From:Tim McEvoy

Someone had asked me some questions about my experience geting over my asthma with Buteyko (it's been a year now). this is my brief testimonial below:

I had asthma since I was five (I'm 25), and have used Ventolin at least once a day for several, maybe ten or more, years. I've been hospitalized twice, and off and on steroid sprays and other preventative medications.

last year in February I was coming off a bad flu, which had once again really intensifed my asthma. It was one of those periods where you don't go to the hospital, but none of your medication is really too effective. You just kind of wait through it, pale-faced and eyes droopy, and if you're like I was, you are very irritable.

I was looking for some kind of information for asthma on the web, and stumbled upon Peter Kolbs's site. I was pretty much fed up at that point that I couldn't find a solution to simply keep my asthma stable- I was sick of the steroids and the ventolin. I didn't really feel my body needed the steroids, even though the doctors had prescribed them. I doubted (like I doubt alot of western medicine philosophy) that the best solution to my problem was to take these pharmaceuticals all the time, for the rest of my life.

I went through every word of Peter's website and became so obsessed for a couple of weeks with doing the excercises, being conscious of my breathing all the time (obsessively), and experimenting with long pauses to relieve my wheezing. It became like a game to me beause I was feeling effects- mostly a relaxed kind of dopiness that I just went through, and acute sensitivity to smells that I attribute to the sudden change in my breathing patterns.

I know the way I was doing Buteyko is not recommended (intense self-teaching), but after a few days I didn't even have to deal with the long agony of battling a spasm with breathing excercises. I just kind of experimented and improvised, and really took hold of the philosophy of breathing economically. Someone likened breathing to eating-- and the tendency to overeat. It made so much sense to me once I found I could (not easily at first) curtail asthma attacks with shallow breathing/holding excercises alone.

So after about two weeks I was rarely doing excercises consciously. My breathing was getting much better. I realized that I was now always breathing through the nose, and shallow. I resisted the temptation to use my Ventolin at all.

I dove into the Buteyko experience full force, without any real structure to when I would do exercises, and how I would do them. I just did them all day, at work, at home, etc.

Also, when I started doing the pauses, the shallow breathing- I had stopped my steroid inhaler (which I know is not recommended). I had only been taking this one for a few months. This may have been dangerous for me to do, but it's done, and the result was positive. Still, this is just my experience and I'm not suggesting that this is a good way to make the transition. It was very hard for at least a couple of days.

So now it is a year later, and a little less than a year since I last used any Ventolin. The most exciting part is that I can work out without any medication. I couldn't do it intensely at first of course, but now I can run a few miles, nose breathing.

When I tell people about my recovery, they are skeptical. I've been trying to get my brother (with asthma) to try it, but he thinks it's too good to be true- A coincidence or something.

The last thing I'll say, and maybe the most important for me, is that the way I first went into the excercises was very intense. It was a constant thing, constant shallow breathing, lots of long pauses. it was uncomfortable for a while, but the further I could put off the ventolin, the more interesting it became to me.

After a full year, I consider myself a non-asthmatic.

I hope this helps-

Tim McEvoy Baltimore, MD USA

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