Asthma is an increasingly common condition, now effecting 1 in 4 children and many adults. The good news is that using Chinese medicine for asthma is an effective way of controlling the condition.
During an asthma attack the airways constrict, become 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 carried 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 (normally 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 Medicine Treatment Of Asthma
The Chinese medicine approach provides a natural asthma treatment to get to the root cause of the problem as well as relieving symptoms. This is a holistic approach – 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.
Chinese medicine can treat asthma using various tools – primarily Chinese herbs and acupuncture.
Chinese Herbal Medicine For Asthma
Chinese herbs provide a natural and effective way of treating asthma by strengthening the lungs, and reducing wheezing and shortness of breath. It can also reduce the need for inhalers. This is an approach that I have seen work many times. At first, herbs are taken every day until the breathing improves, before moving on to a ‘maintenance’ schedule of herbs or acupuncture.
The Chinese approach to using herbs for asthma is based on your individual symptoms and overall constitution, and your formula will be made specifically for you. This makes it a truly holistic and person-centered approach to treatment.
Acupuncture For Asthma
Acupuncture treatment for asthma (or acupressure/tui na massage) also helps to strengthen the Lungs and reduce wheezing and shortness of breath.Treatments are regular at first (for instance, once per week) and then less often as the symptoms get under control.
In my Bristol acupuncture clinic I see a number of people for maintenance acupuncture treatment for asthma – they come once per month, or once every 6 weeks, and find that that’s all they need to keep their asthma in check.
Other Chinese Medicine Treatments For Asthma
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 reinforce 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.
In summary, Chinese medicine has a lot to offer in the treatment and management of asthma in children and adults. If you or anyone you know suffers from asthma, feel free to get in touch for a free assessment consultation.
For more information about my Chinese medicine practices in Bristol & S. Wales (UK) – Please click here