Asthma is one of the many conditions treated historically by Traditional Chinese Medicine. As the incidence of asthma in the world is increasing steadily, I have chosen to put my clinical focus into the treatment of this widespread condition.
The mechanism of asthma is that of a 3-fold occlusion of the airways of the lung. In response to an environmental/emotional trigger, the hyper-reactive smooth muscles surrounding the airways tighten. Over time, the walls of the airways become inflamed and widen, further reducing the diameter of the airway. Thirdly, mucus is excreted into the airway during an attack, still further occluding the already compromised passage. This airway blockage results in the symptoms of chest tightness, coughing and wheezing. Chinese medicinal herbs are effective in relaxing the smooth muscles, reducing chronic inflammation of the airway wall, as well as in removing/expelling the mucus buildup…all without the long-term side effects produced by the various drugs used by allopathic medicine to control (not cure) the condition.
Some time ago, I brought in an expert to further train me in treating asthma. Dr. Robert Helmer, a doctor of TCM, has been researching the treatment of asthma in a university in London, England for the past 3 years. Much scientific research is being done on a regular basis in China, but only a limited amount is being translated into English due to a lack of qualified translators. Dr. Helmer is one such translator and has provided me with a wealth of new knowledge coming directly from the source.
More recent training brought Robert’s master, Mazin Al-Khafaji (also a translator) from Britain for a weekend intensive on the treatment of certain autoimmune and allergic conditions, the category to which all atopic conditions, including asthma, belong. That weekend revolutionized my treatment protocols and improved my effectiveness dramatically. I am now also able to access the blog on his clinic’s website through which he continues to contribute his knowledge to his students to help with our more difficult cases.
I offer a treatment protocol using Traditional Chinese herbs and acupuncture to first bring one’s asthma symptoms under control. This first step involves weekly visits to the clinic to receive acupuncture and a prescription for a week’s supply of an appropriate herbal formula specific to the individual patient’s group of signs and symptoms. At the outset, the patient is instructed to purchase a Peak Flow Meter, a device used to measure maximal speed of a patient’s expiration (Peak Expiratory Flow Rate – PEFR). They are instructed to ascertain a baseline of PEFR so that we are able to measure improvements in lung function such that they may begin to reduce the dosage of their pharmaceutical asthma medications. During this first portion of the protocol, lasting 4-6 weeks, I work with the patient to bring their acute symptoms under control, regularly modifying the herbal formula as needed. Once the acute symptoms are under control, the formula is again modified to help patients come safely and gradually off their pharmaceutical medications. Finally, once the patient is off their asthma drugs and is symptom free, we enter the last phase of treatment in which we strengthen the body against future relapses. This entire process is estimated to take between 3 and 6 months.
Ever since the incredible learning weekend with Mazin, I revolutionized my herbal program by moving from the use of concentrated herbal powders, to the administration of a prepared herbal tea made from raw herbs. This move in itself increased our ability to show effective results by 30-40 percent across the board.
It has been an amazingly gratifying experience treating the mildest to the most severe cases of asthma, literally having patients walk away from their inhalers and steroid medications, and back into athletic activities they had long been unable to participate in due to the limiting effects of their condition.
A recent scientific study came out of New York proving the effectiveness of Traditional Chinese herbs in the treatment of asthma. I encourage those interested to take some time to read over the article hereby attached in PDF form.