From:Craig Williams

It is eight months since I first used the Buteyko method and I now want to share my experience of Buteyko with you.

I was first diagnosed as asthmatic when I was eighteen months old. I had suffered a severe allergic reaction whilst sitting in the middle of a wheat field. Ever since I can remember I have been subject to asthma attacks set off by both exercise and allergies. I missed a lot of school as a child but was encouraged to participate and lead as normal a life as possible. I am now twenty-seven years old.

As a child I was discouraged from taking Salbutamol because of the risks publicised at that time. Instead of taking my drugs I learnt to recognise an approaching attack and tried to slow my pace accordingly. It was exhausting and frustrating and I invariably ended up taking my drugs anyway. In an attempt to improve my asthma I was taken to the local swimming club for regular training to “build up the lungs” but this too was frustrating because I could never keep up with the training program.

Over the years I experienced a gradual decline in my health. I was becoming more and more dependent on Salbutamol, and Becatide did not seem to have much of an effect. Although never as debilitated as many other sufferers, I was becoming increasingly frustrated with my illness. I was resigning myself to the fact that daily suffering and drug taking were to be part of my life and found it increasingly difficult to plan for the future. I was tired of trying ineffective and apparently pointless regimes and I even gave up on exercise. By this time, I was finding it difficult to walk very far or climb many stairs without stopping to take my drugs.

Around the end of last year I caught a cold and became very ill. Thankfully, I narrowly missed being admitted to hospital. I was scared. It was at this point that I took the time to investigate the Buteyko technique further. I read every word published on the Internet and decided to give it a go. Taking what I had learnt, I set about practising the technique whenever I could which amounted to about two hours per day.

Although I found it quite scary to use at first I persevered and managed to cut down my Salbutamol intake from every 3 to 4 hours to none at all within a matter of a week. I was still unable to walk very far but at least I was able to control my symptoms without taking any drugs. I was amazed. I had cracked it and could not believe that it could be so simple. After about a couple of months I stopped taking my Becatide and continued to experience a steady improvement in my condition.

In the last few months I have only needed to resort to reduced breathing to control my symptoms and have found that to be sufficient. I have also returned to swimming and was absolutely amazed when, after a bit of training, I was able to swim 2000m in under an hour! I had never been able to do that before. I have also lost weight, I sleep soundly and I am no longer experiencing my allergies to cats, dogs, dust mites and hay fever.

As a child I had dreams of travelling around the world but I never thought I would be able to. In February I resigned from my job and have spent the last three months with my partner on a trip of a lifetime. I am currently on tour in New Zealand and am looking forward to starting the rest of my life. I feel wonderful!

Craig Williams

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