In 2015 I did my Buteyko Breathing Technique practitioner training course in Galway with Patrick McKeown. What blew my mind was the number of trials internationally that have shown the efficacy of breathing re-education. My colleague Dr Alan Ruth has a comprehensive review of the literature on his website .
What is fact is that following the programme people with asthma are symptomatically better. What the trials do not show is that people are better able to manage their Asthma in the long term.
In my work in the hospice the multidisciplinary approach is, without a doubt, the approach that benefits the patient the most. I believe that bringing this approach to people with Asthma would make a difference. It is unbelievable and shocking that in this day and age that one person a week dies every week as a result of their Asthma. It is my mission to give people a chance. The most important thing is this programme does no harm.
According to The Asthma Society of Ireland
- 470,000 Irish people have asthma, including one in five children
- One Irish person dies every week as a result of their asthma – of these deaths, 90% are preventable
- Uncontrolled asthma is dangerous – every 26 minutes someone in Ireland visits an Emergency Department with asthma
- Asthma costs the state over €500 million per annum
- Children miss 12 days of school per year and adults miss 10 work days a year due to their asthma
- Ireland has the fourth highest prevalence of asthma in the world
- 3.13 days is the average length of stay with an asthma hospital admission
- 5000+ – the number of asthma admissions to hospital every year
In a recent article in The Irish Times the HSE note that there has been an increase in asthma related deaths, a fact that they are struggling to explain:
“Asthma deaths, 90 per cent of which are preventable, ranged from 46-50 per annum in the past. But in recent years they have jumped to about 70 deaths annually, according to respiratory physician Prof Pat Manning, HSE national clinical lead for asthma.
“We are not sure why this is happening. There is an increase in deaths in the younger population, which is a concern. Asthma deaths are something that shouldn’t happen,” said Prof Manning.”
I couldn’t agree more with Prof. Manning: asthma deaths are something that shouldn’t happen. Based on my experience and the work of my colleague Patrick McKeown and Buteyko Practitioners all over the world, I believe that practising the Buteyko Breathing Method could make a significant difference to asthma sufferers in the management of their condition.
Maintain healthy airways
I have outlined the principles of the Buteyko Breathing Method, the first being the importance of breathing through the nose. Even from the point of view of preventing infection, and/ or cleaning the air of inhaled allergens it is extremely important. For someone with reduced lung function, maintaining healthy airways, free of infection and irritants, is even more important.
In a 1988 study detailed in The Lancet, researchers found that their “findings imply that the resistance to expiration provided by the nose helps maintain lung volumes and so may indirectly determine arterial oxygenation”. In other words, breathing through your nose helps with maintaining a healthy lung volume. The Buteyko Breathing Method focuses on training people to breath through their nose to help reduce respiratory disorders. A 2013 review in The Nursing Times of Austin G (2013) Buteyko technique use to control asthma symptoms. (Nursing Times; 109: 16: 16-17.), including two case studies, underlines the importance of training in the Buteyko Breathing Method to help control asthma symptoms.
Learn how to use breathing and posture to manage asthma symptoms
My Buteyko Breathing Method programmes are individually tailored programmes that teach people, who suffer from a range of respiratory disorders, how to use nose breathing and posture to manage their symptoms. Through the practice of a range of exercises, a regimen is developed that suits the sufferer’s lifestyle and abilities.
I personally have assisted a number of people to regain their confidence in their breathing apparatus. I have taught them techniques to manage their condition and, armed with this knowledge and skill, their quality of life has improved.
If you would like to get in touch to find out more about how The Buteyko Breathing Method can help you please fill out the form below and I will be in touch.