Asthma incidence is on the rise especially in the industrialised world, but it is highest in New Zealand and in Australia, where it affects one child in four and one adult in ten. As to the cause, many theories have been proposed including air pollution, anti-asthma drugs, faulty diet and stress; but one explanation, proposed by Russian respiratory physician Konstantin Buteyko in the late 1950s, has asthma as one of many complications resulting from overbreathing—an action that depletes the essential 6.5% carbon dioxide content in our lungs, thus impacting on our bodies in many ways.
Buteyko developed special breathing techniques for sufferers of asthma and other conditions. Though hounded for years by the Russian medical establishment, he eventually documented 100,000 asthma cures.
Every Breath You Take, one of the few books on the "Buteyko Method", as it is known, is written by Dr Paul Ameisen, an experienced medical practitioner and natural therapist who started using the technique about seven years ago after it was introduced into Australia. He cites Australian statistics of over 8,000 "cures" as at 1997, with at least a 90% success rate, plus recent favourable clinical trials in Australia.
In his book Dr Ameisen describes the theory and methodology of the Buteyko Method, but he urges asthma sufferers to seek professional help in learning the breathing techniques correctly. He presents a number of case studies in the hope that more sufferers will seek help—especially when, in most cases, they can look forward to phasing out their prescribed drug treatments.
Dr Ameisen includes some sensible advice on health, plus Buteyko Method contacts for Australia, NZ, UK and USA.