Nothing else matters when you can't breathe


Nothing else matters when you can't breathe

Media release from the Asthma New Zealand

Nothing else matters when you can’t breathe and knowing how to do it well, improves how you live. Most people take their breathing for granted until something goes wrong. Asthma, hay fever, snoring, sleep apnoea or panic attacks are just a few of the signs that something is not right with your breathing. However, an understanding of your breathing can help you better manage and control these disorders.

Asthma affects nearly 20 per cent of the population, and New Zealand has the second-highest rate of asthma mortality for 5-35 year olds in high-income countries.

UK-trained breathing educator Glenn White is presenting a breathing seminar at Asthma Wellington in Johnsonville, Monday, October 21. The seminar is for anyone who suffers from asthma, sleep apnoea, insomnia, allergies, hay fever or stress disorders. It will also be of interest to health practitioners looking for additional skills to help patients with these conditions. Tickets are $25 each and all the proceeds will be donated to Asthma New Zealand. The seminar is followed by a more in-depth four-night course from October 22 to 25.

Glenn took control of his asthma and allergies after completing a Buteyko breathing course 20 years ago. It had such a profound impact that he dedicated his career to teaching Buteyko. Glenn opened his Auckland clinic in 2001 and thousands of people have attended his clinics in New Zealand and internationally.

Glenn was living in London in 2000 when his asthma took a bad turn. “The scary thing was that despite taking higher and higher doses of my brown and blue inhalers, I was finding it harder and harder to breathe,” Glenn says. “It got to the point where every breath was an effort. On three occasions I was rushed to hospital and put on a nebuliser. The third time I was sure I was going to die.”

A friend told Glenn how her 11-year-old son had taken control of his asthma after attending a Buteyko course, and it prompted him to find a Buteyko practitioner in the UK.

“At that stage I was experiencing constant symptoms, fighting for every breath and despite taking daily oral and inhaled steroids was still sucking constantly on my blue puffer,” he says.

“I really thought my asthma was too far gone for anything to help, but after three near-death experiences in one month I was prepared to try anything.

“By the third Buteyko session I was no longer experiencing symptoms. For the first time in years I was able to sleep right through the night. Since that time, I have been living a full and active life with my asthma and allergies totally under control.”

Glenn is quick to point out that he is not against responsible use of medication. However, like him, many of his clients achieve a degree of control that allows them to be symptom free without the reliance on emergency medication or appliances.

“Medication reduction is matched by significant improvements in asthma symptoms. These studies all recognise the safety of the Buteyko method as a technique that compliments conventional asthma management.”

Although Glenn set up his clinic primarily to help people with asthma his practice has expanded to include a wide range of breathing related disorders including snoring, sleep apnoea, insomnia, hay fever, COPD, chronic fatigue and stress-related conditions.

Asthma New Zealand is grateful to Glenn for donating the tickets sales of his first night to the charity to help raise awareness of the impact of asthma, its Chief Executive, Katheren Leitner says.

“When Asthma New Zealand declared our mission to reduce hospitalisations by 50 percent in 10 years we knew we would have to do this in partnership and collaboration with many different experts,” Leitner, says.

“Glenn provides people with breathing techniques that allow more effective self-management, adding another tool to help enable them to live a full life with asthma, not suffer with asthma. We are incredibly grateful to him for generously donating all the money from the seminar ticket sales to this important cause.”

Buteyko Breathing Seminar
Monday, October 21

  • 6pm-7.30pm
    Asthma New Zealand, Wellington Office
    Level 1, Salvation Army Building
    125 Johnsonville Rd, Johnsonville 6037

Admission: $25 – all proceeds go to Asthma New Zealand.
To book: