“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy” Friedrich Nietzsche
Don’t you admire modern medicine when it comes to things like emergency treatment, trauma care, genetic disorders, pre- and post-natal care, and state-of-the-art surgery? Aren’t you frustrated with it when it comes to chronic conditions, unclassified illnesses, strange symptoms, and chronic pains? Hundreds of research institutes, medical schools and other establishments have been working for years, even decades, to find a cure for heart disease, hypertension, asthma, arthritis, and diabetes yet more Americans than ever are diagnosed with these and other “diseases of civilization.” Conventional medicine admits it doesn’t know the reason for these diseases. Nobody seems to question why conventional medical research seems to be only interested in finding the next drug or in patenting the newest medical device.
What’s wrong with drugs?
“In 2007, 51% of insured Americans were taking prescription drugs to treat at least one chronic health problem. Many of these patients are on multiple medications. One-fifth of the population used three or more chronic drug treatments last year” (Leah Carlson Shepherd, Chronic conditions reach tipping point, afflict more than half of Americans, from Employee Benefit New)
The idea of ingesting, inhaling or rubbing onto the skin some substance to make you well is as old as human history. No wonder it is so hard to let it go. The two biggest medication victories of 20th century — antibiotics and steroids — encouraged the idea of a “ wonder drug”. Thank god we have them; they’ve saved thousands of lives. But it’s only now, decades later, that we know prolonged use, or overuse, of these drugs can have devastating effects. Time is not taken to study long term side effects of new medications. Studies on multiple drug interactions are very limited. And a new problem is rapidly emerging — we are becoming overmedicated.
Although medications can ease many conditions, many doctors, researchers, and pharmacists I talked to agree that multiple drug use often exacerbates existing ailments. Every drug comes with a list of side effects, but the use of multiple drugs can cause troubling side effects that are treated with yet more drugs.
The use of multiple, often unnecessary medications—especially among older people—is an entrenched, escalating, frightening, and mostly unexamined problem in modern health care. ‘Overmedication is a true epidemic,’ says Armon B. Neel Jr., Pharm.D., a clinical pharmacist in Georgia who evaluates medication plans for private and nursing home clients. ‘It’s completely out of hand.’ (Siri Carpenter, The epidemic of overmedication from MSNBC )
Most drugs do not address the cause of chronic disease, but rather silence the symptoms, letting us to “get by” with our condition. But we, as patients, are assured there is nothing more effective. When benefits seem obvious and side effects are not pronounced, we go along. After all, what are the options?
Patients, too, unwittingly compound their own problems. ‘As a culture, we’ve come to expect that there’s a pill for every ailment,’ says Stephen Bartels, M.D., director of Dartmouth Medical School’s Centers for Health and Aging. ‘Patients ask for medications they’ve seen advertised, and sometimes it’s easiest for physicians to just prescribe them rather than encourage behavioral changes or preventive steps.’ . . . To be fair, doctors are not entirely to blame for rampant over-prescribing. In recent years, federal health panels have handed down more stringent targets for controlling chronic diseases such as hypertension and high cholesterol. Medication is often the quickest and surest way to get results—a strategy endorsed by insurance companies, which are reluctant to pay for less well-documented natural therapies. (Siri Carpenter, The epidemic of overmedication from MSNBC )
What about CAM?
The undeniable advantage of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is that if it doesn’t help, at least it is unlikely to harm. Complimentary therapies are often closely related to a healthy lifestyle (yoga, tai chi, meditation, massage therapy, detoxification protocols, and healthy nutrition), and work best as a prevention or for minor ailments, rather than for established diseases.
More widely accepted in the western world, CAM therapies like chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, too, often aim at relieving symptoms rather than looking for or addressing the cause. Classic homeopathy analyzes a patient’s extensive history trying to address the cause of disease by challenging immune system to fight the disease. But finding the right remedy can be a lengthy and complex process, and there is no guarantee of success.
Nobody denies that healthy nutrition is vital for your health, but the numerous nutritional studies, protocols and diets are head spinning, as they often contradict each other, are unrealistic to stick to and, to my opinion, are based on false assumptions (look for my upcoming article where I’ll take a look at nutritional cures) .
Other CAM therapies are rooted in ancient cultures or spirituality, based on the body’s energies or “biofields”, or explore the mind-body connection.
Most CAM teachings are wonderful tools, and they are gaining more popularity among health-conscious people in western societies. However, studies and trials are scarce, nothing is systemized or thoroughly explained, and there are no long term benefit observations. Patients may be able to find research indicating which CAM is proven most effective for their particular condition. In reality, however, when we are sick and pressed to make a decision where to look for relief, it can be overwhelming to explore all CAM choices. It may seem to require too much time and money, especially for a questionable outcome.
Buteyko Theory – the science of the body’s wisdom
Like everything in this world, either natural or man-made, human body evolved with its own “instruction manual”. The body is very adaptable and has a tremendous ability to heal itself. It is the most sophisticated machine ever invented. If used as intended, it is guaranteed a long and healthy life. The doctor’s ultimate job is to write the correct chapters in that “instruction manual”. And as long as that is done properly, “troubleshooting” section will be simple and clear, and in many cases it won’t involve substances to swallow, rub or inhale. As the Latin proverb goes Natura sanat, Medicus curat (Nature cures, Doctor helps).
Buteyko teaching states that breathing is the most important physiological function of the body. We can live without food for a few weeks and without water for a few days. We cannot live without air more than just a few minutes. It is logical to assume that it affects all organs and systems in a profound way. It is also logical to assume that, if there is a physiological norm for eating or sleeping, or amount of physical activity, then there is a physiological norm for breathing. Professor Buteyko was a doctor and a scientist who discovered that norm. During 50 years of research and practice he established that:
- Incorrect breathing affects every organ and system in the body.
- Incorrect breathing deprives tissues and organs of oxygen.
- Incorrect breathing shifts PH balance and disturbs metabolism
- Incorrect breathing is a cause of a large number of “diseases of civilization”.
- Once the cause is found, the elimination of the cause would be a healing, not just a symptomatic relieve
- Incorrect breathing is a formed habit in response to modern life stressors
- Such habit can and should be reversed
Buteyko teaching, although solidly based on physiology, took a completely different direction than western medicine, which currently only focuses on discoveries of new drugs or devices. And Buteyko is a much more complete as a scientific theory than most CAM teachings and techniques, with defined in standards and measurements, the support of clinical trails, and years of successful application.
It is important to note that Buteyko Breathing Theory (BBT) was never meant to be a complementary or alternative therapy; rather, it was intended to be a revision of medical diagnosis and treatment of disease. BBT is based on Buteyko’s well substantiated, scientifically proven, theory of disease: disease is a disorder of the mechanisms of regulation and restoration of an organism’s function. Since breathing is the highest in the hierarchy of functions, hyperventilation, with the consequent depletion of CO2 leads to an imbalance that manifests in a variety of forms, including asthma, high blood pressure and heart disease. If breathing is corrected, it leads to correction of the other functions, and restores the patient to good health. (Martha Magenta, Asthma is curable –why are people dying? From infoholix.net)
Is it a cure for all diseases?
Studies of Russian doctors practicing the Buteyko method, as well as studies published in Western publications, reveal that over 150 health conditions are related to heavy breathing, or are possible only in conditions of hyperventilation. This is less than 1% of all health pathologies (about 30,000) currently known to the medical science.
‘I hear a whisper of indignation and joy: “So, are all diseases from deep breathing?” No, not all. Deep breathing causes one single disease: the disease of deep breathing. It causes a wide spectrum of pathologies. Why? It interrupts the metabolism of the substances – the foundation of life in all cells. These or other symptoms are manifested, and their strong expression is qualified as disease…’(Buteyko, 1977).
The theory suggested by Buteyko has some limitations and cannot completely describe all physiological processes in the following cases: infectious diseases; severe psychological abnormalities; traumas; extreme states due to intoxication, poisoning, radiation, and reanimation; aging; unconscious states; childbirth; sex; and cancer (Buteyko et al, 2005a; Buteyko et al, 2005b). However, application of the Buteyko method allows natural regulation and normalization of these and many other physiological processes. (Artour Rakhimov, Ph.D.,Normal Breathing: The key to vital health from e-book Normal Breathing)
It is worth noting that the over 150 Health conditions related to heavy breathing are the most wide spread chronic conditions modern society is plagued with.
To date, the Buteyko Method is best known and most used in the western world for treating asthma. Asthma is one of the most “direct” body’s responses to overbreathing, and its reversal by applying Buteyko Method is very apparent and relatively quick. Buteyko enthusiasts hope that once Buteyko Method is officially accepted for treating asthma, more research and trials will be initiated to study its application for other conditions.
I hope we’ll understand rather sooner than later that Buteyko Method can make a large contribution to the future of medicine.
The therapy is easy to learn and can be taught to children from three years of age. It can be used with very ill patients and is most effective in acute bronchial asthma. If BBT were taught to all schoolchildren the incidence of asthma would decline within five years. (Martha Magenta, Asthma is curable –why are people dying? From infoholix.net)
When you learn Buteyko, you are not given a product to consume, nor a service or treatment to buy, but rather unique and precise knowledge of how to gain a proper control of your health. You carry it with you all your life and, hopefully, teach your children and grandchildren. Ideally, you will teach them before they get sick. Then the next generation won’t be hiding a pill bottle or inhaler in every pocket.
Buteyko Clinic USA offers unique breathing rehabilitation programs that result in long term drug free control over asthma, allergies, COPD, rhinitis, chronic cough, snoring, sleep apnea, anxiety, panic, chronic hyperventilation syndrome and other chronic conditions. Contact us today for a free consultation.