Eastern medicine is slowly infiltrating western culture and one such practice that is making it way with much popularity is acupuncture for asthmatic patients. More and more western sufferers are tired of the medicines and the antibiotics that just do not work. Even the faithful daily use of prescribed medication may or may not get rid of the symptoms and they do not prevent other asthma attacks from happening after that bout has cleared up. Chronic asthma sufferers also worry about the side affects and the effects of long-term use upon the body. No wonder so many people with asthma and other chronic conditions turn to alternative medicine to find the solution they so badly need.
Alternative methods for treating asthma
For those people who seek a treatment, which does not require medication, many turn to alternative medicines such as herbs, vitamins, homeopathy, special diets, exercise programs and acupuncture as a healthier alternative. The idea behind these approaches is to avoid drugs and manmade chemicals wherever possible for a healthier all around life.
Do these treatments work?
We all have to be aware of quacks and charlatans who make elaborate claims. We all want to be healthy, but not at the very expense of our health. What is said to be healthy is not always so just because it is natural. There are very harmful agents in natural, which can be deadly to humans. Some people have invested thousands of dollars for cancer treatments that was basically ground up apricot pits. Many of these patients died before the scam was discovered. We all must be careful.
On the other hand, how do we know that these treatments are effective especially since traditional medicine will not recognize them as such. The big pharmacological companies do not want anyone else treading on their toes and getting a cut of their profit.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient treatment based on the medical premise that energy flows through the human body. These forces are opposing forces called yin and yang, which represents the positive and negative life forces. When these forces are in balance the human is healthy. It is believed that asthma sufferers are suffering from an imbalance of natural forces.
The flow of energy in the body has specified pathways and these pathways are called meridian points. Acupuncture is needle therapy. Practitioners will insert needles into specific points along the meridian points to restore the balance of energy within the body.
The needles are very thin, and they are placed just below the surface of the skin at the meridian points. Each ailment will have a specific meridian point; for asthma it is the upper back and the hand. The practitioner will either rotate the needles slightly or will use a slight electrical current. The effect is to maintain either a feeling of numbness or warmth at the sight of the needle punctures. Usually the needles are left in the skin for about 20 minutes at a time.
Acupuncture is best known for its ability to relieve pain and is used in operations. How it helps in breathing for asthma is not widely known in western medicine.
Western studies have not shown that acupuncture has worked for asthma patients. Furthermore, there is always the possibility that the needles can cause trauma to the tissue and bone including blood bone infections that could lead to complications such as hepatitis. Needles can also cause burn, or puncture the lungs.
Though many people are now searching out natural and alternative medicines for asthma, be careful about any treatment you choose. Study up on everything. Do not go into a treatment blindly. Ask your doctor about the drugs he or she is prescribing. Ask about their side affects. Read about acupuncture and its good and bad points, or if it is herbs you are planning to use, find out if they are toxic to your body as well. Do not try any treatment without being fully informed about all the pros and cons.