Asthma

In reaction to stimulus from pollen, dust, chemicals, dairy and a whole host of others, the walls of the bronchioles swell, the cells lining the tubes secrete abnormal, increased amounts of mucus and the smooth muscles in the tubes contract. As this happens breathing becomes more and more difficult. Signs/symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath.

Dietary changes will be necessary and Reflexology can help by relieving tensions in the lungs and the muscles.

So

  • Reflexology is very effective for sinusitis as well as helping in many other respiratory conditions.
  • Clinical Aromatherapy can help in many respiratory problems used in sprays and inhalations.
  • Advanced Remedial Massage Therapists have a repertoire of many effective techniques for chronic respiratory problems.
  • Manipulative Therapy, osteopathy, chiropractic can also help by dramatically improving the mechanics of the body.

Remember that improving posture will also help respiration. We often do not breathe properly. It is important too to inhale fresh air to balance the time we spend in stuffy or polluted atmospheres.

NB Status asthmaticus (severe acute asthma) is a medical emergency. It manifests as excessive wheezing affecting speech, exhaustion, dyspnoea, restlessness, and a pulse rate of over 110 per minute in an adult.

DANGER SIGNS – pale, clammy, cyanosis, prolonged asthmatic attack, non-response to inhalers. This is an emergency condition and must be treated in hospital without delay

WHAT IS ASTHMA?

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.

Asthma can't be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled. Because asthma often changes over time, it's important that you work with your doctor to track your signs and symptoms and adjust treatment as needed.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Asthma symptoms range from minor to severe and vary from person to person. You may have infrequent asthma attacks, have symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or have symptoms all the time.

Asthma signs and symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu

Signs that your asthma is probably worsening include:

  • Asthma signs and symptoms that are more frequent and bothersome
  • Increasing difficulty breathing (measurable with a peak flow meter, a device used to check how well your lungs are working)
  • The need to use a quick-relief inhaler more often

For some people, asthma symptoms flare up in certain situations:

  • Exercise-induced asthma, which may be worse when the air is cold and dry
  • Occupational asthma, triggered by workplace irritants such as chemical fumes, gases or dust
  • Allergy-induced asthma, triggered by particular allergens, such as pet dander, cockroaches or pollen

Certain alternative treatments may help with asthma symptoms. However, keep in mind that these treatments are not a replacement for medical treatment — especially if you have severe asthma. Talk to your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements, as some may interact with medications you take.

ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES

While some alternative remedies are used for asthma, in most cases more research is needed to see how well they work and to measure the extent of possible side effects. Alternative asthma treatments include:

  • Breathing techniques. These exercises may reduce the amount of medication you need to keep your asthma symptoms under control. Yoga classes increase fitness and reduce stress, which may help with asthma as well.
  • Acupuncture. This technique involves placing very thin needles at strategic points on your body. It's safe and generally painless.
  • Relaxation techniques. Techniques such as meditation, biofeedback, hypnosis and progressive muscle relaxation may help with asthma by reducing tension and stress. Also massage, reflexology etc.
  • Herbal and natural remedies. A few herbal and natural remedies that may help improve asthma symptoms include caffeine, magnesium and pycnogenol. Blends of different types of herbs are commonly used in traditional Chinese, Indian and Japanese medicine. However, more studies are needed to determine how well herbal remedies and preparations work for asthma.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. Found in fish, flaxseed and other foods, these healthy oils may reduce the inflammation that leads to asthma symptoms.

THERAPY OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR THIS CONDITION AT BROOKS-CARTER CLINIC