Living With Asthma: Holistic Treatments Can Help
Approximately 1 in 13 Americans, including 8% of adults and 7% of children, suffer from asthma. That’s 25 million Americans. The rise in allergies and asthma is attributed largely to the “ hygiene hypothesis” - that over-sanitizing a child’s environment can lead to decreased disease resistance and immune function. Other culprits may include poor nutrition as a result of the Standard American Diet, an increase in airborne pollens, urban air pollution, energy-proofing of indoor home and work spaces, and the overuse of antibiotics.
Asthma can be treated in many ways, the most common of which is through the use of conventional medicines and therapies, either short term or long term.
Short term asthma treatment involves the instant relief of the patient from asthma attacks through the administration of inhalers and orally administered drugs, or nebulizer therapy. Long term asthma treatment involves more of parallel treatment and lesser use of drugs. In parallel asthma treatment, environmental components and surrounding analysis is done to minimize the factors that lead to asthma attacks. In this type of treatment environment components such as pollen grains, allergens, and the like are minimized from the patient’s surroundings to minimize the chances of an asthma attack.
Techniques include thorough cleaning of patient’s home, little to no contact with pets with fur or feathers, weekly washing of bedding in hot water, and avoiding synthetic materials, upholstery, and carpet in the home when possible. The point is to reduce dust particles that could cause problems to the asthma patient.
Parallel asthma treatment also involves the use of medicines like corticosteroids and bronchodilators are administered.
While keeping a clean home and minimizing dust and allergens can be helpful, this doesn’t address the imbalances in the body itself - and many of the traditional asthma medications used to manage symptoms come with negative side effects, including:
Decreased resistance to infection
Increased heart rate
Nervousness or tremors
Changes in mood
Increased growth of body hair
Fungal infections of the throat
This is where alternative medicines and holistic alternatives can offer hope.
Acupuncture has been used to treat asthma in both eastern and western countries. Research has found that acupuncture can improve symptoms of asthma, as well as improve lung function decrease medication dosages.
Cupping is another holistic alternative that may benefit people sufferings from asthma. By using the cups and moving them up and down the intercostal muscles between the ribs, cupping can relieve muscle tension and pain people feel from constant coughing and wheezing. Cupping also helps to expel pathogens from the lungs, increase immunity, open up the chest, promote blood flow, and reduce inflammation.
Chinese Herbal Therapy is another powerful holistic tool against asthma. The right formula of natural herbs can increase lung capacity, moisten the lungs to eliminate dry cough, expel phlegm from the lungs, strengthen immunity, and even help shortness of breath.
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