Is Modern Medicine Killing You? – Episode 3

By Michael Edmonds 18/10/2012

Before describing this week’s two cases, I want to point out the rather absurd strawman/false dichotomy presented during the show’s introduction

“Are prescription drugs always the answer or is modern medicine killing you?”

In reality, there would be very few doctors who would consider drugs are always the answer and I have yet to see a case on this programme of modern medicine killing anyone (or even coming close to it).

The cases this week were a patient suffering from sleep apnoea and another suffering from a reoccurring and painful rash.

As is fairly standard for the integrative doctors recommendations were made for the patients to improve their “diet, lifestyle, sleep” as well as “correcting imbalances”. The sleep apnoea sufferer was sent along to Buteyko (a type of breathing technique) once the doctor identified that his breathing technique was both rapid and unusual. Magnesium was also recommended to counter muscle twitching and melatonin to improve sleep quality. After a few months he was sleeping five hours a week instead of one, a major improvement, though given the multiple changes it is hard to know which change or combination of changes made the difference; the dietary changes, magnesium, melatonin and/or Buteyko. The TV producers also slipped in what seemed to be an unrelated plug for gluten free food, using a gluten free chocolate brownie as an example! (it may be gluten free but I don’t know about promoting fat and sugar rich foods?).

The rash sufferer had previously been diagnosed with shingles, however, a swab showed that it was instead herpes complex. Dr Pitsilis, after extensive questioning related this to stress and sent the patient along to a cognitive behaviour therapist to deal with the stress. After several months, her health had improved, though very little information was provided about the content of the cognitive therapy which might have been interesting. Also given she was also prescribed vitamin C, melatonin, micronised  progesterone, magnesium and “stress” herbs it is impossible to know which of these may have assisted in her improvement. (again I will point out that progsterone is a drug).

For the third week running, the patients have been provided with advice regarding diet, given various supplements (including compounds classed as drugs) and thorough consultations have identified problems that I would expect most good GP’s should pick up. The treatments recommended also appear to sensible, given the symptoms.

One impression I did get was that both patients grew disenchanted with medicine after a poor initial experience with their doctors (including a misdiagnosis of the “shingles”). This should remind us all that it is important to be proactive as a patient and to get a second (or third) opinion if you aren’t satisfied with what a doctor is telling you.

Also despite the title, for the second week  patients have been prescribed melatonin, and now progesterone, which by definition are drugs.

Interesting programme – yes

Pointing out weak points in our current medical system – yes

Showing that modern medicine is killing us – I don’t think so.


0 Responses to “Is Modern Medicine Killing You? – Episode 3”

  • Excellent summary, Michael, with very little I can add. My supplemental points are from the view of a “mainstream” doctor with a cynical approach to journalism.

    I recall being taught about Buteyko for sleep apnoea whilst at medical school (1980s, NZ). This isn’t “alternative” medicine, just old fashioned. I haven’t kept up with treatment for OSA, but I assume that Buteyko fell out of favour when F&P introduced high tech, high quality, low cost CPAP machines as an alternative.

    As you say, the first patient had lifestyle changes, drugs (melatonin is now a prescription medicine) and the addition of breathing training. There’s nothing there outside of standard medical practice. A new doctor took the time to make a good evaluation, give good advice and an appropriate referral as well as some medication.

    The main lesson to be gained from the rash sufferer is not to treat something that has not been diagnosed. The patient had six months of treatment for Herpes zoster (shingles) without first making sure of the diagnosis. That’s a lot of potential side effects without knowing there’s going to be a benefit. No wonder the patient grew disenchanted.

    My own approach would have been to confirm the diagnosis (viral swab showed Herpes simplex, not zoster), then advise on lifestyle changes and refer for cognitive therapy. I wouldn’t have bothered with the drugs as they are unlikely to contribute and may do harm. And as for the herbal teas… a night time whisky would do as well if not better.

    It was not mentioned in the program, but I suspect that the lifestyle modifications of the rash sufferer included smoking cessation. The patient had a particular facial fat distrubution highly suggestive of long term tobacco use. Smokers have several times the incidence of infections (all kinds) compared with non-smokers. Stopping smoking, without any other changes at all, would reduce the number of times the rash came back.

    Again, almost entirely a standard medical approach to treatment. Take the time to get a good history, confirm the diagnosis, initiate standard treatment, the patient benefits.

    The title for this episode could easily have been “Well Practiced Modern Medicine Benefits You.”

  • Stuartg, I think your title is certainly more accurate but I doubt that is what they wanted for a title

  • It’s certainly not as catchy, neither does it contain the implication of controversy.

  • micronised progesterone is only a drug is one believes that such things are drugs… is magnesium a drug? nature identical progesterone has a large following.

    Stuartg, your title would indicate that modern medicine is not practiced well at all in main stream given the surprise that a dr spends such a long time with her patients. or is the good dr in this case simply a specialist. so to compare a $50/10 min gp consultation with a $350/1 hour specialist is not very fair.

    • Paul,
      Micro side progesterone is a drug because it is a chemical compound which has proven to be useful to treat/prevent disease. This is the definition of a drug. And yes, magnesium could be considered a drug.
      Not quite sure I understand your second paragraph. As others have commented in my other postings on this programme, it seems that GP’s do not spend enough time with their patients, compared to the “integrative medical practitioners on the programme who spend a lot of time with the patients ( and apparently usually charge accordingly)

  • >it seems that GP’s do not spend enough time with their patients

    Might that be “enough time with ,b>some of their patients”? The present system does seem to be working for most people. These TV examples are fairly unusual. And are we as patients giving GPs enough information? I had Graves Disease for a good year before I mentioned enought sysmptoms at once to enanble my GP to make a diagnosis. Before that I had only mentioned the symptom that troubled me the most, which in retrospect deprived my GP of the opportunity to make a diagnosis.

  • Good point, possum. And perhaps it should be some GP’s do not spend enough time with some of their patients.
    Though I guess one could argue that a good GP should be able to tease out full disclosure of symptoms from a patient?
    Perhaps it is more about the relationship between a patient and a GP? If the patient plays an active role in helping provide the GP with the information they need, diagnoses would improve?

  • Michael I agree that this doesn’t prove that modern medicine is killing us, but I’m sorry unfortunately its a fact that most Gp’s do not look at diet and lifestyle or whether a patient is lacking in something and will prescribe a cream or pills. It’s all very well to say patients must be proactive but this is very tiring and depressing when you are feeling sick and who has the money or time to go and get second or third opinions from medical professionals?

    • Greenling,
      I guess GP skills can vary. I find my GP to be very good re lifestyle diet advice, though admittedly I have a good understanding to start with.
      I guess what is coming out of these discussions is that the medical system does not allow for comprehensive medical consultations without it be expensive, whether it involves repeated visits to the GP or one long visit to an “integrative” doctor.
      Having spent time in hospital where medical staff are very good but often busy, I do advocate a proactive approach as the best way to get optimum treatment, though I agree this can be a challenge when you are feeling ill.

  • Paul,

    Any form of progesterone is a drug. It has an effect on the body, otherwise why use it? Magnesium is also a drug, a major use being in eclampsia and pre-eclampsia.

    The major factor that seems to come from this series is the time that the practitioners take to reach a conclusion or diagnosis.

    GPs see patients for 10-15 minutes each. Emergency Department doctors average 50-90 minutes per patient (it varies a bit worldwide).

  • Oops, posted before finished.

    ED docs get more complaints about missed diagnoses than GPs, in spite of the extra time they take.

    ED docs still miss diagnoses that may or may not be caught days later in an inpatient ward.

    It takes time to get all the symptoms from someone who may not realise that things are connected. Then there may be time to do investigations… The viral swab may have taken a couple of weeks to get the result, as well as waiting for the rash to appear.

    CAM practitioners take a lot of time with a patient, so patients perceive better value for the money they spend. Unfortunately most CAM practitioners don’t have a scientific basis for their “diagnoses” so they have little chance of cure in spite of the time they take.

    Of note, in this episode, both practitioners were doctors, not CAM practitioners. I wonder how much they charged for their time? I would be surprised if it was less than $250/hour.

  • StuartG said “Unfortunately most CAM practitioners don’t have a scientific basis for their “diagnoses” so they have little chance of cure in spite of the time they take.”

    How many patients to real doctors cure? Hardly any i suspect.

    Possum, a good GP would illicit symptoms by good observation and the right questions. But be fair, thyrotoxicosis as in the case of graves often builds over a long time so missing a diagnosis early on is not unusual or even wrong. on the other hand i’ve diagnosed graves and even TB in total strangers that I met in the street. the eyes gave one away and a blue patches on the others tongue. Two questions to each had them heading to a medical clinic where the diagnoses were confirmed.

    Stuartg. they were both doctors and CAM practitioners. In my opinion that is an ideal mix.

  • Stuart g, the akDHB sees 50,000 patients per year. at one hour each that’s 25 doctors working full time. given there are surges in evenings and thurs-sat that means as many as 50 doctors would have to be on site at peaks. Implausible.

  • Paul,
    “How many patients to real doctors cure? Hardly any i suspect.”

    A rather harsh crticism. My GP has across the years diagnosed and treated my asthma, various strains and sprains with good advice and anti-inflammatories when necessary, throat infections with antibiotics and sore throats and tonsilitis with advice about gargling salt/aspirin.
    He also diagnosed COPD and an insignificant heart problem and offered appropriate advice.
    As far as I am concerned my “real doctor” does an excellent job.

  • Michael, is your asthma and COPD cured? Prescribing antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and gargles is hardly rocket science. You can buy many of them at the supermarket or health food store. Tea tree oil, oilive leaf, propolis, silver, honey are all proven antibiotics. Maybe not so effective internally.

  • Paul, my asthma is under control, which certainly beats having died in my early teens (which is what would have happened without medication). Just because it has not been cured does not mean modern medicine has failed me. Also I doubt there are any alternative therapies which could have allowed me to survive the several severe asthma attacks I had in my teens.
    With regards to antibiotics, tea tree oil, popolis etc may have some use topically but they pale in comparison to the ability of the penicillins and other conventional antibiotics to treat sepsis, pneumonia and other life threatening diseases.
    There is plenty of evidence that conventional doctors cure and treat a wide range of diseases. The same cannot be said for alternative therapies.
    Of course so far “Is Modern Medicine Killing You” has largely applied conventional/evidence based treatments anyway.

  • Michael, relatively few young /middle-aged people die or died from asthma until drugs became commonly used when the death rate went up dramatically.

    “Following the relatively stable asthma death rates during the first half of the 20th century (Figure 11),[58] asthma mortality increased dramatically in New Zealand and in at least six other Western countries in the 1960s, with mortality rates increasing 2- to 10-fold within a 2- to 5-year period (Figure 12).[59,60] The most likely explanation was that the epidemics were related to the use of the high-dose beta-agonist aerosol isoprenaline forte.[61,62] Epidemics occurred only in countries where the
    high-dose preparation of isoprenaline was available and there was a close association between the sales of isoprenaline forte and asthma mortality; patients who died from asthma had used excessive amounts of this drug in the situation of severe asthma. The mortality rate in New Zealand and other
    countries experiencing epidemics declined following warnings from regulatory bodies, a marked reduction in sales of isoprenaline forte and other changes in medical practice such as increases in hospital admissions.[59,60]…

    The Second Epidemic In the mid 1970s a second asthma mortality epidemic began in New Zealand but not in other
    countries (Figure 11).[63] Initial interest focused on the role of the beta-agonist fenoterol, which, like isoprenaline forte, was marketed in a high-dose preparation and which had similar adverse effects to those of isoprenaline, which are greater than those of salbutamol.[59,60] In addition, New Zealand had
    the highest per capita use of fenoterol and there was a close relationship between its introduction and increasing sales of fenoterol and the increasing mortality rates…”

    Michael, an estimated extra 400 or so New Zealanders died as a result of over-zealous treatment prescribed by their doctors… I wouldn’t be lauding your doctor for saving you from asthma… much of the worst of it was made worse by the treatment…

    • Paul,
      Could you please provide more details on source of the reference you have quoted. Knowing what it is like to have a severe asthma attack I find this to be a rather extraordinary claim that “relatively few young /middle-aged people die or died from asthma until drugs became commonly used when the death rate went up dramatically”

    • Ah, I have discovered the source, Google is such a fantastic tool. “The Burden of Asthma” does indeed highlight that the overzealous use of two asthma drugs did lead to significant jumps in asthma mortality. However, this does not mean that other asthma drugs have not proved effective in treating asthma. It also does not show that modern asthma drugs do not effectively prolong the life expectancy or the quality of life for asthmatics.Indeed, in terms of quality of life, without my asthma medication I would be limited in the activities that I can participate in, and susceptible to debilitating attacks.
      Modern medicine may not have cured my asthma, but it certainly has made life more livable.

  • Michael, have you tried Buteyko? You can search pubmed at

    There was a paper in the nzmj a few years ago showing benefits. apparently most people significantly reduce their drugs; some fully. You would have nothing to lose by trying it. Indeed, as a sceptic, it would be interesting to follow a journal of your experience.

    • Paul,
      Yes, Buteyko looks quite interesting. Another thing I have been meaning to look into is the Alexander technique which by improving posture is supposed to have beneficial effects on asthma.
      When I was young I did have some sort of therapy to help me breath more effectively, I’m not sure if it was Buteyko or something similar. Also my parents had me complete swimming lessons, and in my adult life I have done Tae Kwon Do, Tai Chi and am currently swimming again which all have contributed to pretty good breathing control. My personal philosophy is not to use medication unless I have to, but when I have to I appreciate that it is available.

      I’m not quite sure what you are trying to suggest with comments such as
      “In 2009 NZHIS mortality data there were 48 asthma deaths in NZ. only 2 of those were in the 1.2 million under 20 year olds. None in under 10 year olds. Over half were in over 65 year olds.”
      To me this could be interpreted that effective modern diagnosis and treatment of asthma means that people survive to a much older age than they might have previously. However, the data around asthma, which is a complicated disease can be interpreted in a number of ways. I remember reading somewhere that a lot of deaths result from asthmatics not monitoring their medication properly e.g. my most dangerous asthma attack was when I lost my inhaler on holiday and then had an allergic reaction to pollen).

  • Michael, the significant jumps in asthma mortality amounted to over 400 deaths caused by the treatment.

    In 2009 NZHIS mortality data there were 48 asthma deaths in NZ. only 2 of those were in the 1.2 million under 20 year olds. None in under 10 year olds. Over half were in over 65 year olds.

  • Paul spoke of comparisons of asthma from the early 20th century to later.

    I have a wonderful book called “Domestic Medical Practice” written in 1913. (every contributor is an MD, representing well known hospitals and universities of the time).

    Here are a few goodies:

    What it says about lung cancer:

    “Cancer of the lung is uncommon, and when it does occur is usually secondary to cancer in some other parts of the body…..

    …..When once developed it is always fatal…..

    …Opium for the relief of pain or cough or restlessness, is often necessary. The patient’s own wishes may be taken as a guide in the choice of food, care being taken to avoid articles that would upset the stomach, and thus add to his distress.”

    Here is what it says about asthma:

    The causes lie in a morbid condition of the nervous system, which renders certain persons susceptible to the disease. Most persons are not thus susceptible, and never have it, no matter to what influence they may be exposed. That it is in many cases inherited cannot be doubted. So many asthmatic parents have children that become asthmatic, without any other appreciable cause, in early childhood or infancy, that an inherited predisposition in the blood may be acknowledged….Frequently no such source of its origin can be discovered. Usually some exciting cause is requisite to bring on an attack, and these are very numerous…..
    …in some a paroxysm is brought on by the smell of cats, dogs, horses or other animals, the scent of flowers, powdered ipecacuanha (?), new mown hay…..locality has a marked influence. Some can live best in a moist, others in a dry atmosphere, some best by the seaside, some inland, some on highland, others on lowland….

    But the treatment…oh the treatment…..

    …remove the cause if it can be discovered….Quick relief may be obtained by an intramuscular injection of about 10 to 15 drops of 1/1000 adrenalin solution. The watery solution is used to give instant relief. To render the patient free from the attack for many hours the oily solution (?) should be used….. What will give almost immediate relief to one will have little or no effect upon another….If a nauseant or emetic be needed, ipecac, tobacco, or lobelia may be used….When smoked the fumes should be blown into a hat or some other receptacle and then inhaled, in order to the fullest possible effect…..

    (The dangers of the cure may be worse than the disease)…..

    Nitre paper, that is, paper soaked in a solution of nitrate of potash, is an old and well known remedy and often efficacious……Some asthmatics burn a piece in the room each night before going to bed, and retire with the assurance of freedom from attack during the night. Others carry the paper with them, and keep it on a table by the bedside at night, and whenever they feel an attack coming on immediately make use of it. (Here it comes!!) So rapid often are the effects and so drowsy does the patient become, that sometimes scarcely is there time to place the burning paper in a place of safety before he drops off to sleep (!!!)…..Chloroform or ether inhaled often gives relief, but should not be administered except by the advice of a physician…..alcohol has been given with a good result…

    …There are certain rules, however, that should be followed in seeking for the most beneficial climate. As a rule, the dense and smoky air of the city is better than country air, a low better than high situation, a moist better than a dry air.

    ….Violent emotions, whether pleasant or painful, have a marked effect, and will sometimes check the paroxysm at once. (That must have been a good wife or child beating defence).

    Amyl nitrate whiffed worked well too apparently, good old eucalypt and origanum is mentioned.

    Funnily enough it says nothing about asthma being fatal.

    Pyaemia and Septicaemia: Pus in the blood, blood poisoning accompanied by fever, chills etc.

    Treatment: “Unfortunately, in the severe and acute cases when established, medicines have but little control. Preventative measures are therefore of greatest importance.

    Then it becomes desperate:

    “The most modern treatment is the giving by hypodermic injection of anti-streptococcus and anti-staphylococcus serum. These serums are good in small does at first. (10,000,000 killed bacteria which are rapidly (!) increased to the giving of 50,000,000 killed bacteria.”

    Vaccination: It is mentioned as a “mild disease” and only refers to smallpox and how the virus is applied.

    “ Fresh bovine virus can now be obtained…Stretch the skin firmly between the thumb and forefinger, and gently scrape it with a lancet, or several needles held parallel, until the upper layer is removed, and there begins a slight oozing of blood. Moisten the quill, or point, containing the virus, and apply it thoroughly to the abraded surface.

    Why am I thankful I live in the 21st century. I am living proof I am so glad we have modern medicine.

    • Thanks Ross, it is interesting to see how much progress has been made, not only in treatments but also in ethics

  • Ross, the irony is that in its day, that was modern scientific medicine. Imagine how the world will view today’s ‘best practices’ in 50-100 years time. People might be saying things like, ‘remember back in the day when doctors used to test every adult male for prostate cancer even though they were doing more harm than good in most cases?’ There will be dozens of ‘best treatment’ practices of today that will be abandoned as woo. Economists are even arguing that more doctors increase morbidity/mortality as they focus more and more on marginal business activities.

    By the way Michael, I would suggest you seriously consider buteyko. You have nothing to lose and potentially release from the needs of pharmaceutical drugs to gain. I’d be interested in reading your journal on your journey.

    • Paul,
      I will certainly be considering buteyko.

      You certainly have a good grasp for how the scientific approach improves medicine. But this is one of the positive things about medicine, something that proponents of alternative medicine (as possum has already outlined). The other thing to remember along this journey to discover better ways to treat disease, is that some discoveries will most likely remain unchanged, for example that some diseases are caused by microbes (unless of course substantial, paradigm shifting evidence was found to show that this is not true).

      “Economists are even arguing that more doctors increase morbidity/mortality as they focus more and more on marginal business activities”

      Do you have a reference for this? I would have thought that determining mortality/morbidity were outside the expertise of economists.

  • the irony is that in its day, that was modern scientific medicine

    But it also illustrates the beauty of science and a scientific approach. When the evidence has suggested a better approach, the better approach has been adopted. Ben Goldacre is trying to expose what happens when evidence is hidden.

    There will be dozens of ‘best treatment’ practices of today that will be abandoned as woo

    Maybe, but they will be replaced by something better, and on the basis of evidence, and what modern medicine does now is better than what it did 100 years ago.

    As opposed to several other approaches to health…

  • Google “Will More Doctors Increase or Decrease Death”

    There is a well established field of health economists. We even have them in New Zealand.

  • Michael, you say that When the evidence has suggested a better approach, the better approach has been adopted.

    Sometimes the better approach is not adopted. eg, routine use of caesarian section is not science/evidence based. Routine prostate testing is not science/evidence based.

    • Paul, while there is often a lag time in evidence based methods being adopted to replace those that are not evidence based, I would hope that procedures such as those you mentioned will eventually be consigned to history. Admittedly the inertia found with some organisations can mean that such lag times can be measured in years, if not decades.

  • Sorry, have been to busy to follow the blog.


    1. A doctor in an ED does not have to see one person at a time; several can be in process at any time. My own hospital has only four full time doctors but sees over 10,000 in ED per annum. The figures are accurate.

    2. 400 deaths caused by asthma treatment but are obviously not included in the 48 overall deaths and the 2 in under 20 year olds from asthma? Please check the figures you have supplied. If only 48 died from asthma, where do you get the remaining 352 that you include?

    Asthma is a disease that can be controlled by the people who experience it, assisted by medical professionals. The fact that it cannot be cured is widely acknowledged. COPD likewise.

    Routine prostate testing is recommended by prostate examination. Blood tests are not the recommendation, even though you appear to think they are. Blood tests (PSA) are recommended to follow an established diagnosis of prostate cancer. PSA is not a recommended screening test (apart from some American urologoists).

  • Just watched episode 4.

    Patient 1: the only diagnosis made was hyperthyroidism. Carbimazole, which was recommended to be continued, is the appropriate treatment. It is not an instant cure but takes weeks or months to work. The recommended treatment took weeks to work, does any more need to be said?

    Patient 2: I noted that there was nothing that said the treatment from Dr Pitsilis actually improved the patient for more than four days. I also noted that she diagnosed vitamin B12 deficiency (I would also have raised that possibility), but then never did anything about it, neither investigating nor treating. What’s the point in making a diagnosis if you don’t do anything about that diagnosis?

  • StuartG, the 400 deaths were over a period of years and the rise and fall coinciding with the recommended drug treatments is clear in the graph in the study Michael referenced.

  • Paul,

    Once fenoterol was implicated with increased asthma deaths (mainly by three papers from Crane, Sears and Spitzer), it was effectively withdrawn from the market. More than a quarter century later, in 2009, I would have thought that it would have been impossible to find anybody in NZ who was still using fenoterol.

    Why do you talk about treatment deaths (from fenoterol) during the 1970s, and in the next sentence asthma deaths during 2009?

    I’m still not clear what the point of your comparison is.

    It can’t be that you suggesting that all the deaths from asthma in 2009 were caused by fenoterol?

    Or maybe you are just pointing out that asthma kills a lot of people in NZ every year even though fenoterol is no longer available to cause treatment deaths?

    I think I’ll go with “asthma still kills”, because it does.


    Do you use a spacer with your inhaler? I know that they are a pain, especially carrying one around with you, but all the papers show that they make the inhaler as effective as a nebuliser but use a much lower dose than the nebuliser does. (I’m assuming that you have a “puffer”, not a turbuhaler).

    Emergency Departments now try to use salbutamol by spacer in almost all people presenting with asthma. Because it works.

    • Stuartg,

      Symbicort turbohaler twice a day and ventolin when I feel my asthma slipping (not very often). I don’t use a spacer but I do have one. Might give it a go if you think it is worthwhile.

  • With the Ventolin, one puff into the spacer, six normal breaths in and out of the spacer. Repeat another five times. We call it the “6×6” and all the research does show that it is as effective as a nebuliser in mild to moderate asthma.

    Ventolin/spacer 6×6 gives 300mcg of salbutamol, the nebuliser gives 5mg. Same effect on the airways but much less in the way of side effects.

    Without the spacer, all the Ventolin puffer really does is spray the back of your throat. The spray comes out at very high speed and there’s a right angle bend (your throat) only a few cm away! There’s some effect from swallowed salbutamol, but it’s much less and takes longer to be absorbed.

    Try the spacer, please, just when you would normally use the Ventolin. The people who get taught to use spacers in Emergency Departments tend to be very surprised at the difference it makes.

  • Michael,

    It sounds like you’ve got your asthma under good control. Using the Ventolin only twice a week or less is an indicator of good control.

  • Michael, the Buteyko method may well mean you can wean yourself of the drugs… that has to be worth a go… Stuartg’s advice should be routine; i’m surprised its not. The literature certainly backs his comments.

    Stuart, the 400 deaths was over several years. My point about 1 death in under 20’s was simply to point out that asthma deaths in children are very rare. They always have been.

  • Paul,
    There don’t appear to be any Butekyo practitioners in Christchurch at the moment, however, I am hoping to track down a good book or two on the subject to see how it compares to the breathing techniques I was taught as a child.
    And I haven’t found any evidence to suggest that it would allow me to “wean myself off of the drugs”, though a reduction may be possible.
    The Asthma Foundation has a nice summary of Butekyo and related research here.

  • Michael, “This study broadly replicates the findings of Bowler et al.5 BBT as taught by a member of BIBH was observed to produce a large clinically significant reduction in β2-agonist and inhaled steroid use without negative impact on measures of lung function and with no apparent adverse effects.
    The study by Bowler et al demonstrated inhaled steroid reduction of 49% for the BBT group and 0% for the control group at three months.5 The current study exhibited inhaled steroid reduction of 50% in the BBT group and a 1% increase for the control group at six months.
    With regards β2-agonist use, Bowler et al demonstrated a 95% reduction in the BBT group and a 7% reduction in the control group at three months. Our study showed a reduction of 85% in the BBT group and a reduction of 37% in the control group at six months. The magnitude of effect in both studies was remarkably similar.”

    These are averages… many no longer needed their medication. If this was a pharmaceutical drug this would be hailed from the roof tops…

    For a life-long issue, getting in touch with Viv Smith in Nelson might be worthwhile.

    Viv Smith BEd, MA, Dip LC, BIBH – Wellness Works NZ, Nelson

    Also it features again in Episode 8 (28th November) and Episode 10 (12th December).