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Q. As an asthmatic what can I expect from the method?

A. From the first days of training, patients start to use Buteyko techniques to control symptoms such as tightness and wheezing instead of using symptomatic bronchodilators. In a few days, the frequency and severity of symptoms such as tightness and mucous secretion will decrease substantially. With time, asthmatics may overcome all symptoms and hence no longer require any symptomatic medication. If you are taking preventative medication you should keep taking it for some time. When you have no symptoms and your condition is stable you can discuss the amount of preventative medication with your physician. The majority of asthmatics are able to significantly reduce of their intake of medication and improve your sleep, endurance etc..

Q. I have a long history of asthma, will I be able to benefit from the method?

A. If your condition is chronic and severe you will be able to improve, nevertheless. You will also be able to decrease your medication intake substantially and see an improvement in your quality of life. The method requires perseverance and discipline-the more effort you put into it the more you get out of it. We found that sometimes people with chronic asthma are even more determined and often achieve better results than mild asthmatics.

Q. How long does it take to see some results from the method?

A. Your progress depends on your efforts and condition. As soon as you start practicing the method you can feel its benefits regardless of your condition. If your asthma is not severe, it might take less than one week to get rid of bronchodilators completely. Problems with the sinuses require more time and you might need up to 1-2 months of practicing to be able to breathe through your nose all the time.

Q. Has the method been clinically tested and approved?

Q. I believe the more I breathe the better for me, as I am getting more oxygen. You say the opposite!

A. Traditionally it is thought that deep breathing is good since it provides the most oxygen. However many people are unaware that there needs to be a balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the body. When you breathe normally haemoglobin (the major carrier of oxygen in the body) is saturated with oxygen by 96-98%. But when you breathe more you can increase oxygen saturation negligibly and but lose carbon dioxide which is essential for oxygen utilisation. If the level of carbon dioxide in the body drops, haemoglobin does not release oxygen to the tissues (this is known as the Bohr effect). Hence, the more you breathe the less oxygen is passed to the tissues of your body.

Q. You say that breathing through the nose is crucial for proper respiration, but I find this impossible as my nose is constantly blocked.

A. There is an exercise to unblock the nose. First breath out and hold your breath until you feel that the air passage in your nose is opening. Resume your breathing, with each inhalation and exhalation as light as possible. If you breathe gently your nose will be clear. If you find your nose is still blocked, try holding your breathing one more time. Remember to hold you breath after exhalation, and to breathe gently after holding your breath, otherwise your nose will become blocked again.

Q. Can children learn the method?

A. The earlier we learn how to breathe correctly and the less medication we take, the better. Children from age 3 can learn the method and tend to pick it up very quickly. During the initial stage parents should arrange time for their children to do breathing exercises regularly and supervise them. The method will also enable parents to understand the pattern of their child's asthma and how to do respond when they notice symptoms.

Q. Is Buteyko a cure for asthma?

A. Buteyko is conditional cure for asthma. The majority of people who practice the method regularly are able to change their breathing pattern and thus experience no symptoms. Some people use the method as a substitute of their symptomatic medication.

Q. What other conditions may be treated by the Buteyko method?

A. Patients with emphysema, who generally take the same drugs as asthmatics, will quickly find they have more control over their symptoms. Patients with with allergies, bronchitis, coughs and snoring also find their symptoms are first reduced then removed with practice. Patients also experience an increase in vigour, concentration and improved sleeping patterns. Breathing is fundamental to our physical being and it's correction can improve a whole range of symptoms and conditions.