Asthma - What is it REALLY?

How antibiotics make asthma worse

Gather 100 people in a poorly ventilated room with major pollution (including animals, mold, bugs etc) and some but not all would become wheezing, gasping or "asthmatic".

Gather another 100 group together with good breathing patterns but poor diet and still only only a few would become wheezing, gasping or "asthmatic".

Gather 100 people in an even well ventilated room with poor breathing mechanics and many more may have shortness of breath symptoms than in the food or air group.

Gather 100 with poor breathing mechanics, poor air and poor diet and you would have many more of the group wheezing gasping or "asthmatic".

Gather 100 with emotional issues, poor breathing, poor air and poor diet and you would have most of the group wheezing gasping or "asthmatic".

Another, but very tricky to monitor is prescription drugs side affects that cause shortness of breath.

The underlying cause of asthma is often not air or food, it is the way they are breathing; the pattern, sequencing, depth and balance actually weakens the immune system. This sets up a tendency to SNS vaso-constrict and nervous system hyper-drive bringing on all manner of stress related symptoms. Breathing patterns also have a great deal to do with emotions. The immune system is also a contributing factor.

The Optimal Natural Breathing System continuously reduces or eliminates the need for asthma medications.

The 1,2,3 punch to knock out asthma in children AND adults.

  1. Eliminate bad air
  2. Develop Optimal Breathing®
  3. Eliminate allergies
  4. Prescription drugs at that point will be far ess interesting

Address the worst first: But for that you need to learn now to measure breathing. You can't manage it if you can't measure it.

A recent email outlining a typical difficult case. Mike's comments in bold


I have been receiving your newsletters for awhile now. I have a history of asthma, and it is not unusual for me to have bronchitis every winter. I currently have chronic bronchitis, a sinus infection, and fluid in my lungs, which the doctor said he doesn't know where it is from. I am scheduled to see a pulmonary specialist about this. Be careful with that

Looking back in my history, I was in choir all through high school. I did not have trouble with asthma then, except if I would try to run very fast in gym class. You were probably borderline then.

Then each summer, I would have pneumonia. Weakened by the bronchitis I suspect.

When I was riding a bike and doing an aerobic workout w/ weights, again I would not have much trouble with asthma. You were lucky not to make it worse. not sure why. Currently I have had major stress in my life, going through a divorce, and losing my job due to the company closing. I know this has an effect on my physical health. I was using Serevent, Flovent, and albuterol inhalers. I stopped the Serevent and Flovent,as they seemed to make it worse, not better, but still use the albuterol, every 6 hours.

I get short of breath with the slightest activity. I have tried changing my diet, and had allergy tests a few years ago for food sensitivities. Allergy tests are too often a waste of money, The food sensitivities change as soon as you handle one, another appears. Rebuild liver and digestion and eat more raw foods sys I. I have a Champion Brand juicer, and have tried juicing too, which hasn't cured it but I know it hasn't hurt either. Good insight. Do more juicing.

I am interested in the raw foods you talk about. Information included in many programsAlso.

The allergy testing seemed to help for awhile. I just do not seem to be able to find a balance that works. I have been under chiropractic care for 16 years. I have recently had bio-meridian testing, and have been using homeopathic remedies, along with a mineral supplement "rich in fulvic acid". Won't work as well or at all if your breathing mechanics are not at least average. I also have been taking some herbal combinations for sinuses and bronchitis. Helpful for bronch but not for unbalanced breathing. I am willing to try almost any alternative method. I have done gall bladder flushes in the past and had many stones pass. Good choice. The breathing seems to improve some after doing that. Makes sense as it takes some of the detox load off the lungs. I am 43 years old, and about 50 pounds overweight, but have lost about 35, through Weight Watcher's. I have had past problems with my digestive system, mainly rapid transit time, and an anal fissure that was bad enough to warrant surgery. I avoid wheat, dairy, and eggs, as these foods REALLY seem to aggravate the asthma. Makes sense and points to poor digestion and allergies as well. I have been making the connection, that the activities I have participated in have had an effect, and I must have been breathing differently. I remember being taught to breathe more from the belly in choir. Do your videos teach something similar? Yes and more.

Do you recommend these techniques be done as exercises? Can it help me? Absolutely. Guaranteed. I am very weary of the traditional doctors and their "practice" on me as the guinea pig. I have done 3 antibiotics the last few months, but they do not clear up the bronchitis, or the sinus infection. I said "no more" to the antibiotic merry go round. The maddening thing is that these doctors don't even check to see if it is a bacterial infection or not. Well, I am kind of venting and rambling on here, sorry, I'm just frustrated, and tired of being sick. Thank you for your concern, and I hope to hear of some suggestions from you soon.

Sincerely, Sharon

From Mike:
It is absolutely necessary that we find safe alternatives to steroids and  bronchodilators.  We need to utilize available CURES for asthma and airway constriction, not just symptomatic treatment. Furthermore, I believe there is a strong possibility that when our youth is raised with such a preponderance of the idea of drugs for health that this can re-enforce the curiosity of drugs for recreation.

Because allergies cause inhibited healthy breathing volume and coordination development, the older a person gets, the more the actual breathing function becomes a major factor. Then breathing function becomes the primary source of trouble and food allergy most often becomes secondary.  Pneumonia sets in.

Sadly, most health  practitioners are presently focusing on the allergenic and environmental aspects and overlooking the mechanical breathing volume and coordination aspects.

I recommend you eliminate the major causes of worsening  asthma by finding techniques to clean your breathing air in your home or work area and eliminating dairy products as you retrain yourselves and/or children to breathe without drugs or steroids.




This is my first progress report. After I started using your program and doing all of the 5 exercises recommended in the video, I started to feel some relief, almost immediately, but this relief didn't hold. In the last two days, however, I have not felt better breath-wise than I have in a nearly 3 to 4 years now. I can walk at my formerly brisk pace and not be unduly short of breath. I realize that even ordinary people get winded with exertion, and that's what I feel now ... winded, but not short of breath, because I CAN take a deep breath and, thus, recover. I'm not perfect, yet; but I'm optimistic as all hell. It's so nice just to be able to breathe without being conscious of shortness of breath.

What works best for me, Mike, and I've just cut my exercises down to these few, are the Happy Straps (formerly called the Friendly Python) , the Bend Forward (and touch the floor), and the Abdomen Press with the hands. But I believe it is the Friendly Python (Rapid Breathing Improvement video) that is doing me the most good. And to think the doctor's at Kaiser said that there was nothing they could do. And they were right. THEY couldn't do anything, but YOUR program could. So, I'm going to keep working on it. I just plain didn't know HOW to breathe correctly. And now I am getting some idea how that's done.

Thanks, Mike. I am eternally grateful to you. I'm going to recommend your program to my sister who has asthma and is satisfied with living with her inhaler. I'm 72 and I don't take ANY medicines. I think years of sitting in front of a computer at home, writing and doing computer stuff, and, of course, poor posture, really screwed up my lungs and my breathing. Some 3 or 4 years ago, I also developed skin eruptions on my forehead, like pimples and sometimes like small boils. Nothing would help. Doctors were puzzled and recommended cortisone, which I refused. But you know what, Mike? Even that is beginning to clear up in the past few days. Can it be because of better breathing? Wow! CC


Learning to breathe under the guidance of Mike White has not only saved my life but profoundly altered its quality.

In the first training session, Mike address my restricted breathing, which was steadily becoming worse, despite the inhalers I was using three and four times a day. He taught me the Leg Lift and shhhh breath, a deceptively simple and powerfully effective breath which stopped within days my chronic coughing, and began to clear and relieve lungs and bronchial tubes desperate for air.

He also used carefully controlled hand pressure and other techniques to "wring out and soften hard and atrophies lung tissue.  This "re-birthing" of my lungs has affected my entire being. The relief from asthma turned out to be only an introduction into fuller and more vibrant participation in life.  In the process of learning to breathe more deeply  and easily, old fears and insecurities are beginning to dissolve.  I am discovering the joyful calm that supports life at its base.

Michael Grant White's work with the breath is a critically important contribution to an area of scientific research still in its infancy.

M.D. California.

"Mike White is a genius at his work.

I am 58 and had been suffering with asthma since the age of 5. For the past 10 years prior to my session with Mike I had been on steroids and fast acting inhalers.

I knew something was wrong with this picture and was so grateful that Mike came into my life. In just one session with Mike, I was able to get off the drugs completely and learned holistic ways to manage my asthma. It has been a year now since my session, and I am different person, breathing deep and living a drug free life. Thank you Mike White for making such a huge difference in my life"

Mick Pulver

Founder & Director, Breakthrough Performance Workshop

Our Self Help Program

Rapid Breathing Improvement Group and Private Intensives


"Underestimation of asthma severity and under-treatment of exacerbations are two common errors that may lead to negative maternal or fetal results?"  Breathe Right Now page 243.

Tightness across the chest, shallow breathing, reverse breathing are but a few symptoms often associated with  asthma.

Signs of An Asthma Attack

Tight, dry cough


Shortness of breath

Fast breathing

Anxious, scared look

Flaring nostrils

The Cost of Treatment and Hospitalization for Asthma in the United States

  • Approximately 34.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma by a health professional during their lifetime.
  • An estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, with 250,000 annual deaths attributed to the disease.

Triggers of Asthma Attacks Tied to Recommendations


Dust mites


Encase bedding in airtight covers that are hypoallergenic.

Wash bedding weekly in hot water.

Do not sleep on upholstered furniture.

Remove carpets from bedrooms. If this is not possible, do not sit on the carpet, but rather put a sheet or quilt over the carpet.

Allersearch ADMS Anti Allergen Spray Thy also have carpet powders to vacuum up.

Use a dehumidifier for humid places in the home and make sure the filter is clean.

When traveling and staying in hotels, it may be advisable to bring your own linens, particularly your own pillow.

Molds (outdoors)

Mildew (indoors)

Eliminate any water leaks in the home.

Scrape moldy plaster from the walls and repaint mildewed areas.

Use a dehumidifier.

Industrial Strength Ozonator

Make sure ventilation is adequate, especially in bathrooms and the laundry room

Be sure that the clothes dryer is vented properly.

Make sure that all dehumidifiers, air conditioners, furnaces, freezers, refrigerators and ducts are clean.

Animals with fur/feathers





Guinea pigs


The animal's saliva and dander (flakes of dead skin) carry allergens and penetrate the environment. Remove the pet from the home if possible.

If the pet cannot be removed, be sure to wash the pet once a week.

Pets should never be allowed in the bedroom.

Check with a physician about using a three percent solution of tannic acid to help neutralize the remaining allergens.

Industrial Strength Ozonator



Food should never be left unwrapped or unsealed.

Use non-toxic, anti-roach devices such as roach hotels.

Use a reputable exterminator and be sure to eliminate the patient's exposure to the insecticide.

Seal up areas around pipes under the sink where roaches might enter.



Tobacco smoke


Toxic effects of cigarette smoke are devastating for asthmatics.

Asthmatics must always avoid tobacco smoke.

Inform friends and family that the home must be smoke free and that even the scent of smoke on clothing can trigger an attack in some sensitive individuals.

Industrial Strength Ozonator

Weather conditions

Extremes or sudden changes in temperature

Barometric pressure or humidity

If symptoms are severe with weather changes, discuss adjustments in the treatment plan to avoid increased asthma symptoms. If possible, remain indoors or limit exposure.

Avoid cold, dry air.

Wear a mask and breathe through the nose rather than the mouth.





The smog/pollution index should be noted by asthmatics, particularly when patients are planning to exert themselves.

Industrial Strength Ozonator

Avoid exercise on busy streets with a lot of traffic.

Car and truck exhaust should be avoided, particularly in enclosed areas like garages.

Avoid heavy scents, such as perfumes, especially in enclosed areas (elevators, buses or offices).

Anxiety. Notice when your breath goes shallow or heads up into your chest in the presence of someone. Avoid them at least for now.







Treat colds and flu rapidly to avoid potential complications (such as pneumonia) that can worsen asthma

Essential Oils Topical

Bacterial infections such as strep throat, sinus infections, pneumonia and bronchitis must be treated for the prescribed duration.

Use good hand-washing techniques.

Avoid crowded public places, particularly during flu season.

Yearly flu immunization is recommended by some but warned against as being the cause of the flu in the first place for many.








Gasping from overexertion due to fast, intense, running

Breath heaving due to over-exertion

Gasping and breath heaving lock up the rib muscles and inhibit easy chest expansion.




Asthma is not just a physical condition. Not being able to breathe elicits feelings of anxiety, fear and panic. Inability to alleviate these feelings leads to more severe asthma symptoms. Besides taking responsibility for the physical care necessary to manage asthma, the patient must seek psychosocial support through professional and community resources. The physician may recommend a stress reduction program or seek the assistance of a mental health provider. Careful attention to the patient's feelings will lead to better overall asthma care and avoidance of complications like depression.








Do it more.

The following medications have been linked to causing airway narrowing and should be used cautiously for patients with asthma.



Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid)




Ketoprofen / Orudis





Aspirin sensitivities can occur in one in five individuals.

Patients with nasal polyps or chronic sinusitis are more likely to be sensitive to anti-inflammatory medications.

If the physician orders medication for pain that is similar to arthritis or a headache, patients need to check if the product contains aspirin.







Tropol XL






Patients with high blood pressure, heart disease, glaucoma or migraines should check with their primary care physician to determine if they are taking a Beta-blocker. These medications can actually create more asthma symptoms or potentially uncover asthma tendencies by causing an asthma reaction when they are introduced.


More General Recommendations with a few duplications.

  • Keep windows closed and use air conditioning if you're allergic to pollen. Don't use fans since they can stir up dust.
  • Filter the air. Cover air conditioning vents with cheesecloth to filter pollen and use a high efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) if you have a forced air furnace. Clean air filters frequently and air ducts at least once a year.
  • Keep the humidity in your house below 50% to prevent mold growth.
  • If you have pets, consider keeping them outside or perhaps ask someone else to take care of them. Animal dander and saliva are common allergens for many people. If you must keep your pets indoors, do not allow them in the bedroom and be sure to bathe them often.
  • Avoid areas where molds may collect, including basements, garages, crawl spaces, barns, and compost heaps. Have someone else clean these areas often.
  • Install dehumidifiers or steam vaporizers in basements and other areas of the house where molds tend to collect. Clean these devices every week.
    Air out damp clothes and shoes (in the house) before storing.
  • Remove laundry from the washing machine promptly. Don't leave wet clothes in the washer where mold can quickly grow.
  • Wash shower curtains and bathroom tiles with mold-killing solutions.
  • Don't collect too many indoor plants as soil encourages mold growth.
  • Store firewood outside.
  • Use plastic covers for pillows, mattresses, and box springs. Avoid overstuffed furniture and down-filled bedding or pillows.
  • Wash your bedding every week in hot water.
  • Don't allow smoking in your house.
  • Wear a mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming, or painting to limit dust and chemical exposure.
  • Vacuum twice a week.
  • Limit throw rugs to reduce dust and mold. If you do have rugs, make sure they are washable.
  • When possible, choose hardwood floors instead of carpeting. If you must have carpeting, choose low-pile material.
  • Avoid dust-collecting Venetian blinds or long drapes. Replace old drapes with window shades instead.
  • Make sure there is an exhaust fan over the stove to remove cooking fumes.

In the Car

  • Keep windows closed and set the air conditioner to use recirculated air if you are allergic to pollen.
  • Don't permit smoking in the car.


  • Minimize walks in wooded areas or gardens.
  • Check the forecast. Stay indoors as much as possible on hot, dry, windy days when pollen counts are generally the highest.
  • Try to avoid extreme temperature changes -- they are triggers for some people with asthma.
  • If possible, stay indoors between 5 and 10 a.m. when outdoor pollen counts are usually highest.
  • Wear a mask (such as an inexpensive painter's mask) when mowing the lawn if you are allergic to grass pollen or mold. Avoid mowing and being around freshly cut grass if possible.
  • Wear a mask when gardening, as flowers and some weeds release pollen and can cause allergy symptoms.
  • Avoid raking leaves or working with hay or mulch if you are allergic to mold.
  • After being outdoors, take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes to remove pollen that may have collected in your clothes and hair.
  • To protect yourself from insect stings, wear shoes, long pants and sleeves, and do not wear scented deodorants, perfumes, shampoos, or hair products.
  • Don't hang clothes or linens out to dry, as pollen and molds may collect in them and can make your allergies worse.


  • Pack your medicines with you in your carry-on bag.
  • Bring an extra supply of medicines in case you need them.

Staying in a Hotel

  • Ask for a nonsmoking room.
  • Remove feather pillows and ask for synthetic, nonallergenic pillows -- or bring your own plastic pillow cover from home.
  • If possible, keep the vent on the room air conditioner shut.


  • Eat in smoke-free restaurants.
  • For food allergies, avoid the foods that cause your allergy symptoms by carefully reading ingredient labels and asking about the food preparation methods when dining out. Choose fresh foods rather than prepared or processed foods. If you have severe reactions, such as anaphylaxis, carry an epinephrine injection kit with you at all times.

For Children in School

  • Discuss your child's allergies with school personnel.
  • If your child suffers from food allergies, discuss them with school officials, teachers, and lunchroom staff.
  • Educate your child about his/her allergies early, so your child can learn to avoid situations where he or she may eat a food that will trigger an allergic reaction. Arrange for an epinephrine kit to be left at the school, and make sure school officials (and your child when they are old enough) are able to use it correctly.
  • Inform school personnel about the medicines your child is taking and make arrangements to leave necessary medicines at school.
  • Encourage sports participation, but inform coaches of medicines that may need to be taken before activities.
  • Get low cost blood work at



For a better understanding about what to look in your personal situation for when your breathing is deteriorating, take our tests at