It reminds me of how far I have come! The accumulative benefits of reconditioning your breathing are incredible!
(pronounceew-tay-koe), the very word now evokes relief and gratitude. Buteyko offers asthma suffers like myself the best starting point to the ultimate s
The results were released at the conference for Thoracic Physicians Society in Hobart in March 1995. After six weeks people from the group who had been taught the Buteyko Technique reduced their intake of Bronchodilators by 90 per cent and also steroid medication by 17 per cent thus improving their quality of life. In contrast, the control group who were taught standard asthma treatments were able to reduce their medication intake by less than 5 per cent. Participants are also taught a very simple but extremely accurate method to assess and continually monitor their own health in regards to asthma. This practice stands on its own and is a far more effective and accurate indicator of a client's health than a peak flow monitor.
Having personally experienced a lifetime of asthma (40 years), I consider myself somewhat of an asthma expert in the sense that whether I wanted to or not I was constantly studying asthma and inevitably using myself as a human guinea pig for a wide range of medications and treatments just to get some relief and stay alive. My most dangerous experience was with Theophylline drugs. Assorted alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, homoeopathy and also diet and meditation certainly helped improve my quality of life at times and assisted my survival in a big way until I was able to access the Buteyko Method. Now I can really learn to live again. Life is very different without asthma as a constant companion.
After extremely negative experiences with standard medication, antibiotics and allergy vaccinations as a child, I tried going drug free from the age of 13 years to 17 years. I did not grow out of my asthma as had been hoped (my older brother had, but then he had taken up surfing!) so I would just suffer through the acute attacks. (my dear Mother was a "Saint". I really do not know how we got through some of those long asthmatic nights). At about the age of 18 years I begun regularly puffing on what I then mistakenly thought was a 'wonder drug';- "Ventolin". ( A Bronchodilator). I was to stay on this dangerous reliever reliant merry-go-round for the next 20 years. Not surprisingly the asthma went from acute to chronic, my allergies increased, I was hospitalised numerous times and by 1992 I had yet another near fatal attack.
At this stage I became involved with the Asthma Foundation and finally stabilised myself by taking maximum daily doses of inhaled cortico steroids (preventative medication) as well as regular relievers. It was then that l first heard of the Buteyko Method. I was extremly sceptical at first having tried literally everything on offer and l was not going to get my hopes up about yet another 'get-well-quick' scheme. I am so glad now that I gave it a chance. I am very grateful to all the asthmatics who had already completed a Buteyko workshop who consented to let me "interrogate" them. I shudder to think where I would be and how much more suffering I would have endured if I had not been able to learn Buteyko.
Initially, l was stunned by just how quickly my acute symptoms and therefore my need for reliever medication diminished. With an annual worldwide sale of 440.000.000 reliever puffers ( '94 statistics) that appears to be escalating, l do not think drug companies will be pleased to hear this so be prepared for this method to be intentionally discredited or at least the glowing results of the numerous scientific tests already done on Buteyko Method to be suppressed.
The truth is that the Buteyko method is simple and effective and results are far reaching and accumulative so long term results are brilliant.
I was personally stunned by how much emotional, for want of a better word, resistance l felt whilst doing initial exercises. I just did not know life without asthma and it took some adjusting. Luckily the results in themselves were motivating enough. Within a few months l was back in 'control' and extremely aware of how l was feeling and what to do and what not to do to relieve any symptoms the minute they arose.
l am grateful to the Brisbane based practitioner Pat Heinemann and his wife Debbie for all their support and assistance. It was such a relief to meet people who really understand asthma and were capable of giving an empathetic response to all my fears, anxiety and suffering. To have this sort of validation and also access finally to a philosophy that was capable of giving rapid and drug free results was fantastic.
That was five years ago. ( update... 15 yrs later and I'm still improving!) My general health and quality of life continues to improve. With the Buteyko Technique I am so much more aware of just how to avoid any asthmatic symptoms. I will always be potentially asthmatic but today l am totally drug and symptom free.
l am forever in debt to Dr Konstantin Buteyko for persevering with his ill received but no less brilliant findings on hyperventilation and the link with lowered levels of carbon dioxide and ill health such as asthma.
The Buteyko philosophy is a total breakthrough in asthma management and all asthmatics and hyper-ventilators should be encouraged to learn it.
The thought of all the people and especially the children who are suffering unnecessarily with asthma make me more determined than ever to help in whatever way I can to let others know as much as possible about a wonderful method that has helped me, and thousands of others so profoundly.
Dr Konstantin Buteyko
In 1997 I was able to train with both the Asthma Foundation of Qld. to become a Nationally Accredited Asthma Educator and also with the Buteyko Practitioners Association ( the first Australian Buteyko Teacher Training Organisation created by Rosalba Courtney and Lola and Leonard Motina) to become a qualified Buteyko Therapist. My training is continually being upgraded.
Not Just Asthma!
Of course over-breathing is not only related to asthma.
Due to my own previous incorrect breathing patterns I had also experienced years of severe excema, headaches, snoring, sleep apnoea, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, digestive problems, muscle cramping, ear and throat problems, neuralgia, chest pains for which I had been hospitalised, excessive mucus production and constant coughing. My chronic mouth breathing also contributed to expensive dental problems. However, asthma symptoms were by far the most frightening, debilitating and life threatening.
I have spoken to so many people who have similar histories and like me they too had forgotten what it felt like to be well.
I am so grateful that I have been given the opportunity to overcome these problems and live in the solution.
My one goal now is to "live" what I teach and help as many people as possible. This is what I delight in doing.
Dr Buteyko's Method of Breath Training
"I would like to emphasise that I describe medicine generally following two directions - one direction is the so called official western, and the other eastern, in particular the Tibetan medicine or "Judd-shi".
"It has transpired that the truth is on the side of the eastern medicine, which has always stated that diseases occur as a result of the disturbed breathing."
"As I was developing my theory and method, I also had to expand my thinking on the theory of medicine, as basically the western medicine has never had any fundamental theories attached to it. Western medicine, as we know it, has nothing but the blind empiricism, wandering in search of chance substances which might help the diseased. Today a medical practitioner is not searching for the reasons of a patient's disease in order to cure him, but for a magic potion to help him in some unknown fashion. If the eastern medicine (in particular Judd-shi) begins not from the disease, but from drawing first of all a picture of the tree of life, followed by a picture of the tree of the disease (which is very much like the tree of life, except distorted), then the western medicine's theory of life has not only no foundation at all, it has no theory behind it"
Professor Konstantin ButeykoProfessor Konstantin Buteyko