Ailments & Conditions:


Good quality breathing is necessary for efficient oxygenation of the body and for good levels of energy and health.

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases worldwide and in Australia prevalence of asthma symptoms is very high with approximately 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 10 children being affected.

Asthma is an illness of the airways and is characterised by obstruction and narrowing of the bronchi and subsequent breathing difficulties. Symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, a sense of tightness or congestion in the chest, and coughing with or without mucus are common with various degrees of severity. The condition may be acute or chronic and often has known triggers such as allergies to dust, pollens, animals and food. Asthma can also be induced by exercise, weather, or emotions/stress.

Acute asthma attacks can be severe, life threatening and may require emergency medical attention.
Western medicine treatments for chronic asthma can offer some level of prevention of symptoms and short-term symptomatic relief. The medications used are mostly anti-histamines, anti-inflammatories and steroidal type medications, which with prolonged use may have undesired side effects.

Chinese Medicine (CM) can work very well in the treatment of asthma, especially the chronic type, and especially when applied preventatively between flare-ups/attacks. With professionally prescribed acupuncture, herbs, diet and lifestyle advice, CM not only treats the symptoms, but also addresses the underlying cause(s) of the asthma, and can thereby give profound and long lasting results without any side-effects.

Chinese Medicine acknowledges asthma as a dysfunction or imbalance primarily in the lungs, either caused by a weakness of the lungs or by an obstruction of the lungs.

Weakness of the lungs can be genetic, or can be caused by environmental exposure, or depletion from lifestyle, or by illnesses such as a bad bout of bronchitis or other repeated respiratory infections, like the common cold. Even grief, the emotion related to the lungs according to CM, can affect the health and strength of our lungs.
Obstruction of the lungs can be a result of the same factors that can cause a lung weakness, but can also often be linked to excessive intake of mucus forming foods and drinks, or to stress.

By clearing, strengthening and balancing the lungs with CM and making appropriate diet and lifestyle changes, the functions of the lungs will improve, symptoms disappear or decrease, and chances of re-occurrence gradually minimise. This can lead to lessening or elimination of the need for continued use of medications and an increase in breath quality.

In some asthma cases instant relief can be felt during and after the first acupuncture treatment. However, for lasting results at least a few months of treatments is usually required. Depending on the severity of the asthma symptoms and the individual’s constitution and situation, 3-6 months of combined acupuncture and herbal treatment is common. Treatments are individually prescribed on a case-by-case basis, and works well because the asthma symptoms are viewed in context with the individual’s overall health- and living situation.

Asthma symptoms often occur in atopic individuals who also display other common allergic symptoms such as hay fever, skin rashes, and digestive issues due to food intolerances. These accompanying symptoms are always taken into account with CM and are generally also significantly relieved or disappear once treatments begin.

Christina Tolstrup

Christina Tolstrup
Gardenvale Traditional Chinese Medicine

Published on August 20, 2013