Any condition that affects your ability to breathe normally can dramatically impact quality of life. Fortunately, a condition such as asthma can easily be controlled with proper use of medications and a commitment to lifestyle choices that minimize the risk of an attack and/or severity of symptoms. If you are interested in natural strategies to augment conventional treatments, you are in luck because there are plenty. Here are just a few worthy of being added to your treatment arsenal.
Get Regular Exercise
The benefits of exercise for managing asthma naturally are two-fold. First and foremost, regular activity strengthens the lungs, and the stronger the lungs, the less likely you are to experience an asthma attacks. And if you do, symptoms may not be as severe. Secondly, exercising on a regular basis helps keep weight under control- being overweight increases the risks of asthma attacks.
Strengthen the Mind-Body Connection
Stress tends to make pretty much any health condition worse, and asthma is no exception. In fact, it has a really big impact and any asthma sufferer serious about managing their condition through natural means will make stress management a priority. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, studies have found yoga to be beneficial for strengthening lung function in asthmatics; one study in the New England Journal of Medicine documented the positive benefits of journaling for people suffering from asthma. Meditation is another great tool for relieving stress. Some people have reported benefits from self-hypnosis, as well, though it seems it may work better for children than adults.
Several supplements may be beneficial for managing asthma, but it is important to note a few things. First, natural supplements typically do not work as fast as pharmaceuticals, s it is important to be patient and take something for at least a couple of months before determining whether it is working for you or not. Secondly, natural and safe are not interchangeable terms—vitamins, herbs and other supplements are not always appropriate in certain circumstances. If you use Singulair for asthma or any other drugs, you should educate yourself on any potential interactions. The B-vitamin choline may help reduce the frequency and severity of attacks at high doses of 3 grams daily—you should check with a doctor before using such a large amount, however. Magnesium supplements may help as low levels have been observed in people with this condition, but studies have been mixed. Small studies suggest fish oil may fight inflammation that can trigger attacks.
The herbs boswellia and coleus forskohlii are common treatments for asthma in Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine in India. Research on the Japanese formula Saiboku found people who took it were able to reduce their dosage of corticosteroids, probably due to its strong anti-inflammatory effects.
There are certain types of homeopathic remedies which may help, but since treatments are based on highly individualized symptom profiles, it may be best to work with a practitioner well-versed in this system of medicine for optimal benefit. Substances commonly used to treat asthma include arsenicum album, ipecacuanha, pulsatilla and sambucus.
Kelli Cooper has been blogging about health and wellness for several years, is particularly passionate about natural medicine; she recommends connecting with the Google Plus Page of Rodney Sewell for the latest updates on all things health.