I have had asthma from the age of six months. I survived childhood with a lot of bad memories of labored breathing and respiratory infections. At age 25 I moved from Indiana to Arizona and had considerable relief for 15 to 20 years. Near age 45, I progressively slipped back into a chronic condition.
I am now 53. Near my 50th birthday in 1999 I had been taking albuterol inhalations every 2 to 3 hours, even through the night. I also took inhaled steroids, which seemed to help at one time, but soon became just another drug to schedule through the day. After reading the testimonials and self-help section of Mr. Kolb's site, I started practicing the breathing technique on my own. I did these exercises during long commutes to and from work in the Arizona desert. This proved to be an excellent setting, as I was in a relaxed, air-conditioned environment for an adequate period to provide a consistent daily routine. Within one week, I started noticing my need for albuterol relief was not as often. After 3 to 4 weeks, I was taking the albuterol once in the morning and once before bed. After 6 weeks the need for treatment was more random and triggered by allergic reactions, weather or exercise. For the next year my use of albuterol was minimal. Usually, it was only needed if I contacted a case of flu or a cold. I reduced and eventually eliminated the use of steroids along with the albuterol.
It is hard for an asthmatic to give up their rescue inhaler. Even today I have one within easy access and always make sure to pack it when I travel. It has been a full year since I have had to use one.
With the radical change in my condition, I have been able to move back to Indiana. The many allergic reactions that I used to experience are barely noticed now. When I see others around me sneezing and coughing, I can hardly imagine that I am not affected. I am still cautious and aware that I could slip back to my previous condition. My new breathing style has become more natural, and part of my daily routine. My quality of life has improved greatly, thanks to Buteyko and this web site.