Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term used to categorize a number of lung diseases like emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthma. Living with lung disease is not easy, and there is no cure for COPD. However, there are affective ways to manage and improve COPD using alternative medicine. Acupressure /Acupuncture, Guided Imagery, Massage therapy, Yoga, and Biofeedback can all be very effective in improving the condition of COPD.
Acupressure and Shiatsu-- are both finger pressure massage systems based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), A hands on medicine that has been around for a few thousand years. This gentle approach help people with COPD start breathing easier. The idea is to treat special points along meridians, invisible channels of energy flow within the body. The pressure unblocks the energy and restores comfort. Acupuncture achieves the same goal by using simulating needles to the same points on the body and improve the function of different organs.
Studies show increased relaxation outcomes in people with COPD who use Guided Imagery Techniques. Relaxation is one of the methods of dealing with the anxiety and nervousness, which often accompanies COPD. Guided imagery is a meditative relaxation technique sometimes used with biofeedback. Audiotapes, books, are available as well as interactive guided imagery, classes, workshops and seminars to help you with this therapy.
Massage has come to be regarded as a complement to conventional medicine. Many of its positive effects seem to be mediated by increasing relaxation and decreasing stress hormones such as cortisol. For chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a massage can strengthen respiratory muscles, reduced heart rate, increase oxygen saturation in blood, decrease shortness of breath, and improved pulmonary functions.
The controlled breathing in yoga can ease anxiety, provides relaxation, and more oxygen to the blood stream. The exercises help open blocked airways caused by bronchitis or emphysema, which are linked to COPD, and improve the function of circulation. Simple yoga moves can even aid those with advanced COPD.
Those who suffer from COPD may believe exercise will make their condition worse, but studies have showed that simple exercises helps improve endurance, reduces anxiety levels, which in turn helps those with COPD to breathe more easily and improve their ability to perform normal activities.
Home Remedies Suggestions:
For hacking cough, that robs you of breath several times a day, try this suggestion from an herbalist-simple place a few drops of essential oil of frankincense on a handkerchief (or tissue) and inhale ever hour or so as needed.
Also for hacking cough, try this acupressure treatment with a partners help. Find the bump in the spine where the neck and shoulders meet. Apply pressure to points directly on ether side of the bump, the amount of times depend on the severity of the cough. This treatment can be repeated throughout the day.
Vitamin C and magnesium improve lung function in the cases of those suffering from COPD.
Massage gently the lung area meridian from the top of shoulder to the end of your thumb to help clear chest of mucus. Also, massage between the shoulder blades. Then try applying a warm ginger compress to the chest and back. To make a ginger compress use 2 quarts of water and 5 ounces of grated ginger. Make the water very hot but do not boil it. Steep for 15 minutes, strain, apply as a compress by soaking a small towel in the tea, and then apply.
Try black tea, many COPD sufferers turn to tea for relief from tightening in the chest. Black tea contains chemicals related to the stimulant theophylline, which is also the basis of many modern medical remedies. Three or four cups of black tea can open airway passages and ease breathing.
Ginkgo when used regularly the active ingredient has helped some patients to cut down on prescribed medication. Taken three times a day for a week or a month at a time. Ginkgo helps relax the lungs and keeps the breathing passage clear. Check with your Doctor before taking this herb.
Chewing on comfrey leaves: Comfrey leaf helps because it stimulates new cell growth and support quick healing. This makes it an excellent natural remedy for the lungs. It inhibits the cough reflex, softens and soothes damaged and inflamed bronchial mucus membranes. It helps to loosen mucus from the bronchial tubes so that it does not accumulate. You can buy comfrey leaf or root in various forms. There was a report of a man who had chronic asthma for 30 years. One night his sleep was better than most nights. Not realizing why, he thought back to what he did the day before and remembered eating comfrey leaves. Now he eats them everyday because of the notable improvement with his asthma. Check with your Doctor before taking this herb.
Anyone with COPD should consult his or her physician before undergoing any Alternative therapy. Also, speak with your health care provider if you are considering herbal, homeopathic, and other natural remedies to avoid any interactions with your current medication.