Zen-Like Treatment May Provide Asthma Relief

Marcia Johnson has struggled with asthma for ten years. 

"You feel like you can't breathe.  You can't catch your breath," she says.

But now Johnson is receiving a new kind of treatment as part of a study at Baylor University Medical Center and Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

"The approach has to do with learning a way of breathing and retraining your thought process," says Baylor's Dr. Mark Millard, who is leading the study.

The key is a special portable monitor that allows patients to monitor their breathing.  By watching the readings on the monitor, patients learn a slower, shallower breathing pattern.  That raises levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, which appears to relieve asthma symptoms.

"It's almost like Zen.  It's like yoga almost," says Dr. Millard.

The results are very real.  "It's made a big difference," says Johnson.

Breathing exercises are not a replacement for traditional medications or therapy.  But for patients like Johnson, they provide new hope for gaining the upper hand on asthma.

"I do have control, and I can do it, " Johnson says.

Researchers are still enrolling patients in the study.  For more information call: 1-800-4-BAYLOR.

Contact Us