Asthma: CAM Therapies for Specific Conditions
- Behavioral medicine meets the needs of two groups of
patients who are often not fully served by conventional medicine: patients with
physical problems and patients with chronic conditions such as asthma.
- A study of asthma patients found the use
of imagery helped a
significant number of subjects discontinue their medication entirely as
compared with controls, although imagery did not have the same degree of influence
on asthma symptoms.
- Biofeedback, a method of improving control over
autonomic body functions, is used to treat 150 conditions, including asthma. In
a fifteen-month study of asthmatics, biofeedback patients suffered fewer
attacks and used less medicine.
- Conditions that demonstrate an
inconclusive reaction to the mineral selenium include asthma.
- Asthma patients using the nutrient coenzyme
Q10 required less
hospitalization, and episodes of pulmonary edema or cardiac asthma were
significantly reduced. Research in this area is still in the early stages, and
it remains uncertain.
- Conventional drug treatment often has
side effects, so asthma patients sometimes seek alternative approaches. A study
of T-cells showed that herbal preparations increased specific T-cell subset CD4, and increased CD8,
which was suggested as the mechanism of action for inhibiting asthma.
- Although acupuncture in America is most frequently used for
pain, as early as 1979 the World Health Organization compiled a list of 104
conditions that acupuncture can treat, including asthma. In the United States,
acupuncture is often used as a last resort for many of these conditions.
- There is some evidence that acupuncture may be of general value in treating
- In a UCLA study, bronchospasm in asthma
patients whose illness averaged twenty-two years in duration was effectively
controlled by acupuncture.
- Other clinical evidence indicates that acupuncture does seem to be effective in disorders
such as asthma. The panel noted that acupuncture may be safer and more
effective than many accepted conventional treatments for asthma.
- A study yielded a 91 percent improvement
of bronchial asthma with an elimination diet which systematically removes or
eliminates potential allergens. Restricting an essential amino acid called tryptophan from the diet was found in a 1983 study
to help improve asthma symptoms.
- A study of asthmatics showed that
supplementation with 1,000 mg per day of the vitamin ascorbic acid for fourteen weeks produced less
frequent and less severe asthma attacks.
- In a 1931 nutritional therapy study, treatment with hydrochloric acid
before meals, and exclusion of food allergens, produced improvement in asthma
patients. In a 1979 study, the herb Tylophora indica produced improvement in 135 patients
with bronchial asthma.
- In studies, patients being treated with homeopathy,
physical medicine, counseling, and psychotherapy showed significant improvement in asthma
- Allergy patients treated with homeopathy achieved an improvement rate of 82
percent, compared to 38 percent of placebo patients.
- Based on research, there is some evidence
that homeopathy is
effective in treating allergy patients with highly dilute preparations of the
- According to chiropractic theory, chiropractic
manipulation has a
general health-enhancing effect. Chiropractic has helped bronchial asthmatics.
- A small body of published clinical
evidence suggests that spinal manipulation might be helpful for asthma.
- Ailments such as asthma are treated with
yogic breathing and traditional Indian Ayurvedic preparations, including the herbs Sida cordifolia and Tylophora asthmatica.
- Yoga has proven beneficial in treating a variety of medical
conditions including asthma. Yoga is also helpful for improving respiratory
endurance and efficiency of breathing.
- A pilot study evaluated the effectiveness
of multiple Maharishi Ayur-Ved interventions among a group of 126 adults with ten
different chronic diseases, including asthma. Each participant received an
individualized nutritional program, herbal preparations, and daily lifestyle
guidelines. Seventy-nine percent showed improvement.
Now Available: Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier teaches MindBody Medicine skills
that have been proven to help with Asthma
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BEST ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: WHAT WORKS? WHAT DOES NOT? by Dr. Kenneth R.
Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier,
Reprinted by permission of Simon &
Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.
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