Sunday, August 10, 2014

Is Your Mental Attitude Making Your Asthma Worse?

Asthma is a serious condition that affects a large segment of the population. Asthma may produce symptoms ranging from minor to life threatening in severity where the affected individual cannot breathe. Asthma attacks may be brought on by many triggers, including exercise, allergens (like pet danger or pollen) or environmental pollutants (like smoke, chemicals, or dust). Asthma triggers vary from person to person, and science has found little explanation as to why. While it is a physical debility, there is a powerful tool to help alleviate and avoid the dangerous symptoms. It is your mind.

A new study suggests that one's expectation of an asthma trigger may influence how it impacts a person's airways. In the study, asthmatics were exposed to an odor that has not been known to cause harm to asthmatics or others. One group was told the odor was therapeutic while the second group was told the odor might cause respiratory issues. The two groups reacted to the scent very differently. Those who believed the odor was harmful experienced significant more airway inflammation. Furthermore, the elevated levels of inflammation continued for 24 hours. When a person is in this state of inflammation, they are highly susceptible and sensitive to other asthma triggers, which can result in a continued negative effect. The group who was told the odor was therapeutic had no increase in airway inflammation. This was true even for those who believed themselves to be highly sensitive to many odors.

Taking the strength of one's mental attitude one step further, managing fear and anxiety about asthma triggers may help to improve one's symptoms even more. Strong emotions have been recognized as an asthma trigger that may lead to rapid breathing and other problems. Ayurveda looks to treat an individual holistically, both mind and body. Illness and discomfort are usually a combination of physical lifestyle and one's mental or emotional state. If this is the case for a serious medical issue like asthma, balancing mind and body can help many other health problems.

Stay healthy & well,


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