Asthma is an allergic
inflammation of the lungs and it's on the rise in America, particularly
among children. It's estimated that between 20 and 40 million people
suffer from the disease and its attacks can be debilitating and frightening,
especially if the medication used to treat it produces unwanted side
effects like anxiety and chest pain.
there are non-drug remedies to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks
and decrease their severity when they do occur. Alternative remedies
include acupuncture, breathing exercises, diet, environmental changes,
and nutritional supplements. Let's briefly look at each.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that relieves pain and
other conditions by the placement of small needles that stimulate
certain responsive parts of the body's nervous system. It has been
proven effective in maintaining proper lung function, a key necessity
for asthma sufferers. Contrary to its painful image of pin and needle-pricked
skin, most acupuncture patients find the experience totally painless
and experience immediate relief from symptoms. But effective acupuncture
is both a science and an art and should be administered by licensed
Take A Deep
Most of us are guilty of shallow breathing - an especially serious
problem for asthmatics who can't exhale with force. Air gets trapped
in the lungs causing the gasping seizures so typical of the disease.
Breathing exercises that fully engage the diaphragm to draw air
in and out are an effective way to strengthen the lungs and control
attacks. Yoga adepts who emphasize the importance of good breathing
as fundamental to good health recommend the following techniques.
First, relax. Put yourself in a meditative pose and focus on peaceful
imagery. Second, breathe in deeply while visualizing your stomach
(diaphragm) expanding and contracting, rather than your chest. Last,
count your breaths. Inhale on three counts and exhale on six. Exhale
through slightly parted lips.
Sugar, salt and processed foods are bad, bad, bad! They can trigger
inflammation and allergic reactions that produce asthmatic episodes,
so evaluate your diet and eliminate these no-no's. Then use the
strategy employed when introducing first foods to babies. Eat only
one food at a time - milk for example - to see if it triggers an
allergic or asthmatic reaction. If it can be tolerated with good
results, add other foods one by one to determine whether or not
they're a safe addition to your diet.
Vitamin therapy can be an effective deterrent to asthma seizures.
Taken regularly, the benefits of Vitamins A, C and E and the B-complex
vitamins are good sources of antioxidant protection that have proven
beneficial for asthmatics.
may be required for your asthmatic condition. But consider these
alternative therapies as well. The natural approach may help alleviate
or eliminate your symptoms entirely while allowing you to take control
in a gentle, proactive way.