Are You Really Suffering From Asthma, Or Is It Simply Breathing Difficulty?
Asthma is probably one of the world’s most over-diagnosed and over-medicated ailments.
In an article in the Asthma Update, Issue 25, September 2004, asthma researcher, Associate Professor Colin Robertson, Respiratory Physician at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, suggests that; “80 percent of children diagnosed with asthma may have symptoms induced by exercise; therefore the community at large perceives asthma in a certain way. This can be positive in the sense that the problem can be easily recognised, however sometimes other respiratory conditions can mimic asthma.”
Professor Robertson suggests, “Doctors, relatives and enthusiastic physical education teachers can mistake a child who exercises and gets out of breath as having asthma when they are actually just unfit”.
“This gets interpreted as Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA) but it doesn’t respond to anti-asthma therapy. What they need is breathing exercises to learn how to control it. It is a simple effective intervention and it is important for people to know that it exists”
As such, many people who have a history of being diagnosed with asthma, and have been treated using medications to deal with this over a long period of time, may actually have just been experiencing difficulties in breathing, and have simply been using a band-aid treatment via their medications, rather than addressing the ‘root’ or ‘underlying’ cause to their situation, or symptom picture.
By not addressing this underlying cause they have limited their way of living and potential, and opened themselves up to a myriad of unwanted side-effects that come from pharmaceutical drugs.
If we take a step back to look for the underlying cause, 2 things stand out:
- The pathology experienced when one suffers from difficulty in breathing, or asthma, is simply that – difficulty or dysfunction in breathing. In other words, the pathology is with our breathing.
- Virtually all of us habitually breathe dysfunctionally – or nowhere near the way we should according to medical diagnostic norms.
We breathe far too often (twice as often as we should), and with far too much volume – in other words we over-breathe, or mildly hyperventilate all of the time.
Plus, we breathe using our chest & shoulders rather than our diaphragm, and often use our mouth in addition to, or instead of our nose.
The result is that we breathe as if we are in emergency mode all of the time (the mouth and chest & shoulders are secondary breathing mechanisms used to deal with the increased demands of emergencies, such as exercise etc.), which is far from functional or efficient, and leads to a significant imbalance in our respiratory system which decreases how we deliver inhaled oxygen to our cells for energy production.
The body sees this as a potential threat to survival, so it aims to restore balance however it can.
One of the main ways it does this is by constricting the smooth muscle that surrounds our breathing muscles, tubes, and airways resulting in symptoms such as tightness in the chest, feeling out of breath, wheezing, spasm in the airways, coughing, mucous production etc. – the exact symptoms we experience when we have an asthma attack, or we experience difficulty in breathing.
Therefore, these symptoms we experience when we have asthma or difficulties in breathing, can be argued to be an adaptation by the body to imbalance, or poor/inefficient function, rather than an ‘illness’.
So treating the symptoms as such by dealing with the ‘root cause’ and correcting imbalance in the body, rather than masking them with drugs, provides a long term solution that can open the person to a much freer, or less limited lifestyle (rather than living in fear of symptoms), as well as to reduce or potentially free them from a reliance on drugs.
In addition, it doesn’t necessarily matter what the diagnosis is; whether it is asthma or difficulty in breathing that the person is experiencing, the approach to addressing the underlying cause, and eliminating respiratory imbalance is the same.
We do this by retraining the body, over time to breathe more slowly and gently mostly through the nose, and using predominantly the diaphragm to drive breathing. It takes practice initially, but not that much time, and it doesn’t take long for the practice to start to restore balance in the body, and you experience less symptoms.
This approach is not limited to treatment of dysfunctional breathing. It is far more potent and effective in preventing the likelihood of symptoms appearing in the first place.
As such, we are not necessarily treating asthma, or suggesting you throw away your medications – we are correcting breathing dysfunction, and imbalance in the respiratory system, and therefore reducing or eliminating the reliance on drugs, and dramatically increasing the person’s physical and mental freedom.
Click on this link to enrol in, or gather more information on the ‘Breathing Dynamics Solutions to Asthma’ online breathing retraining course – https://timaltman.com.au/lp-courses/