Clinical Information For the Treatment Of Asthma

What Is Asthma?


Asthma - Basics

Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterized by the inflammation and constricting of the airways. Several different factors trigger asthmatic episodes, including stress, infectious agents, pollutants and allergens. When one of these "triggers" irritates the airways, the muscles surrounding them tighten, restricting the flow of air to the lungs. Symptoms of asthma are tightness in the chest, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.

Below you will find alternative and natural treatment options including those from a Chinese Medicine perspective for Asthma.

What Patterns Are Related To Asthma?


Asthma - Diagnostic Patterns

The Chinese Medicine treatment of asthma generally involves arriving at the appropriate TCM diagnosis or pattern. This pattern within the individual is what treatment is based on not the general condition (see treating the cause and not the symptoms).

The following patterns may represent the underlying contributing factors for the development of asthma:

Kidney Qi DeficiencyLiver FireLiver Qi StagnationLiver Yin DeficiencyLung Dampness - Phlegm ColdLung Dampness - Phlegm HeatLung Wind Invasion - Wind ColdLung Wind Invasion - Wind HeatSpleen Qi Deficiency

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Which Acupuncture Point Protocols May Be Applied For Asthma?


Asthma - Acupuncture Protocols

The treatment of conditions with acupuncture can be a complicated endeavor that should only be undertaken by individuals with a deep understanding of the underlying Chinese Medicine theory (and/or whatever system being used for treatment). There are many approaches, but generally speaking few viable approaches are involved on a point to condition basis. Rather using proper diagnostic procedures the patients diagnostic pattern is ascertained and that is what is treated. The protocols listed here exemplify some of these clinical approaches.

The following acupuncture treatment protocols may be used with asthma:

Which Tam Healing and Tongren Therapy Protocols Apply To Asthma?


Asthma - Tam Healing and Tongren Therapy Protocols

Tong Ren Therapy is the energy healing/medical qi gong aspect of the Tam Healing System. The areas of focus for asthma that we would use in Tong Ren techniques form the basis for our acupuncture treatments as well. Generally you would mix these primary points with points specific to the patients underlying TCM pattern and then our tuina (medical massage) would be largely focused on these points as well.

The following Tam healing and tong ren therapy protocols may be used with asthma:

34 Points Are Empirically Important For Asthma

2 TCM Herbs Are Potentially Used With Asthma

The Following (10)Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Asthma

Bai He Gu Jin Wan (Lily Bulb to Preserve the Metal)

Clinical Usages

  • General yin deficiency signs may present as night sweats, heat in the soles and palms, and flusing.
  • Cough/wheezing, possible blood in the sputum, dry and sore throat may present from lung yin and qi deficiency.
  • Useful for treating people who quit smoking or those with acute smoke exposure.

    Clinical Categorization

    Ban Xia Hou Po Wan (Pinellia & Magnolia Pills)

    Clinical Usages

    • Plum pit qi (globus hystericus) and/or difficulty with swallowing from liver qi stagnation.
    • Coughing, hiccups, nausea and possible vomitting from rebellious qi and phlegm.

      Clinical Categorization


        Use with caution in yin deficiency or with patients with signs of liver yang rising

          Bu Fei Er Jiao Wan (Tonify the Lungs Formula with Gelatin)

          Clinical Usages

          • Lung yin deficiency with strong heat signs and/or bleeding - chronic dry cough, wheezing, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, COPD.
          • Stops bleeding when it arises from lung yin deficiency - mild bloody sputum with dry cough.

            Clinical Categorization


              • Avoid in patients with wind-cold (i.e. "common cold").
              • Avoid when there are profuse amounts of blood in the sputum.
              • Avoid, or use with caution, in patients with stomach and/or spleen deficiencies, particularly with phlegm accumulation.

                Er Chen He San Zi Yang Qin Wan (Two Aged Herbs & Three Seeds Nursing Pills)

                Clinical Usages

                Coming Soon...

                  Clinical Categorization

                  Er Chen Wan (Two Aged Herbs)

                  Clinical Usages

                  • The primary base formula to resolve phlegm damp, particularly in the lungs and GI system - cough (with white mucus), plugged ears, sinus blockage - along with GI symptoms of nausea, vomiting.
                  • Upper respiratory tract infections, bronchitis, emphysema, COPD - when arising from phlegm damp.
                  • Phlegm accumulation in the head symptoms such as dizziness, insomnia, meniere's disease, alcohol hangover.
                  • Cysts from phlegm accumulation - fibroids, breast cyst, ovarian cyst, thryoid cysts, goiter. 

                    Clinical Categorization


                      • Avoid in patients with yin deficiency - i.e. cough from dryness.

                        Gui Zhi Tang Wan (Cinnamon Twig Decoction)

                        Clinical Usages

                        • Gan Mao (wind-cold) - Common cold or flu (or related illnesses, asthma, rhinitis, etc.) presenting with fever and chills (unrelieved by sweating), headache, aversion to wind, no desire for fluids, dry cough, sore throat.
                        • Frostbite.
                        • Pain from cold - may manifest in the joints, sciatic pain, neuralgia.
                        • Some skin conditions that are worse with cold and tend to be dry and itchy.
                        • Potentially useful post-partum (for colds or fevers) to strengthen the exterior (wei qi).

                          Clinical Categorization

                          Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan (Clear the Qi and Transform Phlegm Pill)

                          Clinical Usages

                          • Cough with thick yellow or green phlegm, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and possible fullness of the chest due to damp heat accumulation in the lungs.

                            Clinical Categorization

                            Sha Shen Mai Dong Wan (Glehnia and Ophiopogonis Decoction)

                            Clinical Usages

                            • Important formula for stomach yin deficiency - benefits the stomach and the lungs - a range of digestive issues (gastritis, epigastric pain), possibly with dry throat, thirst and/or cough.
                            • Diabetes - particularly with signs of dryness.
                            • A range of lung related issues - lung cancer, pneumonia, cough/wheezing.

                              Clinical Categorization

                              Su Zi Jiang Qi Wan (Perilla Fruit Pill to Direct Qi Downward)

                              Clinical Usages

                              Cough with watery, copious sputum, breathing issues such as wheezing, asthma, shortness of breath (particularly difficulty inhaling), chest oppression.  Possibly signs of kidney qi/yang deficiency such as edema, weak low back and/or legs, fatigue.

                              The Tongue will have a white coating that can be either greasy or slippery.

                                Clinical Categorization

                                Xiao Qing Long Wan (Minor Blue Dragon Pills)

                                Clinical Usages

                                • Cold/flu like symptoms such as aversion to cold, cough, clear watery phlegm -from exterior wind cold invasion.
                                • Wheezing, heavy sensation, edema due to interior water accumulation.

                                  Clinical Categorization


                                    • Not meant for long term use.

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