hanging how you breathe is vital to relieving your asthma once and for all. In most cases, symptoms will improve in the first week of changing your breath. Most notice that their asthma attacks are not as severe and come less frequently. It's not unusual to see a reduction in asthma medication use within a few weeks.
I was an asthmatic for over 40 years. When I began the process of changing my breathing, I noticed a marked improvement in my symptoms within days. By day 10, I had no need for my rescue inhaler. By month four, I had weaned off my inhaled steroids. I was free of my symptoms and medication. I've been nearly 15 years now without an asthma attack or the need for medication.
The Science of Breathing and Asthma
We know that airways become clogged with mucus and get smaller when an asthma trigger is introduced. The medical world suggests we manage asthma through trigger avoidance and daily use of heavy medications. These strategies do the job but they don't really address the root cause or provide relief from asthma.
The Essential Breath™ program for asthma was designed based on the science of breathing. This three step program directly targets the root cause of asthma, which is how we breathe and it's impact on the lungs. Let's take a look at each step of the Essential Breath™ program and see how it addresses asthma.
Step 1: Breathing Mechanics
Relieving asthma symptoms starts with the nose where air comes into the body. Many with asthma breathe through their mouth as they can't seem to get enough air in through the nose.
Nasal breathing is extremely important to someone with asthma. Many asthma triggers are airborne and mouth breathing provides a barrier free entry point for them, carrying them straight into the lungs. The nose is a filter and removes 90+% of all triggers. For those with exercise and/or cold air induced asthma, the nose humidifies and warms the air coming in, avoiding the asthma attack. Breathing through the nose eliminates many of the things that start asthma attacks.
At the start of the Essential Breath™ program our goal is to address the reasons air can't get in through the nose and stopping the mouth breathing. We have several techniques that help and it's not unusual to find a mouth breather breathing through their nose within a few hours of learning these techniques. More work is required to maintain nose breathing as the norm. This is addressed in Steps 2 and 3.
Step 2: Retain Vital Body Gases
We know that an asthma attack usually involves mucus blocking the airways and constriction of the airways. Reliever medication such as albuterol is used to break up the mucus and relax the airways, opening everything up so the air can flow freely.
As it turns out, two body gases, carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO) work the same way as a reliever medication. When the right amount of these gases are available, the mucus breaks up and the airways become fully opened. If enough CO2 and NO are present in the lungs, triggers are rendered impotent. The airways stay wide open and the mucus never clogs things up.
Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why the breathing center of our brain, the medulla oblongata, becomes intolerant to CO2 and NO, forcing them out of the body through our breath. Step 2 of the Essential Breath™ program is designed to reassure the medulla that higher levels of CO2 and NO are OK and they should stay inside the body.
Step 3: Adjust Breathing Volume
For the long term management of asthma symptoms, we must maintain high levels of CO2 and NO in our lungs all the time. If we are breathing large volumes of air, something most folks with asthma do, we are constantly blowing off the CO2 and NO and never give it a chance to do it's magic. Once again, the medulla is the problem as it thinks breathing large volumes of air is OK.
In Step 3 of the Essential Breath™ program we work on the medulla, teaching it the correct volume of air to breathe while retaining more and more CO2 and NO. This adjustment period can last several weeks to several months depending on the severity of the asthma.
The 3 step process behind the Essential Breath™ program is designed to employ the science of breathing to address the root cause of asthma and retain CO2 and NO in the lungs. CO2 and NO help keep the airways wide open and the person with asthma breathing freely. Yes, how you breathe really matters, especially if you have asthma.