Alternative Treatments That Can Be Useful in Relieving COPD Symptoms

Although COPD can not be cured with alternative treatments (nor with conventional), alternative treatments, nonetheless, can be useful in ameliorating symptoms as well as boost the person’s quality of life. When used in conjunction with Western conventional treatments, alternative treatments can enhance the quality of the outcomes. However, scientific studies still has not proven the efficacy of alternative treatment and so before you try it, you should first talk with your doctor to avoid potential drug interactions or complications.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a healing technique that is part of a system known as TCM or traditional Chinese medicine. in Jacksonville. Acupuncture works by stimulating specific points on the body known as acupoints or pressure points. Reed-thin needles are used to stimulate these points. A qualified practitioner is trained to locate the acupoints specified by the symptoms manifested by the patient. Clinical trials reveal that patients with COPD experienced improvement of some of their symptoms when they were treated with acupuncture. Similar results can be gained with acupressure, which follows the same principle as acupuncture but instead of needles, pressure is used to simulate the acupoints.

Supplements & Herbs

Several beverages, foods, over-the-counter dietary supplements and herbs can help alleviate some COPD symptoms. They can be utilized along with your main medical treatments. But before taking any supplements or herbs, make sure you consult with your doctor first as these products can interact with your drugs or set off side effects.

– Eucalyptus oil: This oil is a popular expectorant. You can breathe easier if you add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your humidifier.
– Antioxidants: Foods that are known antioxidants include kale, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, turmeric, green tea, and red grapes. They all can relieve inflammation and oxidative stress.
– Vitamin E: In some COPD-patients, this vitamin is related to better lung function.
– Omega-3 fatty acids: Lessens inflammation. Omega-3 has been known to improve the breathing of COPD patients. Sardines, mackerel, herring, salmon and other cold-water fatty fishes as well as walnuts, canola oil, soybeans, and flaxseed are rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Bleeding problems may arise if you ingest high doses of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. This is especially true if you’re currently taking blood-thinning drugs. So, before taking these supplements talk to your doctor first.

Yoga & Breathing Techniques

Controlled proper breathing is a very important aspect of yoga practice. Pranayama or yoga breathing exercises can involve hundreds of deep-breathing exercises. COPD patients can find Pranayama yoga helpful in that it can reduce stress and promote deep breathing by instructing them to expand their lungs.

Mind/Body Approaches

It has been proven in so many occasions that mind/body exercises can improve a COPD sufferer’s overall quality of life help and relieve some of his/her symptoms.

Based on a 2006 study, about 40% of COPD patients suffer from anxiety and depression. The thought of living and suffering everyday from an incurable and deadly disease such as COPD causes enormous stress on these patients. COPD treatment, therefore, should not only focus on the relief of symptoms but also on the lowering of stress, fears, and negative thoughts of the patient. Relaxation therapy, guided imagery, meditation and other relaxation techniques can significantly ease symptoms for many COPD sufferers.

Other Things You Can Do

Listed below are extra measures you can do that can slow the damage to your lungs and make you feel better:

– Get plenty of sleep
– Avoid breathing cold air
– Avoid crowds to stay away from germs that can irritate your lungs
– Do some controlled-coughing to clear your airways. Use a humidifier and drink lots of water
– Stop smoking; avoid lung irritants such as secondhand smoke
– Perform regular exercises to improve overall strength and beef up the muscles that help you to breathe.

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