Acupuncture for Asthma

Popular all over the world as a potent treatment for acute and chronic pain, acupuncture is also particularly effective for treating childhood and adult asthma. Acupuncture is a holistic type of treatment that uses very fine needles inserted into specific points in the body called acupoints related to the relief of a given discomfort.

In terms of how deep the needles are inserted into the body, the needles are placed by about a third to four fifths of an inch into the skin and left there for about 10 to 40 minutes.

How does Acupuncture Work?

From the perspective of western medicine, acupuncture helps stimulate the circulatory and sympathetic nervous system as well as other body systems to help regulate the body in all kinds of circumstances and situations. Common acupoints treated are the 14 main energy pathways where life energy (electromagnetic energy) the Chinese call Qi or Chi travels throughout the body.

Asthma is known as xiao chuan in traditional Chinese medicine and it literally means dyspnea and wheezing in English. These two conditions are considered separate conditions and so are treated as such. People with wheezing are often short of breath as well. The thing that differentiates wheezing to shortness of breath is that wheezing is distinctively marked by a “whistling” sound while you breathe.

In childhood asthma 3 factors play a role from the viewpoint of TCM. The first factor involves external pathogens infiltrating the body. Pathogenic factors such as cigarette smoke, pollen, heat, cold and other allergens can trigger asthma attacks on asthmatic children. Diagnostic tests such as an allergy test can detect the specific allergen causing the condition and when the allergen is discovered, the sufferer needs to rid his home of the items that contain the suspected allergen.

Cold type asthma from an acupuncturist’s viewpoint comes with signs and symptoms such as clear sputum, rapid breathing and wheezing among others symptoms and signs. Heat type asthma, on the other hand, manifests symptoms such as sticky and yellow sputum among others.

Diet is the next factor in causing childhood asthma. The higher the amount of seafood, shellfish, fried foods, greasy foods or raw foods you eat, the higher the risk of you developing asthma. Knowing what foods that exacerbate asthma can help you to effectively lessen the frequency of your asthma attacks. The last factor in causing asthma is based on the theories of TCM known as deficiency. Deficiencies are due to chronic illnesses or congenital issues causing internal weakness. With regards to asthma, the water metabolism of the body is affected leading to the aggregation of phlegm. The phlegm becomes stored and collected in the lungs causing recurrent attacks of asthma.

Several herbal remedies and acupoints are useful for asthma treatment. Chinese massage and even acupressure can be good alternatives for acupuncture. Just be sure to consult with a licensed acupuncturist when you are considering acupuncture treatment for your asthma.