Bronchial Asthma and Yoga Therapy
What is Bronchial Asthma?
It is a condition where the airway becomes narrow, swollen and mucus is produced so the air-filled sacs are now filled with mucus which makes it difficult to breathe.
Causes and Risk Factors:
- Exposing to cold, dust or polluted air
- Infections such as cold, flu and pneumonia
- Exposing to allergens like pollen, pet dander, mold, dust mite’s etcetera
- Environmental changes
- Intake of cold food and water
The most common symptoms are cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightness of chest.
Symptoms aggravate cold food consumption, cold climate and exposure to dust. Cough is common at night.
Few tips to Manage Symptoms:
- Avoid allergens – dust, pollen, fur etcetera
- Drink adequate water – being hydrated makes the mucus thinner
- Avoid smoking
- Practice breathing exercise regularly
- Avoid fragrance spray
The medications used are bronchodilator, steroids, anti-inflammatory and oxygen as supportive care.
How Yoga Helps?
Yoga therapy involving breathing techniques will have an impact on asthma symptoms. Breathing exercises in yoga practice help to release suppressed emotions, reduce anxiety and self consciousness, and relax muscle tension.
Some yoga postures help expand the chest and increase breath‐holding time as well as capacity of the lungs (vital capacity).
People with asthma may achieve a sense of relaxation and a positive mood there by reducing the stimulation of the nervous system (autonomic arousal factors) which is a cause for an asthma attack. Meditation techniques are also known to have positive effects as they help the control and feedback of respiratory muscles which are crucial to trigger an attack of asthma. Therefore Yoga therapy practiced under expert guidance is proven to be beneficial in reducing attacks and exacerbations too.
Various practices of yoga will help in preventing diseases and useful for management of all kinds of disorders and illnesses.
Kriyas: Kriyas are the techniques used to cleanse the various internal parts of the body in ancient days. These important kriyas play a role in the purification of the body.
- Jala Neti & Sutra Neti: Practice of Jala Neti helps to nasal passage by cleansing and making it free of dirt, dust, debris, potential disease agents (bacteria & viruses) and excess mucus.
- Vastra dhouti: It is an advanced technique, which should be done with guidance of an expert. This will help in removing sputum from the chest.
Asanas: Regular practice of yoga asanas will help in reducing the symptoms of bronchial asthma by expanding the chest, lungs and airways. Some of the best asanas for bronchial asthma are,
- Ardha chakrasana
- Kati chakrasana
- Ardha ustrasana
Pranayama: Pranayama – Control over breathing, it improves the lung capacity and helps in easy breathing.
- Surya anuloma viloma
- Surya bhedana
- Nadi Shuddhi
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