Sunday, August 22, 2010

Freedom from Asthma and medication

| Sunday, August 22, 2010 | 2 comments

Asthma is of the greatest personal interest to me. This is as a result of helplessly seeing my mother suffer excruciatingly from Asthma for 36 years. She finally died at the age of 68. My contention is that the Asthma medication took many years from her life. I would like to share with you and your subscribers a very simple and effective Asthma treatment that gives permanent results, naturally and cost effectively.
The family connection with asthma does not stop here. The first inhaler was developed, invented or created by a relative of mine. Jim Ryan the founded of Rybar Laboratories. Jim was young farmer who suffered from Asthma. In the late 1930s he was on medication which came from Germany. The war came in 1939 and his supply of medication was cut off. In desperation he went to the UK by ship a hazardous journey in those days. He had a chemical analyst in London analysis the contents of his German medication. He then asked if they could make up a years supply for him. On returning to Tipperary in Ireland he told his Asthmatic friends of his good fortune. One after another they asked him for some. His generous nature soon had him on his way back to London for another supply.
He returned this time with a large supply. He explained to his asthmatic friends that the London trip was expensive and perilous so they would have to pay for a supply of medication. They were desperate for relief and soon he had a nice little business in operation.

One day while taking his medication he noticed his mother applying perfume with an atomiser. He thought I am taking this stuff by spoon and very little of it is going where asthma is affecting me. On request his mother gave him a spare atomiser. He tried his Asthma Medication in the perfume atomiser. It didn't work because it was two thick. He boiled some foxgloves (Digitalis) and used the liquid to thin the medication until he could spray it with the atomiser.
To the best of my knowledge this was the world's first Asthma inhaler. He modified the atomiser and patented his new inhaler. He had his chemist find a better way to thin his medication. He then patented this new substance. Eventually he bought out the chemical analysts business and Rybar Laboratories was born. When I visited Rybar Laboratories in Kent in the early 1970s by then it was a huge complex. An Asthma monster had grown beyond all expectations. Ryan did the best he could in a time of war and poverty. Has mankind not matured enough since then in the sense of new information and materials to open a new and more efficient page in the treatment of asthma?
In 1997 I inadvertently opened a letter to a previous occupant of my home. It was an invitation to bring his 9 year old Asthmatic Daughter for a treatment which it claimed could eliminate her Asthma symptoms and her need for medication. "What kind of quackery is this" I thought. I was livid knowing there was no relief for asthma as a result of searching for years on behalf of my long suffering mother. Christopher Drake from Australia was visiting Ireland to work with Asthma patients with something he called "The Buteyko Method." I felt that he was preying on the misery of asthmatics.
I picked up the phone and called him. A heated exchange took place. I told him to take himself and his quackery back to Australia. His reply was a cool challenge. He said "Come and observe my workshop where I will be treating a number of Asthmatics. If you don't see their breathing normalise in less than a week and their need for medication disappear I will go back to Australia but if you see all that I claim coming true then I challenge you to become my student and learn the method. I took the challenge and I saw miracles taking place before my eyes. How I imagined what the quality of my mothers life could have been with this treatment. The result is I became a Buteyko Practitioner to add a new and exciting addition to my Hypnotherapy practice. I was going to cure the world of Asthma.
Christopher warned me that it was not going to be as easy as I thought. He said "You have no idea of the resistance you will encounter. In the mid 1990s a highly publicised TV presentation of the Buteyko miraculous relief from Asthma was watched by a record 38 million UK viewers. A team of 6 Buteyko Practitioners manned the phones to answer the resulting calls. The results were dismal. They got very few calls. The world of asthma brainwashed by medical orthodoxy was not ready to embrace this medication free treatment. Christopher said this would be a long slow process and so it proved to be.
It was easy to deal with the Asthma. It was very difficult to deal with the prevailing beliefs about it. There is a lot of secondary gain, fear and dependence on medication that needs to be overcome by educating Asthmatics. The competition has had a head start with all the years of medication together with the power of the pharmaceutical and medical establishments. It takes a few seconds to write a prescription. It takes hours of work to teach the Buteyko Method. Guess which one the doctors will opt for every time?
Although I have treated thousands of clients for a wide variety of reasons only a small minority of them are asthmatics. However I have seen the most dramatic changes in the quality of their lives. One example is the story of Amy. (Not her real name) Amy's mother brought her 13 year old daughter whose Asthma was causing her to miss a lot of school as well as having to contemplate giving up her favourite pursuit. She was a champion Irish dancer. Amy came for 6 sessions during which I taught her how to control and normalise her breathing with the Buteyko Method. Her transformation was dramatic. Soon she was breathing normally and was free of all medication. I kept in touch with her mother over the years. There were no relapses. She remains completely asthma free. She continued to be a champion Irish dancer and featured on a number of TV shows. Now at the age of 25 she runs her own successful Irish Dancing school. What would her life have been like if she had continued to be medication dependent asthmatic? Amy's story is not unique as virtually all of those I have treated in this way have had similar results.
The Buteyko method can be modified for a wide variety of reasons. We breathe more than we do anything else. Consequently breathing is the most important thing to do right. The following is a chapter from my forthcoming book "The Stress Buster" which describes the method in detail. It shows how it can be used to deal with a wide variety of common problems and disabilities.
Excerpt from "The Stress Buster" which will be available this fall.
Chapter 5 
Dealing with Physical and External sources of Stress
                                  De Stress Your Physiology                                                              
                                       De Stress Your Body
Incorrect Breathing                                              
The commonest source of stress:
What if you could voluntarily lower your pulse and blood pressure? What if you could apply physiological processes to stop your nervous system from becoming stressed and tired and from draining your energy? What if you could voluntarily stop anxiety or panic in its tracks every time? What if you could voluntarily control and deliver elevated levels of oxygen directly to the brain to improve your physical and mental capacity? What if you could wake up full of energy and enthusiasm every morning? What if you could increase your endurance hundreds of percent? What if you could control the efficiency of the functioning of your mind and body? These are a few of the refinements you can learn to engage in once you have mastered breathing control. How can you accomplish this?
The practical ability to control the breathing enables you to control the brain and the nervous system. You can maintain a state of relaxed calmness and a rock steady state of clarity of mind even in a crisis.
There is little awareness of the relationship between brain, mind and body in relation to breathing. We have already seen how brainwave frequencies have a profound impact on our lives. To successfully master the ability to maintain Alpha and lower brain waves long term it is necessary to control and optimise the quality of your breathing. Otherwise it is next to impossible to maintain Alpha for long or go much beyond it. Once you normalise and optimise your breathing with the exercises in this chapter you are well on the road to physical and mental excellence as well as freedom from stress.
 "The removal of outside stimuli and the suspension of the breath within the nostrils controls the mind, and the transcendentalist becomes free from desire, fear and anger, and the one who is always in this state is certainly liberated."                           Bhagavad-Gita
              Freedom from stress and suffering
No one who breathes within the optimal physiological norms experiences stress or mental problems. On the contrary, they are of an invariably relaxed disposition. Their mind is invariably clear and they are at peace. They can control their mind instinctively and effortlessly. Anyone can observe how the mind can excite breathing, but very few realise how breathing can excite or calm the mind. Those who breathe optimally have some interesting tendencies.

The Physical Characteristic of a Healthy Breather

  1. They don't suffer with any of the ‘diseases of civilisation'.
  2. Physically they tend to be lean, muscular and mobile.
  3. They eat sparingly and prefer simple and natural food
  4. They require less sleep, around four to six hours a day and wake more rested.
  5. They can relax easily and maintain states of relaxation with ease.
  6. Their level of energy is consistently high and their stamina remains significantly above average. They enjoy physical activity.
  7. Their posture tends to be naturally upright and elongated.

The mental characteristics are equally dramatic

  1. From a mental perspective, those who breathe optimally tend to be logical and calm.
  2. They are not given to paranoia, consuming anger, or greed.
  3. They can sustain long periods of intense concentration with little effort.
  4. They do not experience mood swings or hyperactivity.
  5. They input, process and retain information with ease.
  6. Their natural demeanour reflects calmness, self assurance, confidence and ease.
"Mind and breath have the same source. Hence breath is controlled when mind is controlled and mind, when breath is controlled. Breath is the gross form of the mind."       Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

The more stressed people become, the more they tend to hyperventilate, and the more they hyperventilate the more stressed they become. This becomes a vicious downward spiral going beyond stress and into anxiety, panic and depression.
Our body is an organism animated by mind and is not a machine or a mechanical device, but the state of our breathing determines our state of mind and vice versa. Consequently our breathing habits and our stress levels are directly interlinked.
Breathing is absolutely vital for our survival. Any disturbance to our breathing can profoundly affect our health and state of mind. Breathing starts from the moment of our birth and continues to the end of our life. During this process we inhale air which contains about 21% oxygen. We are told that as a result of our breathing our blood gets oxygenated and we exhale carbon dioxide as a waste gas but it is not as simple as that.
An average human breathes some 10 times per minute, 600 times per hour, or 14,400 times per day and 5,256,000 times per year. Some people's breathing rates are nearly treble that. Do you think the people who breathe 10 times per minute function at the same rate as those who breathe at 35 times per minute?
Less than 10% of people breathe within healthy normal breathing parameters. The medical norm for breathing established about a century ago is no longer the norm today. People breathe about twice as much or more air than people did 100 years ago. This is a disaster from a stress and general health perspective.

Death By Breath

We now have new conditions which have come about as a direct result of intolerable amounts of stress caused primarily by hyperventilative breathing being inflicted on our physical organism such as ‘Sudden Adult Death Syndrome'. When autopsies are conducted the cause of death is attributed to where the organism broke down. It will always break down at its weakest point, but hyperventilation is what created the level of stress that triggered the breakdown. We can live a relatively healthy life with those weaknesses if we learn to breathe properly. A similar occurrence takes place with the tragedy of ‘Cot Death Syndrome.' The real cause is Hyperventilative mouth breathing. No autopsy can accurately measure or detect the kind of breathing - and its effects - that was going on prior to death in either instance. Only when this is taken into account can tragedies such as these be prevented.

"The perfect man breathes as though he is not breathing". Lau Tzu, 604-521 B.C.

Since we breathe more than we do anything else, it stands to reason that how we breathe must have a profound effect on every aspect of our lives. This includes our stress levels. Yoga has recognised this fact from time immemorial. However, most modern yoga breathing that advocate deep breathing have little or nothing to do with healthy - stress free - breathing.
There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support the deep breathing for health myth. Hundreds of published studies have clearly shown that hyperventilation (or breathing more than the medical norm) reduces oxygen supply to the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, and all other vital organs. Hence, it is only people who are uneducated about breathing who say, ‘Take a deep breath to get more oxygen.'
                 The Physiology of Breathing

Let us look at breathing in a completely new – and very ancient - way from a stress perspective. Before we are born we live in a near perfect environment in our mother's womb. Therein you got 2% O2 per litre volume of blood and 8% CO2 the rest being primarily embryonic fluid.
Our first breath intake after birth dramatically changes to 21% O2 and 0.03% CO2.  No living organism could survive such a drastic atmospheric change. However we have lungs which are designed to convert that ratio back to something similar to what we experienced in the womb. Contrary to the popularly held belief, the lungs are not primarily for breathing in O2 and breathing out CO2. They are also storehouses for maintaining the vital life requiring levels of CO2 that we manufacture in our bodies for survival. There isn't enough CO2 in the atmosphere to keep us alive.                                                                                                                   

Not enough CO2 available in the atmosphere.

Contrary to the current popular pseudo scientific nonsense, there is not enough CO2 in our atmosphere to sustain human life. The body needs a minimum of 6% CO2 to sustain healthy life. If it drops too much below that level, stress builds up and the quality of life in general deteriorates. When it reaches a critical level we die.
When you breathe through your mouth it is like bypassing the carburettor or breather in a car. The mixture of fuel and oxygen is wrong and the result is the car will backfire or splutter and stop. In humans – when we bypass the nose and breathe through our mouth – the process is similar except we are much more resilient than cars and the body will compensate in many ways, but always with serious negative consequences to the brain and the body in general. The first of those symptoms is stress.
We breathe more than we eat, drink or sleep. Consequently, breathing is the most important of all processes for well-being, stress control, for general health and indeed for life itself.
People who habitually mouth breath are NOT functioning efficiently and cannot be in – or maintain – a state of optimum health. When the body does not have its appropriate amount of carbon dioxide, it cannot process oxygen efficiently and therefore the body doesn't get enough oxygen at the cellular level so at best sluggishness of every cell, every organ and every bodily system is the result.
Properly balanced gases in the body are essential to control stress levels, for health and for quality of life. The efficient functioning of the brain is dependent on proper breathing.
"The brain, by regulating breathing, controls its own excitability" Balestrino & Somjen, 1988.

When, due to inappropriate breathing CO2  levels fall below 6% an alarm message goes to the brain saying ‘help… help, body in distress CO2 reaching critically low levels – too low to sustain healthy life'.
Alarm is raised and the stress mechanism is immediately activated. This is a recurring theme experienced by habitual mouth breathers whose stress levels are being constantly triggered and maintained at critically low levels.
As a result constant messages are being sent to the brain triggering off alarm and stress reactions. This in its most extreme form gives rise to panic attacks. Asthma attacks are essentially the same thing. A lesser reaction would result in an anxiety attack, and a lesser degree still causes tightness and constriction in the chest and the breathing areas causing tension and stress. Generally when people talk of having stressful jobs or work it's more about how they perceive their work and how they are breathing rather than the intrinsic stress of the job.
How people process alarming information triggers hyperventilation breathing, which triggers stress/anxiety/panic. This could be related to stress thresholds, negative anchors, work, training, home life or virtually any activity.

                       Sleep & Stress

"Hyperventilation leads to spontaneous and asynchronous firing of cortical neurons".            Huttunen ET. Al. 1999.
When mouth breathing becomes dominant during sleep it gives rise to sleep apnoea. Consequently the body is flooded with adrenalin and cortisol, and the person wakes up gasping, frightened and disorientated and can't get back to sleep again. It's the equivalent of drinking 6 or more black coffees with 3 sugars in each cup. Their heart is thumping, the head is throbbing; adrenalin and cortisol are poisoning the system, and the toxic residue that is left behind puts pressure on the liver and other organs. The result is ‘Toxic Sleep Syndrome'. When arising in the morning the toxic body leaves the person feeling like they have a bad hangover. That is how and why so many people start the day in a state of stress even before they get going.

The Simple Solution

When the breathing is regularised by the simple process of placing a strip of surgical tape from the chin to the upper lip to keep the chin up and the mouth gently closed (not gagged) during sleep the person will breathe through the nose all night and the above reaction won't happen. It's also an effective way of dealing with snoring. Those who do this will have a restful rejuvenating sleep and wake up refreshed in the morning free of stress.


Regardless of what triggers a panic attack or phobic reaction (i.e. flying, enclosed spaces, animals etc.) unless the hyperventilation process takes place, it is physically impossible to trigger the mechanisms to create a panic attack or anxiety.
Hyperventilation causes the body to lose CO2 which sends a message to the neo-cortex which releases its gases to the body and then temporarily closes down, followed by more hyper-ventilation which depletes the released CO2 resulting in the midbrain closing down - by the same process - leaving the reptilian part of the brain dominant which continues to compensate for the deficit of CO2 by stimulating adrenalin production and constriction of the bronchi giving rise to distress and panic.
This is why the old principle of breathing into a brown paper bag works to alleviate a panic attack as it allows the person to breathe much needed CO2 back into the body, which would be otherwise depleted by hyperventilation.

Mouth Breathing causes Stress

Mouth breathers are always stressed or ill, all of the time. One of the primary symptoms of mouth breathing and CO2 imbalance in the body is what we call Depression. Because the old reptilian part of the brain lives in a black and white primitive state of fear and alertness it is limited to the flight/fight response to fear, anger, defensiveness and aggression. Depression is all of those, directed inward. The reptilian brain has no capacity to experience happiness, joy or real pleasure - other than the pleasure of overeating or over indulgences in alcohol or drugs.

Insomnia and Sleep Apnoea
 Mouth breathing is the primary cause of insomnia as it causes anxiety and hyperactivity and is the only cause of sleep apnoea because of the gases imbalance it causes in the body. Snoring is a symptom of nocturnal mouth breathing and leads to a condition called ‘Toxic Sleep Syndrome' where the person wakes up after an apparently full night's sleep feeling tired, exhausted, hung-over and even in pain. This condition - while being very common - has never been recognised or understood before I identified it.
Mouth breathing is also the cause of Reynaud's disease (cold extremities) because when the body is not properly oxygenated it withdraws blood from the extremities to give to the essential organs- hence Reynaud's disease. Up to 150 other diseases and conditions including asthma can be directly attributed to mouth breathing.
"Can you control your mind so that it never strays from the way of Tao? Can you control your breathing so that it is soft and gentle like a new born babe?"                        Lau Tzu
Breathing Practices For Excellent Health
For excellent health and stress free living breathe through the nose - gently engaging the diaphragm - throughout the day and night.
Learn to Breathe Properly
Become aware of your breathing and practice breathing gently through your nose at all times. A healthy breather should be able to breathe out through the nose and hold it out for 60 seconds. Do not attempt this yet as you will learn to do it properly shortly. The chart below shows the health levels people experience in relation to their ability to hold their out breath.
Number of seconds one can hold the out breath
Consequent state of health related to breathing patterns
60 seconds out
Optimum Health
50 seconds
  40 seconds 
Reasonable.                                     Stress begins
30 seconds                           
Sluggishness.               At this level a person
may get asthma and panic attacks
 20 seconds
Ill and poor physical health
10 seconds or less
Barely functioning / Seriously ill

Breathing Exercise to Control Stress
When you practice the following breathing techniques accurately and diligently – in three lots of each exercise time - by three times a day, you will quickly experience a great reduction of stress and its effects. Your thinking will become much clearer. You will sleep much better and generally feel more energised, healthy and happier. Physically you will experience a slowing rate of pulse, lowering of blood pressure and the reversal of chronic conditions and ailments. Enhanced energy and all over well-being become the norm. Once you get started you can expect positive results within a few days.
Breathing Exercise
This exercise should be done three times, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Repeat it (three times each session with a two minute minimum time of relaxed nose breathing between each exercise) three or more times as described below, again on an empty stomach. Just before meals, is the best and indeed the only time to do this unless you are fasting.
  1. Imagine there is a tiny feather dangling off the tip of  your nose
  2. Breathe very gently and slowly - in and out - through the nose (from the diaphragm) so gently as not to disturb this feather. If you place your hands on your stomach you will feel it moving when you are breathing from the diaphragm. Breathe like this very gently and slowly for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Now breathe out firmly but not forcefully - through the nose - with your mouth remaining firmly closed. Then at the end of the out breath immediately clasp your nose between your thumb and forefinger.
  4. Now immediately start counting the number of seconds - on a watch or clock - as you hold on to the extended out breath for as long as possible.
  5. When you really need to breathe in, remove your hand from your nose and hold it over your closed mouth and breathe in through your nose. Continue breathing through your nose until your breathing has normalised.
  6. Make sure you take note of how many seconds you held the out breath for.
  7. Continue breathing gently through your nose to regularise your breathing for two to five minutes.
  8. Repeat this process two more times (three times in total), aiming to further extend the out breath each time.
  9. Carry out this process three times or more per day before eating i.e. always on an empty stomach - until the extended out breath is consistently 60 seconds in length.
10. It becomes easier with practice.
Note that it's normal that when you get up to 40 seconds or so that the length of time you can hold the out breath may dip. This is because - at this stage - your body is detoxing and once you persist with the exercise together with constant nose breathing during the day and night, you will quickly recover and be able to reach and maintain an extended out hold of 60 seconds.
Practice breathing through the nose very gently for the rest of the day and night. This breathing exercise is a method of eliminating stress and enhancing the quality of your life in every way. Its a self generating way to optimise the oxygenation of every cell that takes the body from a state of stressed defence and disease of a struggling existence, to living joyfully simply by correcting and optimising the quality of what you do most – Breathing!
"Carbon dioxide is the basic nutrition of every life form of earth. It acts as the main regulator of all functions in the organism; it is the main internal environment of the organism; it is the vitamin of all vitamins."        Professor KP Buteyko
This (60 second out breath hold) can be achieved by almost anyone who applies themselves to mastering it. From a physical point of view the essence of stress control is breath control. Breathing and stress levels are inexorably linked. The cultivation of proper breathing can empower people to excel in all areas of life - by means of the simple and effective breath control method described here.
                       Bedtime Breathing
During sleep - for most people - the jaws relax and sag open. The result is mouth breathing. While everyone is aware of the consequences of poor or interrupted sleep, very few are aware that the main culprit is mouth breathing. Whether you think you are a mouth breather or not, do the following and if you notice a marked improvement in the quality of your rest and how you feel in the morning then you have been mouth breathing unknown to yourself. Unless you do it, you will never know how much better the quality of your sleep and your life can be.
Restful Quality Sleep
Tape your mouth closed with surgical tape before going to sleep. To do this comfortably, place a single strip of tape from the chin to the tip of the nose in a vertical position with the mouth gently closed. This is not about gagging you but about keeping your chin from sagging. Once the chin doesn't sag you will automatically breathe through your nose all night. This will insure you breathe through your nose as you sleep and as a result you will wake up rested and refreshed in the morning. Do not do this if you have consumed alcohol in case you asphyxiate during the night. Otherwise it is perfectly safe.
Physical Exercise / Gym Training
You must retrain your breathing to take full advantage of fitness and training exercises. Desist from all physical exercise / gym training until you can hold a 60 second extended out breath, and are nose breathing effortlessly and automatically throughout the day and night. Once you can maintain a 60 second out breath hold you can start training again with better results than ever before with your new breathing practice included
Train in the following way
This is a simple but powerful track exercise that should only be performed on grass. It will give you amazing results once you master it. It is simplicity itself.
  1. Warm up as normal breathing through nose only. Then rest and relax your breathing before continuing as follows: Breathe out fully as in the basic breathing exercise.
  2. While maintaining the out breath during the exercise – sprint as fast as is humanly possible for as long as you can maintain the out breath. (The same will apply to all other forms of exercise.)
  3. When you absolutely have to breathe, stop. Clamp your hand over your mouth and regularise your breathing through your nose as you did in the basic breathing exercise.
  4. Turn around, breathe out and sprint as in point 2 until you have to breathe again. Then stop and repeat point 3.
  5. Repeat the whole process a third time.
Repeat this process on alternative days no more than 3 times - on each round of exercise - for the 1st week, leaving one day free between exercises for total body recovery. Increase it to 4 repetitions per set of exercises on the second week, 5 repetitions on the 3rd week and so on until you are at 7 repetitions. Do not go beyond 7 repetitions. Maintain it at seven and endeavour to increase your distance and speed.
The same breathing regime can and must be applied for maximum benefit to all exercises in the gym. Otherwise you will undo all your good work. It will take a little time to become proficient with it, but I promise you it will be more than worth the effort.
Not only can efficient breathing minimise stress but it can also be used – by applying the above exercise - to achieve excellence in fitness, weight reduction, sleep improvement, general wellness and sports and athletic excellence. The benefits are endless. This is truly the breath of life.


Anonymous said...

wow need more and more energy to get loose this asthma....i think i have to get this post to my brother, nice share n also supporting ur blog with warm back pls

Andi Wong said...

My parents treat asthma using Indonesian traditional medicine is herbal medicine ... now been reduced recurrence of asthma.. :)

:)) ;)) ;;) :D ;) :p :(( :) :( :X =(( :-o :-/ :-* :| 8-} :)] ~x( :-t b-( :-L x( =))

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