**Escape from Asthma Episode # 15 Some Important Points **
Hi, this is Michael Lingard, your Buteyko Educator, welcoming you to the final episode of Escape from Asthma and offering you my congratulations on completing this course. You now have the understanding and tools to continue improving your breathing and health in the future.
Asthma is a serious condition and as such safety is paramount with the management of this condition. This final episode will highlight areas that you should take particular care over and remember that this course is a general presentation and each individual asthma sufferer is unique. No responsibility can be taken for any adverse reactions to the training or your failure to follow the safety recommendations given; always, if in doubt, consult your doctor, asthma nurse or your own Buteyko Educator for advice.
You are recommended to check all the following important points now and from time to time in the future to ensure you are following best practice of the Buteyko Method.
1.** **Under no circumstances should you throw away your bronchodilators or steroids. ** **
For at least the next twelve months always carry your reliever medication with you and use it if necessary. Research has shown that while overuse and heavy doses of bronchodilators may worsen the asthmatic condition, when used correctly in the early stages of an asthma attack, they can stop severe asthma from developing.
Prevent or overcome tightness, wheezing, coughing or shortness of breath by first using the Buteyko Method (Control Pause or Extended Pause followed by Reduced Breathing) and** if this does not help, use your reliever medication. As soon as possible after taking it, do the Reduced Breathing exercises.**
**Steroid reduction should be discussed with your doctor. ** When it takes place, it should be a very gradual process - no faster than one puff reduced every seven days and reducing all morning steroids doses first. At the first sign of reaction (accelerated pulse, lowered control pause or asthma attacks) then your steroids should be restored to previous dosage. For example, if you start with two puffs night and morning and after cutting out both morning puffs you get asthma, then restore one puff in the morning. If this is still not controlling your condition then restore the second morning puff and do not reduce them again until you are stable and your doctor says that it is safe to continue with the reduction.
In the early stages of your training maintain nose breathing at all times, especially when faced with factors that usually cause you asthma. If your nose is blocked use the Nose Clearing exercises to unblock it. The most common of factors to cause asthma are: physical exercise, emotional situations, yelling/shouting, chemical or paint vapours, smoky environments, going out into cold air, alcohol, over-eating and over-sleeping.
Adults should keep in mind the importance of the Reduced Breathing exercise. If you must do any deep breathing, for example while playing sport or laughing/crying, then as soon as possible do some Buteyko exercises to return breathing to normal.
For most asthmatics, usually the first sign that asthma is returning is either a stuffy nose, broken sleep patterns, waking up more tired in the morning than usual or noticing your morning control pause falling day after day. Always sleep on your side (or stomach for adults). Whenever you notice the early warning signs, increase your Buteyko exercise regime.
We recommend that you continue to tape your mouth while sleeping for at least six months. If you wish to stop doing this, then use the Control Pause and pulse to test your breathing while you sleep for a minimum of ten days.
Keep off all the foods that increase your breathing rate when you are suffering from breathing difficulties. These include: chocolate, milk, cottage cheese, yoghurt, ice-cream, nuts, honey, chicken/fish/beef stock, strawberries, raspberries, coffee, strong tea, and alcohol or any other foods you have noticed cause you to wheeze.
Easily digested proteins increase hyperventilation more than other foods, so if you suspect that your condition is deteriorating then avoid these foods. If you must eat protein at this time then try to eat only unrefined vegetable protein.
Viruses are a stress on the body and therefore increase the breathing rate, so it is vital to minimize other stresses at this time. When a virus strikes: increase your Buteyko exercise sessions to at least 9 sets a day; take medication if necessary; reduce food intake; avoid foods that increase the breathing rate; avoid known allergens; rest more but sleep less; drink lots of clear fluids, water is best; keep warm but don't get over-heated.
The pulse and control pause act like a natural peak flow meter for adults, with the aim being to maintain an early morning control pause of approximately 45 seconds. When the Control pause increases then your condition is improving, when it decreases your condition is deteriorating and there is a greater chance of an asthma attack. **If it should get less than 7 seconds seek medical attention immediately. **
The pulse and Step exercise act like a natural peak flow meter for children, with the aim being to maintain an early morning number of steps of at least 80. When the number of steps increases the condition is improving and there is less likelihood of an asthma attack. When the number of steps decreases, then the condition is deteriorating. ** If the number get less than 15 steps, seek medical attention immediately **
Ideally do nine sets of breathing exercises a day until your asthma is totally under control. This usually means that your early morning control pause is consistently between 45 and 60 seconds for adults or between 80 and 100 steps for children. When your asthma is controlled, do six sets a day for one week. Provided there is no deterioration in your condition, continue to reduce the exercises by one set each week until you are down to one or two sets a day. Even with no symptoms, it is advisable to check your condition every morning on waking because any continued stress will alter your breathing negatively, and you may not be aware of it unless you check.
Should your drug intake increase significantly or your condition become less than well controlled**** then that is the time to contact your Buteyko Educator or your medical practitioner.****
The five main problems people have with using Buteyko are:
a. Not putting in the initial effort required to change their automatic breathing pattern.
b. Not being aware of their breathing, and consequently breathing through their mouth while talking and exercising.
c. No longer monitoring their condition every morning before breakfast.
d. Watching their Control pause or the number of steps fall every morning and not doing anything about it.
e. Not telephoning their Buteyko Educator or doctor when being confused about using the Buteyko Method.
You are advised to seek help or advice from a trained Buteyko Educator should you have any questions about the Buteyko Method.
***Finally congratulations on completing this course and remember:
Eat Less, Sleep less, Breathe Less and Exercise More!*
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