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Meditation and Asthma

A strong link between meditation and asthma control has been found in recent studies. If you are looking into meditation and asthma is something you suffer from please read on. There are no side effects to meditation and asthma suffered can benefit immensely.

Asthma attacks in many people are brought on by stress and tension and the severity of the attack is often increased by fear and panic of the attack itself. It has been suggested that a type of meditation based on yoga principals can help lessen the severity of the symptoms of an asthma attack and have been found to even decrease the frequency of these attacks in people who practiced meditation continuously on a regular basis. Meditation relaxes the mind, increases our mental alertness and decreases the amount of chatter in our minds. When the mind is in this relaxed state we are better able to control our emotions and this positive effect flows on the body by increasing blood and oxygen flow plus decreasing blood pressure.

Researchers studied a group of people who suffered mild to severe asthma attacks who were not responding to normal drug treatments. Some were just treated with drugs especially for asthmatics and another group used a combination of the same drugs as the first group plus they used meditation techniques. At the end of their study the research team found that the group using meditation techniques responded much more favorably to drug treatments, did not need as high a dosage and in general were in a better frame of mind. After 2 months of not practicing meditation the group was once again tested and their results were the same as those who did not practice at all. This says a lot for constant practice!

The controlled breathing regime practiced as part of the meditation process is extremely beneficial for the lungs and airways. It exercises and has a strengthening affect on them and may in fact aid in preventing attacks. The relaxation component of the meditation process comes into play by helping you relax during an attack; concentrate on your breathing which will minimize the panic of having the attack and fighting for breath, thus eliminating the vicious circle. By relaxing during an attack it will enable the drug treatments you take to work more quickly and efficiently.

There is little doubt that practice of meditation and asthma frequency and severity are linked, but it is only with constant and regular practice that the benefits will truly be seen.  By meditating for 15 to 30 minutes a day, every day, you will probably find that your asthma attacks will be a lot less severe, occur less often and will be much easier to manage with a combination of your normal asthma medications and relaxation techniques learned through your meditation practice.

By Lee Waterhouse

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