Buteyko saved me from a fate of slow strangulation. I will be forever indebted to Buteyko and all his followers who have preceeded me in this miraculous yet simple method of treatment.
My background: 69 year old retired military officer who, up until 9 months ago, had for previous 2 years been suffering from emphysema that had progressed to the point that I was three times hospitalized on an emergency basis. I had reached the point where I would without warning get so violently nauseated and so short of breath that I literally could do nothing more then crawl to the commode and heave while I waited for my wife to find me.
I had the advantage of being treated at the world renowned medical center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center at Washington D.C. where all types of tests to include brain scans; stomach probes etc were conducted. All these tests were negative although pulmonary tests revealed severe emphysema and chronic pulmonary obstruction. Doctors told me I had a chronic low level of oxygen in my system and to correct this condition I should immediately begin using oxygen and bronchodilators. I refused. I went home and within a few more weeks suffered a repeat of sickness and emergency evacuation previously described.
I began 24 hour continuous oxygen therapy and the use of bronchodilators and steroid inhalers.
First couple weeks were encouraging. I felt better and could breath better and though I detested carting the oxygen tanks around; I accepted that was the fate for me. Then things got worse. I found that I needed more and more oxygen - I was continuously fighting urge to increase the air volume. Also, I started having asthma problems; and perhaps most frightening and an entirely new experience for me was I began to have panic attacks. (Panic attacks in my view make cowards out of the brave). Because of all these complications - emphysema, asthma and panic attacks - I was at the point where I was fearful to leave the house. After existing like this for three months faithfully following my doctors advice on the use of all sorts of different bronchodilaters and continual use of oxygen, I went back for a check up. My condition had worsened. Lung tests revealed my lung capacity was less than before. Doctor told me to keep on doing what I was doing. I was demoralized!
On way home, I stopped at bookstore and saw a book on Buteyko. I picked it up. Read it, re-read it, and within the next 24 hours re-re-read the book. I could not believe what I was reading! The book ("Breathing Free") maintained that the problem persons with Asthma and Emphysema have is not a shortage of oxygen but, rather, a shortage of carbon dioxide in their system which prevents the efficient use of oxygen. After reading the book three times - really studying the book - i decided - what do I have to lose? Within three days after exposure to that book - I put aside the oxygen tanks; I stopped all bronchodialter inhalers (I continue to use the cortizon inhalers Azmacort). I haven't look back since!
It has not been easy but oh is it worthwhile!!! It is very important to do breathing exercises daily; it is important to breath through nostrils only - no mouth breathing; it is important to sleep on side; it is important to etc etc . In 8 months of doing Buteyko I feel better than I have felt in 5 years. I no longer have any problem sleeping; my nostrils are clear, no coughing, I have lost weight etc etc.
You are about to be astonished at what Buteyko offers!