The word “asthma” is derived from the Greek word “panos,” which means “to pant.” Ancient Chinese healers called it xiao-chiran, or wheezy breath, and believed asthma to be caused by an imbalance of the life force they call chi (Chee), also called Qi (Key). They re-balanced the life force by means of acupuncture, diet,
exercise, herbs and massage. These techniques continue to be used in the Chinese tradition to treat asthma. Ancient Hindus used meditative techniques to control the breath and help manage the disease. Practicing medicine in the court of the sultan of Egypt, 12th Century rabbi and physician Maimonides recommended less food, drink, and sex as a treatment, along with eating chicken soup. By the 1800s, asthma treatment had “progressed” to blood-letting and tobacco smoking. Live and learn.
Asthma is so prominent in Western societies it hardly needs a definition. Almost 15 million Americans and 150 million people worldwide suffer with the ailment. Nine million American children suffer with the illness. (1) It is estimated that the health care costs in the U.S. for treating asthma exceed USD $6 billion annually, with over 500,000 annual asthma-related hospitalizations and more than 5,000 annual deaths. (2)
Asthma differs from emphysema in that asthma is seen as only a temporary obstruction or blockage of the bronchial airways—caused by inflammation, swelling and constriction of the bronchial tube linings, and an increase in mucus production which blocks the passage of air. Modern medicine considers from 70-90% of asthma cases to be an allergic reaction to environmental stimuli such as cat dander, dust mites, foods, molds, etc. The remaining cases can be caused by varying factors including exercise, viral and bacterial infections, and genetic predisposition. (3)
The hormone epinephrine, also called adrenaline, is an additional drug used in over-the-counter (OTC) inhalers—and is yet another drug that can cause serious side-effects. In a study reported in the journal Chest, (5) researchers found 13 deaths linked to the use of epinephrine inhalers.
Dr. Harry Philibert of New Orleans, LA is the originator of an asthma-treatment technique which is a form of Neural Therapy. Dr. Philibert discovered that following an injection of a local anesthetic such as procaine into a “trigger point” over each shoulder blade (scapula), asthma symptoms disappeared or were significantly reduced for most patients. As reported in the Journal of Family Practice (6), Dr. Philibert achieved an 84% total remission rate in over 4,000 of his asthmatic
There’s more science to this than may first meet the eye. Trigger points such as the two over the scapulas are connected to the autonomic nervous system which controls involuntary actions such as constriction and relaxation of the bronchial airways. It is in this way the technique gains its effectiveness. To locate a neural therapy practitioner in your area, contact the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) at www.acam.org, (800)532-3688.
The Buteyko Method
During the late 1940s, a Russian medical student named Konstantin Buteyko noticed that patients in the acute respiratory ward became more ill when their breathing rate increased (hyperventilation), and that those who reduced their breathing rate began to recover. Although this phenomenon had been noticed previously, Buteyko went beyond the observation to develop a set of breathing techniques which effectively treat the symptoms of asthma. (This is somewhat reminiscent of the Indian meditative techniques of using breath control to reduce the symptoms of asthma.)
Dr. Buteyko noticed that asthmatics breathe two to three times the rate of normal, non-asthmatics. His research over more than a 30-year period defined the effects of hyperventilation on the human body. Based on his observations, Buteyko developed techniques to normalize breathing patterns, reverse symptoms, and decrease the need for medication. In a research study published in the Medical Journal of Australia, (7) after 12 weeks of practicing the techniques, patients were able to reduce their bronchodialator medication by 96%, and their anti-inflammatory medication by 49%. To learn more about Buteyko Asthma Education, visit www.buteyko-usa.com.
Xylitol (ZY-li-tol) is a five carbon sugar alcohol with a sweetening power similar to sucrose, the common sugar obtained from sugarcane and sugar beets. It was first isolated by French and German chemists during the 1890s. The word is derived from the Greek word “xylan,” meaning wood (e.g., the wooden bars of the xylophone), one of the sources from which it is commercially derived.
Xylitol functions by occupying the receptor sites that bacteria would ordinarily use to attach themselves to other cells. Also, bacteria are unable to ferment xylitol in their metabolism, and are reduced up to 90%. It combats three species of bacteria that live exclusively in the nasal passages and are responsible for most respiratory infections: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenza, and Moraxella catarrhalis.
In addition to a number of asthma symptoms which are caused by bacterial infections, it has been found that by spraying a solution containing
xylitol directly into the nasal passages, the allergens and irritants that are the primary cause of asthma are effectively washed away. Developed by
Dr. Lon Jones, a Texas physician and researcher, Xlear® (pronounced “clear”) is a nasal wash containing xylitol, saline, purified water and grapefruit seed extract as a preservative. It is used to aid in the relief of irritation caused by allergens, pollutants and nasal infections. Xlear has been found to be particularly effective in treating asthma and allergy-induced respiratory symptoms, as well as sinus and middle-ear infection.
To learn more about Xlear or to place an order, visit www.xlear.com or call (877)599-5327 (within the U.S.) or (801)224-0937 (outside the U.S.).
Considerable research has shown that vitamin C is a very effective asthma treatment as well as an effective treatment for other allergies. It not only works as a preventive, but is effective in altering the course of an attack in progress. Physicians have observed that a teaspoon of powdered (crystalline) vitamin C (about 4,000 mg) is able to immediately halt an asthma or allergy attack. As a preventive, two to four grams (2,000-4,000 mg) per day is recommended.
According to the Tufts University Diet & Nutrition Letter (8), as vitamin C intake increases, the risk of asthma and other allergic attacks decreases. In a recent 14-week double-blind study of asthmatic patients, the vitamin C group who took one gram (1,000 mg) per day experienced more than a 75% decrease in asthma attacks compared to the placebo group, and the attacks were less severe. All thirteen of the 22 patients in the vitamin C group who had no attacks during the 14-week testing period had at least one attack in the two month period following treatment.
Had the daily dosage been higher—in the 2,000-4,000 mg range—the results likely would have been even better. Lending credence to this is a recent study reported in the American Journal of the Dietetic Association (9) in which it was found that participants given 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day for two weeks experienced a 40% reduction in blood histamine levels, whereas a dosage of 500 mg had an insignificant effect.
|Persons taking the ascorbic acid form of vitamin C need to develop a “bowel tolerance” to the substance by taking it in gradually larger doses.
Diarrhea results when bowel tolerance is surpassed. Bowel tolerance is not an issue when taking the buffered form of the vitamin, as Ester C
does not cause diarrhea. However, many believe ascorbic acid to be significantly more effective.
A powerful anti-inflammatory oil extract from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel is marketed under the name Lyprinol. Its use for asthma became known when elite European marathon runners and cyclists began using the product to combat exercise-induced bronchial constriction caused by inflammation and swelling. Many studies have shown Lyprinol to reduce the need for inhalers by as much as 50%, increase lung capacity, and reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks without adverse side-effects.
As discussed above, Dr. F. Batmanghelidj believes that chronic dehydration of the body accounts for many of the body’s ills, including asthma. It is drought management, according to Dr. Batman, that constricts the free passage of air so that the body retains the water vapor normally expelled in the breath. The solution—drink two to three quarts of pure (not tap) water daily.
Wishing You the Best of Health,
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