Dublin based
Acupuncture & Shiatsu



August 29th, 2010 | Posted in 3 Various Specific Problems

Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterized by the inflammation and constricting of the airways. Several different factors trigger asthmatic episodes, including stress, infectious agents, pollutants and allergens. When one of these “triggers” irritates the airways, the muscles surrounding them tighten, restricting the flow of air to the lungs. Symptoms of asthma are tightness in the chest, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.

There are many ways to treat this condition with tcm and acupuncture.  The treatment will depend on some of the more common tcm diagnoses and acupuncture treatment protocols for asthma and related respiratory issues.

Deficiency Type:

  • LU Deficiency
  • KD Deficiency

Excess Type:

  • Invasion of Wind couple with heat or cold
  • Phlegm-Damp or Phlegm-Heat

Liver Patterns (Giovanni):

  • LV Qi Stagnation
  • LV Fire insulting the LU
  • LV Yin Deficiency

General Advice  for Asthma:─  diet, surroundings, herbs, etc.

  • Allergens from animal dander, cockroaches, dust mites or mould spores, pollen (trees, grass, weeds), indoor and outdoor pollutants. People with asthma caused by allergies to a pet may have to choose between their furry friend or better health. Removing the pet from the home is more effective than even optimal drug therapy in reducing wheezing and airway constriction.    Environmental control measures include removing carpets from the patient’s bedroom and living areas, weekly washing of bedding and clothing in hot water, specially designed mattress and pillow covers, removing stuffed animals, keeping pets outdoors. Quilts made of synthetic fibres like polyester might trigger wheezing in some children with asthma.
  • Typical food offenders include dairy products, soy, chocolate, peanuts, corn, and wheat and other gluten-containing grains.
  • Eat more cold water fish with high content of fish oils. Eating oily fish like salmon, halibut, sardines (packed in mustard or tomato sauce, not oil), or tuna regularly may reduce the risk of asthma symptoms. Children who eat lots of amounts of whole grain products and fish seem to have a reduced risk of developing asthma.
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Have a wide variety of produce, preferably organic. People who eat plenty of tomatoes, carrots, leafy greens and other vegetables appear less likely to have asthma. Carrots, tomato juice, spinach and other vegetables contain nutrients called carotenoids and flavonoids.
  • Reduce hydrogenated and trans fats which are often found in pastries, cookies, cakes, etc. Reduce omega-6 oils such as corn, safflower, and sunflower. Substitute a little bit of flax oil or olive oil.
  • Have hot soup and tea — warm liquids lessen severity
  • Reduce food such as eggs, milk, nuts, soy, wheat and peanut. Toddlers who consume large amounts of margarine and foods fried in vegetable oil may be twice as likely to develop asthma as their peers who eat less of these foods.
  • Garlic The powerful odour of garlic cloves also contains chemicals that can improve your blood circulation and decrease inflammation. Garlic can be eaten (if you so prefer), can be taken in capsules or liquids. It is one of the most effective and inexpensive herbs for asthma. Sometimes the strong odour of garlic helps you to take deeper breaths.
  • Ginger has a dispersing effect.
  • Liquorice Root Not the candy, but the root that flavours the candy, has been for centuries considered one of the best herbs for asthma. Liquorice is also an anti-inflammatory, and can help soothe swollen breathing pathways. Some asthma patients who take cortisone medicines for their asthma also take liquorice root to get rid of their medicine’s side effects. Although you can try chewing liquorice root, it’s not really recommended by this writer. You can drink teas with liquorice root in it, suck on lozenges made with liquorice root or take liquorice root capsules.
  • To nourish and tonify the respiratory system, and restore the lungs, try regular use of mullein leaf as a tea or tincture. Mullein is one of the best known respiratory restorative tonics, and is fine for long term use. This will yield the most favourable results if it is followed over a course of three months or more.