MS and overweight – Judi

I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1991. My health and mobility started to seriously deteriorate about four-and-a-half years ago. My weight was getting out of control, I was constantly fatigued and heading for a wheelchair. In the summer of 2007 I met up with an old friend Martha Roe.  I knew something had changed her, not least, she had lost a lot of weight. I pressed her for answers. It turned out she had started doing the Buteyko breathing method under the personal tutelage of Christopher Drake a Senior Practitioner in Burteyko. I emailed Chris, who lives in Thailand, and started the Buteyko method six months ago.

Within just two weeks things started to change. In the beginning I felt like I was on a roller coaster as my body responded to the technique and went through a lot of Cleansing Reactions. They were not always pleasant but very necessary in terms of becoming well. Not every Cleansing Reactions was unpleasant; I have had some very powerful energy sensations running through my spine.

I started by learning one of the basic tenants of the Buteyko breathing method by working on extending my Control Pause. A Control Pause is the length of time a person can comfortably hold their breath before feeling a strong urge to breath again. As my Control Pause rose the Cleansing Reactions seemed less troublesome and more infrequent. I now have a Control Pause of around 50. When I started learning Buteyko my Control Pause was 14!

It’s essential to mention how the method is imparted from practitioner to student and followed up. The Buteyko practitioner, Chris in my case, works very closely with the student, sometimes by Skype, in person or sometimes by telephone. This is to make sure that the correct procedure is being followed and also address any questions or concerns that the student may have. It is a tailor-made, personal approach for each student and the complete antithesis of learning ‘One size fits all’ Buteyko from a DVD, or going to a short workshop! During the early days Chris would follow me up once a day, or more, if I was going through some challenging Cleansing Reactions that needed managing.

I am under no illusion; I have a long term incurable health condition which supposedly will inexorably progress over time. Yes, my mobility has worsened over the last five years, however I have now been stable for over nine months since I have been doing the Buteyko technique and I feel that slowly everything is coming to right.

In order to support the practice I am making sure that my body’s healing capacity is fully engaged to give myself a fighting chance.

So far, the main benefits have been :

  • Huge weight loss – over 55 pounds (55 kilos, 3.9 stones). I have dropped three dress sizes. An amazing feat considering I was unable to exercise due to the MS. The technique seems to control appetite and I am hardly ever hungry.
  • Lack of reactivity. I’m very calm and laid back, even in stressful
  • Stamina has increased and fatigue has lessened.
  • My leg seems to be getting stronger.
  • I have a diagnosed arthritic thumb joint. It was very painful and difficult to articulate.  This has become a lot better and I can unscrew lids again.
  • I can do without as much sleep
  • No more crippling migraine type headaches

I’ve been ill for nearly seventeen years and I don’t expect an overnight miracle. So I’m giving myself eighteen months to assess the gains I’ve made.  People are starting to comment on how well I look and even my physiotherapist told me I was looking glamorous!

It seems the body has the capacity to heal if it’s given the right tools and materials and in my own short experience Buteyko is proving to be the most important component of getting back to peak health and maintaining it. In order to get well a consistent, persistent application and  rigorous approach is important along with having expert instruction and an exceptional teacher. I feel blessed that this arrangement has been available to me.