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What Are the Different Types of Alternative Asthma Treatments?

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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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There are many different types of alternative asthma treatments that patients can use to help control their condition. Breathing exercises like the Buteyko breathing technique can help people learn to breathe evenly and steadily to minimize their symptoms. Eating a healthy diet that includes certain foods and excludes others may improve asthma, as can taking some types of herbs and other supplements. Some patients have found success using biofeedback to control their asthma. Other treatments that may help include acupuncture, homeopathy, and exercise.

Some of the alternative asthma treatments that have shown a lot of promise for symptom reduction are breathing techniques. The Buteyko breathing technique is a method that teaches people to breathe shallowly, which is in turn thought to control asthma by raising carbon dioxide levels in the blood. Another method, the Papworth method, helps patients learn to breathe deeply using their diaphragm. The deep breathing used in yoga is also thought to help asthmatics.

Diet is another of the alternative asthma treatments that helps many people find relief. Eating healthy foods, particularly fruits, vegetables, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, can improve lung function and help patients breathe easier. Foods high in saturated fat, salt, and artificial additives should be avoided when possible, as they can make asthma worse. Many patients also find that milk products make their symptoms worse, and should try to avoid them as well.

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Certain dietary supplements are thought to be useful as alternative asthma treatments. Butterbur may help reduce the inflammation in the lungs that leads to asthma symptoms. Boswellia, an Indian herb, may help reduce chemicals in the body that cause the airways to narrow. Some other supplements that may help in asthma treatment include bromelain, dried ivy, and grapeseed.

Biofeedback is one of the alternative asthma treatments that may help patients during an attack. This method helps people learn to relax and control their physical response when asthma sets in. This can in turn help them control their anxiety, reducing stress that can make the attack worse.

There are several other alternative asthma treatments that patients may wish to try. Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese technique that involves placing needles at strategic points in the body, may help improve patients' breathing. Some patients have found relief using homeopathic medicine. Regular exercise can improve overall lung function, making breathing easier and decreasing the chance of an asthma attack.

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