Asthma is a lung disease that causes difficulty breathing. Asthma can be either acute or chronic. Asthma attacks occur when there is an obstruction in the flow of air in the lungs.
The Buteyko Breathing Technique
The Buteyko Breathing Technique (BBT), named after the Russian professor who developed it, is a system of breathing exercises and lifestyle recommendations about exercise, nutrition and sleeping. The Buteyko Breathing Association say BBT aims to reduce asthma symptoms by teaching people how to breathe slowly and gently through the nose rather than the mouth, which can dry out the airways and make them more sensitive. Some Buteyko teachers believe BBT works by raising carbon dioxide levels, which they believe can be low in people with asthma. There’s no conclusive evidence to support this idea.
The Buteyko Breathing Assocation is a non-profit organisation committed to improving the health of people with asthma and other breathing related problems.
Omega-3 fatty acids. Found in fish, flaxseed and other foods, these healthy oils may reduce the inflammation that leads to asthma symptoms.
Herbal and Natural remedies. A few herbal and natural remedies that may help improve asthma symptoms include: magnesium, pycnogenol, Blackseed Oil, Serrapeptase, Marshmallow, Ivy-Thyme extract and Vitamin C & E and other antioxidants including Co Q 10.
People suffering from asthma often have allergic tendencies; a genetic predisposition is common. Constitutional homoeopathic care (with the guidance of an experienced professional) can help to improve a person’s general health on deeper levels and possibly reduce the tendency toward asthma. Correctly chosen remedies can help reduce distress during asthma attacks; however, emergency medical care must be sought in any serious attack. If a person has great difficulty breathing, looks very pale, has bluish lips, or seems to be very weak or in danger of losing consciousness, seek a doctor’s help immediately.
A person needing this remedy can feel exhausted, yet be very restless and anxious. Breathing problems tend to be worse while lying down, better when sitting up, and may begin, or be the most intense, between midnight and two a.m. Dry wheezing may progress to a cough that brings up frothy whitish fluid. The person can be thirsty, taking frequent tiny sips. General chilliness is usually seen, with burning pains in the chest and heat in the head. Warmth often brings improvement.
Coughing spasms that lead to retching or vomiting strongly indicate this remedy. Wheezing can come on suddenly with a feeling of suffocation and heaviness in the chest. Mucus collects in breathing tubes, but the person has difficulty coughing much out. The person may sweat a lot and feel clammy or nauseous, be worse from motion, and sometimes worse from warmth.
Wheezing that starts when a person gets too warm (especially in a stuffy room), or after eating rich food, can indicate this remedy. Coughing brings up yellow-coloured mucus, with gagging and choking. Tightness in the chest tends to be worse in the evening and at night, and is relieved by cool fresh air. A person who needs this remedy is likely to be changeable and emotional, wanting a lot of attention and comforting. (Pulsatilla is often useful in children’s illnesses.)
A hard or “barking” cough during an asthma attack is a strong indication for this remedy. Breathing can be labored, with a sawing sound, and not much mucus is produced. The person may feel best when sitting up and tilting the head back, or when leaning forward. Warm drinks may be helpful. The problems often start while the person is asleep (typically before midnight). Spongia is often used in croup, as well.
This remedy may be indicated when a person feels weak or faint with a hollow sensation in the chest. Coughing jags can lead to gagging. The person may be very cold (especially hands and feet), yet feel a need for moving air, wanting to sit beside a fan or open window. Wind and digestive upset are also likely, and sitting up and burping offers some relief. Feeling worse in the evening, and worse from talking, eating, or lying down are other indications for this remedy.
Asthma with a dry, hard, irritating cough that starts after being exposed to moving air, or after becoming overexcited and angry, may be helped with this remedy. The cough is often worse around nine p.m., and may continue into the night. The person seems hypersensitive and may be extremely irritable and agitated. (Children may even shriek and hit, though they often calm down if someone carries them.)
This remedy is sometimes indicated when asthma attacks are brought on by exposure to mould and dampness. The person may hold the chest while coughing, because it feels so weak. Wheezing and breathing difficulties are aggravated by exertion, and episodes tend to be worse in the very early morning.
Indications for this remedy include a tense, constricted feeling in the chest during asthma attacks, with pressure in the stomach. Problems are often worse in the morning. Overindulgence in stimulants, alcohol, sweets, or strong spicy food can bring on or aggravate an episode. Both physical effort and mental exertion can make things worse, and warmth and sleep often bring relief. A person needing this remedy is typically very irritable and impatient, with a general feeling of chilliness.