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Disclaimers

This manual and the associated audio tape are general information
products only.
This information should be used only under consultation with a registered physician. Do not alter any medication or treatment without proper
medical advice.
Any liability to the author, publisher or agents for any impact on the
purchaser or other reader of the use or non-use of this information is expressly disclaimed.
There is no guarantee or promise that effects and relief, as proven with
personal training using this information in the past, will offer any future
benefit to users of this training.
The purchaser or other user of this information uses or does
not use it at their own risk.

Warnings
Changing your breathing can result in certain responses from your body.
Chapter 10 has a summary of what symptoms could possibly arise as the result of a
breathing change. Liability for any such effect lies with the user.

A Special Warning for Diabetics


Please be aware that this breathing training will cause a decrease in blood
sugar. This may cause any medication that is also taken [insulin or oral
hypoglycaemics] to reduce blood sugar levels to lower than recommended levels.
Should a diabetic undertake this training, it should be preceded by
consultations with your doctor/endocrinologist.
The frequency of blood tests should be increased and the symptoms of
hypoglycaemia [very low blood sugar which could cause coma] should be
reviewed. It is not recommended that diabetics follow this training without
supervision from an experienced Buteyko Instructor.
This Book is Copyright. Any unauthorised
use, copying, lending, or other transmission is forbidden.

CONTENTS

The Buteyko Method

Contents
FOREWARD

CHAPTER ONE
The Cause of Asthma
Evolution of the Atmosphere
Quick Review
Asthma Is Your Defense
CO2 is a Powerful Bronchodilator
How to Stop Coughing
Summary

CHAPTER TWO
How To Estimate Your Breathing Level
The Measurement Pause
Your Lungs Are Like the Carburetor On A Car

16

CHAPTER THREE
Your Nose Is For Breathing, Your Mouth Is For Eating
Dry Lungs
The Best Reason to Keep Your Mouth Closed

23

CHAPTER FOUR
Stopping Asthma The Simple Answer
The Drugs of Asthma
1. Relief Drugs
What Relief Drugs Are Actually Doing To You
Buteyko Strategy
2. Preventative Drugs
Strategy for Preventative Drugs
How To Use Buteyko To Stop An Asthma Attack

27

CHAPTER FIVE
Shallow Breathing To Tune Your Body
Definition of Shallow Breathing
Am I Doing It Properly?
The Everyday Training
Measure Your Progress
Record Your Progress

39

CONTENTS

The Buteyko Method

CHAPTER 6
Exercise Induced Asthma

46

CHAPTER 7
The Secret of Night Asthma

49

CHAPTER 8
The Effect of Diet On Your Breathing Health
The Need For Supplements

57

CHAPTER 9
The Link Between Asthma/Allergy
Attacks and Trigger Factors

62

CHAPTER 10
Clearing Reactions Coming Back To Normal

65

CHAPTER 11
What is depth of breathing
Childrens Asthma

67

CHAPTER 12
Asthma In Infants

89

CHAPTER 13
Emphysema

98

APPENDIX 1
Summary of Results of the Buteyko Clinical Trial

109

APPENDIX 2
The Importance of Carbon Dioxide
in Buteykos Theory

113

APPENDIX 3
Steroid Deficit in Asthma

118

APPENDIX 4
How To Wipe Your Nose
and Control Sneezing

122

AUTHORS NOTES

127

Foreword
Thank you and congratulations on taking the step of allowing yourself
to view a model of asthma that is different to that currently supported by the
vast majority of health professionals. The support is only lacking at this
time simply because doctors and health practitioners in general are unaware
of it.
This manual and tape provides an understanding of asthma that is
simple, easy to follow and implement. The basic material included can be
found in any good medical text. Nothing is suggested that is not completely logical. The only criticism that can be leveled against it is that it is
too simple. It is this simplicity which has caused hesitation in the minds of
the medical establishment, despite the clearly proven effectiveness of the
method. [See Appendix 1 for Clinical Trial Results.]
This manual is written for the person in the street, who for decades has
been patronized by the so-called medical experts. By the time you finish
reading this book, you will have a different understanding of asthma than
your specialist doctors. You will understand the simple cause of asthma,
and therefore will be looking for the drug-free relief that over 15,000 Australians have found.
This book is dedicated to Professor Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko who
has the genius to look at confusion, and draw out the simple truth.

CHAPTER 1

The Cause Of Asthma

The Cause Of Asthma

espite the vast array of reasons that people believe cause asthma,
there is only one. If this one cause is removed the list which
includes dust mites, dust mite droppings, dust, smoke, stress,
exercise, atmospheric changes, food, odours, and many more becomes
irrelevant.
Lets look logically at what happens when we get asthma. Asthma
appears to have many variations. Some people get tight, others wheezy,
or develop a cough, or perhaps just the sensation of restriction. The
actual symptoms can vary or even disappear and reappear later in life.
Many children start of with a cough [called bronchitis in the past], then later
develop tightness, and later get the cough back again.
Others will not develop any symptoms until later in life. People who
are otherwise in perfect health. The severity can vary from day to day, or
year to year.
Many people of all ages even appear to grow out of it, which is called
by the doctors a spontaneous remission. There has been no explanation
of how this can happen, until now. You are about to find out exactly how
people do grow out of asthma, even though these lucky ones do not know
how they did it themselves.
Buteyko is simply learning how to do this.

Asthma occurs because you have developed a breathing depth level


which is far in excess of the ideal, and your body uses defensive
measures to force you to breathe less. These defenses include causing
your airways to be restricted, and also clogging them up with sticky
mucus.

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The Cause Of Asthma

The cause of asthma actually comes to us from prehistoric times.


Follow through this story with me, as it will help understand why the
problem arises. This section seems outrageous to some, but just follow with
the simple explanation that it offers.
When we go far back into the past we find that the atmosphere has
changed greatly in the past millions of years. There used to be a very
different mix of gases in the air. The two gases we think about in terms of
breathing are oxygen [O2], and carbon dioxide [CO2].
Over many thousands of years the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere
has dropped from perhaps well over 40% to currently almost none. [It is
actually now close to 0.03%] At the same time the amount of oxygen [O2]
has increased from almost zero to around 21%.
Another Russian [with a similar name to Buteyko, called M.I. Budyko],
in 1977 showed from rock samples that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere
around 360 million years ago was 4.0%. I.e. over 10 times higher than it is
now. The greatly higher CO2 levels in the past were due to massive
volcanic action. Man was apparently not for several hundred million years
after this time.
The drop in CO2 has occurred because there has been an increasing
amount of plant life on earth. Remember that plants convert CO2 to O2, so
that the more plants there are, the more conversion of CO2 to O2 there is.
As the amount of plants on the earth doubled again and again, this
caused a slow but steady decrease in the percentage of CO2 in the air, and a
steady increase in the O2 percentage in the air. Remember that this story is
spread over hundreds of millions of years.
Despite what recent history may have suggested to you, there is no
doubt now that there are vastly more plants alive today on earth than there
was millions of years ago. This explains the percentage increase in O2 and
the decrease in CO2 over this time.

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The Cause Of Asthma

Graph of The Changes In


Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen Levels
Versus Evolution of the Atmosphere
Atmospheric
CO2
Atmospheric
Oxygen

Millions of years

During this very long interval with changes in the air occurring,
mankind had to develop a system which gave a constant internal chemical
balance. The human body cannot tolerate much change in its chemical
composition. The change in the air composition caused the body to evolve
a special organ to ensure the levels of these two gases stayed within a safe
range. This organ has allowed humans to thrive even as the atmosphere had
massive changes. This organ is obviously the lungs.
The logic of this role of the lungs is proven by the fact that despite the
level of CO2 in the air being almost zero, there is on average 6.5% CO2 in
the lungs. This means that one of the major roles of your lungs is to act as a
carbon dioxide trap. It is no longer a bellows with the goal to fill and
empty as fully as possible, but rather a gas mixing chamber.
A key point is there is almost no CO2 in the air that surrounds us, so
therefore the CO2 that is in your lungs has been trapped in! Whenever
your body burns energy, it uses up oxygen and produces carbon dioxide.
Your lungs are there to ensure that you do not lose too much carbon
dioxide. If you lose too much carbon dioxide from your body you will die.
So as you are sitting there quietly, you will be using up a little oxygen,
and producing a little carbon dioxide. If you were running around, lifting
things, doing heavy work, you would be using more energy and therefore
use more oxygen and produce more carbon dioxide. The single thing that
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The Cause Of Asthma

controls how much of that gas is let out, and how much is trapped in, is
your breathing rate and depth.
When you produce more CO2, your breathing will increase so that the
level in your body stays about the same. [This also allows more oxygen in.]
When you produce less CO2 [by burning less energy], your breathing will
be less, so that the level in your body stays about the same.
In reality it is normally your carbon dioxide levels that control your
breathing, not your oxygen levels. Oxygen levels will over-ride the
controls only if the oxygen levels get too low. I.e. if you are being
strangled, your oxygen levels take over your breathing controls.

Quick Review
We have learned that our breathing is controlled by our carbon dioxide
levels, not our oxygen levels. If the level of carbon dioxide in our bodies
gets either too high or too low, then we will perish. The levels are
maintained for us by our lungs and levels of breathing. If we produce more
CO2, we breathe more to release it. If we produce less, we breathe less.

This is nice and simple, but where is the problem that causes asthma?
There is a section of our brain called the respiratory centre which is
the control panel for keeping the CO2 level safe. It measures the amount of
CO2 in the system, and then gives directions on how much to breathe.
It is a little like the thermostat on an airconditioner. If the temperature
of your room rises, it causes the cooler to work harder. If the temperature
of the room falls, it causes the cooler to stop or the heater to start. The
temperature in the room is controlled by the thermostat. You can change
the thermostat and your room will go to a new temperature and be maintained there.
Your respiratory centre is like a breathostat. If the CO2 gets above
the setting on the breathostat, it tells you to breathe more. If the CO2 gets
too low, it will tell you to breathe less.
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Here is the vital point. You can also alter the setting on your
breathostat, just as with a thermostat. You can change the settings which
maintain the levels of CO2 in your body. [We will learn how later.]
The ideal level for your breathostat maintains the CO2 level in your
lungs at about 6.5%. [Note that is a different level to the CO2 level in your
blood.] A chronic asthmatic will have pushed their breathostat down much
lower, perhaps has low as 3.0%. This means that their body is in crises, as
the effect of this decrease affects every part of the body, and any further
loss of CO2 increases the problem.
With a low CO2 setting, the amount of breathing that occurs is always
much greater than with a normal setting. Remember this is because it is the
breathing level that the breathostat uses to keep the CO2 level where it
thinks it should be. The amount of air breathed by an asthmatic can be as
high as ten times as much as a non-asthmatic, and this will still feel like not
enough.

Asthma Is Your Defense


As the amount of air breathed gets greater and greater, the CO2 level
gets lower and lower. If it gets too low, death will follow. Some people
have the genetic ability to mount a defense against the loss of too much
CO2. The bodies of these people can recognize that CO2 is getting
dangerously low, and take actions to trap more in.
The best defense is to be able to simply restrict the airflow by causing
the airpipes to swell. As less air is able to pass through the pipe, more CO2
is trapped in. This is felt as the restriction or tightness of asthma.
Because it forces you to trap in more CO2 than your breathostat wants,
you will feel as if you are not breathing enough. This is why the usual
response to asthma is to try and get MORE air in. The problem is that the
more air you try to force in, the worse your defensive closure of the airpipes
is going to get.
During an asthma attack you are already breathing vastly more than you
need, but because your breathostat is maladjusted, it still feels like not
enough. This means that the natural response is to try and breathe even
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The Cause Of Asthma

more. This is exactly wrong, even though it feels right. Fighting to push
more air in and out will cause worsening of the condition, and will quickly
also result in a shortage of oxygen in the body as the pipes become more
and more closed. The shortage of oxygen will then over-ride the
breathostat, and will force the body to breathe even more deeply, making
the pipes close even further. This can result in respiratory arrest and death.
The only solution is to do whatever you must to survive the very severe
attack, and begin work to normalize your breathing as soon as you can to
avoid another one.
In a less severe attack, and where the asthmatic remains calm and
breathes less than they feel they want to, the attack will just subside. When
sufficient CO2 is trapped in for the person to be out danger, the swelling
will reduce and the airpipes open again.

What is Asthma?
The key point to remember is why your body is acting to restrict your
breathing? There is only one logical reason for your body to do this and
that is because the amount of air you were breathing was far more than
appropriate. This caused your CO2 levels to become life-threateningly low.
By reducing your breathing, you trap in more CO2 [that your body has
produced], and raise the level away from the danger zone.

In the past you may have been told that you had hyper-responsive
airways, but no one could tell you why you had this condition. Nor could it
be explained that if you had this condition, why did it sometimes go away,
and give you no symptoms.
Now you can easily explain it by looking at your breathing and CO2
levels.

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The Cause Of Asthma

Carbon Dioxide Itself Is


A Powerful Bronchodilator
Another way to think about asthma is that if I reached into my chest,
pulled out a decent length of airpipe, and put it into air that had low CO2, it
would constrict. The smooth muscle in the walls of the pipe would swell
and twist.
If I then put it into air with sufficiently high CO2 it would open fully.
The smooth muscle in the airpipe walls would stop swelling and twisting.
[I used to get severe asthma, now I dont. If I was to change my breathing
and lose all my CO2 again, I would see the return of my breathing
restriction [asthma]. If I then altered my breathing to trap in sufficient
CO2 again, the asthma would disappear again.] In the absence of CO2,
smooth muscle goes into spasm.
The other symptoms of asthma are similar in action to the bronchoconstriction [closed airpipes] discussed above. The other defensive action
of asthma is to cause an increased production of mucus. This increased
mucus secretion comes from the walls of the airpipes. [There are glands
there whose job is to produce mucus in class I call them mucus
factories.] As every good plumber knows, what happens to the airflow
when you pump sticky stuff into a pipe?
The pipe is clogged up, and the flow is reduced.

Key Point:
The Level of Carbon Dioxide Determines
How Much Mucus Is Produced.

The additional secretion from the glands [or mucus factories] in the
wall of the airpipes, is switched on by the lowered levels of CO2. The
mucus blocks the pipe, this reduces the airflow, which means more CO2 is
trapped in. When enough CO2 is trapped in, the mucus factories are
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The Cause Of Asthma

switched off, and mucus production stops. [You may have noticed that as
your asthma attack subsides there is often a little relieving cough as the
mucus that blocked your pipes is no longer needed and is released.]
It is almost ironic that bodys natural response to this defense is as
wrong as its defense against constriction. The natural thing to do when
you have extra mucus production is to cough. The slight tickle in the throat,
the clogged feeling in the chest both make you feel you need to hack this
sticky itchy goo out.
However, now that we know the only reason for the extra mucus is the
shortage of CO2 caused by breathing too much, we will recognize that the
breathing that comes with coughing will actually cause the mucus to get
worse, or at least to maintain the mucus production. i.e. the more we
cough, the more CO2 we lose, the more mucus we produce, the more we
cough, and so on. By trying to clear the mucus that is there, we will always
produce more than we clear. This is why many have had bronchitis for
many decades, despite the best drugs and physiotherapy available.

The More You Cough Deeply


To Clear Mucus,
The More Mucus You Create
Resist the urge to cough, trap in more CO2 to reduce the mucus
production, and your body will have no further need of the mucus
and will clear it for you.

Every person I have ever seen with a bronchitis cough has been able to
stop it within one day by not coughing [just let it tickle] plus reducing their
breathing as shown later in this program. Every single one of them also had
the concern, that if they did not clear the mucus they would clog up and
die. All of the specialists and therapists had told them this [or at least
implied it].

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The Cause Of Asthma

What they were not told is that your body has a very efficient garbage
removal system. There are very large numbers of cells called macrophages present in most part of your body, but particularly in your lungs. The
sole purpose of these cells is to devour any toxins, bacteria, or other
matter that should not be there. The only problem is that if you are
producing a massive amount of mucus because of your breathing, your
garbage system cannot keep up. When you reduce the mucus production, it
quickly catches up and most of the mucus will disappear without you
having to cough it up. [Of course, some will be released upwards.]
In practice what happens is that sometimes large gobs of mucus will
be released and come up by themselves to the back of your throat. A tiny
mouth closed cough will bring it to your mouth, where you can either spit
or swallow it. However, the vast majority will be broken down by special
garbage cells and released into the lymph system. It is common for some
mild diarrhoea to occur during this mucus-clearing time.

How To Stop Coughing


The key point here is that when you start to do this you may feel a little
uncomfortable. In the past when there was a slight tickle in your throat or a
feeling of lumpiness in your chest, you coughed and had short term relief.
Now you must use your willpower to not cough at all if possible. If you
absolutely must cough, you do one with your mouth closed. It is a bit like
throat clearing before speaking. The air is released only through your nose.
If there is some mucus right there, obviously do not allow yourself to
choke. The goal is to not allow any more CO2 to escape than necessary.
[Remember the more you cough, the more CO2 you release, the more
mucus you produce, the more you cough.]
Within a short time of not coughing, and practicing shallow breathing
[which we will learn later it simply traps more CO2 in.], you will notice
the tickle has gone.

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The Cause Of Asthma

A little story about this relates to my partners father. He at one time


was the caretaker of quarters for temporary accommodation for children.
He had a simple rule that said that No-one is allowed to be ill. He is a
caring old marshmallow, but could give the impression of a stern military
man. In their efforts to please him, the children would suppress their
asthmatic [at that time called bronchitis] cough. Within a short time even
the urge to cough would be gone, and the child would have seemingly
grown out of it.
Coughing is often a very simple and effective way to get affection and
attention for children. The mechanism is unconscious, but all they have to
do is increase their breathing or run around madly with uncontrolled
breathing, and the coughing or wheezing will start.
You may have seen children who become upset, carry on for a while,
and then develop a really excellent asthmatic attack. This is real asthma,
not psychosomatic, it can be dangerous and is often fatal.
There is a childrens instructional chapter that has been added to this
manual. The rules are simple. They are not allowed to cough [the dry
asthmatic cough], and must be very still and reduce their breathing just as
the adults learn to do. A very effective asthma stopper in children is be
very still, place their forefinger under their nose, and breathe in and out in
such small breaths that they can hardly feel the air from their nose on their
finger. [Breathe like a tiny little mouse] In a short time the attack will
abate.
Obviously, you must use common sense in an emergency, and follow
any medical regime outlined for the child. This technique should be learned
by the child in a non-emergency, and be used at the first sign of any
problems, to totally avoid the emergency situation.
In a large number of my personal cases, all that was required is an
explanation to the child of the cause of the problem, a short practice on
what to do if their throat gets tickley, and the general strict instructions to
Keep your mouth closed and Dont Cough. [Unless they are choking.]
This one session is often sufficient to stop all symptoms of asthma. How to
clear a blocked nose to allow nasal breathing is covered later.

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The Cause Of Asthma

Point Summary of the


Cause of Asthma
Our bodies use oxygen and produce carbon dioxide when we
consume energy. For our bodies to function we must have certain levels of
both oxygen and carbon dioxide. Just as with oxygen, if carbon dioxide
levels get too low we will die.
If the mechanism that controls our breathing level gets unbalanced, it
will cause us to breathe more than the amount that would keep our carbon
dioxide levels safe. Remember we breathe out carbon dioxide rich air, and
breathe in air that is poor in carbon dioxide. So the more we breathe, the
more carbon dioxide we release. If we release more than we produce
our level in the body drops. If it drops too far we will die.
To help stop this potentially fatal loss of CO2, some of us have the
ability to automatically restrict our breathing by having our airpipes either
constrict or be filled with mucus. Both of these will reduce the amount of
air we breathe, and therefore trap in more CO2. Your asthma is not a
disease, it is a defence against losing too much CO2 from breathing too
deeply.

An extra bonus comes from the realization that your nose, throat and
sinus cavity are part of your airways. If you experience a blockage or
excess mucus production in these areas, think why. If it occurred to you
that the cause of blocked, runny, itchy noses or congested sinus is the same
as asthma, you would be correct.
In fact if we consider asthma to be any response from your body which
will help reduce an excess loss of CO2 from the body, then hay fever, sinus,
post nasal drip, polyps are all forms of asthma. Think about snoring as
well. Your body is simply trying to help you breathe less.
The next section is learning a simple technique that will help you
estimate your own CO2 levels.

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CHAPTER 2

Estimating Your Breathing Level

How To Estimate Your


Own Breathing Level

n this section we are going to learn a simple technique which will allow
you to measure your breathing health any time you like for free. Before
we start with that, a brief story about breathing.

The information in this manual is from the research of Professor


Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko, an eminent scientist and doctor still working
in Moscow.
His early study as a medical student meant a project which involved
measuring the breathing of fatally ill patients. His project was to measure
their breathing as they approached death. This task, which seems like a
ghoulish thing to ask a young man to do, gave Buteyko the direction for his
lifes work.
His measurements showed that the closer the people got to death, the
deeper their breathing became. It got to the point where Buteyko could
predict with great accuracy the time of death, from days before simply
by measuring their breathing. It seemed odd to him at the time that the deep
breathing he was seeing on deathbeds was identical to that being promoted
at the time [and still today by some misguided experts] to develop GOOD
health.
His later research asked perfectly healthy subjects to breathe deeply for
a period of time. All of them became dizzy, nauseous, and developed
symptoms such as wheeziness and coughing, and eventually passed out.
The accepted theory at that time was that it was caused by oxygen
saturation of the brain.
It was Buteykos research over the next decade, along with Bohr, that
has changed the accepted theory. If you now ask any good medical
student why these subjects responded in this way, they will say it is
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Estimating Your Breathing Level

hyperventilation [Breathing too much]. They will say that hyperventilation will cause an excess loss of CO2, which will cause constriction of
blood and air pipes, changes to the pH of the body, affect the nervous
system, and produce low oxygen levels. If continued it will lead to death,
just as in Buteykos first project.
This was confirmed by the work an English scientist called Henderson.
He designed an experiment that mechanically force dogs to hyperventilate
[over breathe]. The changes to the gases were as predicted, and the dogs
died awfully.
The lesson is as Buteyko succinctly puts it The more deeply you
breathe, the closer you are to death.
Lets now learn the simple measurement technique and what it means.

The Buteyko Measurement Pause


This is a simple way to determine the setting on your breathostat.
By holding your breath you immediately begin to trap in all of the CO2
you produce. When you have trapped in more CO2 than your breathostat is
used to, it will make you have a desire to take a breath and release some
CO2.
The key is to measure how long it takes for you to feel you want to take
a breath. This is not a measurement of how long you can hold on for. If
you hold too long, the measurement will be inaccurate. You will know
when you have held too long because your breathing after you release your
nostrils, will be labored and you will gasp a bit. A simple way to check is
to watch yourself in a mirror. If you look stressed when you release you
have held too long.
The other important key to this technique is that you should always start
with your breathing in the same place. You should be comfortable, your
lungs not full or empty. A simple routine to get to this point is to take a
normal [dont overfill] breath in, then a gentle breath out.

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Estimating Your Breathing Level

To get an idea of the sensation of where the starting point is, sit straight
in your chair, breathe in gently and push your belly out, then relax your
belly. When you relax your belly there is a slight exhalation, almost like
a sigh. You can use this procedure to start your pause.
If you have any difficulty getting started an alternative is to breathe in
gently for the count of 3, then out gently for the count of 2.
While you are holding your breath you must pinch your nostrils closed,
or the gases will diffuse, and the measurement will be affected.
So here is the procedure.

The Measurement Pause


1. Breathe in gently, not overfilling.
2. Release a small gentle breath,
3. Pinch your nostrils closed, and hold your breath. Note the second hand
on your clock.
4. Hold only until you feel slight desire to take a breath.
5. Release your nostrils, and allow your breathing to begin. Note the time.

The first few times you do this measurement, it is likely you will hold a
few seconds too long, as you will not be certain when to stop. With a few
practices you will become more sensitive to the sensation of a slight
shortage of air, which is what your breathostat makes you feel when you
have reached your normal CO2 level.
It often helps to view this measurement graphically.
A gentle in breath can be represented by an upward line:
The little out breath that follows as a downward line :

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Estimating Your Breathing Level

The time of breath-holding can be represented by a horizontal line, ie no


breathing:

When you feel a slight discomfort and want a breath, you allow the in
breath, and the breathing is not disrupted. ie it is about the same size, with
no stress.

The time in seconds from A to B is the Measurement Pause.

If you hold on too long, you will need to gasp, and your breathing will
be greatly increased. If you find you have done this and your breathing is
increased, then control your breathing and do not allow it to waste your
CO2, or you may find yourself having asthma. The following diagram
represents the WRONG way:

Holding on too long causes disruption to the breathing which is


increased. With a little practice the breathing after is the same as before.

Activity
You should stop reading now and do a measurement
pause if you have not already done so.

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Estimating Your Breathing Level

The Meaning of the Measurement Pause


The measurement pause measures the time in seconds it takes to trap in the
amount of CO2 which just exceeds your normal setting.
The length of the pause has been correlated with laboratory testing and is
consistent.
The following table gives the measurements. Remember 6.5% CO2 in your
lungs to close to the ideal.

Measurement Pause
60 Seconds
30 Seconds
20 Seconds
15 Seconds
10 Seconds
Less than 10 Secs

CO2 in Lungs [Alveoli]


6.5%
5.0%
4.5%
4.0%
3.5%
Less than 3.5%

Examples
If your measurement pause is 22 seconds, your CO2 will be just over 4.5%
If your measurement pause is 8 seconds, your CO2 will be less than 3.5%

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Estimating Your Breathing Level

How To Calculate How Much Too


Deeply You Are Breathing
It is a simple calculation to work out by what factor you are
overbreathing. Divide 60 by your pause and multiply by 100%. For
example a pause of 30 gives 200%. This means you breathing enough for
two people. If your pause is 60, your factor is 100%, which is just right. If
your pause is 5 seconds, your factor is 60/5 x 100% equals 1200% or
deeply enough for 12 people. [Note that as the time gets really smaller
this estimation gets less accurate. Just be aware that whether it is 5 or 10
times too much it is far too much!]
[If your pause is that low then you are very unwell, and if you are not
suffering symptoms of asthma, then review the Appendix Other Effects
Of Chronic Low CO2.]
As a general comparison, if you were to eat two or four or twelve
times as much as you physically need, what would happen to you? Would
you be healthy?

Your Lungs Are Like The


Carburetor On A Car
Another analogy is to compare your breathing to a carburetor on a
motor. A carburetor is the device which controls the mixture of gases for a
motor. You will know that when the mixture is wrong, the motor will run
poorly or not at all. If it does run with a non-ideal mixture, the power will
be reduced, the economy reduced, backfiring will occur, and the life of the
engine will be reduced. The only thing that can improve this is to correct
the mixtures by adjusting the carburetor.
It is the same with your lungs. If you have the wrong mixture of
gases in your lungs, your body will have low power, use too much fuel, will
backfire, and will wear out much sooner. All you have to do is tune your
carburetor. That is what Buteyko is going to teach you to do. Your
respiratory centre or breathostat is the carburetor for your lungs.

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CHAPTER 2

Estimating Your Breathing Level

Activity

Do a practice measurement pause now, and


work out your CO2 level, and your breathing factor.

Key Point:

The measurement pause is only a technique to allow you to measure


your breathing. It is not the method to adjust your breathostat. It is for
determining your starting point and measuring and your improvement.

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CHAPTER 3

Using Your Nose & Mouth

Your Nose Is For Breathing


Your Mouth Is For Eating

here are several reasons why it is obvious that your nose is designed
to be breathed through. Firstly, your nose is like an air conditioner
for your lungs. Air that passes through your nose on the way to your
lungs is filtered by the nose. Your nose will massively reduce the amount
of dust, pollens, bacteria, virus, or anything else that is floating in the air.
These things would cause major problems if there were allowed to
flow straight down into the lungs. The nose is designed to handle them. It
is your first line of defense. If you breathe through your mouth you do not
use these defenses.
Secondly, in this airconditioner, the air that is brought to your lungs
via your nose has been in your body slightly longer, and so is brought closer
to your body temperature. Your lungs do not like temperature extremes.
Nose breathing reduces the problem.
Your airconditioner also works to increase the humidity of the air
that reached your lungs. Your lungs like the air to be clean, not too hot or
cold, and very humid. Air that is taken in via the mouth is far drier on
reaching the lungs than air via the nose.

Dry Lungs
It is probably this information about the lungs needing moistened air
that led to earlier theories of asthma based on the lungs drying out, and
the development of vaporizers which are designed to put moisture in the
air in your house or room to stop this drying out. These machines do
appear to have a small impact, but only if you breathe through your mouth.
If you breathe through your nose, you have an automatic humidifier built in,
and do not need them.

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CHAPTER 3

Using Your Nose & Mouth

This moisture factor was also believed for a while to be why


asthmatics who took up swimming often benefited, whereas running or
jogging less frequently seemed to help. This has been debunked now by
further research.
Of course, you and I now understand why swimming is more likely
to reduce asthma it alters your breathing pattern. You have to stop
breathing for a while when your face is underwater, plus because you are
burning
energy, you are producing more CO2, so you can train your breathostat to
accept a slightly higher level. Swimming does not appear to help some
asthmatics probably because they overbreathe even more as they swim.
The other reason that your nose is for breathing is that because the
nasal passages are far smaller than your mouth, you are forced to breathe
less. You have to work a lot harder to overbreathe with your mouth closed.
You can still do it, it is just a little harder. In addition, nasal breathing
allows the extra defense of the swelling of your nasal passages to reduce the
airflow. The only reason you nose blocks up is because the shortage of
CO2 causes the smooth vessels to swell, just the same as in asthma.
If you keep your mouth closed, your nose will help reduce your
airflow for you.
Note:
Your nose will not block completely
unless your mouth is open.

It may whistle and carry on, but remember the more it is blocked, the
more CO2 is trapped in, which will tell it to open again.
If you are experiencing a blocked or partially blocked nose now,
experiment with your breathing to make it get more blocked [release CO2
by breathing more deeply at the same speed].
Then, make it get less blocked by breathing less deeply, or just hold
your breath for several seconds [pinch your nostrils closed] longer than is
comfortable and breathing as little as possible through your nose after you
breathe.
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CHAPTER 3

Using Your Nose & Mouth

In brief, all you have to do is trap in more CO2 than you release, just
as you will do to stop asthma.
If your nose being blocked is preventing you from closing your
mouth and becoming a healthier nasal breather right now, then unblock it
with the following procedure. Then keep your mouth closed! When you
first convert from a mouth-breather, you may find that it feels like you are
not getting enough air. This is a good sign, and means will benefit almost
immediately. Simply put up with it, it will pass as you progress into your
shallow breathing exercises.
Be aware of yourself trying to sneak a mouth breath by chewing a
pencil or a finger, or yawning more than a couple of times. If you do start
to yawn madly and repeatedly, repress it a little and keep your mouth
closed. An occasional yawn is to be enjoyed stretch and make a good
yawning noise it is good for stress relief.
To unblock your nose right now. You need some extra CO2, so after
a small out breath, pinch your nostrils closed and hold your breath. [Your
mouth is obviously closed at this time.] Hold until about 5 seconds after
you have developed the feeling that you want to take a breath [not need a
breath], release your nostrils and allow only a little breathing to occur
through your nose. Keep the CO2 in! It will be at least a tiny bit clearer. If
it is still very blocked, repeat the process several times with about 5 seconds
between each hold. Really restrict your breathing. Be like a statue and
dont move. [Keep your mouth closed!]
It may block up again as your breathing tries to increase to its
previous level, but that is OK, just repeat the procedure. All you have to do
is trap in a little more of the CO2 you are producing inside you.
A different way to do this is to keep breathing at the same level but
increase your CO2 production. You can do this by standing, and without
increasing your breathing, march on the spot. In a very short time you will
feel your nose starting to clear, once it is clear, stop and restrict your
breathing to keep the CO2 in.
If you become breathless while marching, stop and reduce your
breathing it will mean you have unconsciously increased your breathing,
and have actually lost more CO2.

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CHAPTER 3

Using Your Nose & Mouth

Goodbye To Nasal Sprays and Pills


You now have the ability to unblock your nose at any time
without drugs or surgery. If you follow why it blocks up, you can
reverse the process. The same procedure will also dry it up.

The Best Reason To Keep


Your Mouth Closed
The final reason that you should breathe through your nose is most
important reason to many. I find that the most compelling reason for
teenagers and children is how you look when you wander around with your
mouth hanging open.
Take a moment now to think about the movies. In a good young
peoples movie there will be a good guy, a main bad guy, and usually a
herd of not-too-bright assistant bad guys. The main goodie and baddie
are smarter, and the actors who play them will keep their mouths shut.
However, the actors who play the dumb ones will automatically begin to
mouth-breathe. We will automatically subconsciously associate a lower
intellect with an mouth hanging open.
Try it yourself. Pretend you are really stupid. Is your mouth open or
closed? Now be cool [or whatever the current word is Rad? Kewl? ],
and close your mouth........or look dumb.

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CHAPTER 4

Stopping Asthma

Stopping Asthma
The Simple Answer

his section will give the instructions on the most effective way to
correct your breathing. It is quite a long chapter, and covers the
roles of relief and steroid medications first. It is important to
understand how the drugs work, and fit into a rational approach to stopping
your need for the defense of asthma.
The key point here is to recognize that the only way you can get
asthma is by first breathing too much, which causes you to lose too much
CO2, which in turn causes your body to defend itself by forcing you to
breath less.
Therefore there are two steps involved in being free of symptoms.
The first is to learn to stop an individual asthma attack by trapping in more
CO2. This involves following some general guidelines to follow which
combine breathing and your relief drugs which gives a very rapid decrease
in the need for relief drugs.
The second step is to reset your breathostat or respiratory centre to
a level which automatically gives you a healthy level of breathing, and the
right mix of gases in your body. This is the tuning of your carburetor.
Important warning over page.

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CHAPTER 4

Stopping Asthma

The Drugs of Asthma


Warning and Disclaimer: Any and all advice, explicit or

implied in this book or tape, is general information only. No alteration


to any drug, or other treatment regime, should be undertaken without
first obtaining medical advice. This information is designed to be used
under medical supervision only. Do not alter your own drug program
without checking with your doctor.
It is up to each reader to comply with any federal, state or local
laws. The authors, publishers, and distributors of this package
expressly disclaim any liability for the use or non-use of the information
contained herein.
Before we go over the strategy to stop your asthma attacks, we need
to first review the role of drugs. There are two basic classes of drugs. The
general categories are Relief and Preventative.

1. Relief drugs
The majority of this class are the bronchodilators. You will know
that bronchus means airpipe, and that dilate means to open up. So
in the simplest sense, these drugs work to open your airways. They are
chemicals which, when detected by special detector cells in your airpipe,
simply instruct the pipe to open. These drugs can be taken by inhalation,
which means spraying and breathing them into your airpipe, where they act
quickly and effectively.
They can also be taken orally as a tablet or syrup, which eventually
releases them into the blood stream, and finally to the lungs where they take
effect.
In emergencies, bronchodilators can also be injected.
The majority of asthmatics rely on a class of drugs called betaagonists. The most common of these inhaled drugs is salbutamol, known
as Ventolin [or variations of this]. Other drugs of this type include

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CHAPTER 4

Stopping Asthma

terbutaline, fenoterol, and dozens of slight variations. Some of this class of


drugs have been engineered to produce a longer lasting effect. These
include ipratropium bromide (Atrovent), and salmeterol xinafoate
(Serevent).
As doctors meet with failure to control symptoms, it is usual to add
more and more of these drugs to your regime. It is simplest to break the
drugs into length and effectiveness of action categories. If you are on a
drug that is not listed, ask your medical advisor to guide you.

Drug Name

Speed and
Effectiveness of
Action

Length of
Action

Salbutamol
inhaled through puffer
or nebuliser

Strong effect, works very


quickly

Short-acting,
about 4 hours

Terbutaline inhaled

Strong effect, works very


quickly

Short-acting,
about 4 hours

Ipratropium bromide
inhaled

Weak effect, works


medium quickly

Medium
about 6 to 8 hours

Theophylline tablet

Very weak effect,


slow to act

Varies

Salmeterol
Xinafoate

Medium to strong effect,


very slow to act

Long acting. Lasts up


to 12 hours.

Due to the way that these chemicals are marketed in different parts of the
world, there are hundreds of different brand names for the same chemicals. Do
not be confused with the classification of drugs like Serevent [salmeterol]. If the
action is to hold the airpipes open, rather than to make them less likely to close [as
with steroids], then class them as a bronchodilator.

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CHAPTER 4

Stopping Asthma

What Relief Drugs Are


Actually Doing To You
You now recognize that the closing of your airpipes is basically your
bodys defense against the lowering CO2 levels caused by you breathing
more than is appropriate for the amount of physical work you are doing. It
is your defense against your releasing more CO2 than you produce.
So when you suck these chemicals into your airpipes, their powerful
effect over-rides your defense, and allows you to breathe as deeply as your
breathostat wants you to. It is a great feeling of relief when the airpipes are
pushed open again, and you are able to go back to breathing many times
more air than you need. Aaaahhhhhhhh.
If you use a drug with a long action, you can breathe as much as you
want all day. Almost no restriction at all. The only problem is that after a
while, it may be days, weeks or years, your defenses will start to get a bit
more serious about stopping the CO2 loss [which it knows is fatal].
An Example of the Development of Severe Asthma
Lets follow the development of a typical asthmatic. Lets say he had
a cough [bronchitis] during childhood, and probably some hay fever. As a
teenager, the cough reduced, but was replaced by a restriction in his
breathing, usually very early in the morning, or when he exercised.
A worried parent took him to the doctor, who did various measurements, and said Asthma!. The shame of this was hidden, and the
teenager instructed on the use of a puffer [lets say relief-puffer]. At
the start, all it took was two puffs, every now and then, say twice a week,
and the wheeze disappeared like magic. Not too bad.
Later in the same year, the winter was quite nasty. He found he
needed to use the puffer more and more. His mother, having read about the
increased death rate associated with high use of puffers returned him to the
doctor. Ahh. said the doctor wisely, we will need to introduce a
preventative puffer, as this has been shown to reduce the death rate that
had apparently risen because of the increased use of the relief-type puffer.

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CHAPTER 4

Stopping Asthma

He had to take the preventative puffer every morning and night. Is this for
the rest of his life asked his mother? Very likely, but well see said the
doctor.
Despite the new puffer, he began to get more and more tight, more
and more often. The two puffs of relief puffer no longer worked well
enough, so they bought a machine that sprayed the chemical out of a mask
he wore on his face. This gave pretty good relief, but on some days he
needed it 3 or 4 times. He was a large teenager, so he received the full adult
dose, and made sure he used all of it. [Note: .1 puff of relief puffer is 1/
10,000th of a gram. A full nebule of relief puffer is 50/10,000th of a gram.
So one nebule is equal to 50 puffs, but a lot gets out of the sides so lets say
its equal to 25 puffs from the relief puffer.]
Mother is getting very worried now, has been back to the doctor, who
has doubled the dose of preventative puffer and referred them to a
pulmonologist. This doctor sees mostly asthma, and is considered the
best in the area. He immediately does more tests involving mostly huffing
and puffing, and puts our lad onto 50mg of oral steroids per day, for 6 days,
then on a reducing amount. This reduces the asthma, and two weeks later,
only puffers are needed. A few weeks later, it all starts again.
The family learn to live with it, and have some periods of good
health. Their pulmonologist sees them every month, and gets hold of new
drugs earlier for them to try. Which work for a while, but then seem to fail.
A trip to the emergency ward is made about twice a year.
Then, after 8 years, the family moves to a different area near the
beach. The lad takes up surfing, and within 1 week the asthma has stopped.
A call to their pulmonologist gets the reply that this happens quite often,
they seem to just grow out of it.
This story illustrates how the amount of relief medication needed
usually increases with time in many people. Others never need much more
that a couple of puffs a day.
What is really happening? Your overbreathing pattern is causing you
to lose more and more CO2 from your lungs. When it gets low enough,
your body acts to trap more in. When you feel this restriction, it feels
unpleasant and you feel you are not getting enough air. The bronchodilator
you take tells the airpipes to open up.[Turns off your defense, and stops it
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CHAPTER 4

Stopping Asthma

for about 4 hours.] This means that you can return to the breathing that
caused your need for the defense in the first place. If your breathing has not
improved when the drug wears off, your defense will start again. You will
want more drugs, to improve your airflow again.
Over a period of time, this will cause you to need more and more of
the drug, as your body becomes more resistant to it. Where one puff per
day was enough before, you may start to need many more puffs, plus the
addition of other drugs. If this loop continues without an improvement
[decrease] in your breathing, your body will work harder and harder to stop
the CO2 loss, until the point where hospitalization is needed because your
airpipes no longer respond at all to your drugs.

Buteyko Strategy
The Buteyko strategy is to use your breathing to trap in more CO2 at
the first sign of asthma, and after a short time use your fast acting, short
acting drugs then only if needed. The activity here involves the use of an
exercise called shallow breathing, which is an easy way to trap in more
CO2. Shallow breathing is covered in the next chapter.
The Buteyko Method has found the best way to use relief drugs is to
use them only for the purpose they were first designed to relieve an
attack. If you are on a regime where you are taking bronchodilators as
routine rather than according to need, please see your doctor and discuss it.
If you are taking these drugs when you do not need them you are taking
more than you need, and you will never be able to be free of them.
We will later describe a strategy which has a 99% success rate for
asthma, which relies on using your relief drugs only when you need them,
and after you have tried to use your natural bronchodilator carbon
dioxide first.
If you are taking long acting drugs such as Serevent, remain on the
same dose until your need for supplementary short acting dilators is almost
nil. Ie you need no salbutamol for example. After this time ask your
doctor to reduce it slightly. If symptoms occur on the lowered dose, use
your breathing and short-acting drugs to relieve them. Do not reduce the
Serevent again until you are symptomless again. Then repeat the reduction.
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Stopping Asthma

Use the same process for the newer drugs like Accolate. Allow little
symptoms to break through so you can use your breathing [plus short acting
bronchodilators, if needed ] to relieve them.
If your regime includes the drug Ipratropium [Atrovent], it is best to
ask your doctor to simply stop it. This may mean that you could require
slightly more of your short-acting reliever in the short term, but because of
your use of the breathing it is unlikely. [This drug is usually an add-on,
and given to patients only because there appears little else to try. It is weak,
has additional side effects, and will confuse your recovery program.]
The other group of drugs which need to be mentioned are the oral
bronchodilators. The most common of these is theophylline, although it is
used less and less these days because it is weak, has awful side effects, and
the dosage needed is only just less than a toxic dose. Again it is usually an
add-on, when no other options are seen. This drug is best reduced slowly,
no more than 25% per day. As with Serevent it should be reduced only as
the condition improves. Follow your doctors advice. You should not
continue on this drug if you have no symptoms. It is a bronchodilator, and
should only be used for relief not prevention.

2. Preventative Drugs
The second general category of drugs is preventatives. This
includes all steroids plus those with antihistamine type actions. They act
locally to reduce the ability of the airpipe to constrict, as well as systemically to produce a different effect.
The majority of people asked about steroids believe they are
dangerous, have terrible side effects, and you are better off without them.
The side effects include degeneration of skin and bone tissue, weight
variations, and blindness. This negative outlook is mainly the result of the
way that steroid doses are determined, plus the impact of the general press.
A more accurate reality is that our bodies are full to the brim with
steroids, when we are completely healthy. They are a vital part of our
body chemistry. Steroids include most of the hormones in your body. They
include the majority of the active chemicals in your body. If you have the
right amount of steroids, you will be healthy. If you have either too little or
too much of any steroid you will have problems.
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Stopping Asthma

The appropriate way to think about the use of steroids in asthma is to


view them as a supplement to your own production. In very simplified
terms, one of the effects of low CO2 on your body chemistry is to change
the pH. With this slight change, the organs responsible for your usual
production [such as your adrenals], produce less than you need. Two
effects of this are the extra sensitivity of your airpipes in responding to
allergens, plus the allergic skin problems that often occur alongside
asthma. You will know that the application of steroid cream to an allergic
rash reduces the swelling quickly, but continued use [or overdose] causes
changes in the skin texture.
Similarly, the use of inhaled steroids is useful as a preventative for
asthma attacks. The placing of the steroid on the inside of your airpipe
makes it less sensitive, and therefore less likely to react, and therefore you
will need less bronchodilator. [This is good because of the apparent
increase in risk as you use more and more bronchodilators. The use of
inhaled steroids allows you to need less bronchodilator medication.] There
is no suggestion here that inhaled steroids alter the internal texture of your
airpipes.
In terms of the overall steroid production shortage, the use of inhaled
steroids is not usually enough because of the low doses involved. The dose
is so low that there is almost no effect on steroid levels except in the
immediate area [the airpipes].
As the CO2 levels get lower and lower with increasingly severe
asthma, the production of steroids gets lower and lower. The shortfall in
the amount needed for health gets larger and larger. This is seen as
increased asthma, despite the use of the inhaled steroids. There is simply
not enough.
In these cases, the use of oral steroids in far greater doses, makes up
for the shortfall in production. The main steroid that is in deficit is
cortisone. Usually your adrenal glands produce all you need. If you
supplement your production with man-made cortisone [or variants of it with
longer life in the body than human cortisone], the hypersensitivity of your
body decreases, and you are able to reduce your breathing level. This in
turn allows your blood chemistry to change, and your own adrenal cortisone
factories to increase production again.

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CHAPTER 4

Stopping Asthma

The problem of side effects occurs because people are prescribed


more steroids than they are short of. So they end up with too much in their
body. This helps to reduce the asthma quickly, but also quickly begins to
affect other processes in the body such as bone formation. If the overdose
course of steroids is continued for a period of time, this becomes a serious
problem.
For example, assume you are a severe asthmatic, and upon seeing
your doctor it is decided that oral steroids are needed. Chances are that
your doctor will start you on quite a high dose, and then reduce over time.
Lets say you were the equivalent of 14 milligrams of cortisone short. You
are given a starting dose of 50 milligrams. This means that you are
overdosing by 36 milligrams. This will make you swell up, feel awful, and
if continued serious problems like osteoporosis may occur. [It even has the
ability to apparently cause schizophrenia.]
Lets review that. Your body normally produces heaps and heaps of
steroids. This is good and necessary. When your chemistry is altered by
continued overbreathing and the lowered CO2, there are changes in the
body fluids which affect your glands. Less steroid is produced than you
need, and your body becomes hypersensitive, and reducing your
breathing becomes almost impossible. You will continue to deteriorate until
the shortfall in your steroid level is made up. If you take more steroids than
you need, the extra amount will cause the side effects that have made
people believe in the past that steroids are bad for you.
The ideal would be to take only the exact amount of steroids you are
short of. It is very difficult to recover unless you have at least this amount.
The goal is to have this amount and no more. There is a suggested process
to this, but as it is not relevant to the majority of asthma sufferers it is
covered in Appendix 3 Steroid Supplementation.

Note: Just because you have asthma does not


mean you have a steroid deficit.
It is a problem in only severe patients and not all of them.

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CHAPTER 4

Stopping Asthma

Strategy for Preventative Drugs


The simple strategy for preventative drugs is that if you are stable on
your inhaled drugs, stay on them until you have had no symptoms of asthma
for at least a month. At that time see your doctor, and follow their advice
on gradual reduction. Because the actual doses in inhaled steroids are so
low, there is no downside to their use, and their presence will make
reducing your breathing a little easier.
If you are on oral steroids, please study Appendix 3 carefully, and
ask your doctor to assist you to follow the strategy suggested there. Do not
alter your dosages of any steroid medication without medical advice. Until
your own steroid factories are back in full production it is better to have a
little extra than be a little short.

How To Use Buteyko


To Stop An Asthma Attack
Do these steps at the first sign of your
attack if possible it is easier to avoid an attack
than to conquer a full blown one.
Step 1. Think WHY your breathing is being restricted or extra
mucus being produced. There is only one answer. Your body wants you to
breathe less.
Step 2. Do shallow breathing at Moderate Shallowness as shown
in the next chapter for 5 minutes. Resist the urge to cough, or if you
absolutely must cough keep your mouth closed to minimize the CO2 loss.
Step 3. Do a Measurement Pause, followed by another 5 minutes of
Moderate Shallow Breathing.
Step 4. Take one puff only of your short fast acting bronchodilator
[eg salbutamol] if you need it. [If you do not need it, dont take it. ]
Followed by 5 more minutes of moderate shallow breathing. The shallow
breathing will improve the effectiveness of the drug. (GO OVER PAGE)
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Stopping Asthma

Step 5. Only if needed, take another single puff of your reliever.


Followed by another 5 minutes of shallow breathing.
Step 6. If you are still unimproved, proceed to use your nebuliser
[atomizer] loaded with your short acting reliever [e.g. salbutamol] only.
Use the machine only until you have relief. As soon as you have relief,
remove the mask from your face as you need no more of the drug. Do not
finish it if you do not need it.

Other rules:
If the onset of your attack is so fast and severe that you usually go
straight to the nebuliser machine, use your discretion when doing your
breathing exercises. Ie try the steps above, but if you are out of control
simply try some breathing first, try the puffers, and then the machine.
Remember the goal is to try to use your natural bronchodilator CO2
instead of the chemical one. If you have to go the machine sooner,
remember to stop as soon as you have relief. Then do your shallow
breathing to supplement the drug with your CO2. As you spend time doing
your breathing practice, you will find that the attacks become less frequent
and severe. They will require less and less drug to relieve them.
There will be a great day when you overcome the attack without any
drugs. To get to this day, you must follow the steps. You must try the
breathing first, then the drugs only if needed. If you take the drug
immediately you feel the attack starting, you will never learn to stop it with
your breathing.
Remember it is best to try and stop it before it gets too hard. Do
your breathing at the first sign.
There are no points for not taking the drugs when you need them and
being miserable or taking unnecessary risks. Simply follow the steps. If
after the first two steps you are not greatly improved, go to the next step,
use the drug.
Your progress is assured without need for heroics or extra stress.
There is no rush. All you have to remember is to use the Buteyko breathing
first, then the drug. Soon you will need less drug, and then no drugs, then
no attacks, so you will need no moderate level shallow breathing. Just
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CHAPTER 4

Stopping Asthma

follow the steps.


Do not take any unnecessary risks. If you know you are really in
trouble, do whatever is necessary to save your life, go the hospital or
whatever you do in an emergency. You can work your way clear of asthma
a little later, but only if you are alive. The hospital is a good place to
practice your shallow breathing if that is where you should be.
Note that the instructions say to take one single puff, not two puffs of
your reliever medication. You may only need one puff, if you automatically
take two, you will never know. You can take the extra puff a few minutes
later if you do need it.
Check with your doctor before altering any drug regime. He or
she may not be very happy with this approach, but if they are worth keeping
as your doctor, they will be extremely interested and will support your
decision and give you extra observation or care to ensure you do not get
into into difficulties.

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CHAPTER 5

Shallow Breathing To Tune Your Body

Shallow Breathing To
Tune Your Body

e are now at the position where we can discuss more exactly the
process that if followed will normalize your breathing. We have
seen in earlier chapters that our breathostat or respiratory centre
has somehow become set at the wrong level.
How did they become set at the wrong level? One major factor is the
false idea of the usefulness of deep breathing, which is often combined with
deep breathing exercises. A big long deep breath with a good stretch is
good to relax. If you do it repeatedly, it will turn your breathostat the
wrong way.
Another factor which increases breathing intensity is over eating,
especially high protein. Protein will increase your depth of breathing
considerably. Animal proteins in particular are capable of producing
powerful changes. If we use dairy products as an example, we can see the
effect of all foods.
It is commonly known that consumption of milk products tends to
promote the formation of mucus. This is almost correct. What happens is
that the milk causes an increase in the depth of breathing, which in turn
causes a loss of CO2. We now know that reduced CO2 will tell the mucus
factories [glands] in our airpipes and sinus cavity to produce more mucus.
So the problem is not with the poor cow, but simply that the high protein
levels cause an increase in breathing.
Since the industrial revolution the amount of protein consumed has
steadily increased, along with so called diseases like asthma and hypertension.
Other factors that increase the breathing include lack of physical work,
narcotics, and exposure to many chemical agents.
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CHAPTER 5

Shallow Breathing To Tune Your Body

As your breathostat is exposed to greater levels of breathing and lower


CO2 levels, it becomes conditioned to a lower level. Then further deep
breathing, perhaps as part of a fitness or health training, can turn it even
lower. This training effect continues until such a low breathostat level is
reached that your body takes defensive action to avoid a catastrophe. In
asthmatics it restricts the breathing.
It is a relatively simple strategy to reset your breathostat by exposing it
to higher levels of CO2 than it is used to. This is the opposite of the
approach which lowered the breathostat CO2 level, which was to expose it
to lower levels of CO2.
We want an approach that will:
a. Be easy and comfortable to do,
b. Be able to be done anywhere by anyone,
c. Be combined with other tasks so we do not need to take time from
your busy day.
The most effective way to do this is to use an indirect approach. This
means not trying to control the size or length of holding of each breath, as
that requires huge concentration and very careful training. It does mean
using simple muscle relaxation which will make the depth of breathing less,
and requires no control of the rate of breathing which is difficult.
The key instruction is simple and short.

Shallow Breathing is:


A gradual reduction in the depth of breathing,
by relaxing the diaphragm and breathing muscles,
until a tiny shortage of air is felt
and then maintained.
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Shallow Breathing To Tune Your Body

There are several key points. The first is that we are reducing the depth
of breathing. When we do this the frequency or rate at which we breathe
increases by itself. This is correct, and the rate should not be interfered
with. That would be direct control of the breathing, which is far harder to
maintain, and usually leads to a huge shortage of air which is followed by
gasping. This is not the goal. So reduce the depth only.
The next point is that the way we do it is by relaxing the breathing
muscles, not holding them. The more relaxed they are the more still you
become. The more still you become the less deeply you can breathe. [If
you become still by holding or tensing you will develop sharp pains in your
ribs as the muscles complain.]
The other key point is that our goal is to develop a training that can be
done anywhere, is comfortable so it will not be avoided, and can be
combined with other tasks. The way to this goal is to allow only a tiny
shortage of air to develop. It is all that you need. If it feels awful and
suffocating you have created a large shortage, and should relax and start
again. If you feel no shortage at all, become more and more still until you
do.
As part of this process, recognize that there is no rule that says you have
to be breathing all the time. If you find yourself breathing away with no
real need or desire to stop.
An alternative way to start your shallow breathing is to do a measurement pause without holding your nose. This really means that you stop
breathing until you feel a tiny shortage of air. All you have to do then is
be relaxed and still enough to maintain that shortage.

Am I Doing It Properly?
This is the most common and natural question. You are shallow
breathing if you feel a tiny shortage of air, and you are comfortable. A
shortage of air is a sensation that you would like to take an extra breath, but
to maintain the shortage do not. If you are suffocating, you have too great a
shortage remember unless it feels comfortable, you will not do it enough
and will get poor results.
If you feel no shortage of air you are not doing it!
This is very important!
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Shallow Breathing To Tune Your Body

A Slightly Greater Shortage


of Air To Relieve Symptoms
One way to get the feeling of a small shortage of air is to develop a
moderate shortage so you can recognize it. To get a moderate shortage,
pinch your nostrils, stop breathing until a few seconds after you definitely
want a breath. Ie hold for a few seconds longer than is comfortable, and
keep your breathing as small as possible when you do breathe. Maintain
this feeling of being a bit more suffocated.
You can actually feel the extra CO2 making you want to breathe more,
but dont.
Use this the level of moderate shortage shallow breathing when
trapping in extra CO2 to relieve symptoms.

The Everyday Training.


The goal is to recondition your respiratory centre to maintain higher
levels of CO2 in your lungs. You do that by exposing this breathostat to
slightly higher levels of CO2 for as much of the day as possible. So right
from the start, combine this breathing where you have only a tiny shortage
of air, with other tasks. Whenever you read, drive a car, work at a desk, talk
to your friends, go for a walk, have a shower, or do anything at all, reduce
your breathing while you do it.
Make it habit whenever you get into your car, reduce your breathing.
Open a magazine, reduce. Put the kettle on, reduce. After a time it is
automatic.
As you read through this manual, develop a tiny shortage of air. [Just
stop breathing and wait, when you feel the little shortage, allow your
breathing to continue but less deeply by keeping your chest and gut
muscles still and relaxed. Check at the end of each page that the shortage is
still there. If it has gone, simply re-create it. No problem.
If you go up a flight of stairs, reduce your breathing as you go up, when
you reach the top, reduce a little further for a moment [moderate shortage,
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CHAPTER 5

Shallow Breathing To Tune Your Body

just as for relieving a symptom.]


As well as this, always do some shallow breathing before sleep and on
waking. At least 20 minutes until you are free of asthma.

Measure Your Progress!


As your breathostat gets used to higher and higher levels of CO2, this
will be reflected in your measurement pause. Your pause will also indicate
your asthma status. When your pause gets above 25 seconds, asthma does
not usually occur. This figure can be as low as 15 for some peoples asthma
to stop. [Mine stopped at 16]
Should I allow my pause to drop that low again, I would develop
symptoms. Your goal with your training is to get your pause to at least 45
seconds. Remember that 60 is the ideal. The higher your pause, the greater
the buffer between you and asthma or other illnesses. The higher your
pause the better your overall health and energy. 60 seconds may seem like a
very long time at the moment, but once you start it will draw closer and
closer.
You will notice that sometimes your pause will jump all over the place.
This is normal. It is the trend which is important in the early days. If you
get an unusually high or low pause, just record it and see what the next one
is.

Record Your Progress!


If you are experiencing regular symptoms it is very worthwhile to
conduct formal practice sessions at least until the symptoms have gone.
This is best done morning, afternoon, and night. The formal part is that
you record your scores. On a blank sheet or in a notebook write the
following columns.
Date/time

Pulse

Measure

Measure

Measure

Measure

Pause 1

Pause 2

Pause 3

Pause 4

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Pulse

CHAPTER 5

Shallow Breathing To Tune Your Body

The Breathing Workout Workbook is also available. It gives more detail


on how to structure your breathing sessions, plus more breathing tips.
Fill in the date and time, take your pulse, do a measurement pause
and write it in the M.pause1 column. Then shallow breathe for 10 minutes,
then take another measurement pause and write your score in the next box.
Shallow breathe for 10 more minutes, another pause, and so on. If you have
the time do 40 minutes [4 pauses], and finish with another pulse.
If you only have 30 minutes, do only three pauses. Do as much as
you can often as you can until your symptoms are gone. When you are free
of symptoms you can just use your informal training to keep the improvement going, or you can keep doing the formal practice to maintain your
momentum.
Formal practice means your record your scores, and follow the
pattern above. Informal practice is done anytime, anywhere, with no
recording. It is best combined with other activities that you do every day.
eg driving, watching TV, reading, doing the washing. Combine it with
everything!
This is the most important part in the long term. Once you are free
of symptoms your habit of reducing your breathing while doing other things
is all you will need.
A simplified form of the formal exercise is the following:
Step 1. Take your pulse. [Count the number of beats in 15 seconds,
multiply X 4 ] . Write it down.
Step 2. Do a Measurement Pause. [Normal breath in, the small
unforced breath out, pinch nose, and hold until you want a breath. Time
how long this takes in seconds. And write it down.
Step 3. Shallow breathe [means you want to take a slightly deeper
breath, but continue to take less deep breaths.]
Step 4. Take a Measurement Pause, and write it down.
(TURN TO NEXT PAGE)

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Shallow Breathing To Tune Your Body

Step 5. Shallow breathe for 10 minutes.


Step 6. Take a Measurement Pause, and write it down.
Step 7. Shallow breathe for 10 minutes.
Step 8. Take a Measurement Pause, and write it down.
Step 9. Take your pulse again, and write it down.
NOTE: If your condition is severe, then it will be easier for you to do
shallow breathing for 5 minute intervals instead of 10 minute intervals.
Ensure you do not decrease the total time you spend with your formal
practice because of this. Simply have more intervals and Measurement
Pauses. As you condition improves, increase the length of interval to at
least 10 minutes.

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CHAPTER 6

Exercise Induced Asthma

Exercise Induced Asthma

large number of people only get symptoms of asthma during or


after physical exertion. They go up a flight of stairs, or go for a jog
and become breathless.

The key point from this manual is that there is only one way to get
asthma. And we know that that is to release more CO2 than we produce.
This causes some of our airpipes to close to prevent further loss, and to
relieve the shortage.
There is no other reason for your pipes to close up.
The use of bronchodilators before exertion is therefore now logically
flawed. You do not need the drug if you can simply be more aware of the
balance of your breathing gases.

First Step
In all physical activities, the rules of breathing remain the same.
1. You should breathe only through your nose.
2. You should never allow yourself to lose control of your breathing, and
start puffing or panting. This will decrease your endurance, reduce your
recovery rate, and also bring on your symptoms. Read the Appendix 2,
about the Bohr Effect.
3. Do not consciously increase your breathing to get more air as you
begin any heavy exertion.
In many people the key time for exertion asthma is after the physical
exertion has stopped. At this time, the production of CO2 has almost
dropped to nothing, but the breathing is still going on as if the CO2 was still
being produced at a high level. This means that more CO2 will be released
than is being produced, and a defensive constriction will be needed soon.
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Exercise Induced Asthma

The other time is a few minutes after starting the exercise. This is
usually because the person has increased their breathing in anticipation.
When you begin an exercise, take your time to get started. Do some
shallow breathing during your warm-up, and pay special attention to
keeping your breathing to only just what you need.
When you stop the exertion Stop the breathing
When you get to the top of the stairs, reduce your breathing for a while.
Go to moderate level shallow breathing. Suffocate for a little while. Trap
in some extra CO2. Do not puff.
If you tend to develop restriction during the actual exertion, be more
aware of your breathing, make it a little less.
During the exertion, keep your mouth closed
If you get to point where you want to breathe through your mouth
STOP, reduce your breathing, and continue only after your breathing is
controlled.

Training Your Breathing For Exercise


It is simple to develop the situation where you never get puffed or out of
breath.
The rules are clear.
Start off slowly at low intensity, such as a walk or march.
Your mouth must be closed, and you should develop a very tiny shortage
of air by shallow breathing. [This is very easy when you are walking]
If you start to feel you need to gasp through your mouth, you must stop
immediately, reduce and control your breathing, and only then continue.
Over a few sessions you will find that you can go further and further
without getting puffed. When you can proceed at that intensity for over 15
minutes, you can raise the intensity slightly, but follow the same rules.

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Exercise Induced Asthma

Within a few weeks your endurance will have greatly increased, and you
will able to train easily with your mouth closed, and not get out of breath.
It will only work if you stop just before your lose control of your
breathing.
If you are a serious or professional athlete, you will know that races or
games are won or lost at training. Combine your new knowledge with your
training sessions. It will mean reducing the intensity at first so that you will
be able to exert with your mouth closed. It takes a very short time [a couple
of weeks] to reach the point where you can apply your full physical force
without having to open your mouth for extra air. You will then notice a vast
improvement in your endurance and recovery.
But during training you must stop and reduce your breathing immediately you start to feel the urge to gasp. During your match or contest do
everything you must to win. When you get the chance to recover, reduce
your breathing rather than do deep breathing. Suffocating a little tiny bit
will release more oxygen to your muscle cell and allow you to recover
faster.

Close your mouth and never


allow yourself to puff and pant

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CHAPTER 7

Nocturnal Asthma

The Secret of
Nocturnal Asthma

emember there is only one way you can get asthma. Asthma during
sleep is also as simple. When the human body becomes horizontal,
the resistance to deeper breathing is reduced. Ie it is a lot easier to
breathe more deeply when you are lying down. As soon as you become
unconscious, your breathing gets deeper and deeper, simply because of the
horizontal position.
Some people, particularly children, will develop asthma within 2 hours
of going to bed. The night cough often starts at this time, because the CO2
is low and mucus production has increased.
The other common time for problems is between 3:30 and 5:00 am,
when the body is at its deepest point of sleep, which also causes the
breathing to be greater at this time. You may notice that people start to
snore, or they wake with full bladders, or, if children, they may wet the
bed at this time. These are all associated with low CO2 that is caused by
overbreathing.
Snoring is simply your body attempting to reduce the airflow by
swelling the throat and reducing the size of the pipe. Obstructive sleep
apnea is a more severe defence of this type.
In terms of bladder problems, these are usually caused in sleep by
spasms of smooth muscle in response to low CO2. The same smooth
muscle which lines the airpipes and bloodpipes, also lines the bladder.
When CO2 is low, it will constrict making the bladder feel full. This will
wake an adult, but a child may simply urinate.
Sleeping is a danger time. The majority of heart attacks and strokes
occur at the time of deepest sleep and therefore the deepest breathing.

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CHAPTER 7

Nocturnal Asthma

Asthmatics will very commonly wake feeling constricted or coughing after


deepest sleep.

What Can We Do About It?


The first point is that the better our breathostat is set during the day, the
less problem we will have with sleep. So simply by doing our shallow
breathing during the day, the better our nights will be.
More practical steps include not sleeping on your back. It is far easier to
breathe more deeply on your back, as there is less resistance. Lie down and
test it. If you rest on your side, it is physically more difficult to take a deep
breath. This is easily seen in people who snore. They often only do so
while on their back. Rolling them on their side usually stops or reduces the
noise.
So step one is to sleep on your side not your back. This will not make
your breathing good, only less bad.
We already know the effect of food on breathing it increases it. If
you lie down after eating a large meal, you will have a double whammy.
Your breathing will be increased by the food , and by your horizontal
position.
Do not have meals or high protein snacks [like warm milk or hot
chocolate] or alcohol before going to bed.

Your Mouth
Possibly the greatest factor in nocturnal asthma is the fact that while
asleep you have no conscious control over whether or not you breathe
through your mouth or nose. Your mouth can just drop open.

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Nocturnal Asthma

Old Wisdom
I have heard of a fascinating true story about the American artist George
Catlin. After a number of years watching and drawing the native Americans
he drew the conclusion that the cause of maladies in the so-called civilized
men was that they allowed breathing through the mouth. In all of the
thousands of Indians he saw, they enjoyed almost perfect health and
premature death was rare.
He ascribed this to the fact that the Native children were never allowed
to sleep with their mouths open. The mother would watch the sleeping
child, and if the mouth opened, would press the lips together. The child
developed the habit to keep its mouth closed, awake or asleep. A very
simple and effective way to assist good breathing.

Your goal for sleep should be the same.


Develop the habit of keeping your mouth closed. If you can do this,
your experience of waking in the night struggling to breathe will stop.
Ideally, you could have someone watch you, ensuring your stay on your
side, keeping mouth closed, and rousing you slightly whenever your
breathing becomes exceedingly deep. [Remember the tendency to breathe
extra deeply occurs during in very deep sleep.] This, plus the breathing
training during the day will make a fast impact. For a few nights you may
be waken by your observer just as you begin to develop asthma, but this
will be fixed by your procedure for attacks.

A different suggestion for your consideration


The information that follows is about a way of keeping your mouth
closed in sleep without the need for an observer. For most, having someone
available to watch them sleep would be an amazing luxury, and a huge
imposition on family or friends. There is an alternative, which sounds
radical but is actually very safe and very effective.
It is simply to either have a dental plate made which keeps your mouth
closed, or even more simply to tape your mouth closed when you are
asleep. I will not endorse either of these actions, but will rather present to
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CHAPTER 7

Nocturnal Asthma

you the easiest and safest way to do it. There is no danger of suffocation
providing you have your hands free, and are capable of removing the tape
yourself. This is enhanced by folding the ends of the tape to form tabs
so it is very easy to remove.
Definitely do not apply tape to infants or small children who cannot
easily remove it.
The following is an extract from my manual Maximum Sleep
Minimum Noise. There is reference to sleep apnea. Most asthmatics
suffer from at least a small amount of sleep apnea. There are two basic
form of this defense against excess loss of CO2. The first is called
obstructive sleep apnea, and is similar to snoring except that it manages in
some people to close the throat completely, causing them to stop breathing.
The other is called central sleep apnea, which is where the respiratory
centre itself tells the body to stop breathing. It is simply another way of the
body reducing the CO2 loss from overbreathing while you are asleep.
Most asthmatics have some degree of sleep apnea. It is not the defense
itself that causes the problem seen in sufferers, it is that the sleep is very
disturbed and of poor quality. Asthmatics often believe the general
tiredness they feel is normal, and are stunned when they feel so refreshed
after their first night with reduced apnea. If you do not feel refreshed in the
morning, it is likely you have some degree of apnea and will benefit from
intervention. The same applies to snoring.

Extract: Maximum Sleep Minimum Noise


The tape to use is called paper tape or surgical tape. It is the tape
used when you donate blood or get an injection, and a piece of gauze is
taped over the puncture site. One brand-name here in Australia is
Micropore made by 3M. This tape is designed to come off easily when
pulled off slowly, and dissolves in water.
The best size tape is one inch or 2.5 centimetres wide. Tear off a piece
about 3 inches or 7.5 cms long, and fold a small part of each end on itself to
form a tab. This is so that you can feel assured that if you were panicked
and had to get the tape off, you could find the edge of it. In reality once the
tape has been on for a short time you forget it is there. It is important to
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CHAPTER 7

Nocturnal Asthma

ensure that your mouth is closed before you apply the tape horizontally
from cheek to cheek in direction. It is important because you can still
breathe [and snore loudly] through the tape if your mouth is only a little
open.

Note:
A. It is most usual to pull the tape off on the first few nights between
2.30 and 5am, when your breathing is at its deepest. It is imperative that
when you wake after this, which you will, that you recognize the tape is off
and reapply another piece. Have a spare torn, folded and ready, stuck to a
convenient place at your bedside.
You must be really disciplined the first few nights. Really avoid the
temptation to not reapply the tape because there is only a couple of hours
of sleep left. It is at this time that much damage can be done to your
system, and if you leave the tape off at this time you will snore and have
apnea.
Within a few days you will sleep right through the night, and wake more
rested. After a few months you may wish to experiment in sleeping without
the tape, but you will notice the difference in your rest levels very quickly if
you do. I have been using tape for a couple of years now, and continue to
use it because I wake feeling far more refreshed than if I do not. Even
though this sounds like a very strange thing to do, and your partner or
family may initially laugh a little at how silly it looks at first, it is possibly
the best thing you can do for your health. You may also find that people
who giggled will also want to give it a try when they see the change in you,
which is often very dramatic.
B. The other question usually raised is Will this suffocate me if my
nose blocks up?, which is a reasonable question. The answer is that your
nose will not block up completely unless your mouth is open. Even with
the worst flu or allergy, if you keep your mouth closed, nose may swell a
fair bit, but it will not completely close unless you open your mouth.

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Nocturnal Asthma

C. I usually breathe through my mouth, and my nose is often


completely blocked, and if I tape my mouth shut I really will suffocate or
have a panic attack. The answer to this one lies in the cause of the nose
being blocked. The nose is blocked because the CO2 level is too low,
because the rate of breathing is too high per minute. To unblock your nose
do the following. Take a small breath in, let a small breath out, pinch your
nose shut with your thumb and forefinger, keep your mouth shut, and hold
your breath. Hold your breath for at least ten seconds after you first want to
take a breath, and when you release your nose, you must breathe only
through it. If you keep your mouth shut, your nose will not block up
completely. If it starts to block again repeat the process. Try to breathe as
little as possible after holding your breath. When you first try to breathe
only through your nose, you may feel like you are not getting enough air.
This is normal. Put up with it. Within a day, and a night of taped-mouth
sleep, this feeling will go away and breathing only through your nose will
feel normal.

Alternative to Using Mouth Tape


If you feel the idea of using tape makes you too uncomfortable, that is
fair enough. If it because you simply cannot manage to breathe through
your nose even when awake then get a copy of my audio tape How to
Shallow Breathe which will simply and easily coach you on how to
unblock or clear your nose, and be able to breathe easily.
Unless you can learn to keep your mouth closed, you will never have
any relief from sleep apnea.
If you can keep your mouth closed comfortably while awake, but refuse
the radical idea of the tape, there is an alternative. Use the following
steps:
1. You must not sleep on your back.
2. You will need someone to watch you while you sleep for a few
nights. If you have a partner, then ask them to sacrifice their own sleep for
a few nights. Their task is simply to watch you sleep, and when your
breathing starts to get very deep, they disturb you. This causes your sleep
to be less deep, and also means your breathing will be less deep. Remember it is the hyperventilation when you are asleep which is the cause of the
problem, not the swelling of your throat [obstructive sleep apnea] or the
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CHAPTER 7

Nocturnal Asthma

stopping of your breathing [central sleep apnea].


If you do not have a partner or family, it is worth hiring someone for a
couple of nights! The other alternative is to set you alarm for every 90
minutes, wake yourself, do some shallow breathing for 10 minutes, and then
go back to sleep. This is far more intrusive and will make you more tired
than being observed.
3. During the day you will need to be extra aware of your breathing,
and shallow breathing should be practiced. Gentle exercise [with mouth
closed!] is advised. You should not get puffed.
4. For the first couple of days, eat very little. Definitely no alcohol. No
food for at least 2 hours before bed time.
5. Have no more than 7 hours of sleep time, whether you are asleep or
not. A nap in the afternoon of not more than 20 minutes is OK, but this
should not be done after a large lunch. The nap should not be in a bed, but
rather somewhere less comfortable. At a table with your head on your arms
will give you a rest but not greatly increase your breathing.

ADDITIONAL REMARKS
This method of treating sleep problems is a subset of the approach
which I use to relieve the symptoms of several diseases at my clinic here in
Townsville. It is an integral part of that treatment, and overcoming the
initial surprise at the strangeness of suggestion of mouthtaping and giving it
a chance is vital.
The overall success in treating ailments such as asthma and emphysema
with this cause-based approach is very high. After 7 days the mean
decrease in need for relief medication [bronchodilators] is over 90% in
asthmatics. This success has just been replicated in a clinical trial
conducted by the Australian Asthma Foundation through the Mater Hospital
in Brisbane. It is only a matter of time before recognition of the real cause
of diseases like this is gained, and treatment altered accordingly. For
asthma I give a moneyback guarantee of a significant improvement within 7
days, so if you want to be free of asthma, come to Townsville.
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Nocturnal Asthma

Success rate in the treatment of severe sleep apnea in persons using


CPAP machines is extremely high, as is the treatment of less severe cases.
With the severe cases it is preferable to have daily consultation for over a
week, but success is still likely with a correspondence approach providing
the sufferer remains calm and positive, and keeps disciplined through the
first couple of days.
If you have been using a CPAP, we have found that the best approach is
to go cold turkey for a few nights. Resolve yourself to the fact that you
may have a few nights of little sleep, and keep the tape on. There is
research to show that resting quietly gives almost the same effect as being
asleep, unless you are stressed out about not being asleep. So if you cannot
get to sleep, stay awake calmly and relax. It is worth the sacrifice. Even if
you feel you had no actual sleep, chances are that you will still have more
energy, and be more awake than you had with the CPAP. The next night
will be easier.
The other key success factor in resolving sleep apnea [and heavy
snoring] is your breathing while you are awake. At all times you must
remember that you should take only as much air as you need! If you
wander around like a bellows all day, you will find it harder to not
overbreathe while you are asleep.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY
BE REUSED OR REPUBLISHED IN ANY FORM WITHOUT THE
EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR.
End of Extract
If you do decide to try either the tape or a mouth piece made by a
dentist, have a practice session of wearing it during the day or earlier in the
evening. If you find the tape is too sticky, simply apply it your hand and
remove it a couple of times to remove some of the glue. It should be just
sticky enough to stay on and hold your lips together, which is not very
sticky.

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CHAPTER 8

The Effect Of Diet

The Effect of Diet


On Your Breathing Health

he key point to remember here is that everything you eat will make
you breathe more deeply. Some foods will make you breathe more
than other foods. Plus there is some individual variation in how
much people respond do different foods.
With this issue please realize that you will need to eat something to
stay alive. As all foods increase your breathing depth [because of the
digestive process], your breathing is going to be affected, there is no
avoiding it. The strategy is simply when your breathing is poor, and you
are having symptoms, eat as little as possible and eat the foods that have
least effect on your breathing.
Remember that the problem is to do with your breathing, that is
where the most important focus of your recovery should be. It is your
shallow breathing practice that is more important than anything else,
including diet.
The foods which tend to increase breathing the most are animal
proteins, animal fats and refined sugars. This includes chicken, beef and
other meats, and milk products. Plant proteins and fats are less harmful.
Nuts, beans, berries and other fruits can have strong impact on some
individuals breathing.
The rule is to reduce animal protein as much as possible, and observe
your breathing after eating. Always reduce your breathing after food to
reduce the impact of the food. Once your breathing has been conditioned to
maintain a higher CO2 level, you will be less affected by what you eat.
Until then, minimise or stop your meat intake, along with all dairy foods.
[Note: Soy milk is very high in protein, and only slightly less harmful than
animal milk in breathing terms.]
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Another notable food that increases your breathing very strongly is


alcohol. If you have symptoms do not drink alcohol. If you doubt this,
simply measure your pause before a few drinks, then measure it afterwards.

Major Rule of Food


If you are not hungry, do not eat. If you do not feel hunger, your
body is not ready for food, and will not digest it efficiently. If you are not
sure if your are hungry, wait for a while.
During the first week of training your breathing, especially if you
have symptoms, follow this rule rigidly. If you do not eat for several days
fine. Wait until you are hungry.
The less you eat, the faster your breathing will improve.

Dietary Supplements Can Help


The amount of actual nutrient we get out of the food we eat depends
on the quality of the food. We can only try to eat the best food we can.
Despite the very best intentions we can still run short of vital nutrients,
simply because they are not present in food that is available.
A good example of this is Vitamin C. We know that certain foods
such as citrus contain Vitamin C. Therefore if we include plenty of citrus in
our diet, such as oranges and grapefruit, we should be able to get our daily
need for this vitamin. Unfortunately, there is a problem with this approach.
As soon as an orange is picked, the vitamin C inside it begins to break
down. It has lost up to 50% of its vitamin C within 3 days of picking. It
continues to lose more each day. The fruit that we often buy at the
supermarket may have been picked over eighteen months earlier, and has
effectively no vitamins left. The same rules apply to most fruit.

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Another problem is to do with minerals. In Australia there is a


general shortfall of magnesium in our diet. This is not just because we
often eat poorly, but because there is reduced amount of magnesium in the
soil, and therefore in the vegetables we eat. A shortage of magnesium in
your diet will tend to increase your likelihood of a breathing or heart related
problem. If you already have a history of breathing problems, a shortage of
magnesium is something you should avoid.
The other minerals to supplement your diet include Calcium, Zinc,
and Potassium. All of these are needed in every cell of your body, and a
shortage of any one of them will affect the chemical processes that keep you
alive.

Osteoporosis
There is a great deal of mis-information about Calcium. Despite
what you may have been told, eating dairy food is not a positive source of
calcium. The problem is that when you eat a food which is high in protein
and calcium, you cannot absorb the calcium. For example, drinking
calcium fortified milk will cause you to lose more calcium than you absorb.
There is calcium in the milk, but because there is also a lot of protein, you
cannot absorb the calcium.
If we look at the diets in countries where osteoporosis is very
common we can see this. In Australia, NZ, Europe and North America the
amount of dairy consumption and calcium supplementation is very high. So
is the level of osteoporosis. In places where there is almost no calcium in
the diet, but also very low protein in the diet, there is also an absence of
osteoporosis. If you have a low protein diet, you do not need very much
calcium in your diet. The more protein you eat, the more calcium you
actually lose.
On the subject of osteoporosis, more and more research is showing
that weight-bearing exercise is at least as important for strong bones as any
other factor. Your diet is also important, and a normal breathing level is
vital. When you take any mineral supplement, especially calcium, ensure
that you have it with food. This is because calcium is absorbed in the
duodenum which is a very short section of your gut. If it is combined with
food, it will take longer to pass through the duodenum, and so you will
absorb more.

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Antioxidants
The other important aspect relating to food supplements is tied to
how our body deals with toxins. Every day our body will normally produce
some toxins, mostly because of incomplete digestion. We will also absorb
toxins and poisons from our environment, from our food, from the air, even
by radiation from the sun. The name of the group of chemicals which are
formed by these toxins is free radicals. Research over the past 20 years
shows that these chemicals are associated with almost every degrading or
aging disease we have. It includes dementia, Parkinsons disease,
osteoporosis, arthritis, and comprises a major part of what we think of as
aging. These chemicals affect our genome and cause distortions which are
now linked to cancer.
Most of these chemicals are usually dealt with by another group of
chemicals called antioxidants. These neutralize the free radicals. The
most commonly known antioxidants are Vitamins A, C, E and B complex.
We have know for decades that sufficient doses of these vitamins reduce
the chance of disease. Now the theory is catching up. We know more
about free radicals and their effects than ever before, and it is the antioxidants which appear to be our answer.
There is another antioxidant which is now being shown to be even
more potent than Vitamin C. It is extracted from grape and pine seed
extract, and some studies have shown it to be up to fifty times more
powerful than vitamin C. The active component is called OPC, and is
available called Grapeseed Extract or Pineseed Extract. It has a slightly
different action, and complements the other antioxidants.
A good answer is to eat only the best food you can get. Free of
poisons, and a fresh as you can get. You will also need to supplement with
minerals and vitamins, particularly when under stress or unwell. You do
not need high doses of minerals, just a regular supply. It is usually simplest
to find a tablet which has a combination of minerals, particularly Calcium,
Magnesium and Zinc. [Zinc is important for proper sexual function in
men.] Minerals should be taken with food.
Your vitamins should include the antioxidants Vitamins A,C,E, B
complex, and Grapeseed Extract. Extra vitamin C in the form of calcium
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The Effect Of Diet

ascorbate [a white powder to mix with water or juice] should be taken as a


tonic whenever you think it might help. Up to 3 grams per day can be
taken. Other herbal style supplements such as garlic and horseradish are
also of benefit. It is usually a matter of deciding just how many tablets you
can handle. Be sure to have at least the minimum amount.
When you are considering you supplements, remember that your
breathing system is a major part of your body chemistry. If your breathing
is poor, your body will be out of tune, so you will develop more free
radicals, and you will be more subject to their damage. If your breathing is
normal as defined by a high Measurement Pause you will less toxin
to deal with, and a better arsenal to do it with.

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CHAPTER 9

The Trigger Factors

The Link Between Asthma


and Allergy Attacks and
Trigger Factors

he apparent flare-up of symptoms that occurs after exposure to some


compounds has led in the past for these compounds to be blamed
for the symptoms of asthma or other conditions.

The most common of these was compounds was found to be the


droppings of the microscopic dust mite. This organism lives on the flaked
off skin and hairs of human beings. They will be found in millions in every
bed in the world, on every pillow that has been used, and obviously on
every person in the world.
When exposed to the droppings [or the critter itself], many people
develop an allergic response, being usually asthma or hayfever. However
many people do not have any measurable response at all, despite having
been similarly exposed for all of their lives.
The same applies to all other allergens. A list that includes the
dust mite and its faeces, dust itself and the smell of dust, smoke of any kind,
any strong odour or perfume, or in fact any chemical with a distinctive
coating on the molecule. However, as well as these chemical allergens,
there are other things that can also act as a nasty sounding trigger factor.
This inexhaustible list includes: hot air, cold air, dry air, wet air, any
change in air temperature, pressure or humidity, stress, lack of stress,
exertion [any physical activity], and any other activity or thing. [I have
seen serious, expensive research projects with goals to find a link between
the incidence of asthma and the use of gas or electric stoves! And they
drew a conclusion and called for more funding!]

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The Trigger Factors

Do you see the pattern yet? Anything is capable of becoming a


trigger factor. There is no particular need for it to have a particular
chemical nature, it just needs to be recognizable by the body either in the
blood, or by the smelling senses, or by the touch senses that can feel a
change in atmospheric pressure, by the taste sense, or vision, or even in
imagination. If you take some people who have developed a strong
sensitivity to say, cigar smoke, ask them to close their eyes and vividly
imagine there is a lit cigar right behind them, wafting all over them with a
very strong sweet smell, and make it really vivid, at least some of them will
develop the attack.
Another example of this kind is stress. When some people get
stressed they get asthma or hives or migraine. There is no physical trigger
factor, the imagined or emotional one will do. This is not to say that the
response in all in their head. It is not psychosomatic, it is a real
physiological response.
The point is that trigger factors can have nothing in common other
than provoking a response. Eg dust mite droppings and stress have nothing
else in common, both are trigger factors. It is a phrase made up by
pseudoscience which was searching for the answers, but when no answer
could be found, the science simply created a category and called it the
answer.
This particular science also cannot explain how the same people vary
in their response to the same allergen at different times. [People grow out
of asthma, hay fever and migraine. They then have no symptoms when
exposed to the exact same environment as last year or last month. The
allergens are still there, but no asthma or other response.]
What about the fact that when people who are sensitized to one
particular allergen take effective steps to eliminate it, they very frequently
develop a sensitivity to a new one, and the symptoms return. Only now
they are sensitive to two things. You can do this until you are sensitive to
everything in the world.
Then, on top of this mountain of unanswered questions, up steps
some odd-named Russian scientist who says that if you normalize your
breathing the trigger factors will have no effect. Exposure to them will not
cause asthma or hay fever once the breathing is brought to a normal level.
Where is the proof you rightly demand.
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The question comes back What proof do you need? Simply ask
any of the 10,000 or so Australians who have made themselves have less
asthma and hay fever by changing their breathing. Ask any of the
previously severe asthmatic subjects of the Clinical Trial at the Mater
Hospital in Brisbane to tell you how they have little or asthma at all now
with no other change in their environment. Are the dust mites still there?
Yes. The pollution? Yes. The stress of daily life? Yes.
What about a huge double-blind study with thousands of subjects
conducted over at least 10 years that has been published in a credible
medical journal like The Lancet or the British Medical Journal? You mean
like the absolute gibberish about trigger factors and dust mites, or like the
studies that said high dose radiation was a good way to kill lice on
schoolchildren, [The latest at this time is that American EPA has decided
that a popular antihistamine drug [Seldane] which they have proclaimed
to be safe by them for years (lots of big studies) is now unsafe and will
probably be withdrawn from sale.], or the studies that said thalidomide was
a safe drug or any number of studies that were soon proven to be absolutely
wrong?
Yes do you have any studies like that? Sorry, we have only one
powerful, unchallengable little study that proves conclusively that it works,
and about 10,000 Australians and 400,000 Russians who all have a personal
success story to tell you.
The key point to this discussion is that the trigger factors are
irrelevant once the breathing is normalized. If you are breathing at a
physiologically normal level, dust mite droppings for example will not give
you asthma. You will still get a nice little red spot with an allergy skin test.
[or an antibody reaction in a blood test] but you will not get asthma. If
there was a blood test for stress if that was your trigger before, the stress
would still be there, but you will not get the asthma.
If you really need a theory, then maybe the answer is that your body
does indeed need a trigger to start the asthma or other symptom, and it
simply sensitizes to what ever is common in the environment. Dust mites
for example are perfect, because they are so common your body can start an
asthmatic defense almost any time it wants. When there is no need for the
defense, the trigger has no effect at all. If you dont like this theory, create
one of your own, it cannot be any more flawed than the allergen fiction.

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CHAPTER 10

Clearing Reactions

Clearing Reactions
Coming Back To Normal

verbreathing causes chemical changes in the body. This interferes


with the internal processes in the cells. It causes oxygen starvation
because of the Bohr effect. It forces the release of vital substances
such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium from the body to compensate
for shifts in pH. It causes the immune system to be pushed out of balance,
and may result in auto-immune responses . It also causes the accumulation
of proteins in the body that would not be there if the pH as not distorted.
So as you start to alter this state of affairs, it is important to
recognise that some very complex changes will be occurring from such as
simple thing as breathing a little less than you want.
When the process to bring the breathing back to physiological
normal is started, these changes caused by breathing too much start to be
reversed. As the increased level of CO2 causes the pH and ionic balance to
head back to where they should be, your body may go through a time of
stress.
The symptoms you may feel could include headaches, nausea, slight
fever, achiness, malaise or low energy, pains or aches in muscles and joints
where earlier symptoms may have been experienced, excess sweating,
itching, diarrhoea, coloured urine, disruption of the menstrual cycle, pus or
excess mucus from the nasal cavity and airpipes.
In short, a period of feeling pretty awful sometimes occurs. In the
vast majority of cases it is just a mild headache, brief nausea, or flu-like
symptoms for a day or two. In more unusual cases, it may last over a week.
In cases where a large amount of drugs have been taken in the past,
residues of these drugs may pass through the skin.
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Clearing Reactions

The other problems are mentioned just to warn you that if something
more interesting does occur, not to panic. For example, the release of large
amounts of mucus, sometimes blood coloured, is not abnormal. In cases of
emphysema and other lower airways disease some really revolting looking
stuff can be released.
It is pretty scary to cough up foul smelling tissue, but now having
being warned it could happen, it will not be as awful if it does.
If you do experience any kind of clearing reaction, rest as much as
you can, eat only if you are hungry, and continue to do your shallow
breathing. Continuing the shallow breathing will assist in its more rapid
completion.
In the case of headache, if it is not helped by paracetamol, then often
drinking some slightly salty water may relieve it.
When it is over, never forget that it was caused by your earlier
pattern of overbreathing. If this breathing pattern is returned to, then the
same diseases you had before will return. After a clearing reaction, the
Measurement Pause will increase as a reflection of improved breathing.

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What is Depth of Breathing?

will cover this briefly as it is the cause of some conflict in people who
have already learned abdominal breathing. When I refer to how
deeply you breathe, I am not referring to where in your body you
breathe. I am not referring to your lower belly moving when you breathe,
or your upper chest. I am referring to the length of time each breath
takes.
If it takes a long time, it is a deep breath. If it takes a shorter time, it
is less deep. Of course this is reflected in the anatomy of where you
breathe as well. A deep [long] breath usually means that have used the
lower part of your lungs, and a shallow breath [short] MAY mean that only
your upper chest moves.
The reality is that what part of your body moves when you breathe is
a result of the position of your spine rather than anything else. For
example, sit in a slumped position and breathe normally, noticing what part
of the area below your neck moves.
Usually, you will see your upper chest and rib-cage doing most of
the work. Now, sit up straight and fold your arms behind your back [the
reverse of folding your arms in front!], breathe normally without forcing
your breathing. Usually, you will see that more movement is lower down
in your belly so to speak.
Notice now that if you stay in this postition and take very small,
short breaths [mouse breathing which you will learn shortly], it will still
be your belly area that moves not your chest! So you will be abdominal breathing shallowly.
So do not worry about which part of your body moves when you
breath the movement is the result of something rather than what you
should try to do.
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Straightening your spine and relaxing your chest will cause your
breathing to be in your belly. It will also cause you to breathe less
deeply! ie. each breath will be shorter! This is a surprise for most
people.
Lets now begin to work with your children. Please read through the
entire chapter carefully before starting with your children.

The Procedure
Read all of the following information carefully, then follow the
directions that follow.
The Basic Breathing Exercise STEPS
This is used as both a measurement and as part of the training. It is used for
measurement in children because they lack the sensitivity to accurately
complete a Measurement Pause.[Which is discussed in the comprehensive
Manual.]
1. Get ready. Child is standing.
The child takes a normal [not large, not
forced] breath in, then passively
releases a small out breath.
The goal of this is to ensure that
the lungs are not full or empty, but are
comfortable. Using the same
procedure also allows some degree of
consistancy for measuring progress.
ie. always start the same way. Note
that all breathing both in and out
are always through the nose.
2. The child now pinches his
nostrils shut with thumb and
forefinger. This is best done with the
hand above the nose so that the thumb
and forefinger resemble a clothes peg.
(GO OVER PAGE)
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This allows the mouth to be clearly seen, and it can be noticed if any
air sneaks in through the mouth.
3. With the nose pinched and mouth closed, the child now marches
forward, and continues until he cannot hold his nose any longer and must
breathe. As the child takes the steps, count them! You will be asked to
record the number of steps taken, as this will be the measurement part of the
breathing training.
4. When the child cannot go any further, he must stop and stand
still. This is the most important part of the training, and you must pay close
attention. Upon stopping, the child will have trapped in a lot of extra
carbon dioxide much more than he is used to.
This will cause the child to have the desire to breathe very deeply to
expel all the carbon dioxide. This must be prevented. The goal of this
exercise is to cause extra carbon dioxide to be trapped in, and then retained.
If the breathing at this time is not closely monitored, then it has the
capability to reduce the CO2 level below the starting point and actually
cause an asthma attack. For children, the key to this vital step is the
analogy with the mouse and the elephant. [see later]
5. After a couple of minutes [recovery time will vary with progression of training], then the child may be allowed to move from the spot
where they stopped and get ready for the next set of steps.
You must monitor your childs breathing [watch it carefully] for a
few minutes after each set of steps to ensure that the impulse to breathe
very deeply is repressed. Signs that this has happened include touching of
nose or face, or movement of the childs shoulders in a vertical direction. If
this occurs remind the child to breathe like a mouse again.

Extra: A useful tip


It is useful to take your childs pulse before beginning each breathing
session. The key point is that a consistently elevated pulse may indicate
that your child is steroid deficient.

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A general guide is that if while calm the pulse is 20 beats or more


above the top of the usual range for children, and does not at any time drop
closer to usual range, then steroids are needed. Range of pulse depends on
age to some degree, with the top of the range for resting pulse usually being
around 90. [Discuss this with your physician.]
As a general rule, if your childs pulse is always over 100, then
consider steroids. Be aware that most medication will also increase pulse,
as will most food, especially sugar, so account for this when observing
pulse.
Steps are best done in series of about 4 to 5. That is, repeat the
process 4 to 5 times. At the start of training this should be done 3 times per
day.
If the pulse is constantly above 120 [for more than a day], you can be
sure that something is about to happen. The pulse will generally rise before
other symptoms such as asthma or an infection appear.

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The Mouse and the Elephant Analogy


This is a great aid to helping your child understand what is required
from them. If your child is not familiar with either animal then substitute
one of similar size that they are familiar with. In classes here I have a book
with pictures of animals. I have a tiny model of a mouse, and a much larger
one of an elephant [and a dinosaur!] Show them pictures or models before
you start!
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Sit down and relax for a moment. Now gently close your eyes and
pretend there is a really big elephant standing right in front of you. It is a
very friendly elephant, and will not hurt you.
Look at how tall he is. He is as tall as the roof. Wow, he is really,
really huge! Look at his big ears, and his trunk. He is a light gray colour
and has big brown eyes. Now look at how much he is breathing. He is
putting his trunk over just in front of you so you can feel how big his breath
is.

Keep your eyes closed and put your finger up high under his trunk so that
you can feel the breathing. [Parent place the childs index finger of the
right hand up parallel to the ground in front of them to feel the breath.
Blow on the finger or wave air onto the finger.]
Wow its huge it almost blows you over. You can even smell what
the elephant had for lunch!
WOOSH WOOSH it is pretty noisy too!
Now that is called elephant breathing. It is big, and noisy and you
can feel it on your finger.
Keep your eyes closed for a little bit longer, and we will look at the
next animal. The elephant has gone away....
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The next animal we see is really


really small. It is a tiny little baby
mouse. It is sitting in the palm of your
LEFT hand [Parent turn left hand
over so that palm is up and cupped so
mouse does not fall out!] It is white,
and really soft and furry. It is really
really small and quiet you cant hear
it breathe at all. Listen carefully............. No it is really quiet
not like the loud elephant.
Now put your finger right under
the nose of this little mouse [Parents
right index finger again where the
nose would be] You cant feel any
breathing on your finger at all! It is
really really tiny and quiet. This is called Mouse Breathing.
Today we have learned about the big loud elephant breathing that
almost blows you over, and about the tiny little mouse that is tiny and quiet
and makes no feeling on your finger.
Now open your eyes.
Lets now see which animal you
breath like, the mouse or the elephant.
Put your finger under your nose, and
feel the air coming out of your nose.
Can you feel it? You are breathing a
bit like an elephant!
Let your shoulders and chest
relax, [Parent touch shoulders
downwards a little.] and try and
breathe so small you cannot feel it on
your finger. Thats it. Even less now.
Be just like the baby mouse.
When you do this it will feel a
bit funny, but that is OK, just keep
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breathing like a mouse. If you ever feel a bit worried or annoyed or if you
start to get asthma then this is how you should breath to stop it. Breathe
just like a little .....[try to get child to say mouse] mouse. Not like a big
....... [try to get child to say elephant] elephant.

Asthma, Blocked Nose,


Post Nasal Drip,
Itchy Nose or Eyes
There is only one way to get asthma or a blocked nose and that is
because you are breathing like an elephant. You are not an elephant, and
your body will try stop you from breathing so much.
Your nose may block up, and make your lungs get wheezy, and you
may feel stuff in your lungs and want to cough.
If your childs nose becomes completely blocked, then the Steps
exercise should be done until it is clear enough to breathe through. Usually
only one set is needed. The key is to ensure that breathing is only through
the nose after the steps [like a mouse].
If the breathing is elephant-like the nose will just block up again.
If it does, then repeat the steps. If it is only partially blocked, then ask the
child to just breath like a mouse, and try to make it clear. With practice
they will soon be able to unblock nose with just breathing.
If the symptoms of asthma occur, tightness, wheeze or cough occur
remember the elephant and the mouse. Reinforce the statement with
your child that the only way to get asthma is to first breathe like an ........
[Elephant]. To make it go away you just breathe like a litte ..... [turn palm
up Mouse] through your ........[point to nose!]
If your child begins to cough then you must teach them how to
cough through their nose. Have a little practice with them. When they feel
a tickle in their throat instead of coughing with their mouth, they should
firstly try to just ignore it, but if they have to then cough via nose. This is
more like an AH-HRRM or throat clearing before a speech.
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At the same time reinforce again the mouse breathing. If you do not
allow yourself to cough, then the urge to cough will simply go away. If you
do allow the coughing cycle to start it will get worse and worse as the
deep breathing causes more and more CO2 to be lost which will cause
the production of more and more mucus.
To cough a lot you must breathe like a big..........Elephant.
On occasions with smaller children, they may say to you that they
cannot stop the cough. Here you must be firm if you want them to become
free of the cycle. They are simply not allowed to cough. [Yell if you must,
but it usually better to do more closed mouth coughing practice.] Obviously also explain that they can cough if they are choking on something.
If you notice a post nasal drip, which is fluid running down the back
of your throat, then the procedure is the same. Mouse breathing first, and if
that does not stop it, then do steps until it has stopped.
Same applies to itchy nose and eyes. If you see your child doing the
allergic salute, pushing on their nose because it is itchy, explain again that
they have been breathing like a big ......elephant! Itchy eyes might be gently
rinsed [eyes closed!] with cool clean water, followed by mouse breathing.

Finger Under the Nose


It is very useful to use your finger for feedback on the depth of your
breathing. The more gentle and passive, the better. When you ask your
child to check their their breathing [even teenagers] ensure they use their
finger under their noses. The other feedback is any noise created by
breathing. If you or they can hear a wheeze try and make it silent.
If there is whistle because a nose is partially blocked, then they
should breathe like a mouse so that it cannot be heard. In both of these
cases the reduce breathing depth will soon stop the wheeze and unblock the
nose. If it does not then a series of steps should be done.

Nose Breathing
As explained more fully earlier in the Manual, we are designed to
breathe through our noses. Reasons include:
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1. Nose filters out things that would cause severe damage to our
lungs, including bacteria, pollens, dust, mites, other organic material,
fungus, etc. If these were to go via our mouth and reach our lungs we
would have greater chance of disease. If you really want to get sick, find
someone with the flu, and take big deep breaths through your mouth in front
of them. Just breathing through your nose will reduce your chance of
infections.
2. The nose humidifies and temperature-controls the air. Your lungs
are very wet, and also do not like temperature changes. Air that reaches
your lungs via your mouth is dryer and further from body temperature than
air through your nose. It is a built in humidifier and air conditioner. You
do not need a room humidifier if you close your mouth!
3. You will breathe less through your nose. There are two small
holes versus one big gob. The balance of gases in your body is upset if you
breathe more than is appropriate. 4. This the reason that most children
older than 6 years will use to keep their mouth closed. If you were to ask
your children to be actors, and play the part of someone who was really
dumb, stupid and uncool[?], would their mouths be open or closed? The
answer is that it you want to look dumb, then let your jaw hang. [A slackjawed yokel?] How do you look with your mouth hanging open?
DUMB!

Rule
Always breathe through your nose. There is only one reason that it
will block up and that is because you are breathing like an elephant. You
are not an elephant, and your body will try and make you breathe less it
will make your nose block up, and make your lungs get wheezy, and will
make you cough.

The System
The goal is to alter your childs breathing pattern by having them
breathe only through the nose, by having them do specific exercises called
steps, and by making them understand the relationship between the depth of
breathing and conditions like asthma and blocked/itchy/runny nose.
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The short-term goal is to get them free of symptoms. The next goal
is to be free of medication, which of course you will need to discuss with
your physician particularly in respect to preventative medication.
Their should be only a gradual increase in intensity of training.

Day One
The main aim on day one is to allow your child to breathe only
through the nose. When you first breathe only through your nose when you
have been used to breathing through your mouth it feels a bit suffocating! This is because you have become used to lower than healthy levels of
CO2, and when you close your mouth an increased [healthier] amount of
CO2 is trapped in.
This makes you feel the desire to take a deep breath, until you get
used to it. After that time it feels strange if you breathe through your
mouth. You adapt to the higher level very quickly but only if you stick
at it.
If you can keep your childs mouth closed [unless they are talking or
eating] for just one day, then the next day it will be much easier for them to
keep zipped.
So go through the Mouse and Elephant Story just read it out if
you wish or substitute animals. Do not under-estimate your childs
ability to understand what you are saying. Explain about the breathing
even if you think they will not understand!
Do all of the hand actions, of feeling the breaths, and holding the
mouse. It is better if you have a dry run by yourself first so you know how
you would hold a mouse or put a finger under an elephants nose.
Have do some practice at mouse breathing, and explain that it can be
done at any time, but especially if any symptoms occur.
Explain about why they should breathe through their noses only.
Then it is time to introduce steps as an exercise. On the first day the
focus should be on getting the form right.
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Steps Instructions:
Take a normal breath in through your nose, then let a little tiny
breath out through your nose, pinch your nose from above, and march
across the room. When you cannot go any further, stop!
When you stop, you must breathe only through your ..........NOSE,
just like a little .......MOUSE. It will feel a bit funny but that is OK, just
stay really still with your finger under your nose and you will soon feel
better.
Make sure that you keep your mouth zipped shut, or some air will try
to sneak in! If any air does sneak in, you have to stop, and just breathe like
a ..... mouse through your .......nose.
It is a good idea to arrange the setting so that you can see if their are
any sneaked mouth breaths especially with smaller children who will do it
to try and please you, or to compete with a sibling. If there is breath
blame the air that sneaked in, rather than the child to causing it to happen.
Count each step that is marched. Allow them to go at whatever pace
they want most prefer brisk as it is less boring and higher numbers are
reached. No running is to allowed, but fast walking is OK. Record the
number of steps there is a sample form at the end of this chapter; there is
a sample workout sheet at the end of this chapter.
Reinforce with them and yourself that the most important part is the
breathing like a mouse when they stop, and for several minures afterward.
When the child stops, stand next to him, making sure the finger is under the
nose. Say that they will feel a bit strange, but that is OK. It is normal for
children to raise their shoulders upward and to tense their body when they
stop. Ask them to lower their shoulders [downwards] and to relax. Then
remind them to mouse breathe.
On the first attempt, some children can only go for a few steps, while
others may do up to 30 or more.
It does not matter too much on the first day, and there is no need to
push them for more steps this can be increased gently over the next few
days. There is no rush.
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For many children, asthma does not recur after the first session, as
they simply breathe like a mouse as soon as they feel the start of the
symptoms. For many just ensuring that the mouth is closed will stop the
asthma.
If there is an attack [asthma, coughing, blocked nose or other] then
the tactic is to breathe like a mouse for a minute or two, [while smothering
any coughing] then do 2 or 3 sets of steps, and if there isnt much
improvement use the relief medication.
It is good to try to do some breathing to try to get relief before using
a relief drug if possible, but if the onset of your childs asthma is very rapid
then obviously skip it or do only a very brief attempt.
Your child will develop better control and attacks will be less severe
as breathing improves [as measured by the number of steps.] The attacks
will be avoided rather than having to be dealt with. Usually when your
child has built up to 100 steps there will be no asthma. For the majority of
children the number is much smaller.
The goal of training to get to the point where 100 [or more if the
child has athletic ambition] steps are easy, as this means that asthma does
not occur. If it does occur [number of steps will have dropped], then begin
again, building steps back up to 100, and the asthma will go again.
It is not unusual for a child to have a relapse a few months after
becoming free of asthma. It is usually less severe, and responds even faster
to the same training method that stopped it the first time. A second relapse
is unusual, as the first relapse will have allowed the child to further develop
his or her breathing skills. If it should occur do it again right from the
beginning!
So, on day one mouth closed, no coughing, and do some sets of steps
[3 or 4] perhaps twice in the day, including once before bedtime. Use the
system to ensure that nasal breathing is possible [ie use steps to unblock
nose if needed.]

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Problems When Sleeping


The majority of children have some difficulty during the night. To
wake a couple of hours after going to sleep with a nasty cough is common.
As is snoring, bed-wetting, and restless sleeping [thrashing about and
waking often].
There is a simple explanation, and a direct solution.
Remember the simple lesson of the mouse and the elephant. The
only way to cause asthma is by breathing like a big ......elephant. One of
the easiest ways to breath like an elephant is to sleep on your back. In this
position there is no resistance to huge deep breaths. Turning on your side
makes it physically more difficult to breathe so deeply your body pushes
down on your lungs more.
The other problem with being asleep is that your mouth will usually
open this allows us to breathe even more deeply. On top of this our
breathing gets deeper as our sleep gets deeper. When we are in our deepest
sleep, our breathing is at its deepest very deep indeed if we are on lying
on our backs with our mouths open! Too deep.
This elephantine breathing cause loss of more CO2 than we produce,
the level gets dangerously low, and various defenses including spasm of
smooth muscle and increased mucus production kick into gear.
So your child starts coughing, snoring or wheezing, or the constriction of the smooth muscle around the bladder causes it to feel very full and
bed wetting occurs. [Snoring is just your throat closing a little to try to stop
you breathing like an elephant.]
The answer to this is to keep your mouth closed when you are
asleep. The Manual contains a full section on this, but in brief, use surgical
tape to keep your childs mouth closed. Do this only on children over 5
years. It has been used on younger children, and the reason I suggest this
age is to ensure that the child has the ability to pull the tape off himself if
needed.
Before you write this idea off as absurd and dangerous listen to the
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instructions. The goal is to have just enough sticking power on the tape to
for it to stay on, and keep the lips together.
The tape recommended is called surgical or paper tape about 1 inch
wide, available from a pharmacist. Tear off a strip about 2 inches [5 cms].
Fold a small tab on each end, so that it is easy to grip. Then repeatedly put
the tape onto your palm and tear it off. Do this until it is hardly sticky at
all.
It does not need much power to keep your lips together. Ensure your
mouth is closed, as you can breathe through this tape, and gently place in
lengthways along your lips. I suggest you do this on yourself first to show
your child that you are also doing it. [It will greatly improve your sleep
quality if you actually wear it in bed.]
Have a practice during the day with the tape so there is less if any
drama at bedtime. Check on the child around 3.30 am to check he has not
pulled it off. Re-apply it if necessary.
If it is off and you do not re-apply it, then your child will have no
protection during the deepest sleep/breathing period, and will start the next
day dealing with the results of huge elephant breathing. This may be
asthma, bedwetting or just plain tiredness. As with the breathing drills, this
is as important as brushing your teeth!
The most common concern with this is that your nose will block up
will your mouth is taped closed and you will suffocate. Fortunately, the
effect of CO2 on your nose makes this impossible. The more blocked your
nose becomes, the more CO2 you will trap in. The extra CO2 will cause
your nose to unblock. So your nose will not block completely unless you
open your mouth. It may whistle a bit, but cannot close up completely.
You may have noticed that there is a lot covered on Day One. This
is true. The following days are just a matter of reinforcement.

Day Two and Continuing Days


On day two the child should find less difficulty in keeping his mouth
closed. They will have become used to the higher levels of CO2 caused by
their mouth being closed.
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Steps sessions should now be done three times per day, with 4 to 5
sets of steps each session. ie. this means that each session should consist of
4 - 5 sets of steps, the number of which is recorded on a form or eventually
in a notebook. It is valuable to also record the level of asthma and
medication next to the steps records on a daily basis. This clearly shows
the decrease in symptoms and relief medication needed as the number of
steps increases.
On this day it is useful to introduce the idea to the child that there is
significant benefit in breathing like a mouse after ANY physical activity.
This will stop any exercise induced asthma that may exist, as well and
decreasing the recovery time for sports or activity. ie. if you breathe like a
mouse after running around, you will be ready to run around again sooner
than if you breathe like an elephant.
A good illustration of children using exertion to start asthma is to
observe small children running around madly, having an excellent time,
getting very puffed [which of course is elephant breathing,] then shortly
after starting to cough a little, then more and more until a full blown asthma
attack is in progress. This is short-circuited by mouse breathing and not
coughing.
Another example is the child with the ability to throw a tantrum until
they begin to cough, then starts the asthma cycle. Parents learn to recognize
this cycle and may become conditioned to simply give in as it better than
a couple of weeks of having a very sick child possibly in hospital with
asthma.
The answer is to explain how the breathing during the tantrum
causes the asthma, and to forbid it. Alternative attention [positive]
hopefully may result in the replacement of the tantrum behaviour with a less
damaging one.

Extra Breathing Drills


These may be introduced on the second day if your child is free of
symptoms. If your child is quite unwell or low in energy wait until they
feel better. As with steps, start very gently, there is no rush, and it is for fun
[with a little breathing lesson].

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Star Jumps/Jumping Jacks:


These are fun to teach small children, as often their coordination is
not quite there yet, and arms and legs go everywhere. Start off with perhaps
a target of 5 on the first day they try it. Simply do the jumps with mouth
closed, and when they stop breathe like a mouse.
Ensure that shoulders relax downwards, and forefinger under nose is
used. The important part is that after a physical exertion, reduced breathing
is to become automatic. This becomes applicable for use in active play
mouth is closed [unless yelling], and breathing is reduced when activity is
temporarily halted. When the child has recovered from the first set of
jumps, do another set. Two is usually enough. Note that the nose is not
held during this activity.
It is good for you also to do this drill. Same rules mouth closed,
and breathe like a mouse when you stop. Puffing is not allowed!
You can slowly increase the number of jumps as breathing improves.

Skipping or other Dance Steps


This is aimed more at the kind of skipping which is done without a
rope, where the child runs with a halted step. Not too fast. Again the
mouth is always closed, and the breathing after is reduced to mouselike
with no puffing allowed [as this is elephantine].
You can substitute other activities which are quite intense, but
remember to start gently and build slowly. Examples are hopping on one
foot, or two feet like a kangaroo, relay running with a ball if you have
several children, bouncing on a trampoline.
Observe closely to ensure that the drill is not too intense or too long.
It should not be so long or intense as to cause your child [or you] to get out
of breath. As breathing improves the length and intensity can be greatly
increased to the point where it will be difficult to become out of breath.
It is an amazing sensation for someone who has always been
physically limited by their breathing to have a different system fail first.
Specifically to have your legs fail from running around before you get
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puffed or winded.
I remember the first time it happened to me very clearly it was
great. Unfortunately I was no longer a child when I discovered this system.

For Smaller Children and Toddlers


You will have realized that it takes some physical coordination to do
the steps drill. This does not usually appear until about 3.5 to 4 years of
age with girl and 4 to 4.5 years with boys. Despite this you can still great
great results it just requires more patience [and sometimes creativity to
keep at toddler interested.]
I have watched the commited parents of a 2.5 year old girl walk
along-side of her during steps, one parent on each side hold a hand, and one
parent holding her nose gently. They walked until her mouth dropped open,
then stopped and played statues [be totally still] or did mouse breathing.
Within 6 months the child was completely free of asthma and it did
not recur. She is now 6, and can do steps easily, and is a great little athlete.
The key is to remember that it is not the actual steps that is the
training, but the reducing of the breathing to keep a tiny little more CO2 in
the lungs than you are used to. So a brief exertion, followed by reduced
breathing and results can be great.
In babies the answer lies mostly in keeping the mouth closed, and in
diet. The American Indians had the tradition of a mother sitting beside a
sleeping baby and if the mouth opened then the mother would simply push
and hold them closed. This is a good habit for modern parents.
The other key is to give the baby a dummy. This will keep the
mouth closed to some degree, and can be used effectively to stop coughing.
Give it to your baby if asthma or croup or bronchitis or whatever is
present.
Control of diet in babies is a matter or recognizing that some foods
will cause us to increase our depth of breathing more than other foods.
Dairy and other high protein foods are an example of this.

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If your baby develops asthma, then move toward the use of


pulverized vegetables and fruits, and fruit juices and water instead of milk
in bottles. Watch carefully to see if any particular food causes your child to
produce more mucus than other foods, and use it less.
When you put your child down to sleep [for their main sleep] do not
give them a large feed just before. In particular do not give a child milk
before bed. The combination of the increase in breathing from the high
protein and high fat, with the increase in breathing from being in a prone
position, will have a talented asthmatic child coughing in no time flat.
There has been much debate about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
here in Australia. The recommendation has gone from not putting a baby
down on their back, to putting a baby down and their back, and now
returned to not putting baby on its back. The problem is that the sample
size of babies lost to this syndrome is very small, so it is difficult for
researchers to to suggest much at all.
From the breathing point of view, putting the child on side or front is
better than on its back. The other recommendation from the SIDS people is
to avoid over-heating your child with too many blankets or clothes.
Another point of interest is that SIDS does not exist in cultures
where the bed is shared either with the parents or with other children.
From a breathing point of view perhaps the movement of other people
during sleep ensures that the depth of sleep and hence of breathing depth, is
not as great. ie. this condition only exists where we allow our children the
luxury of solo, uninterrupted, deep sleep.

Progress and Scheduling of Training [Steps]


Steps are both the measurement and intensity guide for training in
children. When your child can do 75 steps with good control of breathing
afterwards, his breathing is much better than when he can only do 10 steps.
The equivalent is the Measurement pause in adults when it is only a few
seconds you have asthma, migraine, breathlessness, hormonal imbalance
etc. When it is 45 or 50 seconds you do not.
So your goal is to condition your child to the point where he or she is
free of symptoms, and there is a good buffer or safety zone in place. For
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example if all symptoms disappeared when the steps were around 45 steps,
then if he or she can do 90 steps then you have a safety zone [of 45
steps].
Usually when a child can do 100 steps there is little problem.
However there are always exceptions so a better goal is 150 steps. Having
said that do not get too hung up on the numbers. It is more important to
recognize the point where the asthma or other condition disappeared and to
build in a safety zone above that.
This should be an absolute minimum of 50 steps. More is better. If
your child seems to lack the drive to go much past this point, do not be too
critical as it is most likely to do with development phase than with any
lack. Simply ensure that more time is spent on the other drills such as
star jumps.
A young man [10 years old called Nathan] in Townsville was able to
go from being able to do only 7 or 8 steps to over 300 steps in a six-month
period. He was extremely severe with asthma and other conditions, and in
now an excellent [champion] swimmer.
Until the disappearance of all symptoms, steps sessions should be
done 3 times per day [with one before bed]. This should be done until there
is a buffer of at least 50 steps over the number at which the asthma
disappeared. At this point this may be reduced to sessions of two sets of
steps twice per day.
As a safeguard this should be maintained for at least 6 months, after
which it may be dropped back to once per day. At this point it is more as a
measurement of breathing level rather than training. Should the number of
steps that you child is able to do begin to fall, then increase the intenstity
and frequency again. ie go back to 3 times per day.
Should your child get a cold or infection, the number of steps they
can do will drop. If your child simply remembers the mouse breathing and
non-coughing rules, there is not usually a problem, and when they feel
better start steps training at the beginning again.
If breathing becomes so poor that asthma recurs, start the training at
the beginnning immediately. During an infection like this it is difficult to
do many steps. To balance this do more sets of steps. ie. if he cannot do
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around 60 steps as usual but only 35 steps, then do more sets of steps. So
instead of 3 sets of 60, do 5 sets of 35 remembering that the training
effect is in the reduced breathing when the steps are complete.

Review
Training for children consists of:
1. Retraining to ensure nasal breathing only
2. Retraining to ensure breathing after physical exertion is mouselike
3. Introduction of Steps as a measurement, as a training aid, and as a
symptom relief aid
4. Ensuring that breathing depth during sleep is reduced by body positioning and tape
5. Ensuring that the association between elephant breathing and symptoms is understood
6. Ensuring that relief medication is available at all times, even after
apparent prolonged disappearance of symptoms
7. Involving your medical practitioner in the process
8. Encouragement to increase the number of steps up to a target level,
while maintaining breathing control afterward.
9. Restarting the program if there is a relapse of symptoms at a later
time.
10. Installing a routine of doing the steps on a daily basis, with similar
importance as brushing of teeth.
11. Being aware of the impact of different foods on breathing depth, and
being ready to alter the childs diet if needed.

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Day/Date

Time Start Steps Steps Steps Steps


Pulse

End
Pulse

Medication/Condition Diary
Record All Symptons and Medication

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Asthma In Infants

ou will have seen from your reading that applying the Buteyko
Method is an active process. The person who is learning the
method takes control of their breathing and by reduction of the use
of their deep breathing muscles reduces the depth of their breathing until a
desire for a deeper breath is felt. This indicates that a higher level of CO2
is being trapped in, so in a short time avoiding the conditions associated
with CO2 deficiency.
For you to apply the Buteyko Method in infants it is necessary to
recognize the ways in which your breathing can be affected indirectly. This
simply means that you must recognize what makes your breathing deeper,
and avoid it where possible. Once you have followed how this applies to
adults then you simply apply it to babies.
1. Keeping your mouth closed.
This is the first step for all people learning to apply the method. It is
active in the sense that you control the separation of your lips, but the way
that this alters your breathing is passive. You simply close your mouth and
the increase in CO2 levels happens to you. [Providing that you do not
become stressed and increase your breathing depth, still with your mouth
closed. This may be a factor if you suffer from panic attacks.] In most
cases people who have been used to breathing through the mouth will feel a
little suffocated or feel the desire for a deep breath within a minute or two
of having their mouth closed.
This feeling is an indication that you have trapped in a little more
CO2 than you are used to, and your normal response to this is for your body
to believe it should get rid of some of this extra CO2. This is the reason for
the desire for a deeper breath. After a time your body becomes used to the
higher level of CO2 that keeping your mouth closed causes. Once used to
this level the desire for a deeper breath [or feeling of slight suffocation]
disappears. At this point keeping your mouth closed feels absolutely
normal, and breathing through your mouth will feel a little odd.
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The application of this wisdom to infants requires a little lateral


thinking as it is unusual for a baby to actually do what you tell it. The
simplest approach is the use of a dummy or pacifier. While these do
allow a little mouth breathing they reduce it greatly. Try it yourself.
There are lots of discussions about these devices and the problems that
people have associated with them. Crooked teeth, thumb-sucking habits,
and so on.
If you were to be given the choice of a baby who was
A. Miserable with asthma and associated problems, or
B. Much healthier but uses a dummy and who may
(and this is not proven at all) develop teeth problems.
Which would you choose? It is not a difficult choice at all. The
dummy can help!
So, the first step in improving your babies breathing is to encourage
nasal breathing. The dummy is part of this, other parts include simply
pushing your babies lips together. This can be done at anytime, and done
automatically by you even if the child is asleep. Some Native American
Indian tribes did this as part of their culture, it was simply a normal part of
the mothers job. [I do not know if the father also participated if anyone
knows more about this custom please send me a note and I will include the
information in the next edition.]
2. The other positive aspect of infants is that
they will copy you almost exactly
Do not under-estimate their ability to absorb information from around them.
This includes you! You are examined regularly so what you do with
your breathing is very important. If you wander around like a complete
wally with your mouth hanging open then your baby is likely to copy
you.
An excellent example of this is watching how toddlers learn to
sneeze. You already are aware of the wonderful variation we see in
different peoples sneezes. Some have a powerful and loud explosions that
are preceded by a series of warning noises such as AHHHH AHHHH
AHHHHH ending with a violent CCHOO!! Others have something
like a mouse shriek which is like a gentle and brief zthco often causing
people to turn around to see what that odd noise was.
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If you follow a powerful sneezer home and observe how his [more
pronounced in the male] toddler sneezes guess what you will find. The
child will have learned without being officially told that appropriate way to
deal with a nose tickle is loud, violent and irrigating method that dad does,
or whichever person the baby has learned from.
Another excellent example of this is how to blow your nose. Study
the nose blowing method of a child whose modelled parent is from the
enraged elephant school. I have even seen parents coaching toddlers in
power blowing something that almost guarantees continuing demand for
handkerchiefs and tissues. [If you have been captured in this international
practical joke please see a new Appendix I have added How to blow your
nose.]
So what is the message? Follow the simple rules that the Buteyko
systems teaches you. Keep your mouth closed, your posture reasonably
straight, and read the Appendix to see how you should blow your nose and
sneeze.
3. The next part of helping your asthmatic child is to look carefully
at what and how much you are feeding him or her
You will have heard of the impact of dairy food on people in general.
You may have heard that dairy food is mucus-forming. This implies that
the food itself causes the formation of mucus, but you now know that the
food simply causes a change in the depth of breathing which then causes the
production of mucus. [The increased depth of breathing causes you to lose
a little more CO2, which causes your mucus factories to increase
production!]
Different people have different levels of response to different foods.
Some people can eat a whole bucket of double chocolate icecream, and
have almost no change. Others can observe mucus after one teaspoon.
With others it might be strawberries, or oranges.
Your child is an individual, but has similar genes to you. Look at the
sensitivities of both parents and grandparents when looking at your child's
diet. Find all of the clues you can about how your entire family handles
their food. Quiz your parents ask what you were fed, and if you had any
problems. It is amazing what people remember about their own babies!

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Once you have gathered as much information as you can begin to


observe what happens to your baby after meals PAY ATTENTION AND
MAKE NOTES! If you find that coughing is more common after any
particular food replace it or reduce the quantity.
Realize that a huge meal of anything can make your [and your
baby's] breathing much worse. [This is apart from any effect of any
individual food.] If your meal is too big your breathing will suffer! Try
it. Measure your breathing using the Measurement Pause, then stuff
yourself until you are past full.
After each 30 minutes measure it again. Look for mucus formation,
drowsiness, and irritability. See if your ability to think clearly is reduced.
Unless you are breast-feeding your child [which limits the total
amount of food he gets], then it is worthwhile reducing the size of each
bottle. A childs stomach is quite small and too much of any food will
soon overfill it. Like you, your child can take a little time to realize it is full
and naturally keeps sucking away at the bottle until it is overfull. Just
like breast feeding the best for babies and toddlers is small meals often.
The other challenge here is to not confuse hunger with thirst. Not
every bottle has to be milk or formula. We all need water. When you give
your baby [or yourself] water it should be filtered. If you do not have a
high quality filter, then at least boil the water, and let it sit. This not only
ensures it is free of nasty bugs but as importantly gets rid of the chlorine.
And it will taste much better than tap water.
Apart from experimenting with the size of each meal/snack you give
your child, you must also look at the timing of each meal. Think about
what happens to adult asthmatics if you have a large meal, followed then by
having a good sleep.
Both of these factors increase your breathing depth by themselves.
This impact is much greater when you do both. This is very important so
let's go over it again.

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A large meal will increase your breathing depth, causing loss of


CO2, increase in mucus production and greater likelihood of breathing
problems. Similarly, lying down, [especially if you lie on your back] will
increase your breathing depth. Test this for yourself right now.
A good slouch will do for demonstration. Right now slouch right
back in your chair, just like you were watching TV. Without consciously
altering your breathing, note how long each breath takes, how easy or hard
it is to breath in and out. Do this for about a minute.
Then compare your breathing when you sit up straight. A good
model is the following. Sit forward on the edge of your chair, as if it were a
bench edge. Imagine that your spine is like a broomstick, and that your
body is like a jacket. Your shoulders [the shoulders of the jacket] will drop
down towards the floor, not forward or back but down. The lapels of the
jacket [your chest] will also just hang, not pushed in or out. The belly of
the jacket will also just hang. Now check to see that your spine is still a
little like a broomstick again. And relax.
Now observe your breathing again. Note to see how long each
breath takes, how easy or hard it is to breathe, whether your breathing is
nice and regular or erratic. Do this for a minute or two.
You could see the difference. Slouching made your breathing
become much deeper. This effect is even further enhanced when you lie
down completely. If you lie on your back your breathing can become
massive unless you are awake to control it. Lying on your side or front
simply makes it physically more difficult to take as deep a breath.
It is interesting that sitting or standing up straight results in your
breathing become less deep. For all of these years we have been told to
stand up straight and breathe more deeply!
If you allow yourself to go from the nice straight sitting position to
the slouched position what is the first thing that happens to your
breathing? You find yourself taking a nice lovely big deep breath! Ahh.
Let's apply this to your baby. Large meals increase their breathing
depth. Sleeping [worse on back] increases breathing depth. You want your
child to cough give a large meal then put them down for their big sleep!

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This is traditionally done because the big meal makes them drowsy,
[the huge dose of insulin released does it], and therefore easier to put to
sleep. If your child is getting asthma then you have to forego this
shortcut.
Give the larger meal well before bedtime, and then a smaller snack
before bed. If you are using milk or formula, then use a small bottle at
bedtime or give water or [unsweetened] juice at that time.
In effect this usually means breaking the larger before bed feeding
into two smaller feedings. Just like when breastfeeding. This same rule
also applies to adults have either a very small meal before going to bed
or nothing at all.
What food is best for your baby? Breast milk is best. Sometimes
this is not possible or always available so mostly you will use or supplement with milk [cows] or some kind of formula. If you are having
problems or at least your baby is with coughing or wheezing, then
you need to experiment. Many children are lactose intolerant which
means that cows milk will not allow them to thrive, and will adversely
affect their breathing.
As a general rule if your child has problems go off cow's milk
and other dairy. Substitute non-dairy formula or soy or goats milk.
Experiment! Try different things for a week or so, making notes of
coughing, wheezing and runny noses.

SUMMARY
The most important thing to remember is that once your baby is old
enough you can teach them active steps to take to clear up their asthma.
Your main tasks are to ensure that they are kept alive until then, and to keep
their comfort level as high as possible. This may seem a brutal thought
but the fact is that you cannot retrain their breathing habits unless they are
alive. So you must remain calm in the face of symptoms, yet be ready to
seek emergency help and all the power of modern medicine to ensure their
survival. Take no risks.
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The real process for a parent of an infant with asthma is to look to


decrease the affect of things that deepen the breathing of the baby, this
means:
Mouth closed: using a dummy, or closing it with your fingers. If
your child refuses a dummy, then remember who is in control. One way to
deal with this is to firstly ensure that the dummy does not taste like an old
sock. Taste it yourself. Let your child see you with it in your mouth. This
may be enough to make them want to try it. [Look what Daddy's got!]
Failing this then it may help to apply something tasty to the dummy, such as
a tiny blob of honey or other sweet. Once they are in the habit of using the
dummy, reduce the amount of sweet down to nothing.
Dietary control: recognize the impact of different foods, different
quantities of food and the timing of each meal. Smaller meals with make
less impact on breathing, and in general [not always] it is better to drop out
dairy based foods first when looking for the right foods for your child. The
next group to look at is sugary foods and refined foods [eg white bread].
Generally the less refined food is the less impact on your breathing. Fine
white bread will impact more than whole grain bread. This is related to
sugar levels, and in general you should try to avoid all refined sugars. This
inludes colas, breakfast cereals [especially processed rice and corn based]
and sweeted fruit juices. You can substitute oatmeal, minced vegetables
and keep to whole grain products.
Active control of breathing level: play games which teach your
child how to cough through their noses, and to breathe like a mouse when
they are old enough. This also includes your impact from being the ideal
breathing role model. [A great example this morning a young couple
with an 11 month old baby were surprised when I pointed out that the baby
was sucking the same fingers through an open mouth that dad did. He held
the same hand in the same position, and chewed on the same fingers as dad!
This baby was also known to copy his older sister [2.5 years]
every time she coughed he joined in. Excellent!] Both parents breathed
mostly through their mouths, and so did both children. Within one hour of
both parents being told of the importance of nasal breathing both
children also breathed through more often through their noses.

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If you have the use of an older sibling, then you can use them as
models for teaching infants and toddlers how to do the exercises in the
childrens instruction chapter. A two year old will mimic the things done by
a 5 year old. These exercises have a massive impact even if not done
exactly right by a toddler. If you can get it pretty close [as the child is
not yet able to do it precisely], you will still get decreased symptoms.
Obviously is also a good idea to avoid trigger factors like dust, dust
mites, and pollens if you can. Regulary turning mattresses and washing
mattress covers with a touch of bleach helps, as does ensuring that pillows
are clean and fresh smelling. A weekly dose of sunshine on pillows helps
with this. If you able then having non-carpeted floors is good.
Care should be taken to keep the family cat dander free. This can be
done by a weekly bath. Dander is a very potent trigger, and even if it does
not affect breathing enough to cause asthma, it will still cause itchy eyes. If
your cat does not allow a weekly bath, say goodbye to it.
Remember that as an adult you can minimise the effect of trigger
factors by carefully monitoring your breathing and reducing it at first sign
of an effect from the trigger factor. Your baby cannot yet do that, so you
must simply minimise the exposure to it.

Other factors to be aware of:


Temperature: If your child becomes too hot or too cold breathing
depth will increase. An important point is to allow a child's feet to be bare
unless it is quite cold. Our feet are a vital part of our temperature
regulation, and generally we are better off with bare feet.
Nasal blockage: If your baby has a blocked nose and cannot breathe
through it at all then there are some gentle steps you can take to help.
Firstly, determine if it is completely blocked or only partially blocked. If it
is only partially blocked then it is easier to deal with. Your goal will be to
have the child trap in more CO2 you will do this by increasing their
production of CO2, but then keeping the mouth closed to keep some of the
extra CO2 in.

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The Buteyko Method For Infants

One way to do this is keep the dummy in while exercising the


child. If your child is walking or almost walking then walk/carry them
around the room [hold their arms while they walk in front of you. After
about 10 seconds stop, get down to their level, and ensure that their mouth
is closed.
If you do not use a dummy, then simply push their lips together. You
will find that their nose is more clear. Repeat this process if needed, so that
the nose becomes sufficiently open to breathe through. Do not be
concerned if both nostrils do not become 100% clear. The first goal is
comfortable nasal breathing.
If your baby is still too young to do the walk/carry procedure, then
gently pumping arms and legs can achieve similar results. Be sure to be
very gentle, and only use short bursts.
Bed/Cots: Your baby's bed should be quite firm, and best position
for sleep is on the tummy or on the sides
Activity: Ensure your baby gets to move around. Change positions
and places regularly, with plenty of stimulation. Be sure that their hands are
free to move around. This allows a little exercise, plus allows them to
develop coordination. Swimming is wonderful activity for children, even if
it is just in the bath. Allow their faces to go under water in little dives,
during which they will intuitively hold their breath. This is called the
diving reflex. You can use it to unblock baby's nose an alternative to
pumping of arms and legs ensure that mouth is closed soon after
surfacing. [Obviously, avoid filling your child with bath water!]

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CHAPTER 13

Emphysema

Emphysema

n the past emphysema has been seen as a death sentence. Your doctor
or specialist may have explained to you that this condition is
progressive, and will eventually stop you from breathing at all. You
may have been told that new drugs are becoming available all the time, and
new research is happening.
If you are youngish, then you may have been told there is a chance
for a lung transplant later. Some doctors will simply say to make the most
of the rest of your life while you still can.
While this is pretty good advice to follow anyway, there are some
really interesting other things to know about. There is a theory that
smoking causes emphysema. There are literally thousands of people who
have emphysema, but have never smoked ever. They have never been
exposed to even passive in any dose; they have the same condition as a
two-packs-a-day-for-thirty-years smoker.
Other people have what scientists describe as alpha antitrypsin
deficiency, which is a genetic code that produces less of an enzyme that is
needed in your lungs than normal people. The interesting thing is that in
the vast majority of these cases, the emphysemic condition is not seen until
later in life even though the genetic pattern that says there should be
emphysema has been there since birth. What is the missing factor that
explains what is going on?

The Missing Factor


The missing factor is the depth of breathing of each person. The
only difference between asthma and emphysema is where it occurs in your
breathing system. Very simply put, asthma happens in the airpipes [called
bronchi], whereas emphysema occurs in the bulb-like sacs at the end of
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the airpipes called alveoli. Asthma is restriction of airflow by either


squeezing the airpipes with special muscles, or blocking it up with sticky
mucus, or both. Emphysema is the clogging up of the alveoli at the end of
the airpipes with mucus.
The restriction of breathing in both conditions has the same cause.
Your body is try to restrict the airflow to prevent further loss of carbon
dioxide [CO2]. From earlier chapters in this book you will know that if you
lose too much CO2, then your body will not work, and you will die. The
restriction of your airflow in asthma and emphysema is simply your bodys
way of forcing you to stop losing so much CO2.

Smoking
Smoking is a double whammy for emphysema. The deep breathing
associated with smoking causes the loss of more CO2, which induces your
mucus factories [special glands that produce mucus or phlegm] to
increase their output. Added to this is the effect of bringing foreign
particles into your lungs. This also causes an increase in mucus production
[to clean up the bits of tar and debris]. The effect is a huge increase in
mucus and it is no wonder that alveoli [and bronchi] clog up.
An additional effect of bringing all of this cigarette muck into your
lungs is to increase the chance of your lung cells mutating and giving you
cancer. The other effect of smoking [while we are bashing this silly habit!]
is that it introduces hot, dry air to your lungs. Your lungs are wet and
sloppy and they function best this way. When they dry out or are heat
affected they are easily damaged, and more likely to become cancerous or
infected.
To conclude my tirade on smoking if you are addicted to nicotine,
then find another way to get it into your body. If you must do this via your
lungs then use a similar device to what marijuana or opium smokers use
a pipe or bong. This drags the smoke filled air through water which
washes it a little, and cools it a lot. The amount of gunk that gets into
your lungs is decreased and you can actually see it in the foul smelling
water that is left. Of course to use these devices you have to breathe very
deeply, so you will still lose CO2, and still probably get emphysema but
you may have a lower chance of getting cancer of the lungs, lips, mouth or
throat.
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If you must continue to smoke, then at least bear in mind the lessons
contained in this book. You will be able to reduce the symptoms of
emphysema if you follow this breathing model because you will be
stopping one of the factors that produce the symptoms. The other will still
exist, and you will continue to do damage until you stop.

Antytrypsin Deficiency
The curse of the genetic ability to produce less antitrypsin than
you need can also be reduced in effect. I now have two clear cases where
people with severe symptoms and this genetic deficiency have had major
reductions in emphysema symptoms after using the Buteyko System. One
lady in England used only this Instructional Manual. The first I learned of
it was when a British Doctor who was now working in Australia contacted
me to ask how it could have happened. This GP said that it was hard to
believe, but she could not argue with the results. So if you have been
tested, and shown to have this particular gene do not give up hope!
The reason for hope is that for a major portion of your life you
produced enought antitrypsin to live normally. At some point something
changed which resulted in you beginning to experience the symptoms of
emphysema. I am saying that one thing that changed is the depth of your
breathing. It changed in exactly the same way that the breathing of
someone who gets asthma late in life also changed.
Often people can trace the beginning of their symptoms back to a
particular illness or event. It may have been a serious infection, a shock
such as a death, an operation, or even childbirth. It may be even be a less
awful event like retiring or moving to a nicer climate. Because you were
unaware of your breathing the only change you would have noticed is that
you seemed to be getting breathless more easily, or that you had a cough.
Asthma, Emphysema or Both!?
You will now be noticing that there is not a lot of difference between
asthma and emphysema. The cause as stated above is the same, the
symptoms are similar in effect, and even the medications used are the same.
The major difference is that emphysema causes more lung damage.

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You may have been told that you only have a certain percentage of
your lungs still working as the mucus blockages in the alveoli have
damaged the alveoli so that they are no good for exchanging gases.
Before I go further into the practical way to determine whether you have
asthma or emphysema I want to give you some good news.
You do not need to have 100% of your lungs working to have a
decent quality of life. Obviously, the more the better but there a
thousands of cases where people have had large sections of their lungs
removed [usually because of cancer], and afterwards can function on one
lung or less.
So regardless of how much good lung you have been told you have
left be positive! Your goal will be tune your breathing so you can take
best advantage of what you have, plus try to prevent any further damage.
Another point is that lung tissue that appears to quite destroyed on X-ray
will still be able to do the job to some degree so the percentages that are
calculated from x-rays are always more pessimistic.
OK. Is it asthma or emphysema? The difference is in the location of
your defense to stop losing too much CO2. Whichever defense you have is
determined by your genes. One person will get a defense in the airpipes,
another in the alveoli, another in both places.
As a general rule, the more your symptoms are caused by asthma, the
better. This is because there is generally less damage to lung tissue in
pure asthmatics, and much more in pure emphysemics. [Note that if
you have severe asthma for long enough you will also have some emphysema and lung (alveoli) damage.]
The easy way to tell how much emphysema or asthma you have is
examine how well you respond to your relief medication. For example,
when you take your Ventolin [salbutamol] or other fast acting bronchodilator, how long does it take to work? If it works within a few minutes that
means you have a good component of asthma because this medication
works mostly on the airpipes. It does not mean you have no emphysema
only that you have some asthma. If it does not work for 10 minutes or so,
then you have more emphysema, and less if any asthma. If it does not work
at all, which is common, and makes no difference at all, then you probably
have straight-out emphysema.

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If this is so do not let yourself get depressed! There is still hope.


In practice, the more asthma you have the faster you will see relief from
your symptoms using this system. The more emphysema you have the
slower your progress will be but there will still be progress. You will
have to work more for your results and you will need to be more patient.
Having said this, in classes where I have taught emphysemics there is
always a significant improvement within 10 days no matter how far gone
they think they are! It is never too late.
There are several cases of people arriving at class in wheelchairs,
their oxygen cylinder on the back, taking megadoses of most drugs, needing
20 hours of oxygen per day and unable to manage the slightest exertion who
have been walking around in less than a week! They are not cured, but
have learned that they recover faster when they do their Buteyko breathing.
Once they can do a little exertion and recover, then they can soon do a
slightly greater exertion and recover.
The training effect kicks in and soon major improvements are seen.
[It is a little like the first time you go for a swim or a walk and the first day
you can only go a small way before you wear out, but if you train properly
then each time you can go further and further. This applies to people of all
ages and if you want to get older faster then rest a lot! Once you can
control your breathing then you can start to train again get stronger
and enjoy life more.
You cannot do this until your breathing system works again if you
try to train when you cannot breathe you are taking a huge risk your
heart may give up. So the most important less for those with emphysema
[and in asthma] is to never exert to the point where you can no longer
control your breathing. You must stop the exertion just before this point,
reduce your breathing depth [almost suffocate yourself] until you have
recovered, and only then continue your exertion.
This is a very important point. When your breathing is extremely
affected by emphysema then the tiniest little thing will knock you up.
You will become breathless. So your first training exertion may be to
simply stand up, and then sit down again and recover. Then repeat the
exercise. Always remember that any exertion is a breathing training!
Once you can get to the point where you stand without becoming
breathless, then stand and walk ten paces, stop and recover. It is the
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recovery which is the most important part. You must do the opposite of
what you really want to do which is to put your hands on your knees and
suck in the big ones. It will feel as if you are not getting enough air and
I am telling you to suffocate even more!! I will go over some of the
chemistry to do with oxygen and CO2 below but the simple fact is that
you have nothing to lose by trying it. No one else is telling you that you
can reverse your condition.
Another point about working on your emphysema is that usually you
will not realize you are puffed or out of breath or knocked-up until
you are REALLY out of breath. By this I mean that you will not realize that
you have gone from being OK to being breathless until it is too late. Once
it is too late, it will take you a lot longer to recover. If you can stop your
exertion when you are only just a tiny bit breathless, the you can recover
faster with much less misery and your progress will be much faster.
It does you no good to lose control of your breathing, and will
actually contribute to your condition worsening. For example, if you are
walking, then stop BEFORE you get so puffed you have to stop! This may
seem a little frustrating and may slow you down in the short term but in
the long term you will get better faster, and not worse. You get no points
for getting to the point where you begin to gasp.
If your condition right now is that you are gasping [even before you
have done anything] then just sitting or lying there is sufficient exertion
to begin with. Your first step is to be not needing to gasp; the only way
you can do this is again doing the opposite of what it feels right to do. That
is, you have to suffocate yourself a little, even though what you really want
to do is breathe deeply like a horse.
Remember that the reason you are gasping is because your body is
trying to stop you breathing like an elephant instead of a human.
Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide
Much confusion arises with these two gases when you first try to
figure out what is going on. This book is telling you that it is carbon
dioxide [CO2] which is the controller of your breathing, but you know from
your own experience that oxygen is also needed.
When your breathing is normal, and you are not suffocating, it is the
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level of CO2 which controls your breathing. However, when the level of
oxygen in your blood drops too low, then this takes over the control of how
deeply you breathe. Now some interesting points rise to make things more
confusing.
When I speak of CO2 levels dropping and causing constriction of the
airpipes, I am referring to the levels in the lungs. When the level in your
lungs drops too low this effect is magnified throughout the entire body
because a special chemical measure called the pH depends greatly on the
level of a form of CO2 in lungs. This special kind of carbon dioxide [called
carbonic acid] can cause rapid changes in pH, and if pH changes too much
then most of the chemical reactions in your body simply will not work.
So if the level of CO2 in your lungs is wrong, then it can affect every
single reaction in your body. [To confuse things a little further the
increased level of CO2 in your blood will alter pH as well but in a
different direction to the change caused by a lack of CO2 in your lungs. In
a way they balance almost themselves out.]
Now the CO2 level in your blood is different to the level in your
lungs. If you have emphysema and have been to hospital you will know
that as well as measuring your blood oxygen, they also measure your blood
CO2 and when you difficulty breathing it is usually very high!
This is because the CO2 that your body produces [a little when you
are still, and more when you use up more energy] cannot pass through the
alveoli to get into your lungs [and therefore out into the air], and so keeps
going around and around in your bloodstream. When your lungs are
working normally the CO2 can get out of the blood by crossing the alveoli
into the lungs, but when the mucus has blocked the alveoli it cannot.
So this means that you can have too high a level of CO2 in your
blood, but too low a level in your lungs. The fact that it is too low in your
lungs means that the mucus still keeps being formed in your alveoli, and
keeps it blocked.
Now follow closely here because this explains why you feel so
suffocated. When the alveoli is blocked, it means that the oxygen in your
lungs cannot get into your blood. Remember that to stay alive your body
uses up oxygen, and turns it into CO2 which gives it energy.

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So your body uses the oxygen in your blood and turns it into CO2
but if your alveoli is blocked off by mucus then the CO2 cannot get out
of the blood, and more oxygen cannot get INTO the blood. You have plenty
of oxygen in your lungs and no matter how much you breathe you
cannot get it past the blocked alveoli into the blood where the level is
getting lower and lower.
I mentioned above that oxygen takes over from CO2 in controlling
your breathing depth when the oxygen level in your blood gets too low.
And this happens! The oxygen level in your blood drops, and this causes an
automatic increase in your breathing depth. [It is trying to force more
oxygen into the blood.]
However, the deeper breathing caused by this automatic reflex
causes even more CO2 to be sucked out of the lungs this stimulates the
mucus factories to increase their production even more which blocks off
the flow of oxygen in and CO2 out of the blood even more!
So even though you are getting lower and lower levels of oxygen in
the blood, the more deeply you breathe to try and get more in the more
you block off the passages. So you are stuck in a loop!
The only way to break out of the loop is fight against your automatic
reflex to breathe more deeply when your oxygen levels are low. This means
that even though the low levels of oxygen are making you feel suffocated
you must do the opposite of what feels right and suffocate yourself even
more than you already feel! This sounds scary doesn't it?
It is scary at first, but once you do it a couple of times and feel it
work you relax and it is not so bad. You simple must remember that even
when you feel suffocated you must do the opposite and breathe as if
the air is going just into your nose and just out again. This will allow the
level of CO2 in your alveoli (lungs) to build up which will reduce the
mucus production which will allow the oxygen to get into your blood
from your lungs, and the CO2 to get out of your blood into your lungs.
When enough oxygen has got into your blood, the oxygen control of
your breathing [which makes you want to breathe deeper and deeper] will
stop, and CO2 will start controlling it again. But you will not change your
strategy your answer is ALWAYS to breathe less deeply than you want
to.
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Over a period of time if you keep trapping in more CO2 than your are used
to you will get used to higher and higher levels [in your lungs!]. The
more you are used to, the less mucus you will produce in your alveoli
and the less your emphysema symptoms will be.
Your goal is to remember that you want more CO2 in your lungs, and
the way to do that is to breathe so gently that you cannot hear your
breathing or feel it if your place your index finger under your nose.
If you have severe emphysema then you will have to be tough on
yourself at first. This means that you will have to breathe a lot more
shallowly and feel much more suffocated than those woossy asthmatics.
This is because you will feel suffocated before you even start and you
have make the suffocation worse! If you do not make it worse, then this
method will not work.
You can do it and it is only slightly worse than what you are
going through already, and if you do it then you can look forward to
improving rather than getting steadily worse. You can do it from this book
but it is a lot easier if you can get to a class or find an instructor who will
guide and support you.

About Oxygen
The level of oxygen in your blood when you are able to breathe
normally is very high. You cannot significantly increase the level of oxygen
in your blood by breathing more! Your blood is usually 99% saturated
with oxygen you cannot squeeze more in by deep breathing.
A study was done in 1963 and written up in the New England
Journal of Medicine [a very prestigious medical journal], where people
were forced to breathe as deeply as they could for 15 minutes. Before they
started the doctors measured the oxygen and CO2 levels in their blood.
After 15 minutes of deep breathing the level of oxygen had
DROPPED greatly in the blood, and the CO2 level had increased. Did this
breathing make them feel good? Nope. They were dizzy, nauseous, and
many were coughing and wheezing.
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So always remember your lungs are a gas mixing chamber. They


work best when you have the right mix of gases in them just like the
carburettor of a car.
If the mix of gases is wrong, then the motor will have low power,
poor economy and will wear out faster. [Not to mention spluttering and
backfiring!] The way to tune your carburettor is to breathe less deeply than
you want, this automatically improves your performance.
Extra Tips About Using Medication In Emphysema
The same rules apply as for asthma. See your doctor before altering
any medication!
Use your breathing to try to get relief first, then use your relief
medication if you need it. If the relief medication you are using makes no
difference to your symptom level then ask your doctor why you are taking
it. See another doctor if they insist on taking it when no difference is felt.
Keep taking your preventative medication until you are much
improved. By preventative medication I am referring to steroids only.
Taking a long acting bronchodilator [such as Atrovent] when short acting
ones [like Ventolin] do not work will do you no good.
In cases where no drugs give any relief at all, there is a way of using
oral steroids to get a little relief. Obviously you need to talk to your doctor
before changing any drugs, and particularly with this approach. At times
when your your breathing is really bad, and you feel yourself getting more
and more exhausted, then taking 5 milligrams of Prednisone, chewed, with
warm water may give you a little rest. It is chewed as this helps speed
absorption, as does the warm water. Even with this, the drug it will take at
least 2 hours to have an effect. So take it then sit very quietly doing your
breathing as well as you can.
When you have a history of very severe emphysema then you need
to view your breathing training on a yearly basis. You will have times when
you have bad days and good days. If you keep to the strategy then over
time your bad days will not be as bad or as frequent, and your good days
will get better. In the short term with severe cases you will be looking for
an improvement in recovery time, and an improved endurance.

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Out of interest one of the ways I measure progress in a class of


emphysemics is to determine the Grouch factor each day. At the start this
factor is high it is very difficult to deal with anything when you can
hardly breathe so that even a slight task will see annoyance and
sometime tantrums.
As the course progresses and breathing improves then the Grouch
factor drops. The angry old men become charming and even cheeky. It is
usually the men where this factor is obvious, as perhaps women deal with it
better? So if you know someone with emphysema, and they are usually
cranky give them a break see how smiling and easy-going you are
when just getting dressed takes hours to recover from. Oh, and tell them
about Buteyko!

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APPENDIX 1

Buteyko Clinical Trial Summary

Summary of Results
of the Buteyko Clinical Trial
Introduction
In December, 1994 a clinical trial began which compared the
efficacy of the Buteyko Method with conventional asthma treatment. It was
conducted by Respiratory Physicians Prof. C Mitchell and Dr S. Bowler.
The Trial was held at the Mater Hospital in South Brisbane, and was
funded primarily by the Australian Association of Asthma Foundations.
It was initiated in response to a huge volume of anecdotal evidence
claiming its effectiveness. It was a controlled, randomized study which
compared the Buteyko Breathing Technique with a placebo breathing
technique plus conventional asthma management. Measured were
symptoms, quality of life, lung function and medication.

Methodology
Thirty-nine subjects were recruited and randomly divided into two
statistically equal groups, based on history of asthma and current medication levels. Each group was trained at the same time in different room of
the same building, with sessions over 7 days each lasting 60 to 90 minutes
each. Blinding was maintained over the groups until 12 weeks, so that
neither group was aware of which group they were in.
Throughout the trial, including the 1 month run-in period, bronchodilator medication was to be used on an as required basis, with both
groups attempting to minimise usage. Diary cards were kept which
recorded medication usage, symptoms level and peak expiratory flow.
Subjects were instructed not to alter inhaled steroid dose during the
initial six weeks, after which a clinical review would take place. After that
review, subjects using short acting B-agonists at one dose or less than one
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APPENDIX 1

Buteyko Clinical Trial Summary

dose per day were instructed to reduce their inhaled steroids according the
protocol.
The control group was trained by a qualified physiotherapist in
standard asthma education including relaxation, coughing and abdominal
breathing techniques, and the Buteyko group by an experienced Buteyko
Instructor.
Respiratory testing FEV, Minute Volume, and End Tidal CO2 were
conducted after run-in, at 6 weeks, and at 12 weeks. Diary card data was
gathered at this time and Quality of Life Questionnaires were administered
at these times plus at 8 months. Also at 8 months a further medication-use
questionnaire was given.

Results
Results at 6 Weeks
Beta Agonist Use:
Buteyko Group decreased average agonist use by 90.1%.
[From 1235ug to 134ug]
Placebo Group decreased average agonist use by 5%.
[From 1029ug to 978ug]
Inhaled Steroid Use:
Buteyko Group average inhaled steroid use fell 12.5% from 1893ug to
1656ug
Placebo Group average inhaled steroid use remained statistically the same
at 1450ug to 1551
Diary Card Symptom Scores
Buteyko Group decreased symptoms score by 50%
Placebo Group decreased symptoms score by 15%

- Page 110 -

APPENDIX 1

Buteyko Clinical Trial Summary

Quality of Life Score Impact of Asthma on Patient Lives


Dimensions measured were breathlessness, mood , impact on social activity,
concern for the future.
Buteyko Group 54% improvement, better in all dimensions
Placebo Group 24% worsening
Summary at 6 Weeks
After 6 weeks Buteyko subjects used 90.2% less beta-agonist [relief
medication], felt substantially better in terms of breathlessness, mood,
social activity and concerns about the future, had less symptoms, and as a
group used less inhaled steroid.

Results At 3 Months
Beta-agonist Use
Buteyko group had maintained decreased average use by 90%
Placebo group had increased average use by 9%
Inhaled Steroid Use
Buteyko group had decreased average use by 49%
Placebo group was statistically the same as before the trial
Diary Card Symptom Scores
Buteyko group 71% improvement
Placebo group 14% improvement
Quality of Life Scores
Buteyko group had significant improvement that was still maintained at 8
months

Follow-up At 8 Months
At 8 months the decrease in beta-agonist use in the Buteyko Group had been
maintained.

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APPENDIX 1

Buteyko Clinical Trial Summary

Discussion
This study showed that a group of severe asthmatics [averaging over
12 puffs of relief medication] were able to reduce their medication to an
average of just over 1 puff per day, simply by learning a different model for
breathing. As well as reduced relief medication, the need for steroids was
also significantly reduced. This is combined with massively reduced
symptoms and greatly improved quality of life.
In this trial it was also attempted to changes in CO2 levels, changes
in peak expiratory flow levels, and minute volume levels. Because of the
relatively small sample size, the only statistically significant change among
these measures of lung function was minute volume. Minute volume is an
objective measure of the volume of air breathed at rest in one minute while
stable. It is a consistent measure of the degree of hyperventilation in the
patient.
The Buteyko group average minute volume dropped from 14.0+6.5
litres, to 9.6+3.1 litres [p=0.9] which is a significant drop when compared
to the placebo group [which went from 14.2+4.9 to 13.3+4.0 litres per
minute.]
This change is exactly as predicted by Buteyko Theory which states
that a reduction in hyperventilation will result in reduction in symptoms of
asthma and hayfever.
[Correlation was found between the relative reduction in beta-agonist use in
the Buteyko group and the relative reduction in Minute volume,
r=0.51,p=0.04]

Addendum

The control group of the above Clinical Trial was offered the
opportunity to receive instruction in Buteyko Breathing after blinding was
removed from the groups.
In an uncontrolled trial equally dramatic improvement was shown in
the 10 subjects. Average decrease in B-agonists at 4 weeks was 75%, and at
8 months was 90%. [From 1733+1231ug/day to 228+467ug/day]

Over the same period, [8 months], use of inhaled steroids was


reduced by 33%. [From 1270+813ug/day to 850+753ug/day]
All of this group also reported a significant reduction in symptoms.
- Page 112 -

APPENDIX 2

Importance of Carbon Dioxide

The Importance
of Carbon Dioxide

he purpose of this appendix is to draw the attention of both expert


and non-expert the significance of CO2 in our bodies. I will
explain in over-simplified terms, and will try to cover only enough to
convey the importance while lessening the confusion where possible.

The Source Of Energy and CO2


The most common source of energy in the body is the so-called
burning of sugars. Sugars [like the most common glucose] have
general formula C6 H12 O6, which means each sugar molecule has 6
carbon atoms, 12 hydrogen atoms and 6 oxygen atoms. When this sugar is
burned in the presence of 12 more oxygen atoms, energy is produced. As
well as the energy produced, all of the atoms involved are re-arranged. The
new combination is 6 CO2 molecules plus 6 H2O [water] molecules. So
the reaction is:
C6 H12 O6 + 6 O2 is burned to give energy plus 6 CO2 + 6 H2O
[The underlining means the atoms are grouped together.]
The energy from this basic reaction is the source of all energy from
the breakdown of carbohydrates [carbon-hydrogens]. The CO2 produced
here is the main source of CO2 for the body. Remember there is almost
none in the atmosphere now.
The burning of sugars is the main energy source for your muscles.
So therefore for the muscle cells to function they must have both the sugar
and the oxygen. The sugar is made available from the blood, where it has
been placed by various organs in the body. The oxygen [O2], comes from
the atmosphere. It is drawn into the lungs, is pulled across the membranes
of the lungs into the arterial blood. There is a special type of blood cell
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APPENDIX 2

Importance of Carbon Dioxide

called the Red Blood Cell [or RBC] which is like a ferry for gases inside
the body.
On this RBC ferry, their are special seats for oxygen. These are
called hemoglobin, and there is a limited number of seats, so they are
often almost completely filled with oxygen as the blood leaves the lungs.
[97% saturated with oxygen.]
The RBC ferry travels through the body on the arterial freeway
which becomes narrower and narrower until there is only one lane for
RBCs. This single lane puts the RBC very close to the cells, which may
be for example muscle cells.
At this time, because there are more oxygens on the ferry than
around the cells, many oxygens gets off the ferry. If there are heaps of
CO2s in the area, it changes the chemistry of the bus, and many more
Oxygens get off. These oxygens are then available for use by the cells.
[that is, they can be reacted with sugar inside the cells to make more energy
and CO2.]
At this time lots of CO2s get onto the RBC ferry. There are special
seats on the ferry for CO2 as well. A very small amount [7%] will just
stand in the aisles [as CO2 dissolved in water] A slightly larger group
[23%] will take some old oxygen seats [hemoglobin]. The biggest group
[70%] is turned into bicarbonate by a special enzyme on the bus. [It is
this reaction that makes more oxygens get off the ferry. There more CO2
there is to turn in bicarbonate, the more oxygen gets off.]
After having gone through the single lanes of the arterial highway,
the RBC ferry now is on the Vein highway. At this time there is usually
still a lot of oxygens on the ferry, with about 75% saturation. So most of
the oxygens get a round trip.
The vein highway takes the RBC ferry back towards the lungs.
Because of some very important mechanisms your body uses to keep
the balance of charges at the same level at all times, the special form of
CO2 called bicarbonate is very important. To keep things in balance,
most of the bicarbonate will jump out of the RBC ferry and be washed
along beside it in the fliud called venous plasma.

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APPENDIX 2

Importance of Carbon Dioxide

When the RBC ferries and bicarbonates along side them reach the
lungs, the sheer pressure from the masses of oxygens just inside the alveolar
sacs pushes in and takes over all of the hemoglobin seats. The reaction
involved in taking these seats releases a chemical which causes the
bicarbonate to be turned into carbonic acid. This can be turned back into
CO2 and water. This CO2 and the water that is formed are released into
the alveolar spaces [where the oxygens have just come from.]
This is a little complex, but the ratio of carbonate and carbonic acid
is very important, because these chemicals act as a buffer for the body.
[This is just a way to keep all of the charges, plusses and minuses balanced.
Your body cannot handle big changes in the charges.] The ratio of
bicarbonate to carbonic acid present determines the pH of the extracellular
fluid, which surrounds all of the cells in your body.
There is no problem with the levels of bicarbonate as it is fixed and
closely controlled by your body. On the other hand, the carbonic acid level
is determined by the amount of CO2 that is kept in the alveoli. [The sacs at
the end of the airpipes.] The pressure of this CO2 gas in the lungs will
stop too much carbonic acid being turned into CO2 in the lungs, and
escaping the body. If too much or too little carbonic acid is released, the pH
of the fluids that surround all the cells will change. This will affect the
ability of the RBC ferries to provide free oxygen where it is needed and to
remove excess CO2 from the cells. It will also interfere with the internal
workings of the cells. So having the right ratio of bicarbonate to carbonic
acid is vital.
The pressure of the CO2 in the lungs, which keeps the carbonic acid
levels set, is dependent on the rate at which CO2 passing out of the blood in
the lungs is diluted with atmospheric air. So the level depends on the depth
and frequency of breathing.
The character of our breathing pattern is determined by our
respiratory centre or breathostat, [in the brain] which is sensitive to both
CO2 levels and pH of the extracellular fluid [which depends on bicarbonate
and carbonic acid ratio].
When the pH [the balance of charges] in the fluid around our cells
because of a decrease in bicarbonate [it got onto the RBC ferry], the
breathostat tells the breathing to increase which lowers the CO2 dissolved
in the lungs, which allows the carbonic acid to drop, which brings the ratio
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APPENDIX 2

Importance of Carbon Dioxide

of bicarbonate and carbonic acid [and thus the pH] back to normal.
Just to complicate thing a little further, your kidneys help to regulate
the pH of the extracellular fluid as well. They do this by regulating the
bicarbonate levels. [So here is the link between kidney disease and your
breathing.]

Key Point for Many Breathing Related Diseases


The effects of changing levels of CO2 and its variants [bicarbonate
and carbonic acid] on breathing level happens very quickly, usually within a
few minutes. ie when you for example increase your exercise, and produce
more CO2, within a few minutes your breathing will have adjusted
[increased] to keep level of CO2, and the pH the same as it is when you are
not exercising. However if the changed blood level of CO2 is maintained,
the body gets used to with time. The longer the difference in there, the less
your breathing will change in response to it.
It is this acclimating mechanism that allow us to adjust our
breathostat either up or down.

Buteykos Theory
Due to deep respiration an excessive amount of CO2 is removed
from the body, resulting in a change in chemical balance which is only
partially neutralized by compensatory mechanisms. Over a period of time
the loss of CO2 becomes increasingly disruptive to the functioning of the
body. All physical and chemical processes are affected.
The loss of CO2, because of release from the lungs at a rate faster
than its creation in the tissues leads to an increase in pH. Generally a state
of oxygen deficiency also occurs due to reduction of the Bohr effect.[Less
oxygen is taken from the RBC ferry.]
This oxygen shortage will cause an increase in the amount of
incompletely oxidized products of metabolism which act chemically to
lower the pH. [Metabolic acidosis] This effect will not quite cancel out the
increased pH from the CO2 loss, and the efficiency of all normal systems
will be reduced.
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APPENDIX 2

Importance of Carbon Dioxide

One category of disease caused by this problem may be classified


as defense mechanisms, where the action is to reduce further CO2 loss
[Asthma, emphysema, etc].
The other category are the diseases which occur as a result of the
changed pH and compensatory mechanisms. These include disruption of
formation of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins; Disruption of the energy
production efficiency [decreased ATP formation]; and a disruption in the
efficiency of the processes of formation of CO2.
According to Buteyko, normalization of the breathing will not only
avoid the existence of diseases of defense , but will also result in removal of
the diseases occurring due to the change of function of the body caused by
the excess removal of CO2. Treating the symptoms of these diseases
without addressing the cause will result in eventual worsening of the
problem.

- Page 117 -

APPENDIX 3

Steroid Deficit In Asthma

Steroid Deficit In Asthma

his section is only for those who are currently requiring oral steroids
to remain stable, or those who have a need to take oral steroids
periodically to control severe attacks.

This contains mainly a different strategy to titrate the doses


required. As such it must be used only with consent of your doctor. Do not
alter the doses of your medication with out seeing your doctor.
The earlier discussion made the suggestion that problems with
steroid supplementation occur when more than required is taken. The real
problem is knowing when and how much does your body need.
One the one hand is the desire to avoid side effects, and on the other
hand there often an urgency to get rapid control of the asthma to avoid
potential death.
From the Buteyko point of view, the shortfall in production of
cortisone is the result of alteration of pH and other key ratios due to excess
loss of CO2 because of acclimated hyperventilation.
While this deficit in steroid level exists, it is almost impossible for a
person to reduce their breathing. [Observation will show almost immediate
breathlessness on even slight exertion.] The goal is therefore to supplement
the shortfall, which will allow reduction of breathing, and the changes in
gas levels which will allow the adrenal to increase native steroid production
to the required level.
Essentially, unless sufficient supplementation occurs, the patient
will be stuck in an unstable situation.
The other key to steroid deficits in the majority or asthmatics is the
constantly elevated pulse which accompanies the deficit. This is separate to
and distinct from the tachycardia from the increased use of b-agonists. The
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APPENDIX 3

Steroid Deficit In Asthma

b-agonists produce an increase in pulse which reflects the blood levels of


the agonist. If the levels of agonist were allowed to drop to zero, the pulse
would still be constantly more than 20 bpm above the normal resting level.
E.g. if the resting pulse is usually around 76 when there is no steroid deficit,
the resting pulse will usually be over 96 when there is a deficit. When
sufficient supplementation has occurred, the pulse will fall below the 96,
and come close to returning to the normal level. Use of breathing training
at this time will usually bring the need for b-agonists to almost nil.
It is very difficult for the asthmatic to do Buteyko Shallow
Breathing when steroid is in deficit. When it is supplemented, it becomes
as easy as it is for the rest of us.

How do you know how much to take?


In Australia the most commonly used oral steroid is prednisone. In
other countries with different steroids, use equivalence tables to calculate
the strategy. [Also as with injected steroids.]
If the asthmatic is in crisis, and has potential for death, obviously the
emergency physician will use his/her judgement to keep them alive. It is
better to over-supplement in this case.
If however, the asthmatic is merely miserable, taking increasing
amount of relief medication with marginal relief, and is unable lose the
breathlessness sensation, has elevated pulse, but is not yet in crises, then a
different approach might be used.
This involves the introduction of prednisone in 5mg tabs. The tab
should be crushed and taken with warm water. [Sorry about the taste]. The
pulse should be monitored each 30 minutes and recorded. During this time
the patient should remain still, and practice the breathing. After 2 hours, if
the pulse has not dropped, another 5 mg should be taken. This process
should continue until the pulse does drop. The physician must take account
of the varying effect of agonists on the pulse to be able to determine the
place where the pulse is reduced.
The patient will feel the point when steroid supplementation is
sufficient. It will become decidedly easier to control their breathing, and
will be able to rest.
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APPENDIX 3

Steroid Deficit In Asthma

An example is a patient who has a mild shortage of say 17.5mg. It


will take 8 hours to exceed this dose, and see the reduction in pulse and
improvement in condition. [4 x 2 hrs x 5mg] Once the level of supplementation required has been established, it should not be varied on daily
basis by more than 25%. In this example, the patient must take at least
15mg the next day. Whether he takes 15 or 20mg will depend on his
condition and his pulse. If condition has improved [little need for agonists]
and resting pulse is close to normal, than the lesser is advised. So the
amount taken per day should not decrease by more that 25%, and this will
depend on the condition and the pulse. Most experienced asthmatics are
capable of following these instructions with regular phone conference with
the physician.
This is better than following a formula for the reduction of steroids
because every person will have a different rate of recovery of steroid
production.
With the example of a more serious shortfall in steroids, say 75mg,
then a clear history from the patient should indicate the initial dose being
much higher. A target of 10 mg less than was used on the previous episode
should be introduced, then the same procedure followed as above. The
patient will know when sufficient has been received as breathlessness will
decrease, and the ability to shallow breathe will improve. If the increased
first dose is sufficient, the resting pulse will fall within 2 hours [allowing
for agonist effect].
If the resting pulse dose not decrease, the steroids should continue to
be added each 2 hours until it does, regardless of the total dose reached.
The combination of the pulse and the condition of the patient will indicate
when the shortfall has been filled. When the shortfall is huge [say 150mg],
then even the introduction of 100 mg will produce little relief, and also no
side effects. Remember the side effects occur when the total amount of
steroid in the body exceeds the needs of the body. The doses up to that
point are not the issue. If a person is 150mg short, that is how much they
need. There is no overdose until 151mg is reached, and it almost the same
as taking 11mg when you need 10mg. [only far more scary.]
In small children and infants, the dose can be titrated with 1mg tabs
or syrup.
This author would interested in hearing of the experiences of
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APPENDIX 3

Steroid Deficit In Asthma

asthmatics or physicians in the use of steroid supplementation. I hope even


those physicians who reject this approach will consider the role of pulse in
the problem more carefully. It is a very useful indicator even if you have to
screen out the effects of other medication. [Note: please be aware of the
masking effects of medication other than the b-agonists. Most drugs taken
for heart problems will smokescreen the effect of steroid shortage on the
pulse.]

- Page 121 -

APPENDIX 4

Sneezing & Blowing Your Nose

How To Wipe Your Nose


And
How To Control Sneezing

he most important thing to remember is that the mucus in your nose


is the result of your mucus factories producing too much mucus.
These factories will do this because the amount of mucus they
produce depends on the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) present. The less
CO2, the more mucus produced.
So, what you need to do is two things. Firstly, you want to get the
mucus that is in your nose to stop being there. You want to do this because
it is irritating to the lining of your nose, and makes you do an annoying
sniffle, or it may in fact be blocking your nostrils to some degree.
The second thing you want to do is to not lose any more CO2 from
your body, which will cause your mucus factories to make even more
mucus than you have now. In fact, you really want to trap a little more CO2
in to reduce your current production of mucus.
Your strategy must be to remove the mucus from your nose while
losing as little CO2 as possible. This is done by removing ONLY the
mucus from your nose the mucus that is in your nostrils. Do not go
mining for mucus and try and suck it off the back of your skull! Your
strategy is to remove only that which is loose and runny. You will do this
with as gentle a blow as possible.
How To Blow Your Nose
Step 1. Take your handkerchief/tissue and fold it into a square
about 2.5 inches [7.5 cms] across. Place the square with the tip of your
nose in the centre near the top, with your finger of each hand at the back of
each side.
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APPENDIX 4

Sneezing & Blowing Your Nose

Step 2. Using the fingers of your left hand, use the handkerchief to
block your left nostril, and blow gently ONCE ONLY. This will clear your
right nostril.
Step 3. Then block your right nostril with the handkerchief, and
blow gently ONCE ONLY. This will clear your left nostril. Fold your
handkerchief and put it away.
From this point, if your nose is blocked then you will be able to
unblock it with reduced depth breathing as described in this book. You will
not be able to unblock it further by blowing harder and harder.

Rules
1. There should be almost no sound. There should definitely be no
trumpeting like an elephant. A person a few feet away should hear
nothing. If there is noise, it means that you are blowing harder than your
need to, and you are losing more CO2 so causing the production of more
mucus than you clear. The more you blow, the more mucus you will create,
or the more blocked your nose will become
2. After you have finished, then you need to breathe like a mouse
for a minute or two, to trap in some extra CO2, which will decrease the
swelling of the lining of your nostrils.
3. Remember, you want to remove only the mucus that is within an
inch of the end of your nose, leave any other mucus for your body to clear
using its normal mechanisms.

What Happens To Mucus If I Do Not


Blow It Out [Or Cough It Up]?
At all times in your body, your mucus factories are producing mucus.
A small amount is appropriate. This is used to mop up particles that
should not be there, including virus particles, bacteria, dust, etc. As well as
producing mucus, your body has a normal system of cleaning up the mucus.

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APPENDIX 4

Sneezing & Blowing Your Nose

When production equals clearance, there is no excess to worry about.


Your body has garbage truck cells that deal with some of the mucus, the
rest is either released and may be gently coughed up, or may be broken
down and released via the bowel.
However, when there is an imbalance in your system, you will
produce more mucus than your garbage cells can handle, and so you will
have excess mucus. This may occur in your nose, in your lungs or in your
sinus or ears. This is related to chemicals like histamines, leukotrienes and
others but there is always also a shortage of CO2.
Once the extra mucus is there, then harder you try to get rid of it by
blowing or coughing, the more mucus you will produce, the histamines you
will release, and the irritated the area will become making it more and
more sensitive to trigger factors like dust or pollens or smells.
Your only escape is to work on decreasing the production of the
mucus by trapping more CO2 which tells the mucus factories to slow down.
Once they slow down, your garbage cells can catch up and get rid of the
excess mucus. This also reduces the production of things like histamines
which can cause areas like your nose and eyes to be extra sensitive. [Your
nose will stop being itchy, and your eyes scratchy.]
The same rules apply whether the mucus is in your nose or in your
lungs. When it is in your lungs, you must control the cough reflex
ensuring that you cough only gently, and when the mucus is in your throat.
All coughing should be closed-mouth coughing unless you are choking
on something.
When it is in your nose, your must not waste your CO2 by blowing
like an elephant. If it is running down the back of your throat, then you can
stop it by doing the same procedures as you would use to unblock your nose
or stop an asthma attack.
How To Control Sneezing
Your goal with sneezing is to avoid the increasing loss of CO2. If
you tend to get caught up is a series of sneezes where you may sneeze from
6 to 60 times in a row, then you know how long it can take to recover.
Each time you sneeze you effectively take a big deep breath, and then blow
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APPENDIX 4

Sneezing & Blowing Your Nose

it out. Each time you do this you lose more CO2, which in turn makes your
nose more sensitive, and then another trigger another sneeze is produced.
The more you sneeze, the more likely it is that you will sneeze again!
The best approach is to avoid the first sneeze, or failing that the
second sneeze. If you hardly ever sneeze, or sneeze only when something
like a fly blows up your nose, then this approach is not relevant. However,
if the tiniest little smell or atom of pollen or dust affects you, then you can
benefit from this.
The sneeze is a useful tool for expelling foreign substances from
your breathing system. However, when you have caused your sneeze reflex
to become too sensitive [by losing too much CO2], then you will sneeze
when it is not needed to remove a foreign substance from your breathing
system. The sneeze trigger becomes too sensitive!
The main rule is that you should not try to smother or contain a full
blown sneeze. If the sneeze gets to the point where you cannot stop it, let it
out, and try to prevent the next one. If you try to contain a sneeze you have
the potential to damage your hearing.
Before each sneeze there is always a warning that it is coming. This
is the tickle or itch sensation in your nose. If you act quickly as soon as
you feel the itch, you can prevent the sneeze.
Your actions consist of recognizing that your have been breathing too
deeply, and you have lost too much CO2, so you must trap some more in
quickly. The simplest way to do this is to stop breathing. You can hold
your breath, just as you do in a Measurement Pause, or you can do what
they used to do in the movies!
If you are a fan of cowboy movies you will be able to picture a scene
where our hero and his partner are being pursued by a bunch of nasty
bandits. At a very tense point where our heros are hiding close to the bad
guys, the not-so-bright partner of our hero will begin to pre-sneeze. He will
go ah ah ah, but before the loud choo arrives our hero will place
his forefinger under his partners nose, his breathing will reduce, and the
sneeze will be avoided [saving them from detection by the bandits and
certain death!] You do not need the banditos to stop your sneezes.
You need only the realization that greatly reducing the depth of your
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APPENDIX 4

Sneezing & Blowing Your Nose

breathing will trap in more CO2, and will relieve the itch which start is
the sneeze.
Everyone knows that the simple act of putting your finger under your
nose can stop a sneeze it has surely been known at least as long as
movies have been around. Now you know how and why it works, and you
can make it work better for yourself. The same applies for most itches that
occur in the triangle that can be drawn from the centre of your upper lip to
your right temple to your left temple. This includes itchy eyes and itchy
noses. If you find yourself touching your face to scratch your nose, or
rub your eyes check your breathing. See if you can make the itch go
away just by breathing like a mouse. It is very likely that it will just
disappear.
You can reduce the impact of things like pollens and dust mites [and
droppings] if your reduce your breathing depth as soon as you sense these
triggers. For example, if smelling smoke has made your nose itch and eyes
scratchy in the past, then you can reduce this if your reduce your breathing
depth. [Obviously better to avoid them if you can, but at least now you can
cope when you have to.] Another example might be vacuuming or mowing
lawns this stirs up lots of dust and muck you can reduce the effect if
you suffocate a little while you are exposed. [Mouth closed of course!]
So, to summarize about sneezing
At the first sign of the warning itch in your nose that a sneeze may
be building stop your breathing, trap in some extra CO2, and try to make
the itch reduce. If you are too late to stop the first sneeze, try to stop the
next one. Do this by doing a Measurement Pause straight after the first
sneeze, and then breathing only just enough to stay alive. [Pretend there is
a really bad smell!!]
Do not try to hold a sneeze in if you cannot stop you may
implode [just kidding]. Just work on stopping the next one.
There is another benefit is stopping the sneeze cycle as soon as
possible. Each sneeze causes the release of more histamines which make
the whole area more sensitive. These chemicals stay in your face for quite a
while making even a slight breeze enough to make you itch. Once they
break down, the whole area in the triangle described above becomes less

- Page 126 -

APPENDIX 5

Authors Notes & Details

From The Author

rom the moment I could read and understand, I have been fascinated by
science. It seemed to me that science would eventually solve all of the
problems of the world. The problems of the world included by own personal
battle with illness in the form of asthma, allergy, and hay fever. I have been studying these science problems first-hand since I was about 10 years old. There is
plenty of time to analyze when you lie in the darkness before dawn struggling for a
good breath.
For the first thirty years of my life I battled with asthma, as did most of my
family. Science would give us the answer soon. A new drug, an operation, or
perhaps even gene therapy would stop our disease. I studied biochemistry and
physiology at University to find all the clues. I then worked for multinational
pharmaceutical company to learn more about the drugs and the research.
Science appeared to be failing me. It could give me no simple theory or
cause for this disease. Everyone was looking into smaller and smaller detail,
looking at the very molecules and atoms that may be involved. Yet the problem
occurred in more and more people. There had to be an obvious, simple link
between our lifestyles and asthma because people often grew out of asthma.
It just went away.
There also had to be a link because some people did not develop the
problem until they were much older this implied that something other than
genetics was involved. Something we did caused the asthma gene to switch on
or off. I did not know what it was. I experimented with diet, which seemed to
help. I experimented with exercise, which seemed to help a little. Meditation and
martial arts also helped a little.
A little over 6 years ago, I found out about a Russian Professor called
Buteyko. His supporters claimed amazing relief from asthma and many other
diseases they even offered a guarantee. From the training I had received in
Science the impulse was to believe it was a fraud, which would soon disappear.
However, I was looking for a common link so I asked for and was given the
Biochemical Analysis of Buteyko Theory.
Hidden among the deep biochemistry was a very simple story. Every
person with asthma breathed a certain way, if their breathing was changed, their
symptoms would change. The breathing could make asthma symptoms appear or
reduce.
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APPENDIX 5

Authors Notes & Details

It was a very simple experiment on myself to test this story. It worked. I


could make myself have asthma and then make it go away. Every question I have
ever had about asthma is answered by the simple Buteyko theory. This information
is now available in simple form for you.
A great many people are able to get relief very easily. Learn a simple story,
follow the simple instructions from the story, and practice a little. Buteyko is a
simple story on how to grow out of asthma and other diseases.
Some people need a little more help to change, and are aided by lessons
from an Instructor. An Instructor can guide you on how to get the breathing
exercise right, and also advise on how drugs are best used. [In conjunction with
your doctor.]
In the past six years I have instructed over 2000 people with breathing
related illnesses. The average decrease in need for relief medication for asthma is
91.4% within ten days. Steroids are reduced very slowly with 85% of students
free of all asthma drugs within 6 months.
Success is also gained in hay fever and migraine. Although most work is
still with asthma.
I maintain a Satisfaction Guarantee with personal classes that states that a
significant improvement will be seen within 10 days for simple asthma. I have
given only three refunds in all this time. I do not need to give a guarantee, but do
it simply because I can.
There is no one who will not benefit from learning the simple rules of
breathing. This story is different to that you have been told by your doctors, your
parents, your football coach and your friends. I ask that you study it, try it, and
only then believe it. All of the facts of medicine and science are only stories
which man has made up to try and explain what we observe. Just because a story
is old, it does not always mean it is the best story.
It is my hope that the principles in this book will eventually be taught to all
small children so that decades of suffering can be avoided. Youth should not be
wasted on illness.
May your God go with you,
James Hooper
Buteyko Instructor
Bachelor of Science
Member Australasian Buteyko Association
Principal Buteyko Practitioners Training College of Australia
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APPENDIX 5

Authors Notes & Details

About the Author


James Hooper is a Certified Buteyko Instructor in Townsville, Australia. He
teaches from an clinic there, as well as travelling extensively about Australia.
He is a former sufferer of severe asthma, allergies and sleep apnea.
He is a founding member of the Australasian Buteyko Association, and strongly
supports all efforts to spread the information about the effectiveness of the
Buteyko Method.
His other interests include accelerated learning techniques, advanced fitness training, bird watching and gardening.
James Hooper
Instep International Publications,
P.O. Box 2094,
Townsville, Qld. 4810
Australia.
Phone:
or
Fax:
or

61 7 47 25 5972 from out of Australia


07 47 255 972 from within Australia
61 7 4725 5578 from out of Australia
07 47 255 578 from within Australia

E-mail:

instep@beyond.net.au

Web Pages at:


http://www.nqnet.com
http://www.ultra.net.au/buteyko
http://www.ultra.net.au/learn
This site has numerous free tips on Accelerated learning, a free newsletter called
Mental Wizard Update, and offers the most amazing music for relaxation or for
learning.
Childrens chapter illustrations by Robert Jones
Contact: RobertJones@jcu.edu.au
Postscript
This Manual and Audio Tape Set is now available in the Spanish Language.

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APPENDIX 5

Authors Notes & Details

Helpful Products
Audio Cassette How To Shallow Breathe
An excellent tape for helping to get the basic breathing technique. If
youve having trouble picking this up, then this can really help. This tape tells you
why certain things work and how to get it to work for you! Only $14.95
Breathing Workout Workbook
This manual sets out out a proven procedure for doing a formal workout
and also gives tips for making it easier to do the shallow breathing even when
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student a simple structure to follow. Record sheets included. Very useful and very
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High Performance Relaxation & Super-Learning Music
Have you ever effortlessly just drifted off into an amazing state that allows
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Postage and handling is $7.50 for one item or $10.00 for 2 3 items.
All prices are in Australian Dollars.
Mastercard, Visacard, Bankcard, Personal and Bank Drafts/cheques (from
most nations) are welcome. Foreign postal orders are not welcome. If you are
paying with non-Australian funds then add AU$5 to your total bill. This is to cover
bank charges for the foreign currency transaction. Note, this doesnt apply to
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order.

All orders are sent out the same or next business day we receive your paid

Our Address:
Instep International
Phone: 07 47 255 160
International +61 7 47 255 160
Fax: 07 47 255 578
International +61 7 47 255 578
Mail: PO Box 2094, Townsville 4810 Australia
Street: 144 Queens Road, Hermit Park 4812 Australia
Email: instep@beyond.net.au
Web Address: http://www.nqnet.com
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