How I beat the asthma monster

My personal asthma story:

I’ve mentioned before how diseases are basically a constellation of symptoms that we have labeled as a disease. That’s the case with a lot of diseases that result from inflammation, inflammatory diseases. Asthma is one such disease.

I was diagnosed with asthma at about 5 years of age. When my parents saw me running around outside with my chest up under my chin they realized that I had a problem. I just didn’t want to stop playing.

So, they took me to the MD, and I was diagnosed with asthma. And the treatment is to force the bronchioles open during spasm with a bronchodilator, which is basically a stimulant, that forces a sympathetic responses in the nerve system which causes that dilation. It certainly worked to control the symptom, and I used my inhaler at least daily for the next 10 years. Anytime I worked out, played soccer, or hung out with a cat for too long.

It mostly worked, allowed me to do all of those things, but it got to the point where I was using it a half dozen times a day, or more. So I went back and got more drugs, a long term bronchodilator that I took twice a day, and an anti-inflammatory steroid, that I took twice a day. I was still using my relief inhaler several times a day, so it wasn’t really under control.

I did this all through college, and had some bad asthma episodes, despite the working out, the drugs, etc.

When I graduated from undergrad, my insurance started to run out. I wanted to ween myself off of the drugs because they were expensive! Over time, I was able to do it, but I had to be careful and still use my relief inhaler multiple times a day.

Then a funny thing happened. I started meditating. Now, meditation means watching your breathing, at the least. I realized I couldn’t do it without feeling the anxiety that comes with an asthma attack. I’d been controlling my breath for so long, I couldn’t just let it go. Over the course of several months, I managed to relax, allow breath to happen, and it was great. I had effectively dealt with the anxiety that comes with asthma. At one point, I took out my inhaler before a run. I set it on the coffee table of the apartment I shared with my brother, and I said to him, “I’m going for a run. Here’s my inhaler. If I’m not back in 25 minutes, come find me!” He didn’t need to, and I’d even had asthma kick up on the run, but I managed to work through it by remaining calm.

When I got to chiropractic school, my intern told me that chiropractic care could help with asthma. The nerves coming from both the thoracic spine and near the ribs affect the lungs and chest function, and the nerves coming from the neck can control the diaphragm and the inflammatory response. Sure enough, getting adjusted on a more regular basis reduced asthma even further. This thrilled me.

My asthma was mostly under control, though I still kept an inhaler nearby. I discovered that getting adjusted with the BGI framework, thank you Dr. Eric Rubin in San Francisco, made even more progress with the underlying emotional issues that triggered asthma for me.

The final change in my life that drove asthma further away was switching to a primal lifestyle. Eliminating wheat and reducing dairy drastically both cut down on the inflammation responses that my body had. Since I changed my diet, I have not had a full blown asthma attack in years. I’ve had some tightness in my chest from time to time, but it was always after I cheated in my diet. And I got back to chiropractic care and primal eating to keep it under control. And the best part is, you can to.

Is asthma a problem for you? Let’s get it under control. I haven’t used an inhaler in six years. And I workout hard.

This is Dr. Paul Martin saying, “You deserve a Brilliant Life, let it shine!”

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