I do not often write about alternative ways to treat people with serious diseases. Most of them are practically inactive, the effectiveness of a few of them have been confirmed by clinical studies. In these studies, patients assigned to one or more courses of treatment and to evaluate their effectiveness, and neither the patients nor the doctors who assess the effectiveness of treatment was not reported exactly which courses have been assigned.
Now, however, talking about an alternative method of treatment of asthma, which in our country is not yet received high marks from the official medicine (although it is taught in medical institutions in Russia, and it is covered by insurance in Australia), I go beyond my usually stringent scientific criteria for three reasons.
- Treatment — breathing technique, developed half a century ago — is harmless if practiced it properly trained under the guidance of a therapist.
- This method can help to improve health and enhance the lives of many people with asthma, and thus to save the budget.
- I saw firsthand how this method miraculously helped my friend David Wiebe, who had to give up the treatment of hormonal drugs, so he supported his own life.
Mr. Wiebe, 58, a resident of Woodstock, NY, the famous manufacturer of violins and cellos, 48 years old with severe asthma, for twenty years, was treated with bronchodilators (bronchodilators) and steroids. Ten years ago, Mr. Wiebe started having problems with his vision, which gradually worsened until finally he was diagnosed with macular degeneration, caused by taking hormones. Two leading experts in the field of retinal told that he should stop taking hormones, if it wants to preserve vision. He did so, and several times found himself in the intensive care unit with a severe attack of asthma, which made it on time to return to the reception of hormones to sustain life. No other methods of treatment, he did not help.
"After a couple of years, I could not live a normal life and work,— He admitted to me. — I was ready to lose vision and return to the hormones, just so I could breathe more easily. "
Treatment of 1950
Last spring, someone told him about the Buteyko method, shallow breathing technique developed in 1952 by Russian doctor Konstantin Buteyko. Mr. Wiebe watched a video on YouTube, and repeated data as directed.
"I felt relaxed and open up my airways,— He says — it was really impressive. Two members of exercises on the video were almost disabled due to asthma, they could not go to work. They both admitted that the exercises were tough, but allowed them a 75% reduction in medication. And their quality of life is gradually returning to normal. " Mr. Wiebe has to look and found the Buteyko Center USA in his hometown of Woodstock. This is a newly created official North American representative Buteyko Clinic in Moscow.
"I have come to the Centre without much hope — recalls Mr. Wiebe — within 24 hours, I use the inhaler more than 20 times. If I was exposed to some stimulus or allergen, it could be a threat to life, and I had to go back again to the hormonal drugs to escape from death. It was horrible. "
However, after three months of training and supporting classes for shallow breathing technique, he said: "I use an inhaler no more than once a day and do not take drugs, just do breathing exercises."
Mr. Wiebe does not say that he is fully recovered, although believes that this can happen, if it will continue to do the exercises regularly. He says: "The level of my life has grown beyond all expectations. This is amazing. As more and more people should know about this method. "
Usually during an asthma attack, people start to panic and breathe quickly and as deeply as you exhale more and more carbon dioxide. Respiratory rate is controlled not by the level of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood, regulating the acid-base level of blood.
Dr. Buteyko found that hyperventilation — too frequent and deep breathing — can be a major cause of asthma, degrades the condition of the patients, due to the fact that the level of carbon dioxide in the blood is reduced so much that the airways are compressed in order to prevent further loss.*) — Note below
It may seem that this method is contrary to common sense: the Buteyko Method to people who suffocate or are under severe stress, do not need to breathe deeply and shallowly and slowly through the nose, breaking the vicious circle of sharp quick breaths, airway compression and suffocation.
I was intrigued by method shallow breathing, because I found his favor at the time of their exercise in the pool. I noticed that swimmers who, during each thrust made a deep breath, paused to catch his breath after swimming a couple of tracks, while I was doing small breaths after a few strokes and could swim, tirelessly, endlessly.
Teachers of the Buteyko method in Woodstock — Sasha and Thomas Yakovlev-Fredricksen, were trained in Moscow by Dr. Andrey Novozhilova, Buteyko disciple. Learn from them consists of two courses of five sessions — one on breathing technique, the second — in the right way of life. Exercises on breathing techniques allow patients to gradually increase the time between breaths. Previously, Mr. Wiebe was forced to breathe every two seconds, and now he can, if necessary, at rest to breathe every 10 seconds.
The reaction may be different
Professional pulmonologist, medical doctor, Mr. Wiebe, Dr. Marie C. Lingat said to me: "Objective evidence that his breathing has improved since April, especially given the fact that it does not take hormones. Now the goal — to continue these improvements. The Buteyko method works for him, but that does not mean it will work for all patients with asthma. "
In the interview, Mrs. Yakovlev-Fredricksen said: "People do not realize that too much air can only damage the health. Almost every asthmatic breathes the mouth, making deep, rapid breaths that cause spasm of the bronchi — the apogee of asthma. "
"We teach people to breathe through the nose, even at a time when they are talking or sleeping, so as not to lose too much carbon dioxide," -she adds.
The Center in Woodstock patients are also taught how to cope with stress, how to engage in exercise, that does not lead to hyperventilation, and what kind of food excluded from the diet, as it can in some people provoke asthma attacks.
Teachers emphasize that patients are trained Buteyko Method, never offer to refuse medication. However, clinical studies in Australia and other countries have found that most patients could significantly reduce their dependence on drugs. Various experiments, including a study in the UK for 384 patients, found that on average, those patients who are regularly engaged by the method Buteyko, 90% decreases the need to use an inhaler and 50% — in reception hormones three to six months.
The British Thoracic Society has assigned a rating technique "B". This means that the improvement in the investigations did indeed occur due to the use of the Buteyko method, and not for any other reason. Perhaps the medical community and the American pharmaceutical companies it is time to explore the possibilities of this non-drug method.
For the record:
Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko(1923 — 2003), a physiologist, clinician, to m n., In 1952, made the discovery points to the leading role of excessive ventilation in the mechanism of asthma, hypertension and angina, and a number of other diseases. The first official testing of the Method was held in 1968
at the Research Institute of Pulmonology, Ministry of Health of the USSR, Leningrad (the head of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences of FG Corners) in the treatment of bronchial asthma in children. The positive effect was seen in 95% of patients. The second official testing took place in 1981 at the Department of Childhood Illness
Wide range of applications in the medical institutions of the USSR after the method has received the Order of the Ministry of Health of 30.04.1985, the arrangements for the introduction of the method of voluntary regulation of breathing depth in the treatment of asthma, but the collapse of the Soviet Union prevented the introduction of this unique non-drug technologies. To date, the medical community has developed a controversial opinion: from neutral to strongly negative. Name and opening KP Buteyko, as a scientist, is still hidden from the public's attention.
Buteyko Clinic in Moscow established in 1987 as a specialized health care facility. KP Buteyko was the director of the clinic until 2003
*) Note — Chief Physician Clinics Buteyko AE Novozhilova:
It should be noted that "airway compressed" when reduced levels of carbon dioxide in the lungs, and not in the blood. Hyperventilation causes a deficiency of carbon dioxide (CO2), particularly in the lungs themselves, which may cause a reversible overlap airways, ie asthma attack. Reversible bronchoconstriction in asthmatic patients adjustable CO2 content in the lungs, however development asthma attack crucial CO2 content is in the lungs themselves, rather than in blood.
The concentration of carbon dioxide in arterial blood can be different and do not have a decisive influence on the development of asthma attacks. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the lungs and blood may be the same, if not subjected to lung tissue changes (emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis), and the diffusion of respiratory gases between the lungs and the blood is stored in full, which happens more often with mild asthma. Moderate and severe asthma accompanied by partial destruction of the lung, breach gas exchange between the lungs and blood, that is the reason for the extremely low levels of CO2 in the lungs (as a consequence of chronic hyperventilation), and extremely high levels of CO2 in the blood (as a result of violation of gas exchange between blood and lungs).
Author: Jane Brody, United States
The New York Times November 3, 2009, Personal Health