We generally do not have many news about holistic or alternative medical innovations in countries, like Russia. They have their own culture, and, while their official medical approaches are similar to the Western world (drugs, surgeries, chemotherapies, etc.), there are recent developments in treatment of asthma, and other respiratory conditions (bronchitis, emphysema, COPD, respiratory insufficiency, etc.) that deserve a closer look.

Many people know about the Buteyko breath technique (a more popular Russian innovation with six western randomized controlled medical trials), but there is another supplementary medical technique that is recently used for prevention and management of asthma and exacerbations of asthma. It is called the Frolov respiration device therapy with somewhere about 2 millions(!) Frolov respiration devices sold in Russia.

How might respiratory retraining improve health of people with asthma? First, all known research publications reveal that people with asthma over-breathe at rest, when in normal conditions (they breathe about 2-3 times more air than the medical norm) even when they do not have any symptoms or signs of asthma. My website has 5 medical studies with this result. How could overbreathing cause signs of asthma? There are 3 known medical criteria for asthma. All three these signs relate to CO2 and O2 levels in the alveoli and arterial blood and breathing.

1. Constriction of air passages occurs due to low level of CO2 in the airways of the lungs since CO2, according to numerous medical papers, is a potent bronchodilator (dilator of bronchi and bronchioles).

2. Modern day adults think that deep or heavy breathing (hyperventilation) should build up oxygenation of tissues. However, a few hundreds of research papers have definitely shown that over-breathing DIMINISHES oxygen content in cells due to hypocapnic (deficiency of carbon dioxide) vasoconstriction of blood vessels and the decreased Bohr effect. Tissues hypoxia, through hypoxia-inducible factor alpha-1, causes inflammation that is another acknowledged and essential feature in asthma.

3. Cells hypoxia causes free radicals that suppress the immune system that, in its turn, causes excessive sputum production.

Thus, the slower and easier we breathe, the more oxygen our cells get. (Note that we consider here automatic breathing patterns.)

Consequently, there is a plain breath exercise “Stop Acute Asthma Exacerbation” to diminish or get rid off central signs of asthma in about two and half minutes. The exercise includes plain breath holds and reduced breathing.

How to make breath pattern slower and easier and have more CO2 in the blood? The best option is to slowly breathe through a device that traps expired CO2 for the next inhalation. Then later, after the respiration session, our involuntary breathing pattern ought to be slow and easy. That is precisely what the Frolov breathing reconditioning device does.

In recent Russian medical trials MDs measured changes in a group of hospitalized asthmatics and compared the effects of the Frolov device with the control group. It was noticed that, after about 1.5 months of respiration training exercises (in average, only 20 min twice daily):
- EVC (expiratory vital capacity) was raised from 87 percent to 100 percent
- RV (residual volume), a sign of hyperinflation of the lungs, was diminished from 151 percent to 117 percent
- FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in 1 s) was raised from 67 percent to 88 percent,
- FEF25% (forced expiratory flow, 25 percent) was boosted from 39 percent to 64 percent;
- FEF50% from 41 percent to 65 percent;
- FEF75% from 51 percent to 75 percent;
- DLCO (diffusion lung capacity for carbon monoxide) was increased from 64 percent to 77 percent.

In the main group, all these advances were statistically significant, but there were no significant alterations in the experimental group. These are possibly the most remarkable consequences in history of existing physiology for management of asthma and exacerbations of asthma. (The complete translation of this trial can be found here: - Acute Asthma Frolov Device Trial)

There were many additional investigations of the Frolov respiration training device technique with regards to bronchitis, stroke, children asthma, hypertension, asthma, diabetes and many other health conditions with optimistic findings. This (asthma) and some other clinical trials discovered reduced inflammation in airways, less wheezing, diminished shortness of breath, reduced coughing, easier removal of mucus and normalizations of the heart rate, electrocardiogram, blood pressure, body antioxidant defense, renovasography measurements, cardiointervalography results and other key biochemical processes.

This is to be expected since hyperventilation and hypoxia (or low body oxygen content) are revealed for virtually all chronic disorders (see conclusions of several tens clinical publications with specific numbers on my internet site).

Author's Bio: 

- How Frolov Device Work?: A summary of changes in inspired air composiiton when using the Frolov breathing device

- Frolov Device Effects: Main Physiological Effects of the Frolov device on lungs and blood gases (CO2 and O2) changes.

Dr. Artour Rakhimov is a health educator and breathing teacher. He is the author of books on breathing and the educational website NormalBreathing.com devoted to natural self-oxygenation and breathing retraining. The website has hundreds of medical quotes, graphs, charts, tables, results of trials, analysis of breathing techniques (Buteyko, Frolov, Hatha Yoga, Resperate, etc.), free breathing exercises, manuals, lifestyle modules and other resources for better health. Normal Breathing defeats chronic diseases!