Buteyko & Asthma – Emma's Story...
My name is Emma and I'm a busy mum of two. I've suffered from asthma for many years but despite this, I decided to take up running as a way of keeping fit. For a long time I'd had in the back of my mind that I should get my asthma under control, but with a busy job and family life, my health needs kept slipping down my list of priorities.
It was really the running that prompted me to seek help. I was just about coping with the exercise but in reality I was pushing myself to my limit. I found it increasingly difficult to recover after a run and it would really knock me for six, until eventually I had to give it all up because of a nasty combination of the asthma and a serious chest infection.
I was determined not to let my asthma get the better of me, so did some online research and discovered the Buteyko Breathing Technique. I didn't like the idea of trying to teach myself from a book, so instead I looked for a local respiratory physiotherapist and came across Rachel and Physio-Life.
I went to see Physio-Life in January 2014 and spent around five sessions with Rachel learning about and practising the Buteyko Breathing Technique.
Rachel is a brilliant teacher and I learnt that actually most asthmatics overbreathe and breathe unfiltered, cold air through their mouths, which contains a lot of irritants; this then irritates the lungs and makes the asthma worse. Through the Buteyko Breathing Technique you learn how to NOT breathe so much, which may seem counterintuitive, but it really does work!
The results were amazing and have really got me on a good footing. The Buteyko Breathing Technique is so effective and I can honestly say that for me it's been life-changing.
Unfortunately I've had a slight set-back with my running as I fractured my ankle, but before then I was regularly running 5k (and up to 9k) which I never thought possible. I'm just starting to train again and was so surprised at how easy it was to get back on the treadmill and for the asthma to not be a problem.
I'm now fitter than I've ever been as I'm able to exercise more frequently and for a lot longer, which in turn has had a positive impact on my sleep and energy levels. Also, as an asthmatic you can often feel tired because it can take such an enormous effort to breathe; because breathing is now easier my asthma-induced tiredness has also decreased dramatically.
At the beginning of learning the Buteyko Breathing Technique it takes a lot of hard work, effort and practice to get the most out of the teaching, but now I don't have to invest so much time into it because my body knows instinctively how to breathe effectively; and if I feel short of breath for whatever reason, I know exactly how to get my breathing back on track.
Why I love Physio-Life
Rachel really has got the whole package – she's an extremely experienced respiratory physiotherapist and is a lovely person to work with. I found her to be empathetic and supportive, and I also appreciated what a clear and straightforward person she is.
In our sessions we cracked on with the work and put in a huge amount of effort. Her teaching was spot-on; very clear and understandable. I enjoyed our sessions and found her to be an easy and relaxing person to be with – the type of person that anyone could get on with.
I would have no hesitation in recommending the services that Physio-Life provides to anyone having issues with their breathing or asthma. For me it's been life-changing – I've never felt better!