Asthma is a condition affecting the airways characterized by obstruction and narrowing of the bronchi,, typically symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, a sense of tightness or congestion in the chest, and coughing in various degrees of severity. Asthma may be acute or chronic and can be considered an exaggerated allergic response to such triggers as allergies to dust, pollens, animals, and certain foods, but can also be induced by respiratory illness, exercise, weather, emotions or stress, or in cases of non-allergic asthma caused by internal imbalances.
Acute asthma attacks can be life threatening and may require emergency medical attention. Western medicine treatments for chronic asthma rely mostly on anti-histamines, anti-inflammatory and steroidal type medications for prevention of symptoms and symptomatic relief. From Chinese medicine’s point of view these medications, though necessary in some acute instances of asthma, can deplete the adrenal system and affect the neurochemistry when used long term, starting a vicious cycle of slow depletion of the body’s vitality, followed by an escalation in the severity of the attacks, and increased dependence on heavier medications.
Chinese Medicine views asthma as a dysfunction or imbalance caused by a weakness or obstruction of the lungs. Lung weakness can be genetic, or caused by environmental exposure, repeated respiratory infections, emotional upset, or depletion due to lifestyle. Obstruction of the lungs can be a result of these same factors, but can also often be linked to excessive intake of mucus forming food and drink, or stress. Contrary to the Western medical approach, Chinese Medicine not only treats the symptoms of asthma, but also addresses the underlying causes of the condition making it a very efficient approach to treatment and prevention, especially in cases of chronic asthma. Acupuncture alleviates asthma symptoms by stimulating natural anti-inflammatory agents that decrease inflammation in the airways, boosting adrenal function, balancing the nervous system to override the response causing bronchial constriction, boosting the immune and respiratory system, and reducing allergic sensitivities, thus providing significant and long lasting relief without any side-effects.
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