My Mum's Buteyko Method Success Story
My mum grew up with asthma … and bronchitis … and allergies. Breathing was something that didn’t come easy for her.
I can remember the many colds, her shortness of breath, the need for inhalers. And I can remember how heartbroken she was when she discovered that I had severe childhood asthma too.
When she was growing up, and when I was growing up, we didn’t know what to do about our breathing problems. We relied heavily on western medicine. The doctors did their best for us but really it was more of limitation strategy than an overcoming strategy.
And so my mum went through her childhood, teens, young adulthood, and middle age dealing with asthma and respiratory complaints.
Fast forward to 2023 and mum got hit with a virus – surprisingly not COVID – and it hit her hard. Her breathing went downhill and stayed there. She was reliant on inhalers, she had no energy, and she was feeling pretty low.
A little while after, mum visited my family on The Sunshine Coast, hoping that the warm, humid air would help.
This was when I cornered her and politely encouraged her to do some work with me. Thankfully, she said yes.
The first thing we did was test her Control Pause.
The Control Pause
The Control Pause measures how long you can hold an exhaled breath until the first physiological signal to breathe. This is a simple measure of breathing function. It’s not a perfect measure but it does give a good indication of how well someone is breathing.
My mum’s Control Pause was shocking. She could only just hold her exhalation for 4 seconds and that was very challenging for her.
When we measure a Control Pause we very rarely see a results that so low. Anything under 20 is indicative of the onset of breathing dysfunction. So, I knew that my mum was in a bad way with her breathing.
Right away I taught her the Breathing Recovery exercise from The Buteyko Method. This exercise is extremely helpful for asthmatics and those with breathing difficulties. But, even this exercise was hard for my mum. So, we took things really slowly.
I also taught her a very important exercise called Breathe Light. This exercise helps normalise breathing volume and become less sensitive to the feeling of breathlessness. But, mum couldn’t do this one. It was too challenging.
By the time mum left to head back home, her breathing had improved a little, and she was getting used to the exercises. I asked her to practice every day.
Two weeks later, her Control Pause had jumped to 15. Still not the best, but a 3x improvement!
I asked her to start walking with her mouth closed. She did, and her breathing got better.
Then I asked her to start holding her breath on exhalation while she walked. After a little practice she got the hang of this exercise too. And her breathing got better again.
Breathing Cheat Sheet
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Two weeks later, her Control Pause was in the low 20s. And that was a great sign. Things were definitely on the improve.
She was using less medication.
She had more energy.
Her symptoms had dramatically reduced.
And she was feeling a whole lot better.
We checked in after another four weeks. Her Control Pause had remained in the low 20s (it gets stubborn at that point) yet she continued to feel better and better. She had finally kicked the last of the lingering effects of that mystery virus.
I know she’s my mum but I’m really proud of her. She literally changed the quality of her breathing in just two months. All after more than 60 years of breathing dysfunction.
And now, she will be so much stronger if she has to fight off another bug.
But more than that, she’ll enjoy more energy every day, she’ll sleep better, and she’ll feel better.
I’m so happy that I could help her.
Perhaps I can help you too? Click here to find out.