There’s no need to puff and wheeze your way through the summer - try our holistic breath-boosting therapies!
According to a survey by the British Lung Foundation, one in seven people in the UK are affected by breathing difficulties. From adult asthma to hayfever to illnesses such as lung disease and respiratory failure, there are all sorts of health issues that cause us to huff and puff. Luckily holistic techniques, nutritional and complementary therapies could help you breathe more easily. Here are just a few…
Herbs have long been used for their ability to strengthen and aid recovery of the respiratory tract. A medical herbalist might prescribe one of the following:
Halo means salt in Greek and this curative treatment has been used for centuries to help alleviate respiratory issues. The theory is that breathing salt-saturated air helps to relax airways and soothe inflammation. Salt’s antibacterial properties also calm respiratory problems such as asthma. You can try it in purpose built salt caves or give yourself a DIY treatment with a salt pipe. We recommend this one: thesaltpipe.co.uk.
The ancient needling technique can help the body deal with phlegm and inflammation that affect the lungs. The acupuncture stimulus produces anti-inflammatory agents, while affecting the sympathetic nervous system to ease muscular constriction of the airway.
Professional or even self-massage can also help. If you suffer from hayfever try this DIY technique:
People with a high intake of fruit and vegetables have better lung function and are less likely to develop asthma than those who eat little, says integrative medical doctor Sarah Brewer, author of Natural Health Guru: Overcoming Asthma. “Apples for example, are a rich source of powerful antioxidants, including quercetin, which reduces histamine release and promotes bronchial relaxation.” She advises eating plenty of raw fruit and veg for their vitamin, mineral antioxidant and fibre content. “Antioxidants can help to strengthen lung tissue, reduce inflammation and improve asthma symptoms,” she says. Sarah also suggests cutting out additives such as monosodium glutamate, benzoates and sulfites, all of which can trigger asthma and other respiratory issues.
This has been used for centuries to control breathing and to practise mindfulness - both of which can help with respiratory issues. A good pose to try is the cobra asana (bhujangasana) which opens the chest and lungs. Here’s how:
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