Many people are diagnosed with mild asthma or respiratory problems nowadays. Some have severe problems which can be frightening and frustratingly difficult to treat.
There are several options available to help you. Nutritional therapy, hypnotherapy, Bowen therapy, acupuncture, stress control and breathing methods with a non-toxic and anti-allergic lifestyle are the main ones.
Nutritional therapy looks at many different factors to help control triggers, improve immunity, dilate the bronchials and lower inflammation etc. The biggest factor in our experience of asthma is allergy and so we always recommend you start with this. In fact, studies have shown that over 80% of asthma sufferers have allergies of some form or another. Allergies are directly related to the function of the bowel and liver and in naturopathic medicine, asthma is often linked with sluggish function of these two organs. See here for the section on allergy.
It may be that you are not digesting well – most asthma sufferers in our experience don’t produce enough stomach acid or pancreatic enzymes. Check the fact sheet on low stomach acid for more on this.
It may also be that the lungs are being used as a secondary eliminatory route for a toxic body – often if a skin problem such as eczema has been suppressed with steroids and has then disappeared, asthma often follows a few years later. Again, the treatment of this is to ensure the body is as non-toxic as possible and to boost colon and liver function.
Blood sugar can also be an issue – and many people have asthma attacks when their blood sugar drops too low, most often in the morning and between 3-5am (and this is also the time when histamine tends to rise). Interestingly, many of the conventional drugs used for asthma act in part by raising blood sugar levels, but also steroid meds tend to drain the adrenals which help to control blood sugar so it’s a bit of a vicious circle. One of the things we normally suggest is a check on your adrenal output, which can then be boosted so you make more of your own natural steroids. This is best done before spending years on steroid meds if you can. After about 10 years, they are difficult to pick up, having been hammered for that long.
In studies, Bowen Therapy has been found to work very well. This is a natural and gentle manipulation of the neuromuscular joints as well as balancing the meridians and ridding the body of energy blocks much like acupuncture. No-one is quite sure how this works, but we have found it especially useful for respiratory problems. It calms my hayfever down a treat, for example, with a booster session at the start of the season each year.
Stress is also an issue and it is vital you identify sources of it and coping mechanisms to keep levels as low as possible – massage using aromatherapy treatment and hypnotherapy either at home using a tape or a few sessions can help this.
Finally, breathing methods such as Yogic breathing or the Buteyeko method are having great results.
You can read more on Asthma using the search on this site or click here.