Asthma is a disease of lower respiratory tract brought on by obstruction due to the parasympathetic nervous system being overactive, which in acute attacks, causes narrowing of the bronchioles and outpouring of excessive mucus into the lumen of the bronchioles.
Causes Of Bronchial Asthma
- Emotional disturbances
Predisposing Factors Of Asthma
- Respiratory tract infection
Types of Asthma
Allergic Asthma generally occurs in early age and especially in males. It is sudden in onset and may come at any time. It is associated with a feeling of tightness in chest zone. The other symptoms include expiration becoming exhausting and the inspiration becoming short and gasping. Wheezing expiratory sound can be heard. Unproductive coughing occurs and the pulse become rapid.
Chronic asthma occurs in the later stages of life and generally in females. The cause of this type may be hereditary. It is associated with continuous wheezing and breathlessness on exertion. A cough and recurrence of respiratory infection are other common features.
Yogic treatment of Asthma
The yogic view of the cause of Asthma is that it is caused by emotional factors. Once the root cause, which results in a patient’s emotional stress, is removed, the disease is cured. This is a general and a primary statement. For the yogic treatment or yogic management of bronchial asthma, the following Yogic Kriyas can be adopted –
The practice of Laghu Shankhpraskshlana cleanses all the unwanted elements from the intestine and should be done under the guidance of a Yoga expert.
Kunjal (Jal Dhouti)
Depending on the patient’s age and strength, the practice of Jal Dhouti can be recommended once a week, thrice a fortnight and in some cases continuously for seven days. Kunjal also removes unwanted elements from the elementary canal.
The practice of Jal Neti every day. Neti cleanses the nasal passage, releasing constricted upper airways and increasing the flow of breath. It should be done every day by an asthma patient.
The above three practices purify and detoxify the body and its internal systems. Imbalances in the body, which are due to irregular lifestyle, including irregularity in eating habits, are overcome with the detoxification of the body. The internal systems of the body are also regulated. The above three practices play a great role to balance the three ‘doshas’ or in the body: ‘Kapha’, the mucous; ‘Pitta’, the bile; and ‘Vata’, the wind. Both Ayurveda and Hatha Yoga says that imbalance in the above stated three doshas results in illness.
In general, all forward and backward bending asanas are useful for a patient suffering from asthma. The following Yoga Asanas can be best and tried by him –
Pranayama directly influences the respiratory centers of the brain. This result in patient gaining higher control over the movement of respiratory muscles and the pattern of thought, feeling and general behavior. This is fundamental in the Yogic management of asthma.
Kapal Bhati has a cleansing effect on the lungs and is a good practice for respiratory disorders. How to do Kapal Bhati and to know further details, the post on Kapal Bhati will help – Kapal Bhati Pranayama (The Frontal Brain Cleansing Breath)
By the practice of Ujjayi the efficiency of the lungs is enhanced. Respiratory tract and throat are freed from phlegm by the practice of Ujjayi Breathing. The complete detail of Ujjayi has been given in the post – Three Techniques Of Ujjayi Breath (Ocean or Psychic Breath) and its Benefits.
Bhastrika involves forceful exhalation and abdominal movement, produces a strong current of expelled air, helping to expel bronchial secretions and strengthen the expiratory phase of the breathing cycle.
The practitioner gets a higher concentration, get rid of anxiety and stress, gets clarity of thoughts, and tranquility of mind. Details of the pranayama can be had in the post – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique and Benefits.
The deep state of relaxation achieved through meditation helps the body processes recuperate to their normal level of activity.
Relaxation removes the tension in the respiratory muscles helping the patient of Asthma to breathe more efficiently. This is reflected in increased breath holding time.
Other important findings
Uddiyan bandh and some asanas push the abdominal wall inside so that the diaphragm rises further into the chest and helps the lungs to be empty efficiently.
If the above stated Yogic practices are incorporated into a daily lifestyle, the severity and frequency of asthma attacks diminish progressively and cure is possible in the majority of cases.