Breath Retraining in the Management of Asthma
by Barbara Benagh
It's the middle of the night. Suddenly you're wide awake, suffocating, gasping for air but unable to catch your breath. The whole world seems to be closing in around your throat and chest. The urgency to breathe that woke you in the first place is rapidly giving way to panic. You're having an asthma attack.
For millions of Americans, this is an all-too-frequent occurrence, a nightmare that can't be fully appreciated by those without the disorder. That was certainly true for me. Until late 1987 I had never given asthma much thought. Then I had a bout with viral pneumonia. Even after I recovered, a nagging cough lingered. The cough became chronic and, after several months, so did bouts of breathlessness. After one particularly anxious episode, I went to the doctor. She diagnosed my problem as asthma.