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Asthma - Breath Easy Freely

Thursday, 9 November 2006


There are 475, 000 people in Ireland suffering with asthma. But did you know that just breathing correctly can dramatically improve the condition. We find out how.

Patrick McKeown, author of 'Asthma Free Naturally' will be talking about how important and easy it can be for people with asthma to dramatically improve their condition by simply learning to breathe correctly. i.e. not through their mouth and Richard Moran, our case study today is living proof that this technique works.

Patrick's story
Patrick Mc Keown was a chronic asthmatic for most of his life. When he applied the Buteyko Breathing Method, he freed himself from his asthma condition. As a qualified Buteyko practitioner, he is now one of just a few Western experts accredited and authorized by the late Professor Konstantin Buteyko to teach his method. His renowned Asthma Care clinics are based in Ireland.  He has written three books including Asthma Free naturally which is the best selling asthma book in the UK and Ireland for the past year. (published by Harper Collins) His second book is called Close Your Mouth- this is also a very popular book- it is more simple than Asthma Free.  His third book is a children's book.

What is asthma
The causes of asthma are widely unknown. Its symptoms include coughing, wheezing, listlessness and tightness of the chest. It can affect people of all ages although babies tend not to be diagnosed before they reach age 2. Likely contributions to asthma are hyperventilation and overbreathing. Clinically, overbreathing is known as hyperventilation which is breathing more air than the body needs. The standard volume of normal breathing for a healthy adult is three to six litres of air per minute. Scientific research and trials conducted by Professor Buteyko demonstrated that people with asthma breathe a volume of ten to twenty liters per minute between attacks, and over twenty liters during an attack.

The work of Professor Konstantin Buteyko
The Buteyko method is a programme developed by Russian Respiratory professor Konstantin Buteyko to recondition patients' breathing volume to normal levels. He noticed that people with the worst forms of asthma were the ones that were breathing more and the ones that were breathing through their mouth. The Buteyko Method is used in the treatment of up to one hundred diseases including asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, emphysema, diabetes and Raynaud's Syndrome.
His programme involves
1. Becoming aware of the right and wrong way to breathe.
2. Unblocking the nose using a simple technique.
3. Switching from mouth to nasal breathing permanently.
4. Learning exercises to recorrect breathing volume.
5. Adopting small lifestyle changes necessary to assist with this, thus commencing on the road to full recovery.
The importance of nasal breathing and how to unblock the nose naturally.
Patrick recommends repeating this exercise a few times a day, to unblock the nose. A reduction in carbon dioxide levels causes an increase in mucus secretion and constriction of the airways. The nose forms part of the air system and is usually the first part to become constricted. The exercise is based on temporarily increasing co2 levels in the blood which will in turn open nasal passages.
The results when breathing is corrected
- Symptoms of asthma should be down by 50 percent in two weeks.
- Use of medicine should be reduced by 50 percent within 3-6 months.
- Three different trials have been undertaken that result in the above.
Lifestyle guidelines such as diet and exercise  
Statistically, fitness levels are lower for people who have asthma. They tend not to be as keen to exercise as they are paranoid of getting an attack.
They should however exercise as doing it within their limits is recommended to exercise their lungs.
Processed foods are known to increase your breathing so that will make you more susceptible to asthma. A good diet will help manage your asthma.
Also avoid stress and make sure your bedroom is cool.

Richard Moran - Case Study (18 years)
Richard from Dundalk had asthma from a very young age (a few months). When he was younger he used to have a steroid nebulator for 8 minutes twice a day for a year and a half (which is like a hospital mask). He also used inhalers twice a day at least and took tablets. He missed a lot of school as a child and suffered lots of attacks. He was in the hospital every 4/5 weeks. He could never participate in sports and asthma impacted his life severely.

Two years ago, he heard about Patrick McKeown. Richard was surprised by Patricks method. He didn't recommend ANY medication but instead thought him how to CLOSE HIS MOUTH and breathe through his nose. It was that simple. Within a week, Richard noticed a huge difference in his condition. His energy levels soared. He made other lifestyle changes at his recommendation such as cutting out caffeine, eating plenty of green vegetables and exercising.

Richard now participates regularly in sports. He doesn't use his inhalers at all. His life has been completely turned around. His house is at the top of a hill. A couple of years ago he could barely walk up it without panting, huffing and worrying about an attack. These days he can run up it!

For more information
His books available to buy from good book stores.
Asthma Free Naturally -  €14.00
Close Your Mouth - €12.99

His practice is called 'Asthma Care Ireland'
Contact: 1800 931 935