How did I find out that I need to breathe correctly? (2009 – New Life)

Posted in The Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2012/01/07 by breathecorrectly


Our son could now run, play and swim. 11 months after the course in June, the swimming instructor asked for him to become a competitive swimmer. 11 months previous, this was an unimaginable event. We had achieved a great success!

We had peeled one layer of problems! It feels like peeling an onion to get to good health.

So now we could focus at on what seemed like lesser issues, layer 2 – athlete’s foot and parasites.

At this point, we started thinking about individual solutions as well as the bigger questions. Now the fundamental question changed, he recovered from the asthma. Are the remaining attacks are due to the fact that he over breathes or is there a stressor in his system that is still triggering the asthma?

Since the fear of asthma was relieved, there was space to think.

  • What has he got athlete’s foot so bad?
  • Why do parasites keep coming back?
  • What caused the over-breathing in the first place?

For the athlete’s foot, a local cream was simply applied.

For the parasites, it was simply the tablets that you can get in a pharmacy.

Now, we were looking for different answers and therapies.


How did I find out that I need to breathe correctly? (2008 – Buteyko)

Posted in The Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2012/01/07 by breathecorrectly


Our son had to go again for the only treatment that we knew helped so far. He went for TBM treatment every two weeks but this time it did not seem to help as much as it did in the past.  Our time was consumed by checking which things he was sensitive to and talking with the Chiropractor.  We discussed different ideas, which books to read and what types of diets to follow.  Our discussions helped us to understand the impacts of daily activities on us.  The team of chiropractors helped us in many ways not just with our son.  There was an open minded approach to what could solve the issues we had in front of us at different moments in time.

We changed our diets completely.  We stopped processed food and we followed the alkaline diet, stopped dairy, meat, eggs.  We thought we were going to miss important elements in our diet and it turns out that we have discovered a new world of food most of which is alive.  The food is alive not dead!  The only thing we were not sure about was fruit because it was not considered a very major element in the “Ph Miracle”.  We got rid of it anyway. The “Ph Miracle” is very much a vegetable based live-food diet that was a radicle change in what we ate and we reacted more to changing our diet than we ever did to moving country.  Our body and food are so close to our identity and source of certainty and enjoyment that a change of this nature is difficult.  We all cried a little bit saying “goodbye to ‘our’ food!”.  We were strict about implementing the diet for the whole family but it was hard.  We read at least 5 books on the subject, the main concept was the same but the foods that they suggested were different in different books and it left us confused and stressed.  To check to if either foods were alkaline or not, we had to choose one book as a reference which was the reference book “Ph Miracle” and work with that and to check if “we” were alkaline we had to check our urine with litmus test ph strips.  It was hard, we had a tough atmosphere around the house and our son was sicker all the time so the diet was being implemented in a crash way.  For three weeks, our son was good, he was much better.  Then he got sick again, various spasms and his recovery period was slowing again and we were becoming desperate.  How can we try so hard and the results are not coming?  So every spare minute was searching the Internet searching for answers, possibilities, solutions – anything that could lead us to an relief and with hope an end to all these sufferings.

In all of years, we were denying the word, the possible consequences and ideas of “asthma” but it seems like he was getting worse no matter what we tried – we were back to the admission that this could be asthma (we didn’t really know what that meant).  So there was acceptance and now a search for the solutions to asthma.  The results of the searches in the Internet were scary, the medicines, the side-effects, the damage to the lungs.  Where do we start?  The traditional medicine and their drugs did not help so where, where, where?  The idea that he could be under strong medicine and treatment everyday for the rest of his life was like a knife in the heart.

During the time of caring for our son, my wife when lying with him, as many of the spasms would be an night, would often close his mouth and this had been happening for a couple of years.  She had been doing this because it seemed to help during these situations. Then watching the kids, in her own head she had the idea of “breathing” come into her mind.  The search began for breathing.  She searched for any word related to breathing, breathing correctly, asthma and a few pages came up of which one page talked about the Buteyko Method.  This time she decided to open it, she had actually seen it in the previous days but not opened it because she didn’t know how to relate to the word.  The page made a relationship between breathing and asthma.  From one of the pages of Asthma Care there was a download for  a manual to go through the breathing correctly for kids talking about big breaths and small breaths and how good and bad they are for us.  She felt it was right and went through the manual with the kids and gave her contact details to Asthma Care to have more information.  That was a Thursday and the day after she received a mail saying that there was a course in Dublin on the Saturday and there were a few places left, two days later.  It had to be done.

Saturday, she and our son went into Dublin City Center @ 14.00 for the Buteyko Course with our son who was very bad, wheesing, hyperventilating and he wasn’t able to run.  The teacher asked to talk about our son and the situation, after the explanation, the teacher looked at him and said, ” Yes, he is a chronic hyperventilator!”.  The teacher, Patrick, started with what asthma actually is.  Asthma is a defence mechanism that the body puts in place when we over-breathe.  Once we get rid of the cause of over-breathing, we get rid of the asthma symptoms.  Once we learn how to breathe the normal amount of air, the body no longer has a need to defend itself – therefore the symptoms no longer appear.  There is a new concept of the role of Carbon Dioxide in the body.  We normally see CO2 as a waste gas but according to Buteyko we need a certain amount of C02 in our body approximately 6%.  The carbon dioxide is a tranport mechanism for the oxygen in our bloodstream.  We need the C02 to bring the oxygen to the different places in our body.

There is a simple test to check if we are breathing correctly on an everyday basis.

“The percentage of Co2 in our lungs can correlate with the number of seconds that we can hold our breath”. 60 seconds is ideal amount of time to be able to our breathe and we are in good health from Buteyko’s metric.

Our son took the test and the first time he took it, he was able to hold his breath for 8 seconds. We now knew how far our son was from health in that moment. A bad result but a starting point.

The course showed several ways to breathe the correct amount and that we always breathe through our nose for several beneficial reasons.  At the end of the course, my wife was convinced that this was the solution and she started working with him 3 times a day to see where this could bring us.

Straight after the course, our son was already better. The first night was the first time that he did not snore. Very quickly, there were great improvements.

They strictly implemented the exercises everyday for the rest of the year. Every time that he did have an asthma attack, it was brought under control very quickly. He reduced the number of attacks. The more the control pause increased, the less attacks he had.

By September, he was good enough to go back to swimming and begin participating in life again. Attacks became milder and milder. The exercises were done for the rest of the year. He went back to school. They worked 3 times a day, he got very well in comparison to before.

We had also discovered that the night time was the worst. What could we do about it? The answer was simple and effective. Surgical tape with both ends folded over on the month so that breathing only happens through the nose. It prevented a lot of the 5 in the morning episodes triggered by over-breathing with the mouth open. The situation was now manageable!

How did I find out that I need to breathe correctly? (2007 – Triggered)

Posted in The Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2012/01/06 by breathecorrectly


We moved back to Ireland and he started to get sick again with mucous in his ears and breathing became worse.  He couldn’t do sports anymore.  Anytime he started running, he started getting pains in his chest – and that is a huge worry as a parent.  Those parts that could develop into asthma (as we understood it) seemed to have accelerated in that direction again.

How did I find out that I need to breathe correctly? (2005 – Sauna)

Posted in The Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2012/01/06 by breathecorrectly


Moving to Finland, we were concerned about leaving the source of our reference for health.  He was much better so we could go and have less regular visits to sessions back in Ireland as we were not sure what could be available in a far away place from what we know.

It turned out that we had more physical activity and the general diet of the Finnish was healthier so the situation seemed to be under control, not gone but under control e.g. his skin was still sensitive behind the knees and the his scalp was always dry.  He would have a bronchial spam about once every four months or so.  We learnt about the wonderful Finnish sauna – Yes!  So whenever he began to have a blocked nose or sign of a cold or a cough, we would put him in the sauna.  This would lead to him getting better, it definitely did help.  During this time it seemed that his nose was always full of mucous.  This went on for 2 years in a status of “under control”.  When it was possible, we took him back to the TBM sessions that we could.  He was slowly getting better although he was not the healthy child that we dreamed for him to be.  we had come a long way forward.

How did I find out that I need to breathe correctly? (2004 – TBM)

Posted in The Story with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2012/01/06 by breathecorrectly


We decided to bring him back to TBM treatment for another week of sessions with our son and the different intolerances seemed to appear which consisted of many different.  After a few days of working on them, the TBM practitioner was surprised that the intolerances were not shifting and he decided that it would be a good idea to have an x-ray.  When he examined the x-ray, we saw that the upper arm bone was inside the socket of his shoulder and he had a chip of the bone in the shoulder.  So we assumed he had fell when he was younger that we not aware of the gravity of it.  The fall pushed the arm into the shoulder, and the shoulder into the chest and therefore having a effect on the circulation around the sternum which could have had influence on the lungs and coughing.  That afternoon, he immediately decided to fix it.  Our son lay on the Chiropractor bed and his arm was pulled out of his shoulder to bring it back to a normal position.  Our son had a mixed expression between pain and relief but relief was definitely the stronger of the two reactions. From that precise moment, the cough was gone and the barking cough never came back.  We wondered what could have happened to create this situation.  Was it a fall that he didn’t show the pain and he never had complained about pain. He still had other problems including the bronchial spams and the rashes on his body but that was  major relief.  He was very allergic to nappies, we took them away even though he had not been potty trained.  His nappies were taken away forever out of desperation and it appeared to become trained over night.  He only had a nappy during the night.

His skin was so bad that his Mum took him to a doctor who was patronising and insisted on a diagnosis of a contagious skin infection called “impetigine” and that he should go on a treatment straight away.  Using common sense, the aggression of the doctor seemed disproportionate to the situation.  We did then start to focus on the clothes that he was wearing and the particular materials of the different clothes and vary the clothes according to sensitivities.  Especially the clothing labels at the back of the neck and the bottom of the back caused the most irritation – so all label disappeared from the existing wardrobe and any new clothes got the labels removed immediately.  From this his skin improved.

The only reliable source of good effect for our son was the NAET and TBM sessions so we decided to move back to Ireland to have access to regular sessions with hopefully increasingly good results.  We started going as often as was possible, maybe once a month, and the sessions reduced the frequency and intensity of the skin issues and the coughing.  Because of these results, we started to use the sessions for all the members of our families for other issues, it became a major source of reference for any health concerns or issues.  The kids had earaches on occasions and adjustments of the neck removed the earaches on several occasions minimising our understanding of the needs for drug-type medicines. There was reasonable improvement over time and we were able to talk about many lifestyle issues.

How did I find out that I need to breathe correctly? (2003 – Better but not Recovered)

Posted in The Story with tags , , , on 2012/01/06 by breathecorrectly


Back to normal life, he was a bit better but he wasn’t fully better, his skin was still suffering behind the knees and the elbows.  The cough was better but not gone. The struggle was to continue!

How did I find out that I need to breathe correctly? (2002 – Allergies & Bronchitis)

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At 13 months we moved to a small town outside of Milan.  Life continued as was for about two months before the next battle befell us and a very very strong dry barking cough from the throat began.  It began and continued for almost one year. The older brother was starting to suffer again from earaches.  So a trip to the doctor with both keys seemed a starting point to understanding what could be happened and hoping for resolutions.  The doctor gave an antibiotic for both of the very different set of symptoms. The older child’s earache was relieved but our second son was given no respite by the medicine. The older son’s earache came back and went again several times, we repeated the doctor visits and she repeated the prescription.  During this cycle, it turned out that our oldest son’s earache came back during a dose of antibiotics and this made us evaluate the effectiveness of this approach.  Antibiotics may not be the solution.  In parallel, our second son’s cough was continuing and worsening to the point were his mother brought him to children’s section of the nearest hospital to the first aid and part of the check including blowing into a device to make sure if he was getting enough oxygen (probably an asthma check) and it concluded that he was getting sufficient oxygen.  They did not know what was wrong but they started indicating allergies without any concrete direction. To resolve the issue in the moment, for the short term, they injected him with cortisone to stop the cough.  The cough dissipated for a few days and then returned.  On another occasion out of desperation, it was required to go to the hospital another time.  We had to go another hospital, resulting in the same doctor and a different hospital and then prescription was for taking an aerosol (breathing apparatus) with very strong medicine diluted in the steam inhaled.  We struggled to make him use the aerosol a few times but the resistance was very strong so our search down the path of allergies took on a new strength.

Their mother decided to bring them to a doctor (an allergologist) to perform an allergy skin test.  The results turned out to be: the older child was allergic to duck feathers as can be found in pillows and a particular plant called “graminace”.  The doctor’s conclusion was that this was the reasons that he was suffering from earaches as the cause of the allergies was in the pillow that he lying on and he was producing mucous that was going into his ears and causing him pain.  The solution suggested was to take a short course of the anti-histamines because the plant was in season and to change the bed ware to be without feathers.  The second child was concluded to be very allergic to dust mites and the solution was a long term prescription for anti-histamines.  So the program began!  The older child appeared to improve but the second child had the terrible side effect of falling asleep regularly after taking the dose.  This meant that he was mostly asleep and putting on weight, sitting most the time when awake since he was depleted of energy, he was bloated and yet the cough nor rashes were not gone.  We bought a very expensive vacuum cleaner and his mother spent most of her day cleaning, hovering, and steaming to maximum possible.  His mattress was wrapped with cling film.  Worst of all, the cough wasn’t gone.

There were two ideas that we also had floating as possible causes. One was that in the Hinterland of Milan, with all the growth of produce it is known to have planes passing regularly dropping pesticides which is not a wonderful thing to know. And two, the apartment where we were living felt a bit damp.  We were never sure if these were also contributing factors the symptoms we were attempting to fight.

And from a mother’s standpoint, it was hurtful, frustrating and scary in that when she went out with a child that was coughing.  People would stare at him and her as he coughed and sometimes would look towards his mother. “Was she a bad mother?”, “Was she trying to resolve his cough with all her strength?”, and how did she feel on people looking at her in an accusative manner but she was in a powerless situation.  And at home the situation was no better as the neighbour would also comment every morning on the fact that she heard the child coughing all night.  It was pretty bad since there was also no light at the end of the tunnel.

After following the program of anti-histamines for about two months, there were no results coming and our second son was still suffering from the side effects everyday.  During the course of the treatment she read in detail the instructions that came with the medicine which also included a list of the side effects.  These effects did scare the life out of her, because some included heart problems etc. So she decided to throw away all the medicine and in the summer she decided to move to CagliariSardinia with the hope that this new healthier environment could relieve the situation.

This move eased the cough a bit but the rashes and cuts continued.  With the little relief, there was no going back but the bulk of the issues were still in plane sight and hearing.  He was always scratching and bleeding from the irritation of the rashes.  The house was dustier but this seemed to play little difference to his state of health.  On occasion the cough was so hard, that it could initiate a vomit.  So the move was not the solution so where could there be an answer?

In October, we decided to follow through with some of good news that we had been hearing from my family back in Ireland on the subject of NAET.  We packed everyone up on a plane to go for an intense number of sessions with this methodology.  We had agreed in advance to spend two weeks consistently going everyday for as many sessions as our son’s body was ready to work with.  We really didn’t really know what it was at this stage so we were relying on faith and hope that we could find an answer.

When our second son arrived the first time, he was sleepy, no energy and coughing hard constantly.  For two weeks, they were tested and worked on almost everyday.  After the first session, our second son he slept for an entire day and was also having a bronchial spasm for the first time.  He was better in the evening, he woke up and ate.  He went for two sessions every day that he went.  The NAET practitioner worked on as many allergies as possible.  He started to get better.  His mother had been convinced that this was working and that this could work further was that the older son had the night before the first session had slept under a feather quilt and mucous followed as would have always happened. He was treated for the allergies against the feathers and the day after we made sure he didn’t sleep in a quilt but after two night s of treatment, he had to sleep in a quilt as there were no other blankets in the house in which we were staying.  He slept perfectly all night, he didn’t produce mucous.  It had not more effect and this remains true to this day.

Our second son had an unknown number of reactions and it was described like layers of onion skin in terms of how the solving of the reactions would have to take place in the future.  This ended a year full of hope.  We started reading about the process of NAET and hearing stories from others who had also overcome issues in their lives.  We were now looking forward to the next time we could afford to make more trips like this to bring the issues closer to final resolution.  The cough wasn’t gone but he was a bit better.