I'm sorry you thought I was being rude Lucy. I do appreciate that the people who work and volunteer for the foundation are very dedicated and passionate about helping asthmatics. As my own experience proves, Buteyko is a viable cure for some asthmatics. Yet if you search for Buteyko on the NZ Asthma Foundation website, you get zero results. Why would they ignore it? Surely there's room there to give information for people who want to try a drug-free approach.
Thank you for all the responses to my post about Buteyko. I would like to make the point that I persevered with the breathing exercises for two years before I felt that I had properly "retrained" my breathing, and so I was then able to stop the exercises. In both the links and the content of the responses, there was a common theme of people expecting permanent changes after a few weeks or months. I guess it comes down to how "angry" you are with your asthma - I remember I was pretty ropeable at the time! So my experience is a personal one, but as a long-time Public Address reader, I felt it was about time I contribute to something I feel passionate about. I would like to encourage anyone considering trying the technique to give it a go, and to stick with it. I've been asthma-drug-free and asthma-symptom-free for the last 19 years, and it has changed my life in many more ways than I've described in my posts here. All the best to asthma sufferers out there, and thanks Hilary Stace for raising the asthma issue.
I had serious asthma my whole life up until the age of 31 (I'm 50 now). I was on a series of preventative medication, including steroids, plus I also used Ventolin a lot to control my wheezing. I would go into hospital occasionally to go on oxygen when my Ventolin could no longer control my wheezing. My asthma used to really piss me off, so I tried all sorts of alternative remedies to improve my health, including herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and acupuncture. Nothing made a difference.
But then I read about the Buteyko breathing method in a book called "Every Breath You Take" by Paul J. Ameisen. Ignoring the "consult your doctor first" warnings, I started the breathing exercises described in the book, and overnight my asthma disappeared. I stopped all my medication too. The exercises required a stopwatch and took about half an hour, twice a day. After a couple of years, I stopped doing the exercises, and have never had any asthma since.
In a nutshell, the Buteyko theory says that asthma is caused by an allergy to over-breathing - breathing too much air in and out. The symptom of wheezing is the body's reaction to try to slow the breathing down. The Buteyko breathing exercises retrain your respiratory system to breathe less, so your body doesn't need to react. Most people over-breathe, but only asthmatics have an allergy to it.
So after a while I started to wonder why this Buteyko breathing method isn't officially and vigorously promoted as a viable therapy by the NZ Asthma Foundation. It was then that I realised why - when I was on asthma medication I worked out it was costing the taxpayer $3000 a year for just me (just look at the subsidy amount on your medication label) - and that was 20 years ago. Worldwide, the asthma industry is worth billions to pharmaceutical companies. So why would they ever want to promote a therapy that fixes the condition once and for all, when you can keep making money out of just treating the symptoms instead of the cause. And in case you didn't know, the NZ Asthma Foundation gets a lot of its money from those same pharmaceutical companies.