Asthma, bronchitis, coughing, hoarseness
Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways that is characterized by hypersensitivity and reversible narrowing of the bronchial system. The cardinal symptom of Asthma is sudden attacks of suppressed breathing.
In Chinese Medicine asthma results as the communication between the lungs and the kidneys is disturbed due to a weakness of the kidneys. The kidneys are responsible for receiving the descending lung Qi and for holding it down, this allows us to breath deeply into the belly “belly breathing”. The therapeutic principle inolves strengthening the kidneys and regulating the relationhip between the kidneys and the lungs.
Bronchitis is usually caused by a viral infection of the upper airways, which spreads deeper to the bronchioles. Acute bronchitis caused by a virus disease (i.e. measles) can eventually affect the entire body. Other than viruses, Bronchitis can also be caused by chemical stimuli (for example the inhalation of smoke or acids).
Bronchitis starts with a dry cough. After a while, the mucous membranes will start to swell, stimulating the production of mucus, the cough then becomes productive (with the expectoration of mucus). The discharge – referred to in the medical jargon as sputum can be viscous or serous. In viral infections, the discharge is usually clear to grayish, while for bacterial infections, it is rather a greenish-yellowish colour. The colour of the discharge provides only tendential clues to the underlying cause.
TCM classifies the symptoms of bronchitis into different patterns, depending on the color and consistency of the sputum. Cough in combination with a yellow-greenish sputum indicates Phlegm-Heat in the lungs, whereas in combination with clear sputum likely indicates phlegm-cold or just mucus. TCM treatment aims to dispel mucus from the lungs, convert it and strengthen the Lung Qi.
The cough reflex is a protective reflex that frees or keeps the airways free of foreign bodies and other injurious stimuli. Expectoration of sputum and throat clearing are also a part of this reflex mechanism. The cough may manifest with different properties (acute, chronic, dry, with sputum, etc.). If a cough lasts longer than 3-4 weeks, it is recommended to have a checkup with your house doctor.
Cough is a so-called cardinal symptom of the lungs. There are numerous underlying patterns, which cause coughing, and thus each diagnosis must be made on an individual basis. In the background, however, there is always an imbalance of the lungs, which must be regulated. With acupuncture and herbal therapy, it is possible to strengthen the lung qi and harmonize the flow again.
Most patients complain of a rough, scratchy voice. The causes of hoarseness are numerous. In principle, hoarseness lasting more than three weeks, regardless of one’s age, should be inspected by an otolaryngologist.
According to Chinese Medicine, hoarseness arises as a result of dryness. It then goes further to ask what has caused the dryness. The causes are mainly heat / cold in the lungs or a yin deficiency of the lungs due to chronic smoking. The focus of the treatment is to moisturize, as well as strengthen the lungs. In addition, the causes of the hoarseness, should also be avoided or reduced.