As a kid I developed asthma, and grew to hate having to use that dreaded Ventolin inhaler,
in order to be able to breathe easily.
In my 20s and 30s I was often living in hot countries and my asthma virtually disappeared,
but it came back a few years ago and I hated having to go back to the inhaler.
One day I discovered a breathing technique known as the Buteyko method,
and at first was very sceptical that simply changing the way that I breathed could possibly change anything about my asthma.
But I gave it a go. I had a few online sessions with a Buteyko coach and was amazed to discover that by simply practicing these breathing techniques,
I no longer felt wheezy and didn’t have to use that dreaded inhaler anymore.
It felt liberating, as I now didn’t have to bring the inhaler with me when I was playing football, running or cycling.
If you’ve never heard of Buteyko, he was a Russian doctor.
Part of his work was during the Soviet space race,
he was commissioned to try and determine what was the ideal composition of gases for spaceships and that was his research.
But he was also a medical doctor,
and he noticed a connection between people who were sick and their breathing.
He noticed that as people get sicker they start to breathe faster. They start to breathe more in to the upper chest, and they have more noticeable breathing, as in you can hear their breathing more.
He asked the question, was it their sickness that was causing their fast and exaggerated breathing pattern?
Or was it their fast and exaggerated breathing, which was feeding back into their sickness?
He started getting his patients to slow down their breathing,
to breathe through the nose,
to breathe a smaller volume of air with each inhale,
and he noticed that many of them made quite significant improvements in their state of health.
It would be wrong to say that Buteyko cures your asthma,
as I will always have asthma for the rest of my life.
However, by regularly practising the Buteyko method,
I no longer get wheeziness or shortness of breath,
even when playing high intensity sports,
or am subjected to dust mites and other pollutants that used to trigger my asthma.
I am a coach of The Oxygen Advantage, which encompasses the Buteyko method,
and am able to help people with asthma issues,
so please do get in touch if you would like to know more.