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15 May 2012 09:04
Nurses are being urged to learn an asthma breathing technique
Nurses are being urged to learn a breathing technique for asthma so they can teach it to sufferers.
Gillian Austin, a respiratory physiotherapist, urged nurses to sign up for courses into the Buteyko breathing technique (BBT) so they could master the practice.
The courses are run by the Buteyko Breathing Association (BBA), of which Austin is president.
She says the technique can help asthma sufferers control their condition. With summer almost upon us many asthma sufferers will be jetting off abroad, so learning the technique as well as taking out some
pre-existing medical travel insurance is a great way to prepare for being away.
Austin, of the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, gave a talk at the annual conference of the Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists.
She said the main features of the technique are breathing through the nose and slow and controlled breathing to help reduce sudden feelings of breathlessness.
But she said there had been some misconceptions over the extent of its impact.
She went on: "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 symptoms."
The BBA wants the method to be more widely used throughout the NHS.
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