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Can Acupressure Help Me Manage my Asthma?

According to UCLA Integrative Medicine, acupressure is a targeted, deep-tissue massage intended to pin-point areas that stimulate the body’s ability to heal. Although the associated vocabulary, including the concepts of qi, meridians, and internal balance, may seem foreign in western society, scientific research published through the NIH suggests that it is not an accident that acupressure for asthma has been an integral part of East Asian medicine for more than 2000 years.

Citing a 2011 scientific article published out of Fujian University, the NIH article suggests that the healing properties of acupressure can be extended beyond the musculature to relieve the symptoms of many diseases including asthma. That said, the authors insist that acupressure does not replace Western medicine and technology. Instead, they see acupressure for asthma as an additive to an integrated approach to treatment.

Performing Acupressure for Asthma

Although you can certainly go to a professional for acupressure treatment, pressure points are relatively easy to reach. The treatment can be self-administered with a little know-how. The Institute of Traditional Medicine in Portland, Oregon provides one very helpful and professional guide.

Essentially, you’ll first need to identify the key pressure points linked to your condition. In the case of asthma, you’ll want to focus on the lung meridian, working from LU 1-2 down through LU 11, all of which are pressure points within the lung meridian. At each point, you’ll want to use one or two fingers to exert firm, but not painful, pressure. Firmly work your fingers into the tissue at the pressure point for at least 10-15 seconds. Use a circular or up/down motion, whichever you find gives you a deeper massage.

In the case of the lung meridian, you’ll want to start at LU-1, the collarbone, and work your way through the shoulder and down the arm. Diagrams displaying the locations of the individual pressure points, such as this one, can be easily found. Generally speaking, you’ll want to focus on the primary muscle groups and joints. In addition to the lung meridian, you may also want to spend some time massaging the area around your stomach. Focus on the large intestine and the gall bladder region.

According to acupressure theory, breathing is the action that best unites the body and mind; therefore, as you focus on performing this healing massage it is important to maintain deep, steady breaths. Remember that acupressure is not a replacement for medication, so make sure your asthma is under control and you are able to breathe deeply before attempting acupressure.

Acupressure for Asthma and your Pulmonologist

If you have asthma symptoms, it is always best to consult with your New York City pulmonologist before introducing any other treatment options. Dr. Mayank Shukla is an award-winning doctor specializing in allergies and asthma treatment. Although acupressure can help to keep your symptoms in check, the treatment will not do enough on its own to keep your asthma at bay. In combining traditional medicine with proper medication and at-home treatments, you will give yourself the best shot at breathing freely.

Asthma Treatments

At Dr. Shukla’s office, you’ll explore several asthma treatment options with him based on the severity and nature of your symptoms. Options Dr. Shukla may suggest include:

  • Anti-inflammatories: These reduce swelling in the airways.
  • Bronchodilators: Commonly called ‘rescue inhalers,’ these provide rapid relief. You should not need to use these more than twice a week if your asthma is under control.
  • Nebulizers: Also known as a “teddy bear” by emergency medical services. These are most common in pediatric cases. They deliver medication in the form of a mist through a mask for easy inhalation.
  • Prednisone: An oral corticosteroid, prednisone is for severe cases. A patient may need major relief, as they attempt to get their asthma under control. Due to the nature of the medication, it is not a permanent solution.

Regardless of the treatment plan put together by Dr. Shukla, feel free to explore alternative asthma therapies for a happier, healthier you.

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