10 Natural Ways to Cope With Asthma
The symptoms of asthma can be painful and uncomfortable, but there are many natural therapies, herbs, and supplements you can try to cope with the disorder. You shouldn’t replace your medication with a natural treatment without speaking to your doctor first, but these ten natural treatments can help alleviate some of your symptoms:
1. Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises can help prevent asthma attacks by promoting more controlled breathing. They can also help to increase lung capacity over time.
One popular breathing exercise is diaphragmatic breathing. During this exercise, you can be sitting up or lying down. As you slowly breathe in, your abdomen should push outward and your chest should stay level. As you exhale, your abdomen should move in again. The exhalation should also be longer than the inhalation.
2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation involves tightening and relaxing the muscles in your body, usually moving from your feet to your head. This can alleviate stress, which is a major factor in asthma attacks for many people. Progressive muscle relaxation also can promote steady, controlled breathing.
Exercise can trigger asthma symptoms for some people, but exercising safely while avoiding triggers can improve heart and lung health. It also reduces stress or anxiety. However, people with asthma may have to be careful to avoid triggers like hot or cold temperatures, allergens, and pollution. Good exercises for people with asthma include:
Acupuncture uses needles to stimulate certain points on the body. Although there is no conclusive research about whether acupuncture helps with asthma, many people have experienced a decrease in symptoms after receiving the treatment.
Massage therapy reduces stress and anxiety, which are often triggers of asthma attacks. A massage can help you achieve complete relaxation, even after it’s over. Once you’ve experienced this feeling, it’s easier to achieve it on your own. Some types of massage therapy can also strengthen the chest muscles, which helps with circulation and lung health.
6. Chiropractic Care
Many people suffer from spinal issues without realizing it, which can affect the functioning of all organs, including the lungs. Chiropractic care can improve lung functioning and alleviate the symptoms of asthma. Some people with asthma have reported a decrease in symptoms after receiving chiropractic care just once.
7. Vitamin C and Vitamin E
Consuming vitamin C can decrease inflammation and wheezing. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits, berries, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can also reduce inflammation. It’s found in nuts, seeds, and plant oils.
Garlic is a natural remedy for many ailments because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties. It can ease pain in the lungs and relieve some symptoms of asthma. You can add garlic to your meals or take garlic capsules.
Ginger is another great anti-inflammatory herb for treating asthma. A study found that ginger supplements caused an improvement in asthma symptoms. There was no sign of whether it improved lung functioning, but it helps to alleviate painful symptoms.
Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly used to treat heart disease, but they can also decrease inflammation in airways and strengthen lung functioning. They can be found in fish, green leafy vegetables, canola oil, flaxseed oil, and many other foods. Some juices and dairy products are also fortified with omega-3s. If you don’t eat many of the foods that contain omega-3s, you can take daily supplements.