Everyone knows someone with asthma. The CDC states that more than 17 million Americans suffer from asthma — including 1 in 10 children. The good news? There’s a safe, nonmedical treatment for asthma, long used in other countries, that’s just now gaining recognition in the US as asthmatics here get cured with it.
It’s called the Buteyko Method, and it’s been used in Russia for more than five decades. Unlike other "alternative treatments," the Buteyko Method, which involves simple breathing techniques, has been studied in major clinical trials, written about in peer-reviewed medical journals, and is taught in Russian medical schools and covered by insurance in Australia. It was developed by MDs and is used by many MDs worldwide. Yet many US doctors and patients still don’t know about it.
That’s about to change. Even New York Times health writer Jane Brody, who rarely covers nontraditional treatments, has written in praise of this one: http://www.buteykocenterusa.com/ny_times_article.html. After the Buteyko Method was recently featured on CBS News, asthmatics are starting to ask what it is, how it works, and whether it can help them.
Here’s a short overview that should clear up some basic questions.
Asthmatics who follow a traditional treatment protocol typically complain that their symptoms only worsen after years of taking medication. That’s because medications treat the symptoms, but don’t address the cause of asthma.
In 1952, Dr. Konstantin Buteyko, a renowned Ukrainian scientist working in Russia, discovered that asthma symptoms are the result of chronic hyperventilation. Surprised? Almost 60 years of scientific research and clinical data proves that asthmatics consume 2-20 times more air than a healthy person!
Based on the laws of physiology, we know that hyperventilation depletes the level of CO2 in the lungs. Scientists agree that a low level of CO2 results in bronchospasm in the lungs. Put simply, Buteyko Method breathing techniques help a person quickly normalize CO2 level in the lungs, causing the walls of the bronchioles to relax, and opening up the airways.
Instead of hyperventilating, which is what asthmatics do to get more air, the Buteyko Method teaches them how to breathe less. Although it sounds counterintuitive, when people are trained to breathe in such a way that they take in less air, asthma symptoms can be reduced or completely eliminated.
Some advantages of the Buteyko Method?The breathing technique is harmless if practiced as directed by a well-trained Buteyko specialist. Once you’ve learned the Buteyko Method, you can taper off or completely eliminate costly and sometimes harmful asthma medications. Asthmatics who use the Buteyko Method naturally start eating less, feel healthier, and need less time for sleep. They wake up feeling energetic, have more fun exercising, and experience fewer incidents of coughing, sneezing, and breathing problems. The Buteyko Method enables you to completely control a coughing fit, relax into an asthma attack so you can regain your breath, and avoid panicking if you are somewhere without your inhaler. The exercises are simple enough to be taught to children as young as three. And finally, because the Buteyko breathing techniques bring CO2 levels in your lungs back to normal, they have a positive effect on the immune and metabolic system. People discover that they feel better, have fewer colds and flus, and get relief from symptoms they didn’t even know were related, such as fatigue, low-level depression, joint pain, and eczema.
If you’re someone who has long suffered from asthma, this time-tested natural treatment might just be the cure you’re been waiting for.