Minggu, 22 Juni 2014

Chinese Medicine for Breathing Problems

Chinese Medicine for Breathing Problems

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an holistic approach to health that is practiced in a variety of ways. Acupuncture, herbal treatments with natural medicinal plants, massage, nutrition, meditation and certain forms of exercise are all methods used in TCM. What these methods have in common is a shared underlying Chinese theory of health, designed to strengthen, regulate and balance a person's life force, or qi (pronounced "chee"). TCM is helpful in the treatment of many health issues, including breathing problems. People of any age can benefit. What follows is a brief description of some of the modalities available.


    Think of qigong as breathing exercise. Most of us are in the habit of breathing in a rather shallow way. Qigong teaches one to breathe more deeply, from the abdomen, improving health by not only delivering oxygen to all the body's systems and organs, but by increasing energy and vitality, as well. Inhaling fresh air is equated to taking in qi, the life force.

    In addition to promoting deeper breathing, qigong involves gentle movements, or sometimes no movement, just standing in place and focusing on the breath. It promotes a form of meditation that relaxes and calms, said to benefit the emotions and nervous system as well as the lungs and the entire body.

    To read more about qigong, follow the link to The Qigong Research and Practice Center listed under Additional Resources below.


    In acupuncture and related practices like moxibustion and acupressure, points along the body's meridians, or energy channels, are stimulated. With acupuncture, this is accomplished with the use of very fine, thin needles inserted into the skin. Moxibustion uses an herb burned over the same points, and acupressure simply presses on them.

    Tui na, or Chinese massage, is a another way to stimulate points on the meridians. (A link to an article on this subject, titled "TCM Health Info, Tui Na (tuina)--Chinese Bodywork Massage Therapy," is included in Additional Resources, below.)
    A visit to an acupuncturist about breathing problems will involve a whole-body diagnosis. The body can have many types and sorts of imbalances. The practitioner decides on a treatment course based on the specific pattern shown by the client.

Chinese Herbs

    Herbal medicine is a powerful method of healing. With western drugs, the aim is typically to control symptoms. Herbologists seek to halt the disease process. Rather than using antibiotics to kill bacteria, for example, herbs can be used to strengthen a person's resistance to infection, thus preventing another sinus infection.
    Another purpose for medicinal herbs is to nourish and balance the body, again with the concept of the interconnectness of various body systems in mind. The Chinese medical theories behind the use of herbs will always seek to treat the deep causes of a condition. This approach improves organ function and builds the immune system, in addition to treating the original complaint.

    There are thousands of herbal remedies in the Chinese medicine formula. A practitioner should be consulted regarding their use.


    In Chinese theory, different foods have different energy qualities that range from cold (celery) to hot (chili powder). Other specific qualities of foods relate to specific organs and bodily systems.

    Depending on the needs of an individual, recommendations will vary as to the types of foods a person would do well to consume to promote good breathing, while extreme diets should be avoided.

    Generally, white and light foods, like radishes, white meat and white mushrooms, are considered to be good for the lungs. Dairy products may cause phlegm if not tolerated well. Pungent foods like garlic and onions may help clear congestion caused by the common cold.

What is Treated?

    The WHO (World Health Organization) lists hundreds of conditions that can be treated with acupuncture. Some of the conditions that effect breathing are infections; colds and flu; bronchitis; asthma; eyes-ears-nose-throat; and sinus infection. Patients with lung cancer could find acupuncture useful to strengthen their immunity and reduce the side-effects of conventional medicine.
    People who do not respond well to prescription drugs or conventional western medicine may find that the whole-body approach of TCM can bring relief to many hard-to-treat health issues. Seeking relief for a breathing problem with TCM could lead to better overall health.

    TCM is best considered as being complementary to western medicine rather than as its replacement. Always also see a physician or other conventional health care provider. While TCM boosts the effects of modern health diagnosis and treatment, the best approach is to utilize both, especially for serious problems.

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