Asthma Sufferers Can Live Drug-Free
- Created on December 8th, 2005
- By Journey to Wellness
Asthma is an allergic inflammation of the lungs and it’s on the rise among Black Americans, particularly among African American 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.
Fortunately, there are non–drug remedies to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks in Blacks and decrease severity when they do occur. Alternative remedies include acupuncture, breathing exercises, diet, environmental changes and nutritional supplements. Let’s briefly look at each.
Pins & Needles
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 professionals only.
Take A Deep Breath
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.
Watch What You Eat
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.
Drug–therapy 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.