I grew up in the Soviet Union when it was still rare to meet a severely ill person. Honestly, I don't remember anyone with asthma or diabetes in my proximity. I recall though people catching the flu rather often and spending a couple of weeks at home, mostly resting in bed and drinking hot fluids. This was common for children and adults.

When I moved to the United States, I discovered that most people couldn't afford this luxury. Demands of work or school would force them to block or shut down their flu symptoms. Various drugs, antibiotics and flu shots are used for avoiding high fever, cough and body aches... but is it possible - I thought - that this approach contributes to the development of more serious health problems?

Dr. Buteyko's scientific and clinical work helped to answer this question. Flu can be beneficial - he determined - since it helps detoxify the body and strengthens the immune system. It also destroys weak cells and accelerates regeneration of weak organs, acting as prevention for serious health issues - asthma or diabetes, for example, which became epidemic in the US.

Should people be afraid of the flu then? Yes, since influenza often comes with complications and could even be lethal. However, this is true only for people who over-breathe. Hyperventilation affects pH balance creating an environment conducive to illness. People who over-breathe are often more susceptible to flu and their flu symptoms are stronger and last longer.

People with normalized breathing rarely catch flu and when they do, it does not last for more than a couple of days and does not end with complications.

Due to its potential healing qualities, an occasional flu is actually desirable by Dr. Buteyko's followers. Here is how one of them, a Russian healer who has been successfully practicing Dr. Buteyko's method for almost thirty years described his work with children:"Every year I literally asked children to spend time among people who sneeze and cough in order to NOT miss an epidemic of flu. Having flu symptoms facilitated the strengthening of their immune system and accelerated their recovery from serious diseases such as asthma and others."The flu was not dangerous for these children since its symptoms were mild and often lasted just for a few hours.

by Sasha Yakovleva