Natural Strategies for Managing Asthma

For most of us, our airways have no problem opening up when needed, whether we need more oxygen after strenuous physical activity or we inhale something irritating. If you have asthma, your airways constrict and you are not able to breathe properly. Primary treatments include medications to prevent and manage attacks, avoiding triggers and lifestyle changes. Certain natural therapies may help as well, and you might consider adding them to your arsenal to maximize control over your condition and minimize attacks as best you can.


With asthma, inflammation prevents your airways from operating as they should. Inflammation is a complex process with many triggers, but certain lifestyle changes can minimize it. The food you eat is major factor in inflammation and if you have asthma, making certain changes to your diet may help.  Cut back on foods that trigger inflammation, such as sugar, refined carbohydrates, saturated animal fats, corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil and trans fats—trans fats are often found in many fried foods and baked goods as well as in any packaged product that contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil in the list of ingredients. Foods that fight inflammation include omega 3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish, flax seed and walnuts, the healthy fats found in foods like nuts, seeds and avocados, and antioxidant –rich fruits and vegetables.


While you might associate meditation with some guru sitting on an isolated mountain top, it is actually a practice that provides many benefits beyond the spiritual. It has been found to reduce stress and pain to name a few applications. If stress and other forms of mental discomfort trigger your breathing problems, meditation may be something to consider. Stress and other negative emotions are unavoidable so if elimination is not feasible, our best bet is learning to cope with them more successfully.

Most of our struggle in life lies not in what happens to us, but how we react to it. Meditation helps us change how we handle stress and myriad negative feelings and situations we encounter; it can change our perspective and help us respond to challenges rather than to react to them automatically. While research on the effects of meditation on physical health problems has been mixed, it is certainly worth a shot and it will not cost you a thing. People have been using it as a tool to improve their mental and physical health for thousands of years so it is not something I would dismiss simply because Western science has not been able to ‘’prove’’ its benefits.


Acupuncture is a tool of Traditional Chinese Medicine that operates on the premise that blocked energy flow in certain parts of the body correlates to suffering from certain health conditions. By stimulating specific points in the body, you are able to restore healthy functioning. There really is no equivalent to this mode of thought in Western medicine. Acupuncture has proven effective in many conditions. When it comes to asthma specifically, a review of research conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration Review has found that acupuncture may help asthma but that more rigorous trials are needed. One positive trial, which was published in the fall 2008 issue of the Permanente Journal found that a combination of acupuncture and guided meditation – where you are instructed to visualize certain things—in combination with standard therapy resulted in fewer hospitalizations, emergency room visits, physician visits and days taking oral steroids, as well as improved respiratory function.

For the most part, acupuncture is safe but side effects directly related to the condition being treated are always a possibility. If you are interested in pursuing this avenue, be sure to work with a qualified practitioner.

Closing Thoughts

When it comes to managing our health, we often have more control than we think, but it may sometimes require more effort on our parts, such as the case of changing our diet. While conventional treatments still rule the day for most conditions, natural therapies are gaining more exposure and legitimacy; they may not be the answer every time but they are something to consider.

About the Author

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in health and wellness content. She has a passion for helping others live their healthiest and best life. If you suffer from asthma ,you might consider learning more about air purifiers at

Kelli Cooper

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who is particularly passionate about health and personal development. Visit her personal blog at

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