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 Case Studies

Long term Asthmatic
Written by Alastair Rattray.   Published on 15 November 2010.

Asthma Case History - Robyn

Background History

Robyn has been an Asthmatic since a baby. She was born in 1951. Frequent illness as a result became part of her life and had forced her to take early retirement. She had been prescribed 11 different medications and was using antibiotics about every 8 weeks or so. The chest infections would often last about 3 weeks. While her Consultant had suggested a target Peak Flow of 350, her actual performance was usually, on average every month for many years about 320 . She would reach 350 or slightly above maybe a few times a month with the chest infections causing the PF to go down to 280, 240 or less.

She is slightly built and has the additional problem of being the carer of her husband who has advanced MS and is wheelchair bound. Because he is on steroids, he is now a very large man which gives her additional problems when a crisis happens. She frequently needs to have a few days of respite care for herself. Any deterioration in her husband's health has a knock-on effect on her own health as was illustrated during the case study.

When I first saw her, she presented me with a list of medication she was on.( See appendix 1) She used her Salbutamol inhaler about 4 to 6 times each day (2 puffs each time). She also suffers from MS which is in remission. She suffered headaches daily, could only sleep about 1 to 1½ hours at a time because of pain in her back. Because of the pain, she was unable to lie on her front for any length of time or lie for long on her back. Her shoulders were raised all the time as she struggled to breathe.

She reported that she would become ill immediately if the weather changed and became damp. As a result, she did not go out more than was absolutely necessary.

The flat they live in is modern with a lift to the ground floor and garage. Wooden flooring with no carpets are in all the rooms.

Bowen Sessions Part 1

The first Bowen Technique session took place on 20th July 2006 which was fairly short as she was unable to lie on her front for long. The muscles in her back were very stressed but relaxed quickly following the Bowen moves. She was shown the Bowen Release move and it was suggested she try this move whenever she felt the chest becoming tight, long before she would normally resort to her Salbutamol inhaler.

Her second Bowen session was on 11th August 2006. She was now standing up straight, her shoulders were down and, although hot weather brought some breathing problems, the Bowen Release Move had been "helpful". She reported that she had only "bumped into doors twice" whereas she did this all the time. Daily Headaches continued but were now 2/10 as against 8/10

Her third Bowen session on 24th August 2006 produced many changes. "I have not felt his well for years", she reported. Her Peak Flow was now 370/380, "not been this high for at least 5 years". There were no Headaches during this period, and they did not reappear again. Medication had been reduced. She only took her Salbutamol once a day " as a precaution" and otherwise used the Bowen Release Move when required.

Robyn felt so well that she decided she did not need any further treatments for a time. In fact her Peak Flow charts show that her average PF readings were at the target 350 or better for a year and she did not have any chest infections and antibiotics for over a year..

Robyn continued to send her PF charts every quarter. A year after she had stopped having Bowen sessions (only 3 in fact), her PF readings began to go down and reached the levels she had had for the previous years before her first Bowen sessions. In April 2008, further Bowen sessions were offered to see whether her general health and PF readings would respond.

Second Bowen Sessions

Robyn's next Bowen session was on 4 April 2008. She had suffered frequent chest infections during the previous 3 months. PF was now down to 200s again. Her son had been hospitalised for some months which had affected her as well. However, she was sleeping 3-4 hours at a time "because of worry" regarding her son.

24th April 2008. She reported "doing well" though her PF readings had a dip because she had run out of Flixotide.

8 May 2008. "Feeling good" and has coped well with son's illness. PF steady at 350 since last session.

Bowen sessions continued until October 2008 with the PF monthly average improving most months:

June 2008 PF 363
July 2008 PF 373
Aug 2008 PF 380
Sept 2008 PF 379
Oct 2008 PF 370 (Bowen sessions ceased)

Nov 2008 Most PF readings 380-390
Dec 2008 Almost all PF at 390
Jan 2009 Almost all PF at 400.

For the following year most readings are at PF 390-400. This has been unprecedented in Robyn's life. She stopped taking her night time medication for the first time in her life about a year ago with no adverse change to either her health or PF readings. She remains in the care of her Consultant. In the past year she has suffered only one chest infection.

15 February 2010

Appendix 1

Robyn Medication as at July 2006

Salbutamol CR 8mg (twice daily)
Salbutamol CR 4mg (mid day)
Serevent Accuhaler 50mi'gms (twice daily)
Montelukast 10mgs tabs (1 at night)
Salbutamol Sulphate discs 400mcg (2 blisters, 3 times daily)
Beclometasone dipropionate discs 400 mcg (2 blisters, 3 times daily)
Amantadine hydrochloride 100mgs (1 x 2 daily for MS fatigue)
Calcitriol 0,25mg (1 at night)
Prednisolone 5mg (Reducing course as required, 30-5mg)
Epipen (Carried)
Descloratadine (Allergic reactions & following Epipen use)
Tildiem Retard 90 mgs (When needed)

Adverse Drug Reaction


Metronidazole 400mgs
Co-amoxyclav 250+125mg (Severe breathing difficulties)
Septrin (Skin rash & breathing difficulties)


Anti-tetanus & Asprin (rash, swollen face, lips, tongue & breathing)

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