For a parent, nothing can be worse than helplessly watching your child gasping and wheezing to breathe. And that is exactly what asthma does. Dealing with an asthma attack is one of the scariest things any parent has to deal with.
Asthma in Children: More Prevalent and Alarming than You’d Think
Unfortunately, according to a statistical report conducted by CDC (Centre for Disease Control & Prevention) that charted asthma death rates by race and age group over 500 asthmatic children die every week in the USA. Alarming, isn’t it? What’s worse, more than sixty percent of children diagnosed with asthma have what is called “Persistent Asthma” — which means that their asthma is poorly controlled, and they are dependent on medication and inhalers. Asthma in kids between the age of 5 and 11 years has become rather common, with 8.4% of all asthma patients diagnosed being children. In fact, CDC estimates that on an average, 2 children in every classroom of America suffer from asthma.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by attacks of breathing distress. An asthma attack is not only distressing, it can also be potentially life-threatening, which is why mortality rate remains high. Often accompanied by symptoms like a chronic cough, wheezing, chest tightness, cough at night, shortness of breath and cough when exercising, asthma makes it difficult for children to lead a normal, healthy lifestyle. Symptoms are often worse when exercising/playing or during night, and can be exacerbated by allergies, cold air and exertion. As a result, kids with asthma lose out on playing sports, the joys of sharing their home with a pet, and often have to stay indoors during allergy season. Additionally, they miss out on school days when their asthma is triggered.
Why There’s a Need to Look Beyond the Current Treatment Methods
Presently, medication and inhalers using bronchodilators, corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers and other such methods are used for treating kids with asthma. If your child has persistent asthma, these drugs become a part of life, as do the side effects that come with them. Wouldn’t it be nice if your child could live a healthy, active, happy life wherein he/she doesn’t have to bother with daily medication or always have rescue inhalers on hand? Is it possible to get rid of allergy related asthma altogether?
Yes, it’s possible to beat allergy related asthma through holistic treatments. This is why, on this World Asthma Day, we want to stress upon two revolutionary methods for treating kids with asthma that are non-invasive, drug-free techniques, so there’s no harm in trying them -The Buteyko Breathing Therapy or simply called the Buteyko Method, and Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques or NAET.
The Buteyko Method: Learn How to Breathe Right and Reduce Dependency on Asthma Drugs
Buteyko Breathing Therapy was developed by a Ukrainian doctor, Dr. Konstantin Buteyko, in 1952. He was the first physiologist to link hyperventilation to asthma, and he developed a breathing technique to address this problem. The Buteyko Method focuses on taking slow, shallow breaths rather than trying to breathe deeply, which works wonders during an asthma attack as it makes it possible to maintain the desired ratio of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. In fact, deep breathing is of no use whilst dealing with an asthma attack.
While the Buteyko Breathing Therapy (BBT) works well for several allergies and dysfunctional breathing problems, it is particularly helpful for treating asthma. With the Buteyko Method, the patient learns how to recondition and normalise breathing during an asthma attack, hence reducing their dependency on drugs and inhalers. The method works especially well on allergy and exercise induced asthma, which is what is most bothersome in young kids.
Several clinical trials prove the effectiveness of the Buteyko Method, estimate that patients can expect to reduce their dependence on asthma medication by as much as 96% within 3 months of starting the treatment. An Australian clinical trial studied 36 asthmatics with mild to moderate symptoms to understand the effectiveness of the Buteyko Method. They concluded that BBT may be effective in improving the quality of life and reducing the intake of inhaled reliever medication in patients with asthma after just 4 weeks.
Another study done in Egypt to understand the effect of Buteyko breathing technique on patients with bronchial asthma concluded that BBT produce a significant improvement for patients with bronchial asthma by reducing daily symptoms when measured through common asthma tests (PEFR and Control pause test).
A study done in Canada to assess the effectiveness of a non-pharmacological intervention in asthma patients who used inhaled corticosteroid found that after 6 months of using the Buteyko Breathing Therapy, subjects displayed control of their asthma with the additional benefit of reduction in inhaled corticosteroid use.
These clinical trials indicate that people learning the Buteyko Method are able to reduce medication with no deterioration in their lung function or asthma control, and all through a non-invasive, drug-free breathing technique. The Buteyko Method doesn’t involve taking any sort of medication and hence it’s safe for anyone over the age of 3 years and well into the 80s.
While the method works for patients of all ages, it is particularly beneficial for kids as it’s easier for them to learn and adapt to a new breathing technique. Most children pick up The Buteyko method quickly, as it focuses on shallow breathing through the nose and not through the mouth. Working with a qualified Buteyko instructor is highly recommended. The exercises are quite simple, take little time, require no equipment and can be done anywhere. However, these breathing exercises need to be practiced every day, so parents should ensure they schedule some time for these practiced breathing sessions.
NAET: A Non-Invasive Method to Identify and Desensitize Against Allergens
What if you could be free from all allergies, including allergy induced asthma? That’s what’s possible with the Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques, or “NAET”. NAET is a non-invasive, drug free, natural approach to eliminate allergies using a blend of Energy Balancing, Kinesiology, Chiropractic, Acupuncture/Acupressure and Nutritional therapy. Results of 10-Year-Survey of the NAET Clinic Patients (a study done by NAET) shows that nearly two-thirds of the sample group experienced resolution of symptoms within the first 15-25 visits.
NAET was discovered by Dr. Devi S. Nambudripad in 1983. As the name suggests, the focus is on identifying and treating allergens that can be the main reason behind allergy-induced asthma. NAET can detect the cause of asthma as well as treat the allergies which result in asthma attacks. The technique uses muscle testing and acupressure but no needles are used, which makes it especially suitable for children who are scared of needles, as most MD Allergists need to rely on skin prick testing or blood tests to identify allergens.
NAET is available all over the world with over 12,000 licensed practitioners practicing the technique. However, be aware that NAET requires patience and time, as the treatment works with only one allergen at a time and can it can take several sittings with the NAET practitioner to become desensitized to a severe allergen.
For any parent looking for a solution to treat kids with asthma, the goal of treatment is to minimize symptoms that will allow the child to live a normal, healthy life by being able to participate in physical activities with minimum side effects. What’s more important to is prevent trips to the emergency room and hospitalizations due to asthma attacks.
The Buteyko method and NAET allergy treatment are definitely worth a try, especially because both of these are free from unwarranted side-effects which can further hamper quality of life for your child. It’s a real shot at a normal childhood, which is what every single child deserves.
Editor’s Note: Sepalika has no commercial interest or association with either organisation mentioned in this article.