Asthma is a lung condition that can affect you in different ways. Some people have chronic asthma that’s well-controlled, and others may have serious and life-threatening attacks that send them to the emergency room. Asthma is associated with narrowing of the airways in your lungs combined with a build-up of phlegm—both of which obstruct your breathing. It’s caused by irritation or an allergic trigger of some kind that causes irritation, and inflammation.
During an asthma attack, you may experience coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in your chest. Most people with asthma are aware of specific conditions or triggers that cause their symptoms. People with asthma report things like exposure to smoke, physical activity, having a cold or the flu, strong smells, or irritants in cleaning products as common triggers for an attack. In addition, weather changes, high humidity, changes in barometric pressure, and even an emotional upset can set off an asthma attack. Why this happens is unknown, but researchers know that asthma is caused by a strong immune response to a substance or change in your lungs.
Asthma is not like other lung illnesses, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) or emphysema that involve constant breathing difficulties. Instead, asthma is associated with flare-ups and periods of remission. In fact, some people with asthma may be symptom-free for long periods of time between flare-ups.
Because asthma involves wide swings between times of flare-ups and remissions, Western medical treatments often incorporate both short-term emergency medications with longer-term strategies to prevent attacks. Long-term medications may be used to reduce inflammation in your lungs, prevent symptoms, and reduce the incidence of attacks. Most people who have asthma are also prescribed a rescue inhaler to quickly open up your airways in case you have an acute attack.
Treating Your Asthma Naturally at BodaHealth
At BodaHealth, treating your asthma starts by understanding your health history and the nature of your symptoms to determine the underlying source of the problem. We will then go to work, incorporating acupuncture, herbs, naturopathic medicine, nutritional therapy, and lifestyle modifications to treat your asthma from the inside out. Our goal is to reduce your symptoms, strengthen your lungs, reduce phlegm production, improve immunity, and reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups. Here’s how:
Acupuncture and the use of Chinese herbs are a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In this healing system, asthma is considered to be caused by a weakness in your lungs combined with excessive phlegm. Even when you’re not having an attack or symptoms, in Chinese medicine phlegm is ever-present if you suffer from asthma. Acupuncture and herbs may be used to improve the health of your lungs, reduce phlegm production, strengthen your immune response, and decrease inflammation. Because poor digestion is often the cause of too much phlegm, and asthma is often associated with gastric reflux, your practitioner may also address your digestive health through acupuncture, herbs, and diet.
Modern scientists have also discovered the benefits of acupuncture for asthma patients. Researchers studying acupuncture in the treatment of asthma have found it to be a helpful adjunct to conventional therapies. In a review of a number of studies, researchers concluded that adding acupuncture to conventional treatments significantly improved patients’ symptoms and reduced their levels of interleukin-6, a kind of protein called a cytokine that promotes inflammation.
Naturopathic medicine offers a number of treatment strategies to help patients suffering from asthma. Our naturopathic physicians blend natural treatments with conventional medicine, when necessary, to achieve effective results. From a naturopathic perspective, asthma and allergies are often associated with your digestion and an imbalance in the microbiome in your gut that affects your immune response. Uncovering the source of your asthma is key in treating it with naturopathic medicine, and finding the cause may involve lab testing, tracking your diet and symptoms, and in some instances eliminating specific foods from your diet. Your practitioner may incorporate pre and probiotics, vitamins, herbs, and other supplements into your treatment plan, as well as nutritional and lifestyle modifications.
Dietary therapy can be an important component of treating your asthma at BodaHealth. That’s because there’s a link between your diet and gastric reflux, gut health, phlegm production, inflammation, and the health of your immune system—all of which affect your asthma. At BodaHealth, our practitioners are well-trained and have years of experience in assessing and prescribing foods that can enhance your treatment and reduce your symptoms.
Lifestyle modifications may also become a part of your treatment strategy. Understanding and controlling triggers, breathing exercises, physical activity, and stress reduction are all building blocks that promote remission from your asthma symptoms, ideally for long periods of time.
At BodaHealth, our practitioners are committed to providing you with the best natural care possible. If you struggle with asthma and want to know more about how we can help you, please contact us today.