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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 asthma.

  • 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 symptoms.

  • 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 original allergen.

  • 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

MindBody Medicine for Asthma CD MindBody Medicine for Asthma Audio CD


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Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, Inc.
Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.

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