Try these aromatherapy methods to ease your flare-ups
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and tightens the airways to cause repeated bouts of wheezing, coughing and breathlessness. Most asthma patients find that these symptoms strike at night or in the early hours of morning and it affects people of all ages, even children. Over 25 million people in the US alone suffer from asthma, out of which 7 million are children.
Folks affected with this condition have inflamed airways that are sensitive and swollen causing lesser air to flow through these passages. The muscles around the airways get affected by this and it causes more inflammation making the chest tighter and harder to breathe. The cells in the passage might react to this shortness of breath by creating more mucus which further narrows the airways. Amidst all this, the stale air that is present in the lungs does not get exhaled properly thus making the person gasp for breath because the lungs require the used air to flow out so fresh oxygen can enter.
Asthma can be triggered or reduced by what is inhaled by the person and it has no definite cure yet. The symptoms may stay stagnant for a person but the possibility of it reoccurring is very likely. Because of this, many people are turning to alternative methods of treating the disease like aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the treatment of a condition with scents which is gaining fast popularity now but has been in use since two thousand years.
Do you realize how when you smell good food or a bouquet of flowers your mood instantly lifts up. This is a great example of how aromatherapy works. Even hospitals use aromatherapy to help patients relax and aromatic oils have been used in massages since centuries to cure skin ailments and other conditions. This is essentially because essential oils have compounds that have healing benefits apart from their individual scents.
Aromatherapy specialists have done extensive research on how different scents can be used to treat different problems like depression, stress and headaches among many others. Similarly, asthma can also be treated with aromatherapy. Every person reacts differently to scents and something that works for one might not work for another so do remember to test it out on a person to understand if it suits their condition or not.
Treating flare-ups immediately after you first notice them will help you understand what triggers them and how to prevent them better. The best time to use aromatherapy for asthma is in between attacks. Allergic reactions can be triggered by stress, food substances and by airborne allergens. Histamine production is increased when an attack flares which restricts the airways by causing inflammation. German chamomile contains an element called chamazulene which prevents the release of histamines and thus, reduces the inflammation caused. Scents that promote deep breathing and lung expansion like frankincense, marjoram and rose are popular among asthmatics.
Some folks with asthma are sensitive to certain fragrances so testing the fragrance in between an asthma attack can help you understand what works for the person and what doesn’t. When used consistently, the scents that offer relief can prevent flare-ups. Relaxant scents like chamomile, geranium and lavender are great for treating bronchial spasms and providing relief. Some even use lavender steam during a flare-up to ease the attack. The steam helps in opening up the airways and the lavender relaxes the lung spasms. This can stop the attack or make it less severe and the added benefit of lavender calming the mind helps to eliminate panic which in turn promotes deep breathing, giving the lungs the air that it is craving for.
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