Most likely, someone you know is suffering with this condition. Could be your child, a parent, someone close to you, or even yourself. I say this because there are thousands of North American children (and adults) afflicted with difficulty breathing.
A report on the status of asthma in the United States, conducted by the Pew Environmental Commission, estimates asthma cases will double by the year 2020. That means that one out of every 14 people will suffer from this condition. Currently, asthma costs $11 billion annually and it is the number one reason for school absenteeism. It accounts for almost 2 million hospital visits and 5000 deaths yearly in the United States. From 1980 to 1994, the overall number of asthma sufferers increased by 75 percent and 160 percent, specifically, in youngsters under four. The Department of Health and Human Services (Healthy People 2000 Initiative) includes an asthma strategy, although this report states, "it will not be effective in reversing this alarming trend." A review of the 1999 HHS research budget revealed that 70 percent of the funds designated for asthma were spent on treatment and drug research, while less than 9 percent was targeted for prevention.
"Almost nothing is going toward tracking the disease and very little is going toward prevention and discovering the cause of the disease," states Dr. Paul Lock, Deputy Commissioner of the commission on May 17, 2000.
It is estimated that, in the next twenty-five years, 50 percent of all children will have difficulty in catching their breath. That is absolutely not OK!
Why is asthma becoming so rampant? United Kingdom
scientists are beginning a hospital trial to see the effects of certain bacteria on asthma. "There is a global network of biological asthma research which has demonstrated that the lower the exposure of a baby to certain types of bacteria, the higher the risk of asthma," states Dr. Charles Warner, child coordinator and professor of child’s health at the University of South Hampton. Researchers are adding a low dose of bacteria, which is commonly found in dirt, to the diet of some 400 babies, whose families have a history of asthma. They will then study and assess the child’s risk of developing asthma. It is hoped that the bacteria will eventually play a role in boosting the children’s immune system.
People have been taught to be afraid of bacteria, fostering an inappropriate use of antibiotics ("just-in-case" prescriptions), and a market saturated with antibacterial soaps and cleaners. Not only have we created an environment in which resistant super-bug bacteria can thrive, but we also kill bacteria which are actually beneficial and essential to balance the internal environment of our bodies.
Let’s look at the science of breathing a bit closer. Breathing is a process whereby your body takes air from the outside. This air then passes through your nose, windpipe, and your bronchi. These are all parts of your "air conditioning" system, so to speak. This air is then filtered, purified, cleansed, warmed, and humidified before it enters your lungs. Think about the science behind this for a moment. There are amazing biofeedback loops at work here that inform your brain whether the air you are breathing in is too cold, too dry, too polluted, etc. These messages are relayed to your brain, which then makes minute corrections to your "program" every second that you are alive. It is an amazing process and happens very exactly under the perfect guidance of your nervous system. Yes, your nervous system is responsible for this function.
So what, then, is asthma? In children (and adults) who have asthma, the small tubes in the lungs, called bronchioles, become inflamed and irritated. They then contract and even spasm and produce mucous, which tends to plug up the breathing passages. Children can literally gasp for air. These "attacks" can last minutes or hours and can persist for a lifetime.
It is generally felt that an asthma attack can be triggered by allergies, stress, pollen, pollution, etc. It can be life threatening. These children are condemned to a life of bronchodilators, drugs, and cortisone, all of which have serious side effects. These side effects can be either immediate or develop over a lifetime of chronic drug use. Asthma is said to be the leading cause of chronic illness among children. Not a fun thing to have. It is definitely a condition best avoided.
Here is the catch, however: Have you ever wondered why some children subjected to the same stresses, pollens, etc., develop asthma while others do not? After all, if asthma were caused by all the factors the public has been led to believe, then all children would have it, right?
Wrong! Only some do, and their numbers have been rising steadily. Why (my favorite question) would that be?
The standard medical first-line approach to asthma is to prescribe inhalant steroids. These often reduce the frequency and intensity of asthma attacks, but not without a price. Steroid use has been linked to osteoporosis, stunted growth in children, and cataracts. The effects of long-term use are unknown, since these drugs are so new. Steroids substitute for and decrease the body’s ability to make its own steroids, and to respond to stress as well as suppressing the immune system. Although these drugs are often taken by pregnant and breast-feeding mothers, they have not been tested for safety under these instances (though it stands to reason that these drugs will have similar effects on babies).
As I mentioned earlier, all drugs cross the placental barrier and affect the baby. According to a recent study, "the majority of adults and children with asthma experience unwanted side-affects of medication, such as feeling generally restless, shaky hands, shaky feet, racing heartbeat, etc. These side effects have prompted one in three adults to reduce their medication and cause one in four to skip a dose at some point."
Some authorities feel that asthma is really a reaction to a lack of proper hydration of the body; that it is a lack of water. They, therefore, suggest drinking plenty of pure water to hydrate the body. In my practice, I have not met many children who like to drink pure water—it is boring. If you believe this is the solution, then I recommend that you use diluted fruit juice.
Many researchers, on the other hand, have found that asthma seems to be related to our current vaccination program. There are increasing numbers of scientists and practitioners who support this conclusion. Bart Classen, M.D., of Classen Immunotherapies in Maryland, is among the most vociferous. (You are welcome to visit his web site at www.vaccines.net).
Vaccination alters the normal immune response and makes a child’s immune system overreact to something perfectly innocuous. As a result, a child’s immune system is over-stimulated and becomes over-sensitive. Air, for example, that would not bother a normal person, has an adverse effect of a child who’s nervous and immune systems are "overloaded."
D. D. Palmer, the discoverer of chiropractic, once said it this way: "I desired to know why one person was ailing and his associate, eating at the same table, working in the same shop, eating the same food and breathing the same air, was not." Why? What differences were in the two persons that caused one to have asthma while his partner escaped? Why?"
Doctors of Chiropractic have been helping children with asthma for years. I have had the good fortune of being able to help thousands of children with this condition.
How does chiropractic relate to asthma, you ask?
I need you to understand that the body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism. The nervous system is the central computer that runs the whole body and all of its functions—the function of the arms, legs, digestive system, sinuses, your immune system, and also the lungs and bronchioles. Every part of your being is under the control of your nervous system. It is your very own Internet.
As long as the nervous system is allowed to function with no interference, the body should function normally. Often, however, some of the vertebrae of the spine become subluxated, affecting the way the nervous system controls body functions. Chiropractors call this malfunction. It simply means that the body is no longer performing according to the program; it is no longer working normally. By correcting these subluxations, chiropractors eliminate interference to the nervous system, allowing normal function. By eliminating interference to the nervous system, we can help the body work normally again. With no drugs! I like that.
As well as chiropractic care, which is essential, there are a number of natural supplements you can obtain from a health food store to help your patients through this trying period.
Vitamin B complex plus C—It stimulates the immune system, and reduces the effects of stress.
Quercetin with Bromelain—These, together, act as an immuno-stimulant and anti-inflammatory agent.
Vitamin A—This is beneficial for tissue repair.
Lobelia—Helpful during an attack. It is an expectorant and relaxes the muscle walls of the bronchial tree.
Coenzyme Q10—This helps to counteract the release of histamine, which induces local tissue swelling.
Magnesium and calcium—Tend to cause some dilation of the muscle walls of the bronchi.
Some authorities suggest bee pollen or propolis. I have found that such bee products often cause reactions in children, and I feel they should be avoided.
Dr. Ogi Ressel is a Wellness Coach for the "Practice Evolution Program", an author, an international lecturer, a pediatric and x-ray specialist, a researcher, and a father to three wonderful kids.
He has been featured in many newspapers, magazines, been on national TV and writes a weekly newsletter that is sent to chiropractic doctors all over the planet. Dr. Ogi had the top pediatric and family practice on the planet and teaches doctors how to have an ultra-successful practice which focuses on honesty, integrity, clinical excellence, simply being the very best, and taking care of tons of children and their parents. He lives in the Niagara Falls area.
You are welcome to check out his Practice Evolution Program: www.practiceevolution.com or call 1-800-353-3082.