Well, after many delays I am finally going to Australia in April to do the practical aspect of the Buteyko Breathing course. I have been so priveleged to study with Jennifer and Russell Stark, two of the very few Western practitioners to study with Alexandrei Stalmatsky and Dr. Buteyko himself. Dr. Buteyko personally approved the course that Russell and Jennifer teach, which is the purest method of Buteyko Breathing available.
The Starks pioneered Buteyko in Australia, New Zealand and then taught pactitioners from around the world, including Canada, UK, America and the Netherlands. Now, the Buteyko Method – as taught by the Buteyko Institute of Breathing and Health (BIBH) – will be available in South Africa from the end of May 2010. For more info see:
Hello again everyone
I wanted to share this newsletter from Jennifer Starke of the Buteyko Institute for Breathing and Health in Australia and New Zealand. Jennifer may be persuaded to come out to Cape Town next year and teach the practical component of the Buteyko Breathing method for asthma. The Buteyko course for health practitioners costs AU$4000.00, but this does not include travel and accomodation for the trainer, the costs of which can be shared by participants. The theory part can be completed via correspondence, and the practical must be observed and completed with her over ten days, observing how she works with patients. We would like to set up a free “clinic” for a minimum of 20 asthma sufferers, to teach them to control their asthma with minimal use of drugs. The Buteyko Method has been clinically trialed in several double-blind placebo trials, in the UK, Australia and NZ. The results were astounding. Over 90% reduced their intake of broncho-dilators and over 40% reduced their intake of steroid preventors. Buteyko is not an “alternative” treatment which insists that asthma sufferers go without medication. It is an empowering tool to help asthma sufferers to better control symptoms, thereby reducing their reliance on medication. Jennifer needs ten people to commit to doing the course, before she can come to SA. Let me know if you are interested: clickholistic @ gmail.com
Better Breathing = Better Health
By Jennifer Stark
– The Cures that Kill?
– The Asthma – Sleep Apnoea Link
– Introduce Yourself to Buteyko
– The Buteyko View-point on Food
– Buteyko Practitioner Training in Australia, North America and the UK
– Refresher Courses
– Buteyko Tip of the Season
The claim that 80% of asthma-related deaths are due to the regular use of bronchodilators is a serious charge made by Cornell, Stanford researchers lead by Shelley and Edwin Salpeter. The research team states that the prime culprits are long-acting bronchodilators, such as Serevent and Oxis (Oxese). And even when combined with the steroids Flixotide (Flovent) or Pulmicort to form Seretide (Advair) or Symbicort, these drugs are still thought to be potentially dangerous.
So much so that in North America the Food Drug Adminstration (FDA) has listed them with a “black box warning”, which is the strongest warning that can be applied without banning the drug altogether. Because of this strong warning, in the USA it is rare to find people using more than one puff of these medications more than once a day. In Australia and New Zealand however, this is certainly not the case as people are regularly prescribed two puffs twice a day as if our asthmatic people are somehow different to their US counterparts.
It is not that long ago that people were dying in large numbers from asthma that was attributed to the over-use of bronchodilators in New Zealand. Let’s hope that this does not happen again. If you are prescribed a long-acting bronchodilator, with or without an inhaled steroid, perhaps you could ask your doctor how this is going to improve your health in the future.
We are frequently told by users of these medications that while they no longer have as many asthma symptoms, they are less able to physically perform as well as they used to. This means that walks they used to find easy are now more difficult, or they seem to have more fatigue today than they had two years ago. In many instances these people are now experiencing something that seldom was seen in conjunction with asthma: they are experiencing sleep apnoea.
The Asthma – Sleep Apnoea Link
“My daughter now enjoys a solid sleep, no more middle-of-the-night coughing and waking. She is also enjoying sports and participates more.” Carol
Asthma has long been linked to poor sleep, and may have a problem with snoring, but before long-acting bronchodilators came on the scene, the person would wake during the night needing to take a short-acting bronchodilator, such as Ventolin. So the snoring that dries and cools airways as well as causing a loss of carbon dioxide, would waken asthmatics as their breathing became laboured. With the use of long-acting bronchodilators, this airway irritation is more likely to be masked, and as the airways become increasingly cooled, and dried, they typically respond by increasing mucus production and swelling.
As the airway narrows more than usual, and because the throat muscles are extremely relaxed during sleep, it becomes increasingly likely that the airway will collapse due to the excessive upper-chest breathing that is linked to snoring. When the airway is sucked closed in Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, no air can enter or leave the lungs, making an ‘apnoea’ or abnormally long pause in breathing.
In addition to this, more carbon dioxide than usual is being exhaled as the person breathes faster or more forcefully than normally occurs during sleep, and when there is a minute but sudden drop in carbon dioxide, the breathing slows or even stops for a short period of time until the concentration gets back to its usual level. Both the collapsed airway and the passive pause in breathing raise carbon dioxide and lower oxygen, but because the person is asleep it takes a little while for the brain to realise that this is happening. After a time the person momentarily wakens long enough to re-start the breathing, but usually not long enough to register the wakening. This happens so many times a night that on waking, the person often feels more tired than before they went to bed. Day-time fatigue, headaches, brain fog and lacking of stamina are common symptoms of sleep apnoea.
“Before my Buteyko course, my husband woke me to stop snoring until he got to sleep. Now he wakes me to see if I am still alive and breathing. I can’t win!” Althea
Introduce Yourself to Buteyko
Instead this book that is easy to read without any prior knowledge of anatomy or biochemistry, sets out clearly how breathing can adversely affect your health, it explains the whys and wherefores of the Buteyko method, and it also gives you plenty of tips to make improvements. The book can be purchased through our website http://www.buteyko.co.nz/products/default.cfm for $25.
The Buteyko View-point on Food
Probably every Buteyko practitioner will bring a little of him or herself to this part of a Buteyko course because everyone has an opinion about diet and this opinion does not necessarily reflect what Professor Buteyko found in his research. When we had the privilege of spending time with Professor Buteyko, we found that he ate and drank in moderation almost anything that was placed on the table. The only thing that he seemed violently opposed to was chocolate. We received the understanding that this was to be considered the worst food in the world, and if your children have not eaten chocolate, then teach them that it is a punishment to do so in the hope that they will not develop a liking for it.
Moderation appears to be the key to any sensible diet because we all need sustenance but an over-supply is unnecessary. The Buteyko rule is easy to remember: eat when you are hungry and stop eating when you have had enough. This sounds simple enough, but social occasions often cause us to eat out of politeness; and boredom, stress, or fatigue often stimulate the appetite as a distraction.
Professor Buteyko found that eating cooked food increased the breathing more than eating raw food, and eating easily-digested proteins increased the breathing most of all. Perhaps then the best advice is that while trying to maintain a well-balanced diet, aim to eat these types of foods sparingly:
· When you are unwell
· Before bedtime
· When you feel a little wheezy or tight-chested
· Before an important meeting, such as a job interview or a presentation.
When hyperventilation is entrenched, the kidneys regularly dump bicarbonate ions, and when they do this they also excrete positive ions or cations, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphates. Without an adequate supply of these minerals, the body has a tough time maintaining good health, and so using unprocessed, fully mineralised sea salt in cooking is an easy way of replenishing them.
‘I not only learnt about my breathing, I learnt about my diet, my body and myself. The course is excellent. The things Russell told me in 5 days my doctor had failed to mention in years.” Hayley
Buteyko Practitioner Training in Australia, North America and the UK
Teaching the Buteyko method is challenging and interesting as well as enormously rewarding, and with approximately 15% of the entire world’s population having asthma and the same with a snoring problem, there are plenty of people who would benefit from learniing to have better breathing. If you want to find out about the training then email Jennifer on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about courses in Australia, North America and also in the UK.
“Since the first Buteyko course and refresher course, my asthma is under control without drugs. I breathe through my nose 80% of my waking hours. Buteyko is a new life for people who suffer from asthma”. Robert
Don’t be shy about emailing or phoning to say that you need a bit of help with your breathing. We offer free refresher courses to anyone who has attended our courses. If we don’t have a course running in the near future, then we will try to help you by email or by phone.
“Well worth doing. I had forgotten some of the exercises after a few months – was glad I could do a refresher.” Leila
Buteyko Tip of the Season
With people staying indoors for longer periods each day in the northern hemisphere due to cold weather, increased outbreaks of viruses are likely. Your nose is a wonderful germ-filter, so use it to breathe through as much as you can. Make it a personal challenge to breathe only through your nose for a whole day, and when you have mastered that, aim for a whole week. Those living in the southern hemisphere should remember that heat is a powerful breathing stimulant, so keep as cool as you can.
The Buteyko Works Team