Asthma is a chronic disease of the respiratory system which makes breathing very difficult. It is characterized by spasms of the major and minor airways in the lungs, due to inflammation and contraction of the muscles in the fabric of the lungs. Symptoms include: difficulty breathing, wheezing, a persistent cough and a tight sensation in and around the chest area, during attacks the sufferer has difficulty taking in air.
Asthma has become very common. The reasons are unclear, but it is thought that pollution, allergies and fumes may be to blame. Asthma is usually divided into two separate categories: Intrinsic, the cause is yet unknown and extrinsic, which is caused by external factors. Factors that play a part in developing or experiencing an attack include: Hereditary, Drugs, (for example non steroidal antiinflamatories, that are taken for other conditions), Allergies including dust, pollen and animal hair. Attacks may also be brought on by vigorous activity such as exercise. A high pollen count, Changes in the weather, Food allergies and Smoking also contribute to asthma attacks.
During an Asthma attack the muscles of the small airways in the lung (bronchioles) tighten and narrow. This causes mucus to collect, making the obstruction worse. The characteristic dry cough of a sufferer occurs as the body attempts to clear the airways.
When people think about possible treatment options for asthma they very seldom think about acupuncture as a treatment option, however acupuncture is very successful at treating asthma by reducing the symptoms and the severity of attacks.
Acupuncture is a holistic approach to medicine, where the aim of the treatment is not only to cure health problems but to balance the body, which has the effect of strengthening the immune system and preventing other illness form getting a foothold.
Much of the acupuncture consultation will be dedicated to a detailed system of TCM diagnosis (Traditional Chinese Medicine).
Successful acupuncture treatment depends on an accurate TCM diagnosis, so the initial consultation begins with typical questions such as: Your complete medical history, the symptoms you are experiencing, any pain you have had or are suffering from and what makes it feel better or worse, your sleep patterns, whether you experience any sensations of hot or cold, and whether you experience dizziness, what you’re eating habits are, bowel movements and family health history.
During the consultation the acupuncturist will also note certain observations, such as: posture, facial colour, facial expression, the brightness of your eyes or lack of, for example: a white face is linked to disharmony within the body or cold deficiency syndromes, a yellow complexion is related to dampness and a red complexion is a sign of excess heat syndrome.
The tongue is looked at and the pulse is taken and again this is done according to TCM principles. The colour, shape and coating of the tongue can reveal many patterns of illness and the pulse can give an indication of how individual organs are working in the body and whether they are underactive or overactive and whether your body is in a state of excess or deficiency.
Once the initial consultation is complete a diagnosis is formed and from this diagnosis acupuncture point selection is then possible.
The length of treatment will depend on several factors, such as: the type of illness you have and its duration i.e. chronic or acute, your age, your individual healing abilities, how well you respond to acupuncture and whether you can avoid the conditions/cause of your presenting health issue. However many people can feel a difference in their health with only one or two appointments, but in general you should see some improvements after 3-4 treatments.
Because everyone is an individual, response times to acupuncture can vary, for example. After your first acupuncture appointment you may feel no improvement in your presenting complaint, however many people feel sleepy, revitalized, or sometimes a little spaced out after treatment. You can also feel an immediate improvement after acupuncture; alternatively you can feel a little worse, before you start to feel better. Acupuncture can bring emotional, mental and physical problems to the surface, however this is a positive sign so don’t worry about it. As with any treatment, complete recovery takes time and patience. For more information on what to expect from acupuncture treatment please refer to our FAQ page.
A case of asthma.
Katherine D. Age 34 presented to the clinic complaining of asthma, her condition was diagnosed by her doctor as being a mild case of asthma, however when Katherine had an asthma attack she would experience most of the common symptoms such as difficulty taking a deep breath, struggling for air, and wheezing. After completing a consultation form and answering a few detailed questions, acupuncture treatment began.
Katherine’s treatment consisted of 2 acupuncture sessions per week for 2 weeks and then weekly appointments for a further 6 weeks, Bowen therapy was carried out at the end of each session and a Bio-med was prescribed for her condition (Bio-med is a natural medicine) a herbal medicine tailored to her condition along with some dietary changes. At the end of Katherine’ ten week course of treatment she rated her overall improvement at 80%, with her asthma attacks being less frequent, less intense and no more wheezing. Katherine books an acupuncture appointment every 6 weeks as a top up treatment that gives her more energy and better able to focus at work with lasting results.
Regardless of your medically diagnosed condition acupuncture and natural medicine has something to offer.
If you would like to find out if acupuncture can help your health and wellbeing then call, 94781415 or email us via our contact page to discuss your requirements or to find out more about acupuncture please go to our FAQs page. Alternatively give acupuncture a try and make an appointment now.
Best of health.
Best of Health
Paul Neilson CMP. L.Ac. ND. DHM.