What is Asthma?
Asthma is an increasingly common condition, now effecting 1 in 4 children and many adults. During an asthma attack the airways constrict, became inflamed and are lined with mucous, this causes wheezing, shortness of breath, cough and chest pain.
Attacks can be triggered by many factors such as cigarette smoke, pollution, animal hair, perfume, exercise or stress. Between attacks there may be no symptoms, though some people suffer from chronic breathing difficulties.
The blue inhalers (technically 'metered dose inhalers' or MDIs) for asthma are transported by sufferers to use in the event of an attack. These contain one of a variety of bronchodilatory drugs to rapidly open the airways to allow more normal breathing and prevent a full blown attack.
In more severe cases drugs are normally taken regularly for prevention – inhaled corticosteroids being the most common (usually brown, red or orange inhalers). However, long-term use of corticosteroids can have many side effects including weight gain, osteoporosis, hoarse voice and oral thrush. This is a long term medication, and not a cure – the symptoms will normally come back if the medication is stopped.
The Chinese Approach
The Chinese medicine approach provides a natural asthma treatment to get the root cause of the problem as well as relieving symptoms. Treatment is used to strengthen the Lungs and the system as a whole. Sometimes, the other organs such as the kidneys are involved, according to exactly what your symptoms are. Treatment can and also deal with any other accompanying symptoms, for instance eczema or lowered immunity.
Acupuncture treatment for asthma (or acupressure / tui na massage) helps to strengthen the Lungs and reduce wheezing and shortness of breath. It can also help to clear phlegm, reduce stress and improve immunity.
Nutritional analysis can also be used to identify any problem foods that could be contributing to the problem. Small changes in diet can often bring quick results, improving lung function, clearing phlegm and stuffiness, and boosting your energy.
Finally, qi gong breathing exercises can be of great use to reinvigorate the treatment by improving lung capacity and teaching more control over the breath. Regular practice of Qi Gong can greatly help you to regulate your breathing, as well as helping to strengthen the body and reduce stress.
Childhood asthma often responds to these treatments extremely well, especially when it is the result of frequent or long term antibiotic use, which is a common cause of asthma.