Asthma is extremely common, affecting more than five million people in the UK alone.
The symptoms of wheezing, breathlessness, tight chest, coughing, inability to take a good breath can be very frightening. According to the National Office of Statistics, there were more than 1,400 asthma deaths in the UK in 2018, an increase of 8% compared with 2017.
“I cannot remember having such a good night’s sleep and have not needed my reliever inhaler since doing the course” Asthma, High Peak.
Learning Buteyko helps to normalise the breathing pattern and reverse the chronic hyperventilation. Better breathing leads to better symptom control with less medication so Buteyko is a natural, drug-free treatment. When people learn to control their asthma with the simple breathing exercises, they learn not to fear asthma. Wheezing, coughing, breathlessness, tight chest become a thing of the past, or at least much more easily controlled. Learning Buteyko breathing can help you stop coughing naturally, and stop coughing at night. Medications are not very effective against cough, but breathing retraining helps get rid of cough. Breathing retraining is also very useful if you want to know how to get rid of phlegm, or how to get rid of a stuffy nose. You can unblock your nose within minutes, but it takes longer to learn to keep it unblocked!
“My daughter used to wake up coughing every morning with her asthma. This stopped a few days into her Buteyko Breathing Method course” Asthma, Handforth.
The Buteyko method is a natural asthma remedy, uses no drugs, herbs machines or gadgets, and is the only proven complementary method for natural asthma control. It has been listed in the UK Asthma guidelines since 2008 (British Thoracic Society & Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN). British Guideline on the Management of Asthma. Guideline No. 101. Edinburgh:SIGN; 2008). The current Guideline is 2019.
A new government study (National Institutes of Health) in the USA has endorsed the use of Buteyko breathing for Asthma:
Breathing Exercises and/or Retraining Techniques in the Treatment of Asthma: Comparative Effectiveness
So if you are looking for natural asthma remedies, the Buteyko Breathing method is proven to be safe and effective, and is listed in the guidelines.
Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinus cavities (with or without infection). Symptoms can include pain, headache, swelling, excessive mucus and postnasal drip. Suffered often have disturbed sleep. Symptoms tend to become chronic and more frequent over time.
Over-breathing, or hyperventilation, lowers the carbon dioxide level within the blood and the respiratory system including the nasal/sinus passages. A low carbon dioxide environment stimulates mast cells to release greater amounts of histamine, an inflammatory agent, in response to contact with allergens. In short, the body over-reacts and the nasal and sinus regions become swollen and inflamed. Secondary infections are common in the warm moist environment.
Allergies such as hay fever (usually seasonal, grass pollen) and pet allergies, are also common. Many people have sinus problems with blocked or running noses and sneezing.
“The practical benefits include no sneezing and no hay fever symptoms even when we walk through fields of cut hay and flowering grasses” hay fever, High Peak
What people with these conditions have in common is that they breathe more air than healthy people; that is they hyperventilate.
Breathing re-training with the Buteyko method can normalise breathing and reduce symptoms. Courses are individually designed for your safety. Children and adults are usually taught in separate classes as their breathing exercises are different.
Other respiratory conditions
Conditions such as emphysema, Bronchiectasis and chronic bronchitis also have some of the same symptoms as asthma. Sometimes it is better to look at symptoms rather than the diagnosis of a condition, which could be given different diagnoses by different health care professionals. Some of symptoms in these chronic conditions respond well to Buteyko, especially if there is excess mucus/phlegm production. However, whereas the Buteyko breathing method exercises can soon be reduced for someone with asthma, people with conditions such as emphysema are likely to need to continue with their daily exercises long-term to benefit from the Buteyko breathing normalisation.
Chronic cough is difficult to control with medication but correcting breathing can reduce irritation and calm a cough.