Asthma, a disease that affects the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs, makes the airways very sensitive because the inside walls of the airways become inflamed and swollen. The inflammation causes the tissues to react strongly to various triggers - causing allergic and irritation reactions. These triggers may be physiological, psychological, body internal or external. When the airways react, they get narrower and less air flows through to the lung tissues. This causes symptoms like wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and general trouble breathing.
In an asthma attack, muscles around the airways tighten up, making the airway openings even narrower and less air will flow through. The cells in the airways also create more mucus than usual. This causes more difficulty to breathe. In a severe asthma attack, the airways can close so drastically that not enough oxygen gets to vital organs. In this case it is essential to seek medical help immediately.
According to oriental systems the large intestine and the lung function are a complementary opposite pair of organs, both are part of the excretory function. If the septic system (the large intestine) is not working properly, lung function is often negatively impacted, as well.
A long history of constipation, diarrhea and/or other digestive issues is often preceding lung function problems. Constipation is allowing toxins destined for expulsion to be reabsorbed into the body tissues. This process weakens the whole body. Diarrhea is preventing the necessary nutrients from being absorbed into the body, also weakening the whole body. Other conditions, such as inflammation in the intestines will cause severe disruption, as well.
Thus any preventative or healing measures would do well to address improving our septic system - primarily the large intestine – along with addressing the lung condition.
One of the easiest ways to begin to improve our digestive system is by chewing well. Digestion begins in the mouth –neither stomach nor intestines are lined with teeth. Chewing breaks down the physical structure of the food. This results in better nutrient absorption into our body and adding beneficial enzymes from our saliva to our food. The various kinds of enzymes in our saliva break down complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins, as well as alkalizing the foods we chew and in turn alkalizing our blood quality. Diseases thrive in an acidic environment, and they disappear when our system becomes slightly more alkaline.
Choosing our foods wisely: choosing good quality, unrefined, whole foods with lots of fiber will also benefit our digestive system and our body as a whole.
Digestive trouble may be apparent through tight shoulders, as well as skin troubles, like pimples or acne or melanoma. In terms of asthma the main contributing cause for inflammation are regular and excess consumption of foods that have an expansive and mucus producing effect in the intestines and the airways - like fried potatoes, tomatoes, ice-cream, all dairy, sodas, yoghurts, sweets, excess fruits, lack of fiber, refined flour products, sweet baked flour products, fatty and greasy foods, chocolate, fruit juices, heavy animal food consumption, along with constant snacking and late night eating.
Foods that are particularly helpful for lung and large intestine function are brown rice, daikon radish, cauliflower, lotus root, lotus seeds, plenty of short cooked leafy greens, kuzu, naturally fermented foods like miso and sauerkraut, hijiki (sea vegetable), white beans, azuki beans and sesame seeds among others. All of these foods taken in balanced proportion on a regular basis, will reduce inflammation and mucus in the airways.
Lungs are twin organs. Metaphysically twin organs indicate the aspect of dialogue of oneself with the outside world. The lungs, governing our throat and voice box, are all about speaking our truth and communication between the inside and outside world. Being mindful of our communication with others - or the lack thereof - as well as our internal ‘dialogue’ can be the first step in changing towards a healthier relationship with our body.
Stress is a known trigger to bring on asthma attacks. What is stress? Stress is experienced as strain, pressure, nervous tension, trouble, anxiety, and difficulty. It is a state of mental, emotional or physical tension resulting from (seemingly) adverse circumstances.
And stress can be described physiologically as a link between hormones, nervous system and inflammation anywhere in the body.
Foods like sugar, sweets, chocolate, strong spices and greasy, oily foods, animal foods, and others tend to create more inflammation in an already weakened digestive system. And as inflammation spreads quickly in the body from the digestive system via the highway called the vagus nerve upwards in the body, inflammatory substances spread throughout the body, causing damage to the cells of the lungs and other systems. In the brain inflammation favors the production of anxiety provoking chemicals, which may become the trigger for an asthma attack and a variety of other symptoms like lethargy, depression, sleep disturbance, decreased learning ability, etc.
Changing one’s diet towards a balanced plant based diet including whole grains, vegetables, beans, bean products, sea vegetables, seeds and other natural, supplemental foods will create more stable mental and emotional states along with a strong, healthy body.
Examining ourselves to assess where we may wish to change our perspective on life for allowing more joy and healing into our life is also very beneficial.
As every person is an individual, it will be most effective for the healing journey to monitor the condition with your physician and seek advice from an experienced counselor to adjust your diet and lifestyle properly.