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We promise to never spam you, and just use your email address to identify you as a valid customer. AromatherapyDefinitionAromatherapy is the therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being.
This oil adds a bright, citrus flavor to foods and water and is a savory complement to many meats marinades, side dishes, and dressings.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, condition, nor illness. Squeeze fleshy area between thumb and pointer finger (Large Intestine 4) for one minute.SinusAromatherapyMassage mixture of lavender oil and sunflower oil in temples, sides of eyes, behind ears, and on the neck. Originally, they were intended to develop spiritual understanding, awareness, and direct experience of ultimate reality. It is sometimes used in combination with massage and other therapeutic techniques as part of a holistic treatment approach.OriginsAromatic plants have been employed for their healing, preservative, and pleasurable qualities throughout recorded history in both the East and West.
This inflammation periodically causes the airways to narrow, producing wheezing and breath-lessness sometimes to the point where the patient gasps for air.
The fluid, which contains oxygen and nutrients needed by the cells, moves from the walls of the blood vessels into the body's tissues.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of altMD's terms of service and privacy policy and cookie policy and Health Disclaimer. The many different religious traditions in the world have given rise to a rich variety of meditative practices.
This obstruction of the air flow either stops spontaneously or responds to a wide range of treatments.
After its nutrients are used up, fluid moves back into the blood vessels and returns to the heart.
The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider. These include the contemplative practices of Christian religious orders, the Buddhist practice of sitting meditation, and the whirling movements of the Sufi dervishes.
Continuing inflammation makes asthmatics hyper-responsive to such stimuli as cold air, exercise, dust, pollutants in the air, and even stress or anxiety.DescriptionBetween 16 and 17 million Americans have asthma and the number has been rising since 1980. The lymphatic system (a network of channels in the body that carry lymph, a colorless fluid containing white blood cells to fight infection) also absorbs and transports this fluid. The medical term for headache is cephalalgia.DescriptionHeadaches are divided into two large categories, primary and secondary, according to guidelines established by the International Headache Society (IHS) in 1988 and revised for republication in 2004.
In edema, either too much fluid moves from the blood vessels into the tissues, or not enough fluid moves from the tissues back into the blood vessels. Meditative practices are increasingly offered in medical clinics and hospitals as a tool for improving health and quality of life.
Ayurveda, a practice of traditional Indian medicine that dates back more than 2,500 years, also used aromatic herbs for treatment.The Romans were well known for their use of fragrances. Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Alaskan natives had higher rates of asthma-control problems than whites or Asians in the United States.The changes that take place in the lungs of asthmatics make their airways (the bronchi and the smaller bronchioles) hyper-reactive to many different types of stimuli that do not affect healthy lungs.
The leg muscles normally contract and compress blood vessels to promote blood flow with walking or running.
Secondary headaches are caused by another disease or medical condition, and account for fewer than 10% of headaches.Rebound headaches, also known as analgesic abuse headaches, are a subtype of primary headache caused by overuse of headache drugs.
In an asthma attack, the muscle tissue in the walls of the bronchi go into spasm, and the cells that line the airways swell and secrete mucus into the air spaces. When these muscles are not used, blood can collect in the veins, making it difficult for fluid to move from tissues back into the vessels.Heat. They may be associated with medications taken for tension or migraine headaches.Secondary headaches are classified as either traction or inflammatory headaches. They also report that they experience more enjoyment and appreciation of life and that their relationships with others are improved. Both these actions cause the bronchi to narrow, a change that is called bronchoconstriction. Warm temperatures cause the blood vessels to expand, making it easier for fluid to cross into surrounding tissues. Traction headaches result from the pulling, pushing, or stretching of pain-sensitive structures, such as a brain tumor pressing upon the outer layer of tissue that covers the brain. As a result, an asthmatic person has to make a much greater effort to breathe.Cells in the bronchial walls, called mast cells, release certain substances that cause the bronchial muscle to contract and stimulate mucus formation. Inflammatory headaches are caused by infectious diseases of the ears, teeth, sinuses, or other parts of the head.Headaches are very common in the North American adult population.
These substances, which include histamine and a group of chemicals called leukotrienes, also bring white blood cells into the area.
Certain drugs, such as steroids, hormone replacements, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and some blood pressure medications may affect how fast fluid leaves blood vessels.Intake of salty foods.
The American Council for Headache Education (ACHE) estimates that 95% of women and 90% of men in the United States and Canada have had at least one headache in the past 12 months.
Many patients with asthma are prone to react to substances such as pollen, dust, or animal dander; these are called allergens.
When excess salt is taken in, the body dilutes it by retaining fluid.Menstruation and pregnancy. Migraine headaches are less common, affecting about 11% of the population in the United States and 15% in Canada.
Meditation facilitates a greater sense of calmness, empathy, and acceptance of self and others.Meditation can be used with other forms of medical treatment and is an important complementary therapy for both the treatment and prevention of many stress-related conditions.
On the other hand, asthma also affects many patients who are not allergic in this way.Asthma usually begins in childhood or adolescence, but it also may first appear in adult life. Several studies indicate that doctors tend to underdiagnose migraine headaches; thus the true number of patients with migraines may be considerably higher than the reported statistics. Regular meditation can reduce the number of symptoms experienced by patients with a wide range of illnesses and disorders. While the symptoms may be similar, certain important aspects of asthma are different in children and adults. When the heart is unable to maintain adequate blood flow throughout the circulatory system, the excess fluid pressure within the blood vessels can cause shifts into the interstitial spaces. Based upon clinical evidence as well as theoretical understanding, meditation is considered to be one of the better therapies for panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, substance dependence and abuse, ulcers, colitis, chronic pain, psoriasis, and dysthymic disorder. When asthma begins in childhood, it often does so in a child who is likely, for genetic reasons, to become sensitized to common allergens in the environment. Cluster headaches occur most commonly in adults between the ages of 20 and 40.It is possible for patients to suffer from more than one type of headache. It is considered to be a valuable adjunctive therapy for moderate hypertension (high blood pressure), prevention of cardiac arrest (heart attack), prevention of atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries), arthritis (including fibromyalgia), cancer, insomnia, migraine, and prevention of stroke. Meditation may also be a valuable complementary therapy for allergies and asthma because of the role stress plays in these conditions. In 2004, scientists in Helsinki, Finland, identified two new genes that cause atopic asthma. Right-sided heart failure can cause pitting edema, a swelling in the tissue under the skin of the lower legs and feet. Most nociceptors in humans are located in the skin or on the walls of blood vessels and internal organs. Meditative practices have been reported to improve function or reduce symptoms in patients with some neurological disorders as well. Pressing this tissue with a finger tip leads to a noticeable momentary indentation.Kidney disease.
The bones of the skull and the brain itself do not contain these specialized pain receptors.
He wrote about his use of essential oils and their healing and antiseptic properties, in his 1964 book Aromatherapie, traitement des maladies par les essences des plantes, which popularized the use of essential oils for medical and psychiatric treatment throughout France. When these children are exposed to dust, animal proteins, fungi, or other potential allergens, they produce a type of antibody that is intended to engulf and destroy the foreign materials. The decrease in sodium and water excretion can result in fluid retention and overload.Thyroid or liver disease. Later, French biochemist Mauguerite Maury popularized the cosmetic benefits of essential oils, and in 1977 Robert Tisserand wrote the first English language book on the subject, The Art of Aromatherapy, which introduced massage as an adjunct treatment to aromatherapy and sparked its popularity in the United Kingdom.BenefitsAromatherapy offers diverse physical and psychological benefits, depending on the essential oil or oil combination and method of application used. These conditions can change the concentration of protein in the blood, affecting fluid movement in and out of the tissues. The tense muscles put pressure on the walls of the blood vessels that supply the neck and head, which stimulates the nociceptors in the tissues that line the blood vessels.The causes of migraine headaches have been debated since the 1940s.
Some common medicinal properties of essential oils used in aromatherapy include: analgesic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, sedative, antispasmodic, expectorant, diuretic, and sedative.
In advanced liver disease, the liver is enlarged and fluid may build up in the abdomen.Malnutrition. Some researchers think that migraines are the end result of a magnesium deficiency in the brain, or of hypersensitivity to a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) known as dopamine. Essential oils are used to treat a wide range of symptoms and conditions, including, but not limited to, gastrointestinal discomfort, skin conditions, menstrual pain and irregularities, stress-related conditions, mood disorders, circulatory problems, respiratory infections, and wounds.DescriptionIn aromatherapy, essential oils are carefully selected for their medicinal properties. This condition of atopy is present in at least one third and as many as one half of the general population. Another theory is that certain nerve cells in the brain become unusually excitable, setting off a chain reaction that leads to changes in the amount of blood flowing through the blood vessels and stimulation of their nociceptors. Depending on the type of meditation, the meditator may be concentrating on the sensation of the movement of the breath, counting the breath, silently repeating a sound, chanting, visualizing an image, focusing awareness on the center of the body, opening to all sensory experiences including thoughts, or performing stylized ritual movements with the hands.Movement meditation can be spontaneous and free-form or involve highly structured, choreographed, repetitive patterns. When an infant or young child wheezes during viral infections, the presence of allergy (in the child or a close relative) is a clue that asthma may well continue throughout childhood.Allergenic materials may also play a role when adults become asthmatic. The volatility of an oil, or the speed at which it evaporates in open air, is thought to be linked to its specific psychological effect. This finding suggests that genetic mutations may be responsible for the abnormal excitability of the nerve cells in the brains of patients with migraine headaches.As of 2004, little is known about the causes of cluster headaches or changes in the central nervous system that produce them. Almost single-handedly, the Maharishi (meaning great sage) brought Eastern culture into Western consciousness. Many adults who are not allergic have such conditions as sinusitis or nasal polyps, or they may be sensitive to aspirin and related drugs. Varicose veins, or veins whose walls or valves are weak, can allow blood to pool in the legs.
Patients with cluster headaches are advised to quit smoking and minimize their use of alcohol because nicotine and alcohol appear to trigger these headaches.
The precise connection between these chemicals and cluster attacks is not yet completely understood.SymptomsTension headaches are less severe than other types of primary headache. The Maharishi's sudden popularity was helped along by such early fans as the Beatles, Mia Farrow, and Shirley MacLaine.
Useful in treating otitis media (earache), skin conditions, menstrual pains, and depression.Clary sage (Salvia sclarea).
Because avoiding (or at least minimizing) exposure is the most effective way of treating asthma, it is vital to identify which allergen or irritant is causing symptoms in a particular patient. These people, and many others, practiced Transcendental Meditation (TM), a Hindu-influenced procedure that endures in America to this day.When the 1960s drew to a close, the Maharishi began to fade from public view. This natural astringent is not only used to treat oily hair and skin, but is also said to be useful in regulating the menstrual cycle, improving mood, and controlling high blood pressure. Once asthma is present, symptoms can be set off or made worse if the patient also has rhinitis (inflammation of the lining of the nose) or sinusitis. The guru still had enough followers, though, to people the Maharishi International University, founded in 1971. When, for some reason, stomach acid passes back up the esophagus in a reaction called acid reflux, this condition also can make asthma worse.
One of the main draws of Maharishi International University was the study of TMSidha, an exotic form of Transcendental Meditation. A popular aromatherapy oil that mixes well with most essential oils, lavender has a wide range of medicinal and cosmetic applications, including treatment of insect bites, burns, respiratory infections, intestinal discomfort, nausea, migraine, insomnia, depression, and stress.Myrtle (Myrtus communis). Aspirin and drugs called beta-blockers, often used to treat high blood pressure, also can worsen the symptoms of asthma. Lymphedema may also occur after cancer treatments, when the lymph system is impaired by surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.Tumor. Patients with migraine headaches are hypersensitive to lights, sounds, and odors.Cluster headaches are recurrent brief attacks of sudden and severe pain on one side of the head. It is often used in steam aromatherapy treatments to alleviate the symptoms of whooping cough, bronchitis, and other respiratory infections.Neroli (bitter orange), (Citrus aurantium).
Abnormal masses can compress leg vessels and lymph channels, affecting the rate of fluid movement.Symptoms vary depending on the cause of edema. Citrus oil extracted from bitter orange flower and peel and used to treat sore throat, insomnia, and stress and anxiety-related conditions.Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis). In general, weight gain, puffy eyelids, and swelling of the legs may occur as a result of excess fluid volume.
Cluster headaches may last between five minutes and three hours, and may occur once every other day or as often as eight times per day.
Objects of meditation can include the breath, an inner or external image, a movement pattern (as in tai chi or yoga), or a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated silently (mantra).


An essential oil used to treat stomach complaints and known for its reported ability to lift the mood while relieving stress.Peppermint (Mentha piperita).
Besides wheezing and being short of breath, the patient may cough or report a feeling of tightness in the chest. The purpose of concentrative practices is to learn to focus one's attention or develop concentration.
Hand and neck veins may be observed as fuller.DiagnosisEdema is a sign of an underlying problem, rather than a disease unto itself.
Patients may pace the floor, weep, rock back and forth, or bang their heads against a wall in desperate attempts to stop the pain. When thoughts or emotions arise, the meditator gently directs the mind back to the original object of concentration.Mindfulness meditation practices involve becoming aware of the entire field of attention.
Peppermint's actions as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antimicrobial also make it an effective skin treatment, and useful in fighting cold and flu symptoms.
In addition to severe pain, patients often have a runny or congested nose, watery or inflamed eyes, drooping eyelids, swelling in the area of the eyebrows, and heavy facial perspiration.
The meditator is instructed to be aware of all thoughts, feelings, perceptions, or sensations as they arise in each moment. Some asthmatics are free of symptoms most of the time but may occasionally be short of breath for a brief time.
Mindfulness meditation practices are enhanced by the meditator's ability to focus and quiet the mind.
Stimulating essential oil used to treat muscular and rheumatic complaints, as well as low blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, and headaches. One of the best herbs for this purpose is dandelion (Taraxacum mongolicum), since, in addition to its diuretic action, it is a rich source of potassium. Brain scans have shown that fragrance of rosemary increases blood circulation in the brain.Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). Severe episodes often are seen when the patient gets a viral respiratory tract infection or is exposed to a heavy load of an allergen or irritant. In some cases, the doctor may refer the patient to a dentist or oral surgeon for a more detailed evaluation of the mouth and jaw.Special tests and imaging studiesLaboratory tests are useful in identifying headaches caused by infections, anemia, or thyroid disease. Has bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal, and anti-inflammatory properties that make it a good choice for fighting infection. Recommended for treating sore throat and respiratory infections, vaginal and bladder infections, wounds, and a variety of skin conditions.Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata). Being short of breath may cause a patient to become very anxious, sit upright, lean forward, and use the muscles of the neck and chest wall to help breathe.
Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture have an elaborate diagnostic system to determine the pattern causing the edema. Patients who report visual disturbances and other neurologic symptoms may be given visual field tests and screened for glaucoma (a condition involving high fluid pressure inside the eye). A sedative essential oil sometimes used to treat hypertension and tachycardia.Essential oils contain active agents that can have potent physical effects.
The patient may be able to say only a few words at a time before stopping to take a breath.
Imaging studies may include x rays of the sinuses to check for infections; and CT or MRI scans, which can rule out brain tumors and cerebral aneurysms.
While some basic aromatherapy home treatments can be self-administered, medical aromatherapy should always be performed under the guidance of an aromatherapist, herbalist, massage therapist, nurse, or physician.InhalationThe most basic method of administering aromatherapy is direct or indirect inhalation of essential oils.
Patients whose symptoms cannot be fully explained by the results of physical examinations and tests may be referred to a psychiatrist for evaluation of psychological factors related to their headaches.Warning symptomsThere are warning signs associated with headache that indicate the need for prompt medical attention. Several drops of an essential oil can be applied to a tissue or handkerchief and gently inhaled. In a severe attack, some of the air sacs in the lung may rupture so that air collects within the chest, which makes it even harder to breathe. Digoxin is a digitalis preparation that is sometimes needed to decrease heart rate and increase the strength of the heart's contractions. TM has been studied many times; these studies have produced much of the information about the physiology of meditation. A small amount of essential oil can also be added to a bowl of hot water and used as a steam treatment.
In TM, the meditator sits with closed eyes and concentrates on a single syllable or word (mantra) for 20 minutes at a time, twice a day. Consideration of adequate protein intake is also made.For patients with lymphedema, a combination of therapies may prove effective. Nasal polyps or increased amounts of nasal secretions are often noted in asthmatic patients. Combined decongestive therapy includes the use of manual lymph drainage (MLD), compression bandaging, garments and pumps, and physical therapy.ResourcesBOOKSThe Burton Goldberg Group. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) panel concluded that acupuncture may be a useful treatment for headache.Aerobic exercise.
A warm bath containing essential oils can have the same effect as steam aromatherapy, with the added benefit of promoting relaxation.
Skin changes, like dermatitis or eczema, are a clue that the patient has allergic problems.
When used in a bath, water should be lukewarm rather than hot to slow the evaporation of the oil.Essential oil diffusers, vaporizers, and light bulb rings can be used to disperse essential oils over a large area. Inquiring about a family history of asthma or allergies can be a valuable indicator of asthma. Massage using the essential oils of lavender, rosemary, or peppermint relieves headache.Autogenic therapy.
A group of Australian researchers has recently recommended TM as a preventive strategy for heart disease.The relaxation responseThe relaxation response involves a similar form of mental focusing.
These devices can be particularly effective in aromatherapy that uses essential oils to promote a healthier home environment. A test called spirometry measures how rapidly air is exhaled and how much is retained in the lungs. For example, eucalyptus and tea tree oil are known for their antiseptic qualities and are frequently used to disinfect sickrooms, and citronella and geranium can be useful in repelling insects.Direct applicationBecause of their potency, essential oils are diluted in a carrier oil or lotion before being applied to the skin to prevent an allergic skin reaction. Repeating the test after the patient inhales a drug that widens the air passages (a bronchodilator) will show whether the narrowing of the airway is reversible, which is a very typical finding in asthma.
Often patients use a related instrument, called a peak flow meter, to keep track of asthma severity when at home.Frequently, it is difficult to determine what is triggering asthma attacks. Patients are also taught not to pay attention to distracting thoughts and to return their focus to the original repetition. Light oils, such as safflower, sweet almond, grapeseed, hazelnut, apricot seed, or peach kernel, may be absorbed more easily by the skin. Allergy skin testing may be used, although an allergic skin response does not always mean that the allergen being tested is causing the asthma. Vascular headache may be relieved by placing an ice pack on the forehead, or the feet in hot water and a cold pack on the forehead (hydrotherapy treatment).Herbals. Also, the body's immune system produces an antibody to fight off the allergen, and the amount of antibody can be measured by a blood test.
Instead of Sanskrit terms, the meditator can choose what is personally meaningful, such as a phrase from a prayer.Mindfulness meditationMindfulness meditation comes out of traditional Buddhist meditation practices. However, some oils can be used at higher concentrations, and others should be diluted further for safe and effective use. A German remedy made from butterbur root (Petasites hybridus) is now available in the United States under the brand name Petadolex. Psychologist Jon Kabat-Zinn has been instrumental in bringing this form of meditation into medical settings. The type of carrier oil used and the therapeutic use of the application may also influence how the essential oil is mixed. If the diagnosis is still in doubt, the patient can inhale a suspect allergen while using a spirometer to detect airway narrowing.
The herb, Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat headaches related to anxiety.Holistic medicine. In formal mindfulness practice, the meditator sits with eyes closed, focusing the attention on the sensations and movement of the breath for approximately 45–60 minutes at a time, at least once a day.
Spirometry also can be repeated after a bout of exercise if exercise-induced asthma is a possibility. A chest x-ray will help rule out other disorders.TreatmentThere are many alternative treatments available for asthma that have shown promising results. Apple-spinach juice relieves constipation, and a blend of carrot, beet, celery, and parsley juices treats the liver.Homeopathy.
Wandering thoughts or distracting feelings are simply noticed without resisting or reacting to them. One strong argument for these treatments is that they try to avoid the drugs that allopathic treatment (combating disease with remedies to produce effects different from those produced by the disease) relies upon, which can be toxic and addictive. Remedies are chosen for each patient and may include Belladonna (throbbing headache), Bryonia (splitting headache), Kali bichromicum (sinus headache), and Nux vomica (tension headache with nausea and vomiting).Massage.
The essence of mindfulness meditation is not what one focuses on but rather the quality of awareness the meditator brings to each moment. Essential oils should only be taken internally under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.As non-prescription botanical preparations, the essential oils used in aromatherapy are typically not paid for by health insurance.
According to Kabat-Zinn, "It is this investigative, discerning observation of whatever comes up in the present moment that is the hallmark of mindfulness and differentiates it most from other forms of meditation. A 1995 New Zealand study showed that before 1940, death from asthma was very low, but that the death rate promptly increased with the introduction of bronchodilators. Headache is treated with neuromuscular manipulation and massage of the head, neck, and upper back.Pressure.
Aromatherapy treatment sessions from a professional aromatherapist are not covered by health insurance in most cases, although aromatherapy performed in conjunction with physical therapy, nursing, therapeutic massage, or other covered medical services may be covered. The New England Journal of Medicine in 1992 reported that albuterol and other asthma drugs cause the lungs to deteriorate when used regularly. A headband tied tightly around the head may relieve migraines in some patients.Reflexology. There are over 240 MBSR programs offered in health care settings around the world.Meditation is not considered a medical procedure or intervention by most insurers. A 1989 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that respiratory therapists, who are exposed to bronchodilator sprays, develop asthma five times more often than other healthcare professionals, which could imply that the drugs themselves may induce asthma.
Headache is treated using the solar plexus, ear, eye, and head points.Relaxation techniques. Theophylline, another popular drug, has been reported to cause personality changes in users. Frequently, religious groups or meditation centers offer meditation instruction free of charge or for a nominal donation. Steroids can also have negative effects on many systems in the body, particularly the hormonal system. Vitamins B2 and B12, niacin, and magnesium (a mineral) may help treat or prevent headache.Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Hospitals may offer MBSR classes at a reduced rate for their patients and a slightly higher rate for the general public.PrecautionsMeditation appears to be safe for most people. This effective headache treatment electrically stimulates nerves and blocks pain transmission.Visualization.
As such, the treatment goal is often to restore balance to and strengthen the entire body and provide specific support to the lungs, immune and hormonal systems.
Thirty-three to 50% of the people participating in long silent meditation retreats (two weeks to three months) reported increased tension, anxiety, confusion, and depression. To ensure best results, essential oils should be made from pure organic botanicals and labeled by their full botanical name. Asthma sufferers can help by keeping a diary of asthma attacks in order to determine environmental and emotional factors that may be contributing to their condition.Alternative treatments have minimal side effects, are generally inexpensive, and are convenient forms of selftreatment. For patients with chronic tension headaches, the doctor may prescribe a tricyclic antidepressant or benzodiazepine tranquilizer in addition to a pain reliever.
On the other hand, most of these same people also reported very positive effects from their meditation practice. Oils should always be stored in dark bottles out of direct light.Before using essential oils on the skin, individuals should perform a skin patch test by applying a small amount of the diluted oil behind the wrist and covering it with a bandage or cloth for up to 12 hours. They also can be used alongside allopathic treatments to improve their effectiveness and lessen their negative side effects.Dietary and nutritional therapiesSome alternative practitioners recommend cutting down on or eliminating dairy products from the diet, asthese increase mucus secretion in the lungs and are sources of food allergies. Kabat-Zinn notes that these studies fail to differentiate between serious psychiatric disturbances and normal emotional mood swings. If redness or irritation occurs, the oil should be diluted further and a second skin test performed, or it should be avoided altogether. Other recommendations include avoiding processed foods, refined starches and sugars, and foods with artificial additives and sulfites.
Individuals should never apply undiluted essential oils to the skin unless advised to do so by a trained healthcare professional.PrecautionsIndividuals should only take essential oils internally under the guidance and close supervision of a health care professional. These studies prove that meditation affects metabolism, the endocrine system, the central nervous system, and the autonomic nervous system.


Asthma sufferers should experiment with their diets to determine if food allergies are playing a role in their asthma. Some studies have shown that a sustained vegan (zero animal foods) diet can be effective for asthma, as it does not contain the animal products that frequently cause food allergies and contain chemical additives.
During a different meditative practice they were able to dramatically slow down the rate at which their bodies consumed oxygen. A vegan diet also eliminates a fatty acid called arachidonic acid, which is found in animal products and is believed to contribute to allergic reactions. Episodic tension headaches usually resolve completely in less than a day without affecting the patient's overall health. Preliminary research shows that mindfulness meditation is associated with increased levels of melatonin. A 1985 Swedish study showed that 92% of patients with asthma improved significantly after one year on a vegan diet. The long-term outlook for patients with migraines depends on whether they have one or more of the other disorders associated with migraine.
These findings suggest a potential role for meditation in the treatment and prevention of breast and prostrate cancer.Despite the inherent difficulties in designing research studies, there is a large amount of evidence of the medical benefits of meditation. These disorders include Tourette's syndrome, epilepsy, ischemic stroke, hereditary essential tremor, depression, anxiety, and others.
These oils may act as a remedy antidote to the homeopathic treatment.Children should only receive aromatherapy treatment under the guidance of a trained aromatherapist or healthcare professional.
In addition, many people are allergic to vegetables rather than to meat.Plenty of water should also be drunk by asthma sufferers, as water helps to keep the passages of the lungs moist. Some essential oils may not be appropriate for treating children, or may require additional dilution before use on children.Certain essential oils should not be used by pregnant or nursing women or by people with specific illnesses or physical conditions. Quercetin also is available as a supplement, and should be taken with the digestive enzyme bromelain to increase its absorption.As nutritional therapy, vitamins A, C and E have been touted as important. Skipping meals, using unbalanced fad diets to lose weight, and insufficient or poor-quality sleep can bring on tension headaches.Some headaches may be prevented by avoiding substances and situations that trigger them, or by employing alternative therapies, such as yoga and regular exercise. Although most studies show a reduction in blood pressure with meditation, medication is still more effective at lowering high blood pressure.Meditation may also be an effective treatment for coronary artery disease.
Also, the B complex vitamins, particularly B6 and B12, may be helpful for asthma, as well as magnesium, selenium, and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement such as flaxseed oil. A study of 21 patients practicing TM for eight months showed increases in their amount of exercise tolerance, amount of workload, and a delay in the onset of ST-segment depression. Essential oils may also cause contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction characterized by redness and irritation. Because food allergies are often linked with headaches, especially cluster strain headaches and migraines, identification and elimination of the allergycausing food(s) from the diet can be an important preventive measure.
Anyone experiencing an allergic reaction to an essential oil should discontinue its use and contact their healthcare professional for further guidance.
In 2004, a study of supplements at Cornell University showed that high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C along with selenium lowered risk of asthma.
Women with migraines often benefit by switching from oral contraceptives to another method of birth control, or by discontinuing estrogen replacement therapy. Gelderloos and others reviewed 24 studies and reported that all of them showed that TM is helpful in programs to stop smoking and also in programs for drug and alcohol abuse.Studies also imply that meditation is helpful in reducing symptoms of anxiety and in treating anxiety-related disorders. However, the same study found that vitamin E had no effect.Herbal remediesChinese medicine has traditionally used ma huang, or ephedra, for asthma attacks. Prophylactic treatments for migraine include prednisone, calcium channel blockers, and methysergide.ResourcesBOOKSAmerican Psychiatric Association. Furthermore, a study in 1998 of 37 psoriasis patients showed that those practicing mindfulness meditation had more rapid clearing of their skin condition, with standard UV light treatment, than the control subjects. Several clinical studies involving both post-operative and chronically ill subjects showed that massage with essential oils can be helpful in improving emotional well-being, and consequently, promoting the healing process.Today, the use of holistic aromatherapy is widely accepted in Europe, particularly in Great Britain, where it is commonly used in conjunction with massage as both a psychological and physiological healing tool. Another study found that meditation decreased the symptoms of fibromyalgia; over half of the patients reported significant improvement. Research by a group of ophthalmologists indicates that nearly 60% of a group of patients being treated for glaucoma found meditation helpful in coping with their eye disorder. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a ban on the sale of ephedra that took effect in April 2004 because it was shown to raise blood pressure and stress the circulatory system, resulting in heart attacks and strokes for some users. In addition, meditation was one of several stress management techniques used in a small study of HIV-positive men. Individuals interested in aromatherapy treatment from a professional aromatherapist may be able to obtain a referral from one of these institutions, or from their current healthcare provider.ResourcesBOOKSLawless, Julia. Ginkgo has been shown to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks, and licorice is used in Chinese medicine as a natural decongestant and expectorant. There are many formulas used in traditional Chinese medicine to prevent or ease asthma attacks, depending on the specific Chinese diagnosis given by the practitioner.
Meditation teachers within a particular religious tradition usually have extensive experience and expertise with faith questions and religious practices but may not have been trained to work with medical patients. Coffee and tea have been shown to reduce the severity of asthma attacks because caffeine works as a bronchodilator.
The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center offers training and workshops for health professionals and others interested in teaching mindfulness-based stress reduction. The University of Pennsylvania program for Stress Management suggests that a person have at least 10 years of personal experience with the practice of mindfulness meditation before receiving additional instruction to teach meditation. Erik Peper at the Institute for Holistic Healing Studies in San Francisco used biofeedback, a treatment method that uses monitors to reveal physiological information to patients, to teach relaxation and deep breathing methods to 21 asthma patients.
A 1993 study by Kaiser Permanente in Northern California worked with 323 adults with moderate to severe asthma.
The support group patients had cut their asthma-related doctor visits in half after two years.
Pranayama is the yogic science of breathing, which includes hundreds of deep breathing techniques. These breathing exercises should be done daily as part of any treatment program for asthma, as they are a very effective and inexpensive measure.Controlled exerciseMany people believe that those with asthma should not exercise. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. In a 2004 study, researchers reported that 20% of children with asthma do not get enough exercise. Many parents believe it is dangerous for their children with asthma to exercise, but physical activity benefits all children, including those with asthma.
These are sensitive, often knotted spots on the muscles that run horizontally about an inch below the collarbone, and about two inches from the center of the chest. The points can be pressed in a circular manner with the thumbs, while the head is allowed to hang forward and the patient takes slow, deep breaths. Reflexology also uses particular acupressure points on the hands and feet that are believed to stimulate the lungs.Other treatmentsAromatherapists recommend eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, and chamomile as fragrances that promote free breathing.
Massage therapies such as Rolfing can help asthma sufferers as well, as they strive to open and increase circulation in the chest area.
Homeopathy uses the remedies Arsenicum album, Kali carbonicum, Natrum sulphuricum, and Aconite.Allopathic treatmentAllopaths recommend that asthma patients should be periodically examined and have their lung functions measured by spirometry. The goals are to prevent troublesome symptoms, to maintain lung function as close to normal as possible, and to allow patients to pursue their normal activities, including those requiring exertion. The best drug therapy is that which controls asthmatic symptoms while causing few or no side effects.DrugsThe chief methylxanthine drug is theophylline. It may exert some anti-inflammatory effect and is especially helpful in controlling nighttime symptoms of asthma. When, for some reason, a patient cannot use an inhaler to maintain long-term control, sustained-release theophylline is a good alternative. The blood levels of the drug must be measured periodically, as too high a dose can cause an abnormal heart rhythm or convulsions.Beta-receptor agonists (drugs that trigger cell response) are bronchodilators.
They are the drugs of choice for relieving sudden attacks of asthma and for preventing attacks from being triggered by exercise. Some agonists, such as albuterol, act mainly in lung cells and have little effect on the heart and other organs. These drugs generally start acting within minutes, but their effects last only four to six hours. In 2004, a new lower concentration of albuterol was approved by the FDA for children ages two to 12.Steroids are drugs that resemble natural body hormones. When steroids are taken by inhalation for a long period, asthma attacks become less frequent as the airways become less sensitive to allergens.
Steroids are the strongest medicine for asthma, and can control even severe cases over the long term and maintain good lung function. However, steroids can cause numerous side effects, including bleeding from the stomach, loss of calcium from bones, cataracts in the eye, and a diabetes-like state.
Patients using steroids for lengthy periods may also have problems with wound healing, may gain weight, and may suffer mental problems. Besides being inhaled, steroids may be taken by mouth or injected, to rapidly control severe asthma.Leukotriene modifiers are among a newer type of drug that can be used in place of steroids, for older children or adults who have a mild degree of persistent asthma. They work by counteracting leukotrienes, which are substances released by white blood cells in the lung that cause the air passages to constrict and promote mucus secretion. Other drugs include cromolyn and nedocromil, which are anti-inflammatory drugs that often are used as initial treatments to prevent long-term asthmatic attacks in children. Montelukast sodium (Singulair) is a drug taken daily that is used to help prevent asthma attacks rather than to treat an acute attack. In a typical course of immunotherapy, increasing amounts of the allergen are injected over a period of three to five years, so that the body can build up an effective immune response.
There is a risk that this treatment may itself cause the airways to become narrowed and bring on an asthmatic attack. Not all experts are enthusiastic about immunotherapy, although some studies have shown that it reduces asthmatic symptoms caused by exposure to dust mites, ragweed pollen, and cats.Managing asthmatic attacksA severe asthma attack should be treated as quickly as possible.
A course of steroid therapy, given after the attack is over, will make a recurrence less likely.Long-term allopathic treatment for asthma is based on inhaling a beta-receptor agonist using a special inhaler that meters the dose. Patients must be instructed in proper use of an inhaler to be sure that it will deliver the right amount of drug.
Once asthma has been controlled for several weeks or months, it is worth trying to cut down on drug treatment, but this tapering must be done gradually. Starting treatment at home, rather than in a hospital, makes for minimal delay and helps the patient to gain a sense of control over the disease. All patients should be taught how to monitor their symptoms so that they will know when an attack is starting.
They also should have a written plan to follow if symptoms suddenly become worse, including how to adjust their medication and when to seek medical help. Patients who take responsibility for their condition and experiment with various treatments have good chances of keeping symptoms minimal. Having urgent measures to control asthma attacks and ongoing treatment to prevent attacks are important as well. More than one half of affected children stop having attacks by the time they reach 21 years of age. Because they run a risk of going into respiratory failure, they must receive intensive treatment.PreventionPrevention is extremely important in the treatment of asthma, which includes eliminating all possible allergens from the environment and diet. Areas can be tested for allergens and high-quality air filters can be installed to clean the air.
If the patient is sensitive to a family pet, removing the animal or at least keeping it out of the bedroom (with the bedroom door closed) is advised.
Keeping the pet away from carpets and upholstered furniture, and removing all feathers also helps. To reduce exposure to dust mites, it is recommended to remove wall-to-wall carpeting, keep the humidity low, and use special pillows and mattress covers. Cutting down on stuffed toys, and washing them each week in hot water, is advised for children with asthma. If cockroach allergen is causing asthma attacks, controlling the roaches (using traps or boric acid rather than chemicals) can help.It is important to not to leave food or garbage exposed. Keeping indoor air clean by vacuuming carpets once or twice a week (with the asthmatic person absent), and avoiding use of humidifiers is advised.
Those with asthma should avoid exposure to tobacco smoke and should not exercise outside when air pollution levels are high. When asthma is related to exposure at work, taking all precautions, including wearing a mask and, if necessary, arranging to work in a safer area, is recommended. For chronic sufferers who live in heavily polluted areas, moving to less polluted regions may even be a viable alternative.ResourcesBOOKSBock, Steven J.




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