Nurses should be encouraged to teach asthma sufferers the Buteyko breathing technique (BBT), according to a leading medical expert.
Specialist respiratory physiotherapist Gillian Austin, who works for Hertfordshire Community Trust and is also head of the Buteyko Breathing Association (BBA), suggested nurses are ideally placed to teach the technique during a speech at the annual conference of the Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists (ARNS) last week.
The BBT, which is designed to help people with asthma to overcome symptoms of the condition, involves breathing steadily through the nose during an asthma attack. Practitioners of BBT claim the technique helps to reduce feelings of breathlessness and panic experienced during an attack.
In her speech, Ms Austin went on to address false rumours circulating about BBT: “The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia wrongly mentions that proponents of the BBT believe it to be a cure for asthma.
“This is certainly not what practitioners trained by the UK-based BBA would say, who prefer to take a more pragmatic approach to how the technique has its effect on asthma sufferers.”