Asthma is at an all-time high for children in our modern society. It’s bad enough to hear an adult having an asthma attack but it’s agonizing and heartbreaking when a child has one. Yoga is recognized as a therapeutic alternative for treating asthma problems. Recent trials have revealed that Yoga techniques such as posture training, relaxation, and stress reduction are successful in treating asthma and other chronic lung diseases.
Yoga for asthma treatment has been experimented with since the early 1960’s. Since breathing is such an important part of Yoga practice, patients who were taught controlled breathing had less asthma and their asthma attacks were not as severe. A week long Yoga camp included a small clinical trial for patients with bronchial asthma. Before they left, their pulmonary and autonomic functions were tested. At the camp, they were taught physical Yoga practices, encouraged to improve their posture and breathing habits and meditate to reduce tension. When they came back, the test results were considered startling. They were found to have a better resting heart rate and relaxation of the muscles involved in breathing was significantly impacted. Results showed a clear benefit from just this short-term Yoga training camp.
That is encouraging for the many children and adults that suffer from asthma or other chronic lung ailments. Breathing is such an important part of keeping our body healthy and breathing correctly can control and occasionally even cure asthma. Breathing too fast or hyperventilating can cause an imbalance between oxygen and the carbon dioxide that our cells need to remain healthy.
Asthma sufferers know how important oxygen is to their body. We can do without food for weeks, without water for days, but we will die within a few moments if our body is deprived of oxygen. The brain needs more oxygen than any other part of the body. If it doesn’t get the oxygen needed, it becomes sluggish, depression and negative thoughts creep in, and eventually hearing and vision is weakened. Patients who don’t have enough oxygen going to their brain get irritated quickly. A lack of oxygen in the brain causes strokes, and in the heart will cause heart attacks.
Lack of oxygen has been considered a major cause of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. It’s been found that by injecting oxygen into the arteries of test monkeys, their artery disease was reversed.
Yoga breathing techniques can be helpful for those people who don’t leave active lifestyles. The office worker who sits slouched over a computer keyboard is starving their cells from much needed oxygen. This causes a feeling of tiredness, they are nervous and irritable and not productive. When they try to sleep, it eludes them, and therefore gets started on the wrong foot again the next day.
If you are not breathing correctly and have found yourself in a tired state all the time, or you suffer from asthma attacks, you may benefit from Pranayama, the practice of breathing in Yoga practice.