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What is Asthma? – Big Business or Medical Confusion?
“What is Asthma?”This question was posed in the Lancet over twelve years ago (Vol. 368, No. 9537, 26/8/06) and demonstrated there is no consensus to the answer. To add to the confusion recent research suggested that up to 40% of those diagnosed with asthma had been wrongly diagnosed and should not be on the medication prescribed. (Middlemore & Green Hospitals March 25th 2007)
This must seem confusing for all those suffering the many symptoms that constitute the diagnosis of asthma. The wheeze, the breathlessness, the high mucus production, the acute allergic reaction to many triggers, the irritating cough, the low energy, the disturbed sleep that all appear to be relieved with prescribed asthma medication. Surely with this array of symptoms we can rely on an accurate diagnosis of the condition?
There is no doubt that modern medication helps manage the symptoms associated with asthma, but what if the underlying cause of asthma symptoms were something as simple as dysfunctional breathing?
This was exactly the conclusion that Dr Konstantin Buteyko came to after forty years of careful research. He discovered that every asthmatic over-breathed and that their asthma attacks occurred when their over-breathing was excessive. He discovered that if patients were taught to normalize their breathing and make minor adjustments to their lifestyle, their symptoms would disappear and would no longer need medication. His teaching came to the West initially in Australia in the 1980’s and has spread across the world since then, much to the relief of hundreds of thousands of asthma sufferers who now either need no medication or far less than they used to need. But here lies the major problem. The medical profession rightly demanded more research papers to verify the Professor’s findings and the experiences of all those happy asthma sufferers who had supposedly benefitted from their breath training.
In fact, all the clinical trials of the Buteyko Method for the support of asthma patients have demonstrated up to 90% reduction in the need for reliever medication and up to 50% reduction of steroids, reduced coughing, reduced wheezing and less breathlessness along with improved sleep and general quality of life. However additional large trials would need financing and the usual source of funding of clinical trials is from the drug companies who benefit from the sales of asthma drugs, often around twenty percent of their earnings come from this product group. They reasonably have not offered to fund such trials, as the confirmation of this relationship would severely hit their profits and their first responsibility, as for any company, is to their shareholders.
You may want to see two videos on my website: entitled “Understanding Asthma“ and “Understanding Asthma- A Different Viewpoint” that compare these two views of the origins of asthma.
Meanwhile, millions of people are being treated with ever-increasing doses of asthma drugs with poor results. The UK is one of the worst countries in Europe for asthma treatment according to the latest reports. Why should this be? There are many reasons besides the fundamental one of treating symptoms rather than the root cause. Inappropriate prescription of asthma drugs, inadequate A&E support, poor compliance of patients with their asthma management programs and excessive reliance on medication rather than greater education and training of asthma sufferers have all led to the current situation.
The reason for our failures is being put down to inadequate funding, but more cash is not always the panacea.
If every asthma nurse were to teach their patients the significance of breath control based on the clinically proven Buteyko Method there would be two major outcomes; the asthma drugs bill for the NHS would be reduced by half and patients would be better able to manage their asthma with less reliance on drugs and enjoy a better quality of life.
The cost of the additional training would be offset within months by the ensuing savings on drugs, doctors’ appointments and reduced A&E admissions. Two doctors who referred a number of their asthma patients for Buteyko Training found they were saving thousands of pounds on drug prescription and medical intervention; the cost of training was quickly offset by the savings in the first year and since the training is a one-off, the savings continued into the future.
At present Buteyko, Training is only available from private centres but considering a course may cost less than the servicing of your car and could transform your life, this ought not to be a barrier to asthmatics paying themselves. My Skype Training Course is available anywhere in the world and costs £150, it is based on five sessions over three weeks. Details are available on my website: HERE
You don't want to pay anything to learn the Buteyko Method? Why not try to learn how on your own to start with?
Now go to my **FREE podcast "Escape from Asthma" **HERE

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