Discover effective natural asthma treatment options and learn about asthma causes.
Asthma is a lung condition that causes the respiratory airways to narrow or become obstructed, making it very difficult to breathe. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 20 million people in the United States suffer from asthma.
There are plenty of pharmaceutical treatment options for asthma, like hand-held inhalers and prescription pills, but those seeking natural asthma treatments also have several options. Keep in mind, however, that not all of these alternative treatments have been proven effective, so it’s important to consult with a doctor to keep your asthma symptoms under control.
Biofeedback is a mind-body treatment that enables better control over physical symptoms. Biofeedback specialists can help asthmatics alter their breathing patterns to avoid or lessen the severity of attacks. Many asthmatics experience “barrel breathing,” in which they take in a deep breath, but exhale short, shallow breaths. This pattern leads to chronic shortness of breath. Biofeedback is used to help asthmatics take controlled, even, deep breaths. By identifying and correcting the short breaths characteristic of an asthma attack, asthmatics can reduce symptoms and possibly prevent attacks.
Spinal manipulation is a chiropractic procedure in which the spine is shifted into proper alignment. Proponents of spinal manipulation, along with a 2002 study performed by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, claim it can reduce asthma symptoms, as well as offer beneficial immunological and endocrine effects. However, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, there is no solid evidence that spinal manipulation can cure asthma or improve pulmonary function.
Hypnosis, a highly suggestive state of mind, makes it possible to instill certain breathing techniques in asthmatics, which can reduce asthma symptoms. Though hypnosis cannot claim to be completely effective in eliminating asthma attacks, an improvement of symptoms was noted in a University of California, Davis study. Younger children, in particular, seem to benefit more from hypnosis treatment.
Relaxation techniques may limit the stress and anxiety that can exacerbate asthma symptoms. The scientific connection between mental relaxation and physical reactions still needs to be established in the medical community, but inroads are being made. Relaxation techniques can include music therapy, yoga, massage and art therapy.
Before pursuing any of these treatment options, you should consult your doctor about all of the benefits and risks.