Asthma affects approximately 20 million Americans every year. Conventional treatment options are limited to steroid inhalers and bronchodilators. While these medications are effective in relieving the symptoms of asthma, the side effects of continuous long-term treatment can be severe and debilitating. There are numerous natural strategies to consider for chronic asthma that can offer effective treatment without side effects. Many nutritional supplements and herbal formulas are used to help control asthma, including Quercetin, Grape Seed extract, Cod liver oil and MSM. Chinese herbs are also beneficial, as well as regular acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture can be very effective in the treatment of asthma because it helps to reduce inflammation and balance the major organs that are contributing to one’s symptoms. In Chinese medicine, asthma can be caused by a variety of factors including stress, diet, allergies, candida infection and constitutional weakness. All of these factors are related to different internal organs that are causing the lungs to constrict. Acupoints are used on the corresponding meridians that will balance any energetic or functional disharmonies in the respiratory system. Adjunctive therapies are also very helpful for asthma, such as cupping and gua sha.
The main strategy asthmas sufferers need to employ is to avoid foods that provoke inflammation in the body. At the top of this list are all refined sugars and carbohydrates. Any food that converts into sugar very quickly in the body is going to cause inflammation. Many asthma patients report a marked improvement in their symptoms simply by reducing or removing these foods from their diet.
In Chinese medicine, the lungs share a close relationship with the large intestine. Intestinal toxicity can cause a whole cascade of internal problems, including asthma and allergies. If there is a history of constipation, then a cleansing approach is useful to detoxify the colon--which will indirectly benefit the lungs. A high fiber diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables is the key. Flax seed, prune, pear, ripe banana, and herbs such as rhubarb root are helpful colon cleansers.
Deep breathing and some form of meditation is also essential. If your stress level is high, then I recommend learning how to meditate for 15-30 minutes per day. If you need help with this, please ask me.
Your partner in health,