What is asthma?
- Tight chest
- Difficulty inhaling or exhaling
- Wheezing and breathlessness
- Panic through lack of breath
- Coughing (usually dry and worse at night)
- Phlegm (often indicates allergy)
- Sensitivity to various air borne or other triggers
Asthma can be worse in the early hours.
The underlying problem is that the lining of the airways are too sensitive to various triggers, which result in rapid inflammation and the production of mucus. The inflammation causes swelling and narrowing of the airways, and the mucus can clog up some of the smaller air passages of the bronchioles.
What causes asthma?
Asthma triggers can include:
- Extremes of emotion and stress
Environmental triggers of asthma
- Animal dandruff
- House dust / mite
- Pollen and moulds
- Industrial fumes and environmental pollution
- Cigarette smoke
Foods such as:
- Especially aspirin and anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen
- Cold air and exercise!
- Respiratory infections
Allergies may trigger asthma within minutes, but attacks triggered by cold air, exercise or emotions and stress may be delayed by a few hours.
Conventional treatment of asthma
You will be advised to avoid triggers - these will be clinically tested by one of the following:
- Blood test (RAST) for IgE antibodies
- Skin prick test: to inject the allergen under the skin and monitor for a wheal response
- Skin-patch test: which holds the allergen against the skin by a plaster and assesses the reaction
You'll commonly be prescribed a bronchodilator inhaler (or tablets) to take when you feel wheezy, and anti-inflammatories, in particular corticosteroids, to reduce the development of inflammation in the airways (inhaler or tablets) – to take daily.
How do I treat asthma?
Kinesiology for asthma:
Muscle testing using kinesiology will identify allergens (foods, chemicals, airborne, environmental). You will be given a list of what has been tested, highlighting those triggers to avoid.
Acupuncture for asthma:
To strengthen the Lungs and the Kidneys, whilst moving energy if symptoms are bought on by stress; and clearing any phlegm.
EFT for asthma
- To improve breathing difficulties and other symptoms
- To reduce the anxiety and fear that asthma can induce,
- To address any on-going stress
- To address any emotional issues you connect with your symptoms (Louise Hay suggests asthma may reflect "feeling stifled" or "suppressed".)
- To reduce or eliminate the effect of the allergen (not always possible)
At the beginning and end of treatment we will take a peak-flow reading to see the effect of treatment. It is also useful if you are able to do a peak-flow test throughout the day in-between treatment.
Effectiveness of acupuncture for asthma
In 1979 the World Health Organisation listed asthma and bronchitis as two conditions (out of 40) for which acupuncture is effective.
Scientists at the Department of Acupuncture, Second Municipal People's Hospital, Kaifeng City, Henan Province, studied 192 patients suffering from bronchial asthma, all of whom were treated by acupuncture.
The results revealed that there was an immediate total effective rate of 98.9%, and interestingly, the rate of clinical remission dropped and there was a marked improvement in 76.5% of the patients.
Reference: Zang J Immediate anti-asthmatic effect of acupuncture in 192 cases of bronchial asthma. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine (CHINA) Jun 1990, 10 (2) p89-93
Each case is slightly different, so to discuss your symptoms further call 020 7370 4693 or email.
A case study for asthma in my clinic
Suzie, 34: shortness of breath, congested nose, with difficulty speaking clearly
Suzie was very bunged up, and had difficulty speaking on the phone due to the nasal congestion, combined with shortness of breath. It was affecting her job. It first started after she was made redundant 8 months earlier, she had recently started a new job, but her real dream was to start her own company. She had been diagnosed with asthma and had inhalers, but they weren't really helping with the congestion. Her energy levels were poor, and she felt very heavy with it all.
Firstly, I tested for allergens which could be triggering the problem. Some airborne culprits, including pollens and grasses were evident. There were also foods which tested poorly: dairy, yeast and sugar. She was asked to avoid these for the next month, or so.
I then treated with acupuncture to strengthen the Lungs, and to clear the congestion.
I used EFT to continue to clear symptoms, once the pins were in position.
By the end of the first treatment she could breath clearly through both nostrils, although there was a small amount of remaining congestion. The first week after treatment, Suzie suffered one incident of shortness of breath, and the nasal congestion remained much improved. We continued to treat in the same way over the subsequent 4 weeks, by which time she was breathing normally, and had no asthma attacks. She came back every month for 3-4 months, and she remained well, without congestion, without shortness of breath, her energy levels were better than they'd been in years, and she was excited by the prospect of setting up her own business - something she'd been wanting to do, but didn't feel able to, before.
Lifestyle advice for asthma
Foods to avoid to prevent asthma:
Try to avoid
- Dairy, wheat
Try it for 10 days. If you like, try one at a time – if that is easier, and you’ll be more specific about which elimination made the difference.
Supplements for asthma
These may help - although I am loath to suggest these without testing, since it can waste money, without the desired effect.
- Vitamin C
- Omega 3 fish oils
- Omega 6 Evening Primrose Oil
- Herbs: Curcumin, boswellia and ginger
EFT for asthma
- Try tapping on:
- Physical elements of restricted breathing
- The event that has triggered the attack
- On-going stuck issues in your life
- Events in your life you wish had never happened (see Personal Peace Procedure)
Stress reducing tips:
In my experience stress is a big contributor to asthma. Without stress many patients are fine, with stress their symptoms arise. If this applies to you try these stress busters:
- Get good rest, at least 8 hours a night, the more before midnight the better
- Take a walk in nature: the countryside or a park
- Try yoga, Qi Gong or Tai Chi
- Engage your creativity: painting, playing an instrument, taking pictures, creative writing (start with a journal)
- Avoid over obsessing about emails, texts and the internet
- Anything to provide balance to counteract a busy life
Ask yourself, what do I do to relax? I hope you have an answer! If so, make time for it. If not - play and find out.