People with no asthma have something to be grateful about. Conventional Western modalities for this condition present a chockfull of ambiguous messages and worrisome side effects.
Highlighting the need for non-drug remedies, like Chinese medicine and acupuncture, that target the underlying cause of asthma is the confusion over the most effective way to address the condition which is now made worse by all-time-high asthma rates due to junk and processed foods and GMO food products.
Information about Certain Asthma Drugs
The FDA recommended a few years ago, a complete stoppage of the use of two popular asthma drugs due to concerns about LABAs (long-acting-beta-agonists). Combination treatments during that time like Advair were not included in the warning because, in addition to the LABAs, they contain an inhaled corticosteroid.
However, the FDA, a little over a year later, stated that even the combo drugs are dangerous because their use can actually exacerbate the asthma symptoms and even lead to death.
It was suggested by the FDA that LABAs should never be used as a standalone therapy for asthma and only for the “shortest time possible” that combination products be used. One year after this statement, the FDA demanded that manufacturers of the combination meds perform new clinical trials to compare treatment by corticosteroids alone versus the inclusion of LABAs to inhaled corticosteroids.
The notoriety of the numerous side effects of corticosteroids plus the scare over LABAs, has led to a rising concern on just how actually safe is the use of popular asthma drugs.
In addition to those events, a study performed a few months ago revealed no clear difference among the different procedures of dose modification for inhaled corticosteroids used by adults suffering from asthma. And what happens to kids with asthma who are using inhalers? Studies show these kids have suffered from a permanently stunted growth as a direct result of those inhalers.
The World Health Organization has listed asthma as one of the conditions that acupuncture can address although this comes with a caveat stating that “although acupuncture has indeed a therapeutic effect, further proof that it works is needed.”
Although this is a half-baked patronizing endorsement by the WHO, it nevertheless aids a lot in getting the attention of the biomedical community. The fact is that acupuncture for thousands of years has been used efficaciously and safely to address the underlying imbalances that cause the symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Acupuncture can resolve asthma in a number of ways. Acupuncture points (acupoints) are chosen based on the unique combination of symptoms presented by the patient and the style of practice of the acupuncturist.
Asthma acupuncture treatment often involves the application of needles on the meridians or energy channels associated with the Bladder, Kidney, Stomach, and Lung. Acupressure can also be self- performed by the sufferer or with help from a caregiver or practitioner on several of these acupoints, with extreme efficacy.
Stomach Acupoints for Asthma
A disturbance in the Stomach system will mean a rebellion in the movement of Qi. This means things that are meant to go up go down, and vice versa.
A rebelling Stomach Qi can interfere with the normal downward movement of air that’s inhaled through the Lungs. This makes normal breathing difficult and laborious. Imbalances in the Stomach system can also result in phlegm or dampness in the Lungs, leading to frequent cough and congestion.
The Stomach 36 (St 36) is an ideal acupoint to regulate overall the function of the Stomach system.
Besides that, located in the chest is a set of acupoints along the Stomach meridian, directly over the lungs. These acupoints, the St 13 to St 16, are localized points that can relieve asthma symptoms. They are situated in a vertical line between the nipple and the collar bone.
Kidney Acupoints for Asthma
The Kidney energy channel like the Stomach meridians, are located along the chest, so they are localized points to help resolve breathing issues. The Kidney acupoints Ki 22 to Ki 27 are associated with asthma and are at a similar level to the Stomach points, about a couple of inches closer to the chest’s midline.
Moreover, the Kidney system helps the Lung system move things southward—it’s believed that the Kidneys grasp the Lung Qi. Therefore, by strengthening the Kidneys, that function can be improved resulting in better airflow.
The Kidney 3 is a good point for bolstering the Kidneys.
Back Acupoints for Asthma
The Bladder meridian found on the back of the body, radiates along the outside the spine and has several points over the lungs, on the upper back. These points are extremely effective for symptomatic relief of asthma. So if you are planning to get acupressure treatment, find an acupuncturist (or someone who knows how to perform acupressure) because these points are located at your back.
Back Shu points are Bladder points that are associated with certain organ systems. Bl 13 (Bladder 13), also known as the Lung Back Shu point, is usually used for asthma therapy.
The Bl 13 is found at the level of the third thoracic vertebra, roughly 1.5 inches outside the spine. Actually, besides Bl 13, any Bladder points along the upper back can help treat asthma symptoms.
The Dingchuan is an acupoint specifically designated for asthma. This point is classified as an extra point, which means it is not associated with any specific meridian. This point is found about a half-inch outside the spine on the upper back, around an inch nearer to the spine than Bl 13. The acupoint is usually needled on both sides of the spine (bilaterally).
Lung Acupoints for Asthma
Because the Lung system is the first gateway through which all bodily functions initiate and transpire, it is critically important for the treatment of asthma.
According to the author of The Web That Has No Weaver, Ted Kaptchuk, “The Lungs are the arena in which the external Qi (the vital energy found in the air) outside the body meets the internal Qi within the body.” “Natural Air Qi is taken in by the Lungs, and this Air Qi naturally moves downward. This process is known as inhalation. In a manner of speaking, the Lungs help ‘disseminate’ and ‘make things go round,’ as well as filter out (exhale) ‘impure’ air.”
In an asthma condition, air’s natural flow is disrupted.
Depending on accompanying symptoms, acupoints lying on the Lung meridian are chosen. Lu 1 or Lung 1, for example, found on the upper chest, is a good acupoint for those whose asthma results in pain or heaviness in the chest. Lu 3 can be chosen if the patient has nosebleeds or coughs up blood. Lu 5 is good for a phlegmy cough.
As a supplement or alternative to drugs, acupuncture can relieve a lot of the safety concerns related to the extended use of asthma medications.