Yoga for Asthma and Bronchitis
Written by: mec-mec
Yoga is a system inclusive of physical and mental training that can benefit people of all ages. It involves Asanas (body postures) and Pranayama (art of breath control), among which of its physical uses are to reduce stress-related conditions, help with circulatory and respiratory disorders such as Asthma and Bronchitis, and improve over-all health.
Asthma and Bronchitis are two chronic lung ailments that can cause damage to the lungs. These should be treated immediately to avoid any complications.
This is a very common respiratory complaint, which involves a severe narrowing of the bronchial tubes (bronchi). These tubes lead from the windpipe – called the trachea – into the lungs and they carry the oxygen we breathe in to all parts of the lungs and provide a path for the carbon dioxide to escape up the trachea when we breathe out. This narrowing of the bronchi causes difficulty in breathing, specifically when breathing out.
The typical attack is characterized by a sudden shortness of breath and wheezing, also sometimes accompanied by coughing. The bringing up of phlegm is not a prominent part of the attack, but if it occurs, the patient may also have Bronchitis. Asthma attack is triggered by infections like common cold and sinusitis, irritants or allergens breathed in like fumes and dust, food allergens, psychological changes, physical exertion, and even medicinal drugs. Identifying the causes and treating the symptoms early on can help prevent attacks and make it worse.
Bronchitis is a more critical lung ailment compared to Asthma – a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)– and is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. This is a serious infection of the lungs and bronchial tubes, which can become chronic. Breathing polluted air and smoking are mainly responsible for this ailment.
This particular disorder has inflamed bronchial tubes caused by a bacterial or viral infection. It may develop suddenly, following a head cold (acute Bronchitis), or it may persist or return regularly for many years, causing progressive degeneration of bronchi and lungs (chronic Bronchitis). The color of the sputum (phlegm) shows how serious the form of chronic Bronchitis is. On one hand, initial symptoms for acute Bronchitis include head cold, running nose, fever and chills, aching muscles, and possibly back pain. The most obvious feature that follows is persistent cough. On the other hand, chronic Bronchitis is characterized by cough with sputum (phlegm), and other symptoms depend on how much or how little emphysema is present.
Certain people are more susceptible than others; men are more so than women, outnumbering them ten to one – the reasons why are unclear. Smokers are 50 times more likely to get chronic Bronchitis than non-smokers. Generally, it occurs with greater frequency in winter, in damp, cold climates, and in heavily polluted environments. Chilling, overcrowding, fatigue, and excessive smoking are contributory factors.
Yoga Exercises including the poses, breathing, and relaxation techniques put you in control of your mind and emotions, making you more relaxed and allowing you to breathe easier. This will also help your lungs work better and enhance airflow during Asthma attacks.
Here are the Yoga poses to help you feel better and take control over Asthma and Bronchitis, together with proper medication and your doctor’s help:
The general lifestyle involved in Yoga serves as a good therapy for respiratory problems. A healthy diet can build your resistance against cold, allergies, and other environmental causes of Asthma, Bronchitis, and other chronic respiratory disorders. It also promotes a non-smoking lifestyle.
According to Yoga philosophy, a calm mind produces regular breathing and a relaxed body. So, breathing exercises can definitely help people with Asthma and Bronchitis.