I have been a competitive swimmer since I was 8 years old, but in early 2012 I started experiencing breathing problems. I was unable to train in or out the pool. I went from training 2 hour sets 6 times a week to struggling to complete even 25 meters. I simply couldn't breath while exercising, something that came so naturally to me suddenly was impossible to do. It was extremely painful, upsetting and very worrying. I went to my GP and she diagnosed me being asthmatic. She prescribed me with 2 different inhalers but I never felt comfortable taking them. It was my fitness coach who recommended Michael and I started weekly sessions in and out of the pool with him. He reviewed my whole lifestyle including my diet and sleeping pattern. Every detail was analysed from the juice I drank to adding tomato sauce to my meals, changing my salt intake and making sure everything I ate was organic. Michael gave me timed breathing exercises to complete 3 times a day everyday, these pushed me to my limits. It wasn't easy but week by week I started to feel improvements working one on one with Michael. I ditched inhalers and gave my full attention to buteyko health breathing techniques. I was able to increase my training and eventually returned to full fitness and competitive standards. In January this year I became Scottish champion and have also won more national medals. I competed at the British swimming championships in Sheffield. I absolutely know I would never have been able to do this without Michael's help and support.
- Rugby player
Aged 14 born 1999
Our daughter Amy is a dedicated athlete who competes for Law and District Athletic Club, plays Rugby for Biggar Rugby Club and generally does well at all sports in school. She has set her sights on reaching as high as she can in Rugby.
For the last 18 months Amy has been suffering from collapses when pushing herself either at training or when competing. It became normal for us to wait at the finish line of an 800 metres knowing that she would collapse at the end of a race. Towards the end of this period Amy could never complete any training sessions without having to take breaks. If she didn’t take the break she would collapse. Whilst playing rugby she would need to come off the field constantly to recover from her inability to breath.
Over this period Amy saw many specialists and had all sorts of diagnostic testing done including heart scans and oxygen analysis. It was a very stressful time for her when all she wanted to do was play sport. She was told by several in the medical profession that there was ‘nothing wrong’ with her. This clearly was not the case as an otherwise fit and healthy 14 year old should not be collapsing as she was.
By chance we spoke to a friend that we had not seen for a while who told us their daughter, a swimmer had had similar but not the same symptoms. This girl had been to see Michael and was now better. We felt we had exhausted all avenues and were obviously pleased that there might be another option. We were sceptical to say the least prior to making our first appointment but now we are so glad we did.
I’m sure Michael can expand on what was actually wrong with Amy but after consultation Amy was given a programme of breathing exercises to follow. Michael also advised very thoroughly as to Amy’s diet.
Amy saw Michael over a 4 week period and at the end of that period all I can say that in our eyes she’s fixed. We are amazed at the transformation and even listening to his advice has allowed us to make life choices as well. She has had a couple of wobbles but with further advice she managed to get back on track within a day. Less than 6 months later Amy has played full competitive games of rugby and run cross country. She feels all round healthier and fitter and is eagerly looking forward to her continued participation in sport.
- Gary & Lorraine Watkins
-Every day I used to suffer from incredibly bad fatigue and muscular pain, it would affect me from the moment I woke up to the moment I finally fell asleep. Not only was my body constantly exhausted but my mind was always fogged up with constant headaches and I couldn't think straight, it effected every part of my life and training. All these problems, which I had no idea why they were happening, caused me to go to some very dark places because every day was just misery and my swimming results were awful. Michael Hughes was kind of my last chance as every other 'conventional' means had failed. Within a week of starting the course I was already feeling like a new person and then after a couple of months every problem, even down to sensitive teeth haha, had disappeared. Now I feel like I have more energy than I know what to do with and even people around me have noticed a massive difference. Only know when I look back I really realise how bad I felt.
- Cameron Watkins
Athletes with Asthma and other Breathing Disorders.
Katie McIntyre - swimmer