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The art of Breathing well

Chris Bauman, a Hillside resident, has been teaching people the Buteyko method for 14 years. - Kevin Laird/News staff
Chris Bauman, a Hillside resident, has been teaching people the Buteyko method for 14 years.
— image credit: Kevin Laird/News staff

Sid Tafler no longer fears allergy season.

The longtime Victoria resident suffers from chronic asthma and severe seasonal allergies – conditions that affect his quality of life in everything from breathing to sleeping.

“It started with allergies to cats and dust,” Tafler explains. “Over a period of 30 years the condition got worse. It got to a point where I couldn’t get any relief without using inhalers (medication) – or going to the hospital for oxygen.”

For years, Tafler went to medical specialists and asthma clinics to relieve his symptoms, but found little relief from the asthma and allergies. He resigned his condition wasn’t going to get much better.

A friend, meanwhile, took a Buteyko breathing seminar and raved about its success to Tafler.

It changed his life.

He has been symptom free from asthma and allergies for more than a year – and he doesn’t feel anxious come  allergy season.

“I’ve had no symptoms whatsoever since February 2013. Nothing,” Tafler says.

The Buteyko method or Buteyko breathing technique is a form of complementary or alternative physical therapy that proposes “breathing retraining” as a treatment for asthma as well as other conditions.

The method takes its name from the late Russian doctor Konstantin Buteyko, who first formulated its principles during the 1950s.

The Buteyko method is based on the assumption that all forms of asthma, and numerous other medical conditions, are caused by chronic hyperventilation.

At the core of the Buteyko method is a series of reduced-breathing exercises that focus on nasal-breathing, breath-holding and relaxation.

Chris Bauman, a Hillside resident, has been teaching people the Buteyko method for 14 years.

“I nearly died from an asthma attack in 1997, while living in Japan,” recalls Bauman. “The asthma was so bad that I was forcing myself to breathe.”

She soon discovered a practitioner of Buteyko in England, and not only took the program but ended up being a trainer in the breathing method as well.

Bauman says it took her two to three months to start feeling better, but she, like Tafler, has never looked back.

“It’s very gratifying work,” she says.

Within two weeks, Bauman’s clients see a difference in their health, with most breathing, sleeping and feeling better.

“People do need to do the exercises. They need to commit. If they don’t commit, then they’re just going to see a different kind of success.”

As for Tafler, he’s just happy that he is symptom free of asthma and allergies.

“I’m a bit of a cheerleader with it, but it’s just so amazing.”

Sign me up

Chris Bauman will hold her next course on Buteyko breathing in Victoria from May 12-22.

She offers five, two-hour small group sessions. There are follow up calls or classes after the course and unlimited refresher classes.

For more information, please call 250-858-4211 or go here.

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