Buteyko himself makes it clear that according to his theory ASTHMA is a reversible disease. It is the only existing asthma theory which describes the fundamental cause of asthma The theory gives rise to a treatment which aims at removing this cause. All other forms of treatment merely provide temporary relief of the symptoms. This distinguishes Buteyko's treatment from all others.
So why is there a problem with the word "cure"?
In practice very few people will complete the rigorous treatment regime that the theory prescribes. Most people will be able to do away with their bronchodilators very early on (sometimes within a day or two), depending on how seriously they take the treatment. Many people are likely not to go beyond that point, but are comfortable with their asthma at a level where they might still experience the odd attack once every couple of years. Since they can manage these attacks with Buteyko exercises, they really don't have a problem and could'nt be bothered with curative breath holding exercises.
Many patients will work towards a complete cure. Some of these will never require any more medication, will never experience any more asthma symptoms and will never have to do Buteyko exercises again. However some may be pre-disposed towards chronic over-breathing and may have to take care that they don't revert back to bad breathing habits.
It is my contention that the word "cure" is the best word we have to describe this unique treatment.
Peter Kolb, Biomedical Engineer
Telephone: 61-8-9293-5414 (Western Australia)