OK. It’s time I let everyone into a big secret. I have cured my asthma! Yes that word cure is a funny one isn’t it? Doctors don’t like it at all. When I told my GP I no longer wish to be registered as asthmatic and she could stop prescribing me inhalers she was genuinely shocked.
How had I done it she asked. Buteyko Breathing I replied. The look on her face was a picture. Clearly she had never heard about this alternative treatment for asthma (and incidentally, a whole raft of other health problems).
So who was Buteyko? Konstantin Buteyko was a Russian doctor who, in 1952, was the first scientist to discover the major cause of a number of diseases of the respiratory, hormonal, cardiovascular and nervous systems which were incurable by modern medicine.
Scientific trials of the method in the treatment of asthma in Russia during the 1960s and in Australia in the 1990s showed amazing results. The secret of the method is correct breathing.
Sounds too good to be true but it is based on good science. Most of us breathe too deeply so we don’t take in enough carbon dioxide to enable our systems to absorb the oxygen we need. The Buteyko exercises aim to reprogramme our breathing and get rid of asthma forever.
In the only clinical trial carried out outside Russia, on 40 people in Australia in 1994, asthma sufferers who tried the Buteyko method reported a 90% reduction in their dependence upon medication. The results however were deemed controversial and the trial considered too small to be conclusive.
Well now I can report that it has worked for me. I have been doing the exercises for more than two years and can honestly say I have not used my inhaler in all that time. The exercises are tricky and need real persistence but once you get the hang of them, any time you feel that familiar wheezing start, simply find somewhere quiet, sit down and do the exercises and the wheezing will pass.
It can be frightening to begin with as it is not the quick fix an inhaler gives. But if you persevere it is a fantastic feeling to know that your own body has the ability to sort the problem out. As time goes on the attacks have grown fewer and fewer until now I very rarely have one and am confident I could deal with one if it did occur.
So how can you find out how this amazing breathing method works? One of the best known Buteyko therapists is Patrick McKeown who has a website at: http://www.buteyko.ie. There you will find everything you need to know about the method including YouTube clips of how to breathe correctly. It has been the best thing I have done in a long time and wanted to share this with my faithful SurgeryCat followers!