Have you ever wondered why we have these world awareness days?
Have you noticed that they seem to be about our health?
Why is it that the world needs to KNOW more about Asthma?
Why is it that all the advanced science we have today does not know what causes Asthma?
Why is my pharmacist telling me that over 1000 asthma pumps a month are on prescription and there is another pharmacist 100 yards down the road? This is a tiny part of one town in London.
Hello – are you listening world?
This is serious stuff and I bet you all know someone with an asthma pump or you have one yourself.
Well this is what Asthma UK are saying –
‘Every ten seconds someone in the UK has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack and three people die every day. Tragically two thirds of these deaths could be prevented, whilst others still suffer with asthma so severe current treatments don’t work.
This has to change. That’s why Asthma UK exists. We work to stop asthma attacks and, ultimately, cure asthma by funding world leading research and scientists, campaigning for change and supporting people with asthma to reduce their risk of a potentially life threatening asthma attack.’
The thing is – where have we got with the ‘world class funding’?
Does campaigning actually change anything if we are to be honest here?
- Well I had two pumps at one time in my life as one wasn’t enough.
- What changed? – I got more and more dependent on these pumps.
- I was told to accept it and suffered with bronchitis as a child and then developed whooping cough which is rare as an adult.
Well how come I have been asthma free for over a decade?
Surely I am a living science who does not need to be put inside a lab for testing.
So Asthma is ALL about our breathing.
- What if, we are not breathing correctly?
- What if, all we need to do is learn to breathe correctly?
- What if, breathing correctly means breathing in our own breath?
- What if, breathing in our own breath means, we do not breathe in the world?
- What if, breathing in our own breath allows us the space inside us to breathe naturally?
- What if, breathing our own breath means our lungs are free and say ‘thank you’?
- What if, breathing in our true breath, gives us a real quality that feels expanding?
I realised that my asthma pumps supported me to not learn to breathe my own breath.
I realised that relying on my inhalers meant I was in a constant state of anxiousness.
I am living proof that having had chronic bronchitis on my medical records for four decades, things are now totally different.
I was presented with a correct way to breathe by Serge Benhayon, the founder of Universal Medicine in 2005 and with daily practice, things started to change in a big way. This is a miracle as I was known for my constant coughing.
I learned that the breathing allowed me to observe everything that was outside of me and not take it inside and change my breathing.
This meant I was not ‘absorbing’ the world but simply ‘observing’ so it was not inside me.
No surprise the coughing stopped and it has been over 10 years, so I reckon that is enough proof that it works.
By the way it is called The Universal Medicine Gentle Breath Meditation
Next – have a read of this masterpiece from a top Lung Specialist who sure knows what he is talking about …
Talking about the ‘True’ Meaning of Asthma on the World Asthma Day:
What does asthma truly mean for people across the different ages?
Asthma is a huge global health problem that we cannot avoid seeing through our eyes and hearing through our ears on a daily basis. In our playground, shopping centers, sporting fields, concert venues, tourism landmarks and any other sort of large public gathering, there is at least someone busily inhaling few puffs of Ventolin prior to his or her next movement.
Although I write as a representative of Australia that has one of the highest population rates of asthma in the world, asthma is actually a fundamental human problem as old as the human civilisation. “4.5%” global prevalence may not mean much but when we begin to see and feel this actually means at least 334 million people with their families and all of their extended social network, it is a lot of people affected from one human disease.
Given that our population statistics are already outdated by the time they are published in the leading medical journals, and not to mention that asthma diagnosis is either controversial or limited by diagnostic resources in many developing countries, additional 100 million people with asthma by the year 2025 is an under-estimated number. From what we see as doctors and carers, that is still a lot of people. For others, that’s also a lot of money to be spent and made, i.e. billions of dollars in Australia, and trillions of dollars globally.
Everything has been and is increasingly about money. It actually costs money to restore one’s ill health. Shocking, as it may seem, the poorer you are the worse your health outcome is. A recent US study showed this fact which people have felt for a long time, and what the British have known since the landmark Black Report of the 1980’s on the ‘social gradation and inequality of health’.
We can no longer separate any disease from what the society is going through as a whole. People with disease means more cost of care. More people with disease equates to increasing cost of care. More diseases also means exponential cost of care that we may one day discover that we cannot afford to provide even through our current systems of banking, insurance and governmental funding. I am still surprised that there is still not much education in microeconomics and macroeconomics in our medical schools beyond the common sense we need to see behind the suffering of a disease.
Thus, the whole framework of ‘universal health care’ is threatened when a single disease adds another 100 million people within a decade. Add another several hundred million people each with diabetes, cancer, emphysema, mental illness etc., the humanity can either neglect the problem or awaken itself as one family to see what is truly going on.
From a medical perspective, asthma is a ‘reversible’ disease that can be controlled with a broad range of drugs, interventions and even complementary treatments. Although many do ‘well’ and live a productive life from the public’s viewpoint, this is not the case for many in the developing world. Children and women are the worst affected, as with many other chronic diseases.
The ‘true’ meaning of asthma that people may not be aware is that it is a fundamental model of illness and disease that affects our very ability to breathe. You could have any other variety of breathing difficulties, but ‘asthma’ is one diagnosis that people think of because it is so common, well known and widely diagnosed.
In ‘asthma’, we lose the ability to breathe our own breath that is naturally supportive and nurturing to our body. Thus, it is a separation from what is true for our body regardless of age, gender or colour of our skin. If it about losing breath and wheezing away while making love with a partner, running across the hockey field, pushing the grocery trolley or even going to the mail box, the body is feeling ill and the mind is struggling to cope.
For humans, we learn to breathe miraculously from the eighth to tenth week of our human growth in our mother’s womb. It is well known scientific fact now that the developing baby feels, hears, responds and sleeps to all that is happening outside the womb and within the mother. Throughout our lives, how we breathe is intimately responsive to the world we see, people we meet, events we experience and feelings we are confronted with our every breath.
It is no wonder the worst attacks of asthma (so-called ‘exacerbations’) are not due to infection alone but also a multitude of ‘psychosocial stressors’. For example, some women experience more asthma during their periods, pregnancy, following delivery of their newborn child, marital breakdown, due to emotional bullying at work or death of a parent or her child. Some men experience asthma in their work, following marital disharmony, after a drug binge or following moments of physical violence (or more) that can be days, weeks, years or decades afterwards. Many more examples can be given even from my twenty-five years of observation within Medicine in one part of the world.
Accounts of other clinicians elsewhere will say the same facts: illness and disease is also about how we live, breathe and move. It is a revealing reminder so eloquently highlighted by Benhayon in his revelatory book, ‘An Open Letter to Humanity’ which sets the keystone for a renewed posture in Population Health of 7.4 billion people.
“Is not the continuous rise in the diagnosis of the many forms of cancer and the widespread growth of diabetes a clear sign that something is deeply wrong in the way we choose to live, and more so – in the intelligence that does not challenge it”
(Benhayon S, 2011).
While we gather our resources and collective wisdom to help our global humanity against one disease called ‘asthma’, it is also important to truly see how we are individually breathing behind the body of skin, bone and blood called the human being. As the technology advances and Medicine becomes more complex in its system of delivery, a deeper public awareness of how we breathe, how we observe and how we absorb the very fabric of human life will do wonders for asthma prevention and treatment. This is because the current range of drugs does work. Actually they are so effective, they can affect other organs apart from the lungs if used excessively. If our body can be more nurtured in a society that truly sees the meaning of ‘asthma’, much more can be achieved with less.
We have all the resources and wisdom to help humanity return to the amazing health we can be.
Therefore, the World Asthma Day is another day of reawakening ourselves from the veil of what holds us back, and truly see what is going on behind a diagnostic label.
Sam Kim MBBS FRACP MPH MBA
Respiratory & Sleep Medicine, Spring Hill
University of Queensland, Brisbane AUSTRALIA
Additional readings of interest to the Readers:
- Asher I, Pearce N. Global burden of asthma among children. Int J Tubercul Lung Dis. 2014:18(11): 1269-1278
- Behera A, Shegal IS. Bronchial asthma – issue for the developing world. Indian J Med Res 2015:141: 380-382
- Benhayon S and The Hierarchy (2011). An Open Letter to Humanity. Unimed Publishing, Goonellabah NSW AUSTRALIA
- Braman SS. The global burden of asthma. Chest. 2006:130(1 Suppl): 4S-12S
- Chetty S, Stepner M, Abraham S, Lin S, Scuderi B, Turner N, Bergeron A, Cutler D. The association between income and life expectancy in the United States, 2001-2014. JAMA 2016:April 10: doi:10.1001/jama.2016.4226
- Global Asthma Network. The Global Asthma Report 2014. Auckland, New Zealand.
- Lai CKW, Beasley R, Crane J, Foliaki S, Shah J, Weiland S, the ISAAC Phase Three Study Group. Global variation in the prevalence and severity of asthma symptoms: Phase Three of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). Thorax 2009:64: 476-483
- Smith GD, Bartley M, Blane D. The Black Report on socioeconomic inequalities in health 10 years on. BMJ 1990:301(6748): 373-377
- To T, Stanojevic S, Moores G, Hershon AS, Bateman ED, Cruz AA, Boulet L-P. Global asthma prevalence in adults: findings from the cross-sectional world health survey. BMC Public Health. 2014:12:204:http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/12/204