During class I brought up the subject of meditation helping with Asthma. For those who don’t know what asthma is its a disorder of the lungs that cause the airways to swell and narrow causing shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. So the question is does the practice of meditation help? I wanted to know.
After some basic research the answer came clear. Yes meditation will help asthmatic people. Specifically research has been done concerning breath count meditation or Anapanasati and Sahaja meditation. The act of counting one’s breaths while in a relaxed state or staying completely relaxed and thoughtless seems to help calm a person during an attack, when usually panic will set in worsening the problem. Keeping calm during an attack will aid in the medicine working faster and more efficiently. Speech therapists teach a technique to help open the larynx and airways by making a ssssss sound, meditation seems to also aid in this by helping ur muscles relax and your larynx and air passages to go back to the resting position. Another example is that the practice of breaths themselves will help strengthen the lung. Practicing breaths strengthens lung muscles and allows the lungs to breathe deeper easier which in fact may help prevent future attacks.
A study done by the University of Cincinnati showed that severely ill patients who practiced meditation or yoga were able to better manage their asthma. They suggested that patients consult with their physicians if meditation or other alternative techniques may aid they’re health treatment plans.
Another study done at the Northern Colorado Allergy Asthma Clinic showed that patients who practiced yoga and meditation techniques showed improvements in exercise strength, lung strength, overall attitude, and decreased use in inhalers.
Overall not many studies have been done concerning meditation with asthma. Researchers have cited lack of control over the studies to show a concrete answer. The research that has been done shows an improvement in asthma patients who practice meditation techniques. The decrease of use of medicines and the overall improvement of lung function due to strengthening is evident. Personally I don’t see how trying could hurt, if it helps then hey anything that helps you breath is good! Research, study, and consult a physician first.
I am not a physician, I make no claim to be, this is just thoughts I have done research on. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your asthma care plan.