Category: Breathing and Respiratory Illness


Attack Prevention and Asthma Breathing Treatment

October 25, 2017

Breathing and Respiratory Illness

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Asthma is a debilitating condition that can make it difficult for individuals to go about their daily activities. In certain circumstances, asthma can be extremely severe, and even fatal, especially among children. However, if the patients familiarize themselves with asthma attack prevention and asthma breathing treatment, they will be able to take care of themselves and they will have fewer restrictions in life.

Asthma is a condition that affects the respiratory tract. Some of its common symptoms include wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath. Each patient encounters asthma differently, with some experiencing mild and manageable symptoms while others experience serious and incapacitating symptoms. The frequency also varies from one individual to another. There are people whose asthma symptoms are far and in between, while other people will experience the symptoms very regularly. The cause of asthma is unknown, but there are a number of triggers that have been identified. Dealing with these triggers can help a lot with asthma attack prevention.

There are asthma symptoms that are very seasonal and that are caused by certain pollutants that exist in the air during particular seasons. For example, during the spring season, there is a lot of pollen in the air. People with asthma attacks that are triggered by pollen will therefore suffer from a lot of attacks during springtime, and fewer attacks during other seasons. Therefore, these individuals react to the various airborne allergens that are associated with the various seasons, such as pollen, dust and cold.

After an individual has realized this, they can be able to get better asthma breathing treatment during such times. In case an individual is heavily affected by pollen during springtime, they should always have asthma medication with them during this time. They should take the pills as soon as they notice the first symptoms of an asthma attack. These are usually characterized by a lot of coughing, increased creation of mucus, shortness of breath and quick respiration. There are some individuals who also experience sneezing, watery and red eyes and runny nose when the asthma attack starts to kick in. Regardless of the severity of the symptoms, it is better for the individual to stop what they are doing immediately and take their medication.

In case the patient still has shortness of breath even after taking their medication, they should seek the help of their physician immediately. Other symptoms that should alert the patient to call their doctor include chest pain and a change in their skin colour.

It is important for the patient to continuously track their symptoms so that they can always be ready to manage these symptoms with proper asthma breathing treatment.

Control Your Asthma With Diaphragmatic Breathing

October 25, 2017

Breathing and Respiratory Illness

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What is the diaphragm? You often hear it associated with breathing and singing; whether you’re doing one or the other, the correct way to do it is from the diaphragm. If you’ve been pregnant before, you’ve probably been told that your shortness of breath is caused by your belly bulge pressing against your diaphragm. You can safely assume that it’s a body part located somewhere along your tummy, but what exactly is it?

The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle sitting under the lungs. When it is at rest and not contracting, it forms a dome and divides the chest from the abdomen. When it contracts as it does when you breathe, it descends and the dome flattens toward the abdomen, pulling down the lung bases with it and opening the air sacs to take in air. The diaphragm is integral to correct breathing because it comprises the lung bases that get the most blood flow. The thing about good tissue oxygenation is that it requires oxygen from the air you breathe to diffuse into the blood vessels passing through your lungs. Doing diaphragmatic breathing means ensuring good air supply meets with good blood supply.

When your diaphragm descends, it puts pressure against the abdominal organs, which are for the most part fluid-filled. Since fluid cannot be compressed, the abdomen has to displace somewhere to make room for the diaphragm. This is why the stomach walls move outwards when you inhale while doing diaphragmatic breathing, which understandably is also referred to as abdominal or belly breathing.

Exhaling, on the other hand, is a relaxing movement, allowing the diaphragm to go back to its domed position at rest. It calms you and releases stress, hence the relieving feeling of a sigh. Diaphragmatic breathing is the correct way to breathe. To check if you’re doing it, see if your stomach rises when you inhale and relaxes when you exhale. When the opposite happens, what you’re doing is paradoxical breathing.

When you breathe paradoxically, the neck, shoulder, and inter-rib muscles have to put in more effort to maintain your breathing. While diaphragmatic breathing feels effortless, paradoxical breathing makes you tired and your chest sore.

If you find that you are a paradoxical breather, you may need to get some professional help retraining your diaphragm. This is especially important for asthma sufferers as learning to breathe correctly can go a long way in helping them control their disease. Physiotherapists often help asthma patients with breathing exercises involving tummy breathing, which allows them to relax and get over an attack naturally.

Your body is designed to breathe diaphragmatically, so whether you suffer from asthma or not, it would serve you well to start practicing it for better health.

Top 10 Simple Methods to Help Ease Asthma

October 25, 2017

Breathing and Respiratory Illness

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When you are suffering from Asthma, you can try the following: Slowly inhale a deep breath, hold for a few seconds and then release. You may notice the breath, which is the life force, touch your bones and bone marrow. This will bring harmony and restore balance which allows your body to heal itself. Before meals practice yoga, Pranayam and meditation with a positive attitude, which helps generate a feeling of wellness and decreases mental and physical pains associated with asthma.

Asthma symptoms cause shortness of breath, chest tightness, congestion, wheezing, and difficulty in breathing. This lung disease affects over 25 million Americans. There are many reasons like stress, dust, mold, pollen, and change of weather that can directly aggravate this condition; thus, leading to asthma attacks. Sometimes, it is genetic.

For asthma patients, Pranayam (breathing exercise) Anulom vilom is essential. This breathing exercise may cure 70% of your asthma. This yoga Kriya clears the air passages, strengthens the lungs so that lungs can pump in more oxygen, and hold air in. This allows the patient to breathe easily. This is a safe and stress reducing process. First couple of months, when you start this yoga Kriya, it will be a little uncomfortable because you already have a breathing problem. But once you get used to Pranayam, the breath will move freely throughout the body, providing adequate nourishment to the cells, organs, tissues and glands. This helps reduce chest pain and relieves you of congestion. Sometimes, when you are sick and cannot sit on the floor or on a chair, you may still practice Pranayam slowly while resting straight on your back, and it really helps.

Practice yoga postures slowly six days a week. Whichever postures you can easily do. This will help release mental stress and body tension. This also helps strengthen the body and mind power. Your body may produce more energy to fight and face your daily physical challenges.

1. Grind horseradish and refrigerate it. Mix a teaspoonful of it with one teaspoonful of honey, and swallow with warm water daily 30 minutes before lunch.

2. Keep a piece of clove in your mouth to sooth the throat. It helps mucus move easily.

3. Consume hot soups daily to soothe your throat and cleanse digestive system.

4. To relieve asthma, swallow a crushed garlic clove in the a.m. and p.m. with warm water.

5. Use a humidifier in the house to moisturize the environment. It helps calm wheezing.

6. Boil a handful of eucalyptus leaves in an uncovered pot and inhale the steam. This may prove to be calming and soothing and it helps to ease your breath.

7. For asthma patients, exercise and walking with short intervals of rest, is essential. Yoga Shavasan (dead body posture), is highly recommended to relax your mind and body completely after any exercising and/ or walking.

8. Consume the juice of one lemon, a teaspoon of honey, and a cup of warm water to calm asthma attack. You may repeat it as needed. If diabetic, then avoid honey and use a little jaggery.

9. Boil crushed ginger (about two-inches) and a piece of licorice in three cups of water. Drink half a cup of this hot ginger tea with a little honey or artificial sweetener if necessary. This helps calm asthma and moves the mucus.

10. Dissolve 2×3″ of jaggery in a quart of water and drink all day. This helps cleanse the throat. Avoid consuming ice and cold drinks.

Meditation for five minutes every day helps us to feel oneness with The Source from where we all come from, to play our role on this temporary stage (the world). Believe in miracles, and miracles do happen. When we meditate in solitude, we disassociate ourselves from the outside materialistic world. Focus on your breath as you repeat, “I am a peaceful soul and I am not this body”, and try to associate with “the source”. Once you perceive you are an immortal soul, you may awaken your awareness and find abundance.

In asthma, practicing Bhastrika and Sitali breathing exercises for one minute everyday is useful to help our body produce more energy. It maybe a little difficult to take a deep breath, hold, and then release. If you can, take short breaths. Keep inhaling and exhaling vigorously, because practicing breathing exercises every day helps in clearing the air passage and it strengthens the lungs for pumping in more air. Your lungs may start retaining air for a couple seconds more. When we breathe deeply, the air dives deep down in the body, and energizes the dying cells; thus, making us healthy and energetic.

In asthma, Kapalbhati (breathing exercise) for five minutes really helps. Focus on exhaling rapidly and continuously. Take one breath per second, with a little force by contracting the abdominal muscles, and you may feel a little push in your lower back. Once you learn, then increase this to ten minutes. Be patient and slow. Give it some time, and your efforts will bring you great rewards.

Top 5 Steps to Defeat Asthma – Natural Treatment

October 25, 2017

Breathing and Respiratory Illness

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Suffering with Asthma every day is like having an extra job trying to control the symptoms. It only takes one day when the air pollution is higher than normal causing you to wheeze so bad you can’t make it into work. The cold air hitting your lungs causes you to have an asthma attack so you stay home more than going out. You resort to your medication to keep your asthma at bay. Does this sound like you?

Choosing a natural treatment for asthma may be what you need not only to relieve your symptoms but to heal your body from the inside.

#1. Asthma (Natural Treatment)

Asthma is an inflammatory reaction to allergens and irritants. Before we can deal with the inflammation it’s important to start the process of treating your asthma naturally by analyzing your environment.

Remove all allergens and irritants that may trigger an asthma attack: chemicals, aerosol sprays, animal dander, certain medications, molds, perfumes, pollens, sulfites, to name a few.

Jane had asthma since she was 5, (61 years ago) but had it well controlled until about 14 years ago. Then in spring she would have to wear a filter mask when she walked her dog or end up with an asthma attack. This went on for 3 years. After learning how toxic the indoor air was in her home, she removed all chemical allergens and have not had to use a filter mask or had an asthma attack in 10 years. She credits not having the chemical allergens in the house to compound the outdoor allergens.

Jane made one change to her environment and as you can see it made a dramatic difference in her breathing and ability to go outside without having an asthma attack.

#2. Asthma (Natural Treatment)

Our diets are one of the main sources of inflammation that we face daily. We eat at least three times per day, and that repetitive level of inflammation needs to be addressed if you are ever to get off some of your medication and breathe more easily.

Eat more anti-inflammatory foods like: apricots, cruciferous vegetables, onions, papaya, pumpkin and tomatoes. Foods to avoid: Citrus fruits, dairy products, dyes and preservatives, sugar and wheat.

#3. Asthma (Natural Treatment)

People with asthma need to pay particular attention to fats because good fats are anti-inflammatory. Omega 3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, while Omega 6 fatty acids promote inflammation. We tend to eat foods high in Omega-6 fatty acids. Good examples of omega-3 fatty acids are those in fish. Increase your intake of fish (or take a high quality fish oil supplement), nuts, olive oil while decreasing the amount of canola oil, and processed food of any kind.

#4. Asthma (Natural Treatment)

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in our gut and are commonly destroyed by the antibiotics we take regularly. Supplementing with probiotics can help heal asthma naturally from within.

#5. Asthma (Natural Treatment)

Often times, asthmatics are depleted of crucial nutrients due to the chronic inflammation in the body. Take a high quality nutritional supplement which supplies all the vitamins and minerals important to the immune system.

This 5 step Asthma Natural Treatment will absolutely influence how well you breathe and start healing your body from the inside.

 

Asthma or Not? Cough in Children With Asthma

October 25, 2017

Breathing and Respiratory Illness

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cough is likely due to asthma if it refuses to go away over days, weeks or months, is worse at night or early in the morning, or if it comes and goes without notice.

A cough is even more likely due to asthma if the child also suffers from a chronic rough skin rash called eczema, or if a parent or other close relative has asthma.

Kids and adolescents can develop asthma at any age. So, no matter at what age such a cough began, the recognition that the child might have an underlying asthma condition is essential.

Sadly, many parents are reluctant to accept a diagnosis of asthma, a dilemma which leads to unnecessary pain and suffering, delay in treatment and even loss of life. For parents who can’t come to term with their child having asthma, I have good news: a cough due to asthma quickly gets better with proper medications. Moreover, children can outgrow their asthma.

Why people suffer from asthma

People who suffer from asthma have sensitive, hyper-responsive lungs, in the same way that people who suffer from eczema have sensitive skin.

A sensitive lung can go into spasm or constriction at any time. Spasm narrows small air channels, limiting airflow within the lungs and suddenly making it difficult for people with asthma to breathe. During such an episode of asthma attack, patients can experience shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, fast breathing, and chest tightness or discomfort.

Wheezing is a high-pitched musical sound taking place in the chest of someone who is experiencing an asthma attack. When loud, people nearby can hear it; but at other times it can only be heard by clinicians who listen to the chest with a stethoscope.

Asthma triggers

Catarrh or runny nose with its concomitant viral infection, cold weather, pets such as cats and dogs, dust, dirt, cockroaches, pollutants, paint fumes, perfumes, mold, grass, pollens and cigarette smoke can trigger already sensitive lungs into an episode of coughing and wheezing. Exercise, as well as emotions, also triggers a cough and shortness of breath in people with sensitive lungs.

Cough as a sign of asthma

Cough, a common problem, is one of the many signs of asthma. Parents and caregivers bring children to clinicians when their cough continues for many days and does not resolve with cough syrup. A cough is bothersome to children; it can prevent them from sleeping at night or during the day, can provoke them to vomit, can make them fearful of eating and even cause them to lose weight. When a cough and fever go together in a child, a more sinister illness such as pneumonia comes to mind.

Severity of asthma

When evaluating a child with asthma, it is important to assess the severity of the symptoms. Some children have the intermittent form of asthma, while others have the persistent form.

People with the irregular form of asthma experience symptoms once in a while. Those who have a persistent form experience degrees of symptoms more often, usually on a weekly basis or a daily basis, and sometimes even several times a day.

Examination of children with asthma

Clinicians look for signs of distress when presented with a child with an acute attack of asthma. The in-and-out pulling of chest muscles in a patient, or ‘retraction’, signals air-hunger and agony.

When there is no obvious wheezing, chest retraction or spontaneous coughing, I tend to ask the child, if they are old enough and comfortable, to cough out loud so that I can hear it

By the sound, one can often tell from where a cough is coming: from the throat, or pharynx, or from deep in the chest. The latter would mean that the lungs are the source of the problem, and therefore indicative of asthma. This distinction is important.

Respiratory rates, temperature, pulse rate and oxygen saturation are some of the vital signs obtained at the time of first examination.

Diagnosis of asthma

Clinicians can diagnose asthma in a patient who has a cough by listening to the chest with a stethoscope. A high-pitched musical sound, known as a wheeze, is suggestive of this condition. When a patient’s symptoms are relieved with the use of a bronchodilator, such as albuterol, the diagnosis is all but certain.

Asthma medications

Drugs for asthma treatment, known as bronchodilators, are targeted to open up the narrowed airways so that air can get into the lungs. Another group of medications called ‘inhaled steroids’ reduces mucus production and inflammation in the small air channels. People with frequent asthma attacks should use both medications. Medical practitioners need to explain details of use.

Asthma control and prevention

Prevention is the key to containing asthma. People who have the condition should avoid known environmental triggers; some of the well-known allergens-dust, cats, dogs, smoke, roaches and so on have already been mentioned. Different asthmatics can have different triggers.

An asthma action plan is a set of steps which, when completed by medical practitioners, guides patients on the use of their medication before and during symptoms, and what to do when symptoms do not improve. There is also a section that tells users how to control things in their environment that make their asthma worse.

Why do people die from asthma?

Two years ago, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, in the USA reported 187 children under the age of 18 had died that year as a result of asthma.

My guess is that the numbers of children who die of asthma every day within the inner cities of underdeveloped countries such as Onitsha in Nigeria, where pollution is at every street corner and people breathe air mixed with smoke, dirt and dust, are countless.

Simple measures such as avoiding asthma triggers and prompt use of asthma medication would prevent many unnecessary deaths. Failure to recognize the illness is the most heartbreaking and obvious reason for the high numbers. Furthermore, lack of access to much-needed medication as well as a delay in seeking expert medical intervention is often to blame.

End

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases but is merely based on the author’s experience. Readers should consult their physician before implementing any part of the suggestions.

Do You Know What To Do When Your Child Has An Asthma Attack?

October 25, 2017

Breathing and Respiratory Illness

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Anyone who has seen a child having an asthma attack knows how scary it can be. One of the primary symptoms of an attack is struggling to breathe or gasping for air. This may or not be accompanied by coughing or wheezing and a tummy ache. The symptoms often get steadily worse.

Panicking at a time like this is the worst thing you can do. Your child is sure to be already frightened and needs someone soothing and reassuring who can help them to calm down and get some control over their breathing.

Step By Step Actions To Take

The next time your child has an asthma attack, take a few seconds to first calm yourself down. Remember, a panicked parent will only make things worse.
Then very calmly, get your child to take a puff from their reliever inhaler. The recommended dosage is one puff every 30 seconds to 60 seconds. If you have a spacer, use it so that you determine the usage correctly.

10 puffs is the recommended dosage, which means this will have to be done over a period of 5 to 10 minutes. If your child is still feeling breathless and struggling to breathe after the recommended 10 puffs, you must call an ambulance so that your child can receive medical attention immediately.

What To Do If The Symptoms Persist

Never hesitate to call an ambulance if you find that the inhaler is not working effectively enough to calm down the symptoms. Even if it is working but you are still worried, call for help anyway.

Of course, if your child does not have their inhaler with them at that moment, you should not waste any time wondering about whether or not you should call an ambulance. It is critical to get on the phone and call for help as quickly as possible.

What To Do If The Symptoms Improve

If your child has regained control of their breathing and the symptoms are alleviated after using the relieving inhaler, you must still make an appointment with your pediatrician for a follow up appointment. This is very important. If you can, make the appointment within 24 hours of the episode.

A follow up consultation after an episode, allows the pediatrician to do a thorough assessment to check what triggered it off and whether your child needs to increase their dosage or change the medication completely. Depending on their findings, the pediatrician will also advise you as to what you can do to reduce the risk of future attacks.

Understanding And Overcoming Bronchitis

October 25, 2017

Breathing and Respiratory Illness

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Bronchitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchial tube and its branches. It may be acute or chronic; it may involve one side or both; it may affect the larger or only the minor portions of the tube, or it may involve the whole bronchial system.

The most frequent occasions (usually called causes) for bronchitis are colds, improperly treated or neglected, or irritating inhalations of smoke, dust, gas or fumes. Becoming chilled after being heated may result in an attack if there is an injurious degree of toxemia. Certain trades tend to the production of such irritation to cause bronchitis: stone-cutting, milling, carpentering, paper-hanging, etc. Inhalation of tobacco smoke or tobacco dust is one of the most prolific causes. Living in overheated quarters with the air insufficiently moistened is somewhat common in American city dwellings, and such conditions may lead to bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis results from an accumulation of toxins in the body, making it necessary for the body to call upon the mucous surfaces of the respiratory tract for additional elimination. Aside from the causes already given, acute bronchitis may accompany other acute diseases.

The symptoms are quite abrupt, the condition itself beginning with a sudden fever, often accompanied by a chill. Fever sometimes, however, is absent. Cough is the most prominent symptom. This may be frequent and hard with no expectoration, especially for the first two or three days. There usually is soreness back of the breast-bone. Gradually the cough becomes somewhat productive, there being a tenacious mucous accumulation which is expelled with considerable difficulty. Its presence in the bronchial tube causes a wheezing or humming sound upon breathing. The cough may be so frequent and severe as to result in headache, dizziness, nausea and perhaps vomiting.

The cough gradually lessens after a few days and is more productive, the expectorated matter being thick and more or less greenish, a mixture of mucus and pus. The condition frequently causes bronchopneumonia in children and old persons, through extension to the lung tissue, when neglected, improperly treated, or when the toxemia is so extreme that the body needs the increased surface of the lungs for elimination. Within a week these bronchial symptoms usually disappear in mild cases, and within two weeks in the more severe cases, though the trouble may linger on for a month or more. Considerable depends upon the patient’s inherent vitality and recuperative powers and upon the strictness with which proper treatment is carried out.

Chronic bronchitis may be either chronic from the beginning or may result from frequent or repeated attacks of acute bronchitis. The inhalation of dust or smoke is one of the most frequent causes. Cough and expectoration are the leading symptoms, the cough being quite obstinate, especially in the morning and evening and during the night. It often prevents sufficient sleep for the patient to recover quickly. The cough may cause vomiting. There may or may not be any substance expectorated. What is brought up may be tinged with blood. During the summer the symptoms may subside or disappear entirely, only to return upon the appearance of cold weather.

Treatment. In acute cases it is necessary to remove any cause of direct irritation of the bronchial tubes. Usually when properly treated an acute case will subside in a few days. The “fruit fast” is very helpful in these cases and should continue until the temperature has been normal for twenty-four hours. The daily enema should be given, with plenty of water to drink. Fresh air is very important, but a cold wind over the patient should be avoided. A blanket-pack will help materially in the general efforts of the body toward elimination. Every two or three days the general pack may be substituted for the local pack to the chest. Hot compresses or heat by a therapeutic lamp over the upper chest will be very soothing in case the cough is very distressing. After any hot treatment there should be a cold application for a minute or so, then careful drying and adequate covering. A “sun-bath” over the upper chest by a sun lamp will help greatly in this condition. After the symptoms have subsided, the patient may gradually return to a diet more ample in quantity and consisting of any natural food desired. Of course, the quantities should be only gradually increased. There is no definite curative diet needed after the acute condition has subsided, though the fruit and strict milk diet would be very valuable at this time.

Chronic bronchitis makes it necessary to treat the entire body, because the condition is not local, but is due to a systemic toxemia, with the selection of the bronchial mucous membrane for the point of elimination when the other channels of elimination are functioning insufficiently to take care of the encumbrances. In these cases the repeated complete fast or fruit diet will be of great value, continued for from three to eight or ten days depending upon the strength and vitality of the patient and the effects of the fast. The milk diet is a very excellent diet to follow a fast or to use between these repeated fasts. It is especially recommended if the patient is below normal in weight and vitality. If the patient is normal or above normal, the milk diet may be used with benefit, but with a reduction in the amount of the milk sufficient to maintain normal weight or permit of a slow loss in weight.

In this chronic condition, steam-baths or other sweat-baths once or twice a week will be very helpful. They should of course be followed by a cold or cool bath and vigorous friction. The hot shower bath, in which the water is allowed to play alternately upon the upper back and the upper chest, terminated with a decidedly cool or cold shower, is an excellent treatment. Cold chest packs covered by dry flannel so that warmth is re-established; local heat to the upper chest followed by cold applications; hot compresses; steam inhalations; massage and spinal manipulation, are all of considerable benefit, and any of these may be used.

The patient should engage in walking, and practice moderate deep breathing as much as possible within reason, if it is necessary to improve the general vitality. Water should be drunk copiously, as a rule. Plenty of bulk must be in the diet for adequate bowel activity, or the enema or special aids, such as agar-agar or mineral oil or their emulsions, should be used.

Gradually increasing amounts of general exercise are of great benefit, but is important that the patient secure plenty of relaxation. Too much exercise or exercise of too strenuous nature is apt to increase the coughing. Natural sun-baths and air-baths should be obtained frequently. It should not be necessary for a person with bronchitis to change climate, though sometimes a warm dry inland climate is most advantageous in cases where there is much expectoration. Where there is a non-productive cough, the sea-shore may be of benefit. But regardless of a change in climate, if one does not live in a way to keep the systemic toxemia down to a minimum there is not likely to be a permanent cure.

The diet to follow generally should consist largely of the most natural foods obtainable – ^green and root vegetables, cooked and raw, fruits, whole grain cereals, milk in some form and nuts or cottage cheese for the chief protein. Meats should be used very moderately, and all refined sugars and their products should be avoided. Only a very moderate amount of fat, such as cream, butter and olive oil, and of starches should be used, until one becomes able to indulge quite freely in physical activity.

The cough of both acute and chronic bronchitis can as a rule be greatly relieved by teaspoonful doses of equal parts of honey and lemon juice taken every two or three hours.

My firm belief is: “Finding a cause leads the way to find a cure”. So, it is basically important to understand everything from its deepest core. And the best way to do so is: Keep on reading to develop and deepen your understanding on health and wellness.

4 Surprising Benefits of Yoga

October 25, 2017

Breathing and Respiratory Illness

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There are many physical benefits yoga of practicing yoga regularly, for example, improved flexibility, and core strength etc. However, the nonphysical advantages are less well documented, but still very much a benefit. Some of the non-physical benefits of regularly engaging in yoga are outlined below.

1. An elevated mood and increase in contentment

When practicing yoga you are encouraged to regulate your breathing using meditation and deep breathing techniques. This enables you to slow your breathing; leaving you, feeling much more relaxed. However, there has also been research carried out that points to a stimulation of brain activity, leading to a more positive mood. The study found an increase in Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)-ergic activity for those that practiced yoga regularly.

The study was conducted over 12 weeks and compared a group that carried out a walking activity compared to a set of participants practicing yoga regularly, finding higher levels of GABA in the yoga group. Low levels of GABA have been associated with anxiety and depression.

2. Improves concentration and focus

Yoga has been proven to increase a person’s ability to focus and concentrate. Research has shown that people are far more able to focus and maintain their concentration after a yoga session. Researchers compared a yoga group to one that had performed a regular workout at the gym and found the gym group, on being asked to perform tasks, lacked focus.

There were no definitive answers as to why this may occur. However, researchers pointed to the fact that yoga increases your self-awareness and leads to a less anxious state where cognitive function can be improved.

3. Improves mind/body connection

Yoga has long been shown to improve the relationship between mind and body, predominantly through the use of poses and particular breathing techniques. Particular poses and breathing techniques have been shown to increase blood flow to the brain and throughout the nervous system.

The ‘conversation’ your body has between the mental and the physical can be improved by many types of movement and exercise. Yoga is excellent for this very purpose as it encourages movement to be synchronized with breathing regulation. Ultimately, yoga is about unity of mind and body, with them being two sides of the same coin.

4. Increases self-knowledge

Self-awareness or self-knowledge is encouraged by many psychotherapists and natural healers. Those seeking this should be warned that it is not simple. However, yoga can bring about this awareness and the rewards are great. Once this has been attained, life becomes a much richer experience, with an outlook on life and general positive attitude that enables the yoga practitioner to experience physical sensations not usually felt within the confines of normal consciousness.

Feelings not encroached on by word or thought can be a revelation, leading to subtle but definitely noticeable changes in the mind and spirit. By learning to ignore the chatter of the mind whilst strengthening the body, you are able to unlock the secrets of self-knowledge.

The above are just a few examples, the tip of the iceberg so to say as to the non-physical and overall benefits of yoga. Yoga is just plain wonderful, get started today!

How Yoga Helps to Avoid Sinusitis

October 25, 2017

Breathing and Respiratory Illness

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Sinusitis is a medical condition where the patient suffers from acute pain around the nose and forehead. Sometimes severe headaches. This article provides tips on how to combat with Sinusitis through Yoga.

Here are few asanas and breathing techniques which can be practiced on an empty stomach to get relief from Sinusitis.

Note: You must learn the techniques mentioned in this article from a trained instructor.

Breathing techniques

Breathing techniques are integral part of yoga. They help in elevating the energy and immunity levels. Reduce stress and thus bring relief from any kind of pain.

1. Ujjayi breath:

Ujjai means victory. This breath not only calms down your mind but also allows your lungs to flush the toxins from the body.

Dos & Don’ts:

  • While or after practicing Ujjai, you might experience dryness in your throat or slight dizziness. Drinking 4-5 litres of water a day helps.
  • If you had undergone any surgery specially nose or throat, consult your doctor before practicing this breath

2. Kapalbhati:

Benefits:

  1. Unblocks the nostrils
  2. Elevates energy levels
  3. Improves blood circulation

Dos & Don’ts:

  • Ideal to practice with eyes closed.
  • After each round of Kapalbhati, relax for 15 seconds and observe your inhalation and exhalation.
  • Do not practice Kapalbhati if you have any of the following conditions:
    • Hernia
    • Liver ailments
    • Diarrhea
    • Lungs cancer
    • Ladies during periods or pregnancy
    • High blood pressure
    • Glucoma

3. Bhastrika:

This technique is called bellows breath.

  • It is an instant energizer.
  • Unblocks the nostrils.
  • Improves blood circulation.

Dos & Don’ts:

  • Do not practice Bhastrika if you have any of the following conditions:
    • Hernia
    • Liver ailments
    • Ladies during periods or pregnancy
    • High or low blood pressure
    • Glucoma
    • Heart ailments

4. Nadishodhan:

  • Cleanses the right and left nostrils.
  • Calms down the mind.
  • Brings relief from pain caused by Sinusitis.

Dos & Don’ts:

Nadi shodhan followed by few minutes of meditation is an excellent remedy to get rid of physical/mental pain.

5. Sudarshan Kriya:

  • A rhythmic breathing technique.
  • Pumps in oxygen in every cell of your body and boosts your immunity level.
  • Most easy and yet powerful way to enhance energy levels and experience peace.

Yoga Poses

1. Surya Namaskar:

A sequence of twelve yoga postures which make the body and mind flexible. Done at fast pace, Surya Namaskar is an excellent cardio vascular activity.

  • Flushes the toxins.
  • Opens up lungs and improves the blood circulation.
  • Balances the water, fire, and air elements in the body and thus avoids cold and cough.
  • Improved blood circulation reduces aches caused by Sinusitis.

Good to start with at least 3 sets of Surya Namaskars.

Dos & Don’ts:

  • Ideal to practice at the time of sunrise or sunset.
  • Must relax in Shavasan for few minutes after practicing Surya Namaskar.
  • Avoid doing surya namaskars or consult your physician if you have any of the following conditions:
    • High or low blood pressure.
    • Glaucoma
    • Heart ailments
    • Severe back pain
    • Highly obese
    • During pregnancy or periods

2. Dhanurasan:

  • Opens up the chest, neck and shoulders and encourages deep breathing.

Dos & Don’ts:

  • Avoid or consult your physician if you have sever back pain or liver ailments.

3. Setu Bandhasan:

  • Stretches the chest, neck and spine.
  • Opens up the lungs.
  • Brings relief from Sinusitis.

Hold the posture for 30 seconds or more. You may practice 2 to 3 rounds of Setu Bandhasan.

Dos & Don’ts:

  • Avoid if you are suffering from hypothyroid.

4. Matsyasan:

  • Stretches the chest and neck.
  • Brings relief from respiratory disorders.

Jal neti to clean the nostrils and mucus

This ancient technique cleanses the nostrils and accumulated mucus from the nostrils. Brings relief from Sinusitis and reduces the effects of nasal infections.

Studies Show Cigarette Smoking Causes Chronic Back Pain

October 25, 2017

Breathing and Respiratory Illness

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You have probably experienced back pain. At one point or another, everyone has. Have you ever asked yourself whether your smoking has something to do with your back pain? You should have.

Smoking Hurts Your Back

It turns out that cigarette smoking has a direct influence on many aspects of your health. Back pain is just one of them.

How does smoking influence your back pain? It does so in the same way that it influences all other aspects of your health. Cigarette smoke contains toxic chemicals that affect your joints in a negative way.

One of my previous summer jobs involved lifting heavy items. Somehow I found lifting with my legs a hard concept to grasp. As a result, I ended up getting the nickname “Grandpa” that summer.

During that period, I experienced normal back pain, which I earned through hard work and stupidity. My pain went away when I finally changed the way I lifted stuff.

Chronic back pain is completely different. It doesn’t go away quickly, and you usually end up taking painkillers to control the pain.

The Search for Relief

Like smoking cigarettes, taking prescription painkillers has many negative side effects. One of the major issues associated with prescription painkillers is the risk of developing a strong addiction. Moreover, even with strong medication, only about 58% of chronic back pain sufferers get the relief they desire.

You may say that your nicotine addiction doesn’t have any influence on your pain. It may actually feel like cigarette smoking decreases the intensity of your pain. In general, though, cigarette smokers are more likely to lead unhealthier lives. Could this just be a coincidence?

You are like a hostage with Stockholm syndrome. You have gotten used to being a hostage, and you like your kidnapper-the cigarette. Smoking doesn’t add anything positive to your life, but you grasp at straws to justify your nicotine addiction. You know that you should quit smoking cigarettes if you really want relief. The relief that you feel when you smoke is just a distraction.

Cigarettes ARE the Problem

Smoking a cigarette allows you to switch focus for a few minutes. Your back pain doesn’t decrease in intensity, and it doesn’t go away. You have tricked your mind. If you don’t think about the pain, you don’t feel it. But it is still there.

Cigarette smoking is a major factor in the development of chronic back pain. More specifically, it is a major cause of hypertension and coronary artery disease, which negatively influence back pain.

Researchers conducted a study during which they monitored over 1,300 people for more than 50 years. The study followed 1,337 physicians, who graduated from Johns Hopkins University. The oldest participant was monitored for 53 years. This long-term study showed that high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and other blood circulation issues played major roles in the development of chronic back pain.

Cigarette smoking has a devastating effect on the whole body. The circulatory system is no exception. The aforementioned study showed that, when all other variables remained the same, cigarette smoking was a major factor in the development of chronic back pain. The implications are very clear-if you want to get rid of your back pain you need to quit smoking cigarettes right now.

Smoking Impairs Your Ability to Heal

Every time you move, you damage your spine a bit. Your body constantly repairs this damage. When you smoke, your body makes available fewer, lower quality materials for these repairs. That is how smoking causes your back pain.

The study described above proved the existence of a connection between chronic joint pain and smoking. Another study determined how and why occasional back pain, which we all feel, develops into something that endures for weeks, months and years.

Nicotine addiction influences the development of chronic back pain in another way. Pain is not something physical. You can’t touch, taste or see it. Rather, your brain gets signals and interprets them.

Smoking Alters Your Brain

Smokers are three times more likely than nonsmokers to develop chronic back pain. How and why does cigarette smoking have such a strong, negative effect on your back? Smoking affects your brain’s addictive behavior and motivated learning connections. By strengthening these connections, smoking plays a major role in the development of chronic back pain and chronic pain in other parts of your body.

A strong connection between the two brain regions called the nucleus accumbens and the medial prefrontal cortex influences your resilience to chronic pain. Smoking makes the connection between these two parts of the brain stronger, thus impacting your susceptibility to developing chronic pain.

You Can Fix It

This damage is not permanent even if you have smoked for decades.

Researchers saw a dramatic drop in this brain connection among smokers who quit smoking cigarettes. Their vulnerability to chronic pain decreased. This means that that the damage was not permanent. Similarly, if you quit smoking, you can reduce the intensity of your chronic back pain.

You must first quit smoking if you want to eliminate your chronic back pain.

Nicotine Is Poison

This is one reason why quitting with the assistance of nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine gum, patches or other nicotine-containing products) is not as great as ads would have you believe. In order to reduce the pain in your joints, you need to eliminate all nicotine consumption. Nicotine promotes unhealthy brain connections, damages nerves and reduces your body’s ability to mend itself.

Smoking cigarettes damages your back because it damages your body and alters your brain. Decreasing the amounts of toxic chemicals you consume while continuing to consume nicotine might lead to some improvements in how you feel. However, you will still be addicted to nicotine and continue to strengthen those brain connections.

In order to make chronic pain a thing of the past, you must stop consuming nicotine, be it in the form of cigarettes, cigars, vaporizers or patches.