I was introduced to Buteyko Breathing in November of 2014 by my naturopath doctor. At that time my white blood cells were abnormally high and my internist doctor wanted to prescribe steroids.
My heart was working hard because my bronchial tubes were inflamed. My wheezing was no longer once at night but occurring more and more throughout the day, and I was relying on rescue inhaler for relief. It took me another 6 weeks to remember the word Buteyko and I watched Buteyko videos on YouTube.
I practiced the method on my own following the suggestion of different Buteyko teachers on YouTube. My white blood cells went from abnormal to normal high. I was inspired to continue but the wheezing and the frequent use of the inhaler had not subsided.
Then on March 3rd 2015, I became a student of the Buteyko Breathing Center, with Thomas Fredericksen as my Buteyko Breathing Specialist. Saint Thomas (one of the names I call him) was a gift from God. He met with me for 8 sessions online, and kept in contact daily through e-mail. I kept a Control Pause (CP) Progress Log of my Formal Seated Breath Hold (FSBH) three times a day.
When I started the program my Control Pause was 13. Thomas taught me Buteyko breathing techniques and monitored me daily to ensure I was following the Buteyko method properly. He would repeat stories, methods and techniques again and again to make sure I heard and remembered the principles behind them. I was desperate and wanted to find the answer to my breathing problem so I became a great student. The word AWARENESS was the key to this method. He made me aware of the cause, the how, the why, the when, and where of hyperventilation. I used all the tools from the awareness belt; from taping the mouth at night, nasal breathing when speaking, slowing down to half speed of how I do things, watching my diet, and watching the time I ate, and very consciously aware of gentle breath.
In the third week of my training, my husband and I took a trip to Chicago (we live in Hawaii). The change in time, weather, amount of activities, and change in diet aggravated my condition. Saint Thomas was always there coaching me every step of the way. He instructed me on those critical middle of the night wheezing attacks to do my FSBH, elevating the head when sleeping, wearing the belt, taking hot showers, drinking hot coffee to open the bronchial tubes, moving around, and doing walking breath holds.
As the weeks continued, a definite change occurred – less use of inhaler and I was able to hold off using them when I awakened in the middle of the night.
Looking back at my Progress Log Book from April 16 to May 17, my Morning Control Pause MCP) is now between 20 and 24, I am not using the asthma inhaler, and the 3-5 AM episodes from wheezing have subsided. I no longer awaken at 3-5 AM wheezing, it has moved to 5:30/6AM with only slight tightening of the chest, I have more energy, and I am walking in the morning for an hour for 3 miles – not wheezing, and back exercising in the gym.
The advanced technique of Buteyko Breathing is is gentle breath. If I am aware of my gentle breath, I will do activities at half speed, and stop, refocus, and get back to my gentle breath.
Saint Thomas has become a great friend, very patient and loving. He gave so much of himself and what he knew, and kept me on the right track every step of the way. He shares a deep love for the 50th State and has a wonderful dream of making Hawaii the first state in the country to be asthma free.
Teacher: Thomas Fredricksen