discovered Buteyko Breathing through a newspaper article. I learned as much as I could, self-taught the techniques, and found myself gradually reducing the amount of medication I had to take to control my asthma. When I experienced the impressive beneﬁts of the Buteyko Method, I wondered why more people didn’t know about it or how to apply it to their own lives. I decided to explore the possibility of training so that I could teach this beautiful and simple method to asthma sufferers like myself. I was accredited by Professor Buteyko in March of 2002, and since this time, the knowledge I gained in Moscow has been complemented by my own research, by consulting with asthma specialists from different parts of the world, and by ongoing client contact throughout Ireland.
The simple question is: does it work? In a word: yes. Some patients achieve excellent results effortlessly, but with others it takes a little more time and determination. The success of this therapy for every patient depends on the patient’s ability to put the theory into practice. There is no big mystery – this therapy is based on normal body processes. Scientiﬁc trials have shown clearly that the Buteyko Method can be one hundred per cent effective in the treatment of asthma. The only real key to the effectiveness of the therapy is that individuals are prepared to set aside the necessary time to learn and practice the exercises.
This blog, written by a person with asthma for people with asthma, contains essential information to help you deal with your condition. Each exercise that I share with you is a simpliﬁed version to make it as user-friendly as possible in the hope that you will be able to understand and appreciate this approach, and that you will be able to apply it practically to your own asthma problem.
There’s another simple question you may have at this point: why is the Buteyko method not better known? That’s a good question, and one to which I don’t have a clear answer. Looking at the current situation openly, however, one of the most striking features is that medical research is mainly funded by pharmaceutical companies, in one form or another. Asking the pharmaceutical industry to fund research into a method such as Buteyko – with its non-medication approach – is perhaps like asking turkeys to vote in favour of Christmas. The usual answer is that there has been insuficient research for authoritative judgements to be made.
I am open to any comments, suggestions or criticism which you may have regarding this blog. Constant feedback from my patients has already improved my understanding of asthma and my ability to help people. All this therapy involves is a commitment to observation of breathing and practice of simple breathing exercises, plus a reasonably well-balanced lifestyle. The reward is freedom. The prize is freedom from asthma. I wish you every success in applying this tried and tested method.