Asthma: Alternative Therapies that Work

Asthma is a scary condition.

Because asthma affects the airways, we are reminded how vulnerable we are and how much we depend on fresh air.

Cigarette smoke, perfumes, chemical fumes, dust, and mold can trigger an asthma attack and land you in the hospital’s emergency room.  Medications, among them beta blockers and antibiotics, have been shown to increase the incidence of asthma.  Lack of fresh air indoors may be another culprit.

Studies show that children living in rural areas, where there is plenty of fresh air, are much less susceptible to asthma.  Moreover, when these children move to the city, they become more vulnerable to developing asthma.  There also appears to be a correlation with atopic eczema caused by food sensitivities or allergies.

Inhalers and medications do not cure asthma.

Children and adults with asthma depend on corticosteroid inhalers, and other asthma medications, to keep the airways open.  Many emergency room visits are avoided with the immediate use of short lasting beta-2 agonists.  However,  none of these medications cure asthma.  Moreover, their long term use causes many side effects, some of them very serious.

Healthy nutrition, moderate exercise, fresh air, and an environment free of smoke, mold, excessive dust (home repairs) and chemical fumes (including many household cleaners) can contribute much to reducing the incidence of asthma, as well as ameliorate the condition itself. So do various herbs and homeopathy.

With asthma, the respiratory tract reacts violently to substances in the air inhaled.  Why is that?

The respiratory tract is lined with an epithelium that secretes mucus and is covered with cilia (little hairs), the ciliary elevator.  The mucus traps inhaled foreign substances and the cilia push them back up into the throat to be coughed out.  Thus the epithelial lining protects the respiratory tract from injury and keeps the lungs free of foreign substances.

However, smoke, chemical fumes, dust, mold, as well as some medications may injure the epithelial lining.  This lining becomes inflamed and irritated, setting off the contraction (bronchospasm) of the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract.  This is a desperate attempt by the body to rid itself of any intruders.

Trauma to the body may injure the meridians and connective tissue.

We also need to look at two other factors that may contribute to the etiology of asthma, respiratory allergies, and vulnerability to respiratory infections.   These two factors are injured meridians and altered connective tissue of the body.


The respiratory system, comprised of the nasal passage, paranasal sinuses, nasal pharynx, larynx (voice box), trachea,  bronchi, and the lungs receives its primal energy from the lung meridians which run the length of the arms down to the finger tips.  Any trauma (including surgery) to the arm or shoulder at birth or during childhood may cause injury of these meridians.

The meridians supply every cell in the body with primal energy.

meridians, body, front  

The meridians supply every cell, tissue, organ, and structure of the body with primal energy like the electrical wiring in our homes brings energy in the form of electricity to all the wall outlets.  Without the electricity the appliances, entertainment systems, and computers won’t work, nor do we have heat or light.  So it is with the body.  Without this supply of primal energy by the meridians, the body’s metabolic processes come to a halt.

Thus, if the lung meridians are injured by surgery, an arm fracture, or sprains of the wrist, elbow, or shoulder, the entire respiratory system is compromised.  A weak respiratory system is vulnerable to diseases such as colds, the flu, respiratory allergies, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and of course, asthma.

The meridians, along with all other structures of the body, are embedded in connective tissue (fascia).

The connective tissue of the body weaves through and envelops every cell, tissue, organ, and structure, including the meridians, of the body.  It is continuous and can be as soft as gel, and as hard as bone.

With trauma (including the birth process and surgery), infection, or inflammation, this connective tissue becomes sticky, twisted, compressed, or stretched, as do the structures enveloped by it, such as the nasal passage, nasal pharynx, trachea, and bronchi.

Moreover, tightening and twisting of the connective tissue may change (distort) the shape of the body cavities, such as the chest, reducing the lung’s capacity to expand fully when inhaling.  The entire respiratory system has become imprisoned by the connective tissue, whose normal function is to support, hold together, and protect it.

What alternative therapies are useful for asthma?

Acupuncture and acupressure can help to re-establish and rebalance the flow of primal energy and thus help the body to heal and become more resilient.

Craniosacral therapy and energetic unwinding of the spine, joints & muscles (an intuitive blend of acupressure, craniosacral therapy, and soft tissue work) help the body to release the restrictions in the connective tissue.  This frees up the structures within it to allow energy to flow, thus increasing tissue health and resilience.

Craniosacral therapy and energetic unwinding are two very gentle, yet powerful ways to help the body to return to health.