Alternative Therapies For Asthma Treatment Biofeedback Holds Promise

Alternative Therapies For Asthma Treatment Biofeedback Holds Promise

Are there effective alternative therapies for​ asthma? Many researchers believe biofeedback holds promise as​ a​ way to​ help asthma patients.

What is​ biofeedback all about? it​ involves measuring a​ person's body processes like heart rate, blood pressure, galvanic skin response, etc and​ providing this information to​ the​ person in​ real time. This creates awareness of​ these processes and​ in​ turn, can help the​ person gain conscious control over related body functions.

For instance, scientists have shown that a​ person can consciously influence his heartbeat. in​ fact, some studies at​ the​ National Institutes for​ Health have indicated that patients can be trained even to​ lower their blood pressure.

Biofeedback training is​ part of​ what is​ called complementary and​ alternative medicine (CAM). it​ was Dr. Neal Miller, a​ neuroscientist at​ Yale who first said that it​ is​ possible to​ exert conscious control over automatic body functions. the​ scientific and​ medical establishment of​ the​ time scoffed at​ his statement and​ held that such things are impossible.

However, subsequent research by several groups has shown that control over unconscious body functions is​ indeed possible. Many patients have found relief from migraine using biofeedback training. Some researchers are studying the​ possibility of​ using biofeedback as​ the​ main treatment for​ high blood pressure problems.

How does biofeedback apply to​ asthma?

During an​ asthma attack, the​ muscles around the​ airways are inflamed and​ contracted. if​ these muscles can be relaxed, air would flow more freely into the​ lungs and​ the​ distressing symptoms of​ asthma would be alleviated. Biofeedback systems train the​ patient to​ accomplish just that.

In addition, asthma patients often have abnormal breathing patterns. the​ Society for​ Applied Psychotherapy and​ Biofeedback says that 'barrel breathing' is​ one such pattern. This is​ when the​ asthmatic takes in​ a​ deep breath and​ then doesn't fully breathe out. Instead, they take several shallow in​ and​ out breaths without emptying their lungs completely.

As a​ result, their lungs can't be refilled with fresh air since they never empty fully when breathing out.

Using a​ process called pneumographic biofeedback, asthma patients learn to​ recognize their altered heart rates that occur during barrel breathing. and​ they learn to​ change their breathing pattern to​ lower their heart rate as​ well as​ improve oxygen intake.

Some studies have concluded that this type of​ biofeedback treatment not only reduced the​ symptoms of​ asthma but also brought down lung inflammation and​ resistance to​ normal breathing. the​ heart beat variability biorhythm treatment has also resulted in​ lowered medication use and​ better pulmonary function.

The National Institutes of​ Health advices asthma patients who wish to​ use biofeedback training to​ work with a​ competent trainer and​ to​ keep their doctor fully informed. the​ latter is​ important because asthma patients should be monitored regularly and​ medication may need to​ be adjusted from time to​ time.

Overall, biofeedback treatment is​ one of​ the​ more promising alternative therapies for​ asthma.

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