Want an asthma treatment that’s
1) Tested over the last half century
2) It’s harmless if practiced as directed
3) Has the potential to improve the health and quality of life
4) Helps save health care dollars
5) Used with people who must stop using steroid medications
Bronchodilators and steroids are severe drugs. There are long-term side effects to using them. But without them, some people have terrifying emergency room trips when asthma attacks rage out of control.
A person’s quality of life and performance at work suffers greatly with severe asthma attacks. These people are willing to try anything to regain control of their lives.
Enter the Buteyko method. It’s a shallow-breathing technique developed in 1952 by a Russian doctor, Konstantin Buteyko. Videos are widely available on YouTube.
You could actually feel your airways relax and open. It’s very impressive. People who were once incapacitated by their asthma and on disability leave from their jobs can now return to regular life and jobs. It may be difficult to keep up with the exercises, but you’ll be able to cut back on your medication about 75% and your quality of life will gradually return.
People lose hope with asthma. They use their rescue inhaler 20 or more times in a 24-hour period. If they’re exposed to any kind of irritant or allergen, they could easily get a reaction that jeopardized their existence and forced them to go back on steroids to save their life. What a mess!
After about 3 months and a series of lessons and refresher sessions in shallow breathing, You can use less than one puff of inhaler each day. That’s right! No drugs, just breathing exercises.
Although I cannot promise a cure, I believe it could eventually happen if you stay diligent about the exercises. But think of it this way: Your quality of life will improve beyond your expectations. It’s very exciting and amazing. You need to tell more people about this!
Usually, during an asthma attack, people panic and breathe quickly and as deeply as they can, exhaling larger amounts of carbon dioxide. Interestingly, breathing rate is not controlled by how much oxygen is in the blood, but by the amount of carbon dioxide. It’s the gas that regulates the acid-base level of the blood.
Hence, when you hyperventilate, or breath too fast and too deeply, you are causing the asthma, making it worse by lowering the level of carbon dioxide in the blood so much that the airways constrict to conserve it.
This technique may seem counter intuitive: when short of breath or overly stressed, instead of taking a deep breath, you breathe shallowly and slowly through the nose, breaking the vicious cycle of rapid, gasping breaths, airway constriction and increased wheezing.
This shallow breathing aspect intrigues me because I had discovered its benefits during my gym workout routines. I noticed that gym goers who had to stop to catch their breath after a workout were taking deep breaths very often, since I take small puffs of air after a longer period, and can go indefinitely without becoming winded.
Too much air can be harmful to health. Almost every asthmatic breathes through their mouth and takes deep, forceful inhalations that trigger bronchospasms, which are the hallmark of asthma.
When you inhale through the nose, even when you speak and sleep, you don’t lose too much carbon dioxide.
Don’t forget to deal with stress and continue exercising without hyperventilating, and to avoid foods that provoke asthma attacks.
By the way, don’t stop taking your medications unless you consult the prescribing physician first. However, you will notice a reduction of dependence on the drugs significantly. On average, if you are diligent about practicing your breathing, you can expect a 90% reduction in the use of rescue inhalers, and 50% reduction in the need for steroids within 3 to 6 months.