For the millions of suffers who struggle with chronic asthma, the difficult breathing symptoms can be challenging to deal with on a daily basis. Traditional treatments for chronic asthma are time-consuming, expensive, and have many unwanted side-effects. However, by utilising acupuncture, more and more people are finding asthma treatment by acupuncture to help with their breathing.
Chronic Asthma is an inflammatory condition of the lungs in which the bronchial tubes are irritated and inflamed which make breathing difficult. Every time that we breathe, the air enters our nose or mouth, goes down larynx (the voice box), into the trachea, down the bronchial tubes where it divides into the right and left sides of the lungs, and lastly into the bronchioles and alveoli where the oxygen mixes with the blood and goes into the body.
The symptoms of chronic asthma are coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. These can be worse in the early morning, at night, or when triggered. Smoke, pet dander, allergies to grass or pollen, cold weather, or too much exercise can be triggers. Asthma is not a contagious disease; however, simple infections like the common cold or influenza can worsen asthma symptoms or even trigger an attack.
Inflammation is the redness and swelling that is seen, for example, when a knee is skinned or if you get a paper cut. The body’s defenses send extra blood and fluid to help fight off any bacteria or dirt that might be present. For the irritated bronchioles, the inflammation is similar which begins to create many problems. This inflammation makes the airways smaller, and as the airways narrow, wheezing sounds are heard. The tinier the airways become, the louder the wheezing can be heard. A painful help-hurt cycle begins. While attempting to protect the body, asthma sufferers help and hurt their airways at the same time.
The body can also create mucus, a sticky substance designed to trap tiny particles like grass or pet dander, to try and flush the irritation away. The mucus is irritating, and the body attempts to expel the mucus by coughing. The lungs cannot remove the mucus on its own; it can only come out by coughing. Narrow airways and sticky mucus also create shortness of breath, because now the lungs have to work even harder to get the oxygen in and out. A person may not be able to do their normal activities.
Asthma attacks are sudden events that occur with very little warnings. They may be seen as increased coughing spells or louder wheezing. These attacks can be mild requiring rest or small amounts of medication to treat, or they can be life-threatening events that emergency treatment has to be given.
Treatments for Chronic Asthma
Treatments for chronic asthma typically are in the form of medications. Emergency inhalers to dilate the bronchioles, lung-specific corticosteroids, or whole body corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. Side effects of the corticosteroids can include: increased blood pressure, weight gain, fluid retention, mood swings, upset stomach, fungal infections, and decreased immunity which can lead to more illnesses.
Other treatments focus on the cause of the irritations. The doctor may prescribe allergy testing to see if there is a specific item that is causing the allergic reactions. If there is a known issue, sometimes allergy shots can be given to help decrease the immune system's response to that allergen. There is no cure for asthma, but the goal is preventing the attacks and keeping the inflammation down.
Asthma Treatment by Acupuncture
Here at City Acupuncture Pain Clinic, our goal is to provide safe and helpful treatments for chronic asthma without the problematic side effects of medications. Acupuncture is effective for all ages including children, teenagers, adults, and the elderly.
Acupuncture is a whole body medical treatment based on Traditional Chinese Medicine that stimulates exact points on the body with very tiny needles to treat many conditions. It was founded in China over 2500 years ago, and most recently has uses in Western Medicine as an adjunct treatment.
Those who are new to acupuncture may be surprised to know that the organs involved may not explicitly be needled. The body is made up of many different organ channels such as the liver, spleen, heart, and kidneys. These channels can be stimulated at specific points throughout the whole body instead of just at the area that is problematic. For example, for chronic asthma and shortness of breath, points in the hands and wrists, upper back, legs, and feet can be used. The most common side effects of acupuncture reported are pin-point bruising at the needle site, feeling lightheaded, and tiredness. These side-effects tend to dissipate quickly, and the body returns to normal.
Acupuncture helps the body's energy to flow freely. Just as one might imagine a series of plumbing pipes with various points of congestion, the water cannot go where it should. By needling the right positions, the pipes are allowed to flow freely as they should. In the body, when the energy flows freely, the liver can filter the blood as it should decreasing the toxic buildup, the kidneys can excrete the wastes, and the heart can pump the blood more effectively. This free-flowing energy increases relaxation, lowers increased blood pressure, improves sleep, and enables the body to heal at a faster rate, all of which help the body to breathe better.
Please note: Acupuncture is not a substitute for your doctor's care, regular medications, or your emergency inhalers. Please follow all of your doctor's instructions for medications and treatments for chronic asthma. Also, if you are having life-threatening shortness of breath, contact emergency services immediately.
We know that you have a busy life and hectic schedules, so we keep our scheduling process very simple. You can call us at (08) 8221 5880, or click on MAKE BOOKING. Here you can find appointments that work perfectly for you and your family. We offer morning, afternoon, and evening appointment times. Contact us today for your acupuncture needs!