Asthma is an expensive and major health issue in all developed countries, affecting about 34 million people in the United States alone. People with asthma have inflamed airways, which make them swollen and sensitive. When the airways overreact, the muscles surrounding them tighten, restricting airflow to the lungs.
While there is no cure for asthma, there are some treatments and lifestyle changes that can improve symptoms. Living with asthma requires taking an active role in managing the condition.
Typical medical treatment for asthma includes daily use of inhaled steroid medications, avoiding triggers and using rescue medication when necessary. This isn’t the only solution to asthma, however, and guided imagery can be very effective, too. In some cases, it can help in areas where medication cannot, and with no side effects. It may also help you reduce your medications, rely on emergency medications less often and gain greater control of your mind and body, and how both react to the stress of an asthma attack.
Guided Imagery for Asthma
Guided imagery has an important place in the holistic treatment of asthma, and it can be used in conjunction with modern medicine as well. Guided visualization and relaxation techniques have been studied extensively for this use specifically, and researchers have found that it does produce real results.
Among the many studies, these are of particular interest:
- A randomized, controlled clinical trial at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey found biofeedback is an effective, complementary therapy to combat asthma symptoms.
- A small study in Venezuela in 2003 found that six months of psychosocial intervention teaching asthmatic children guided imagery, relaxation and self esteem techniques reduced asthma symptoms. The group receiving this therapy experienced significantly fewer symptoms than the group receiving conventional medicine alone.
- In 2005, researchers at Saybrook Graduate School found physiological guided imagery for asthma improves symptoms.
- A 2009 study from researchers at the Technische Universitat Munchen in Germany found patients with exrinsic bronchial asthma (the form usually caused by inhaled allergens) breathed easier using guided imagery and relaxation techniques.
- Guided imagery and relaxation techniques were found to help air flow in asthmatics.
- The Technische Universitat Munchen researchers also discovered guided imagery reduces serum IgE levels in asthma sufferers.
Guided imagery and relaxation techniques helps you overcome and deal with asthma in several ways. Visualization can be combined with modern medicine to improve respiratory function, reduce medication and experience fewer emergencies.
Because acute asthmatic attacks make you unable to breathe, it’s easy to become very anxious, worsening the situation. Some forms of asthma are even caused by situations of great stress or anxiety, and guided visualization can help by helping you gain greater control and insight into yourself to avoid the anxiety entirely. Imagery helps you in your own healing process, empowering you to stop the asthma attacks before they begin.
Ready to Try Guided Imagery?
Guided imagery has been found by dozens of studies to be an effective tool for reducing asthma symptoms in adults and children alike. Along with reducing symptoms, it may help you become less reliant on daily or emergency medication as well. If you’ve been suffering with asthma for years and you’re ready to try something else, especially if you don’t find any relief from prescription medication, try this program designed to support a healthy immune system. This gentle guided meditation will help you focus on your body and health in a positive way to adjust your thinking and strengthen your entire system.