Does Relaxation Help Asthma Symptoms?

 - by KitchenPantryScientist

In many diseases, the link between mind and body is strong, but the science behind the connection is difficult to decipher.

I don’t remember many kids with asthma back when I was young.   Now, I have a son with mild asthma who has to take a puff of Albuterol before soccer and basketball games so he doesn’t start to cough, and cough, and cough.

Today, almost 10% of children suffer from this disease of the airways and many deal with severe breathing issues and have to take drugs to suppress their immune systems, in addition to carrying an inhaler to treat attacks.  Researchers trying to find better ways to treat asthma have studied whether relaxation techniques can help, or even stop, attacks when they occur.

Anxiety and emotions seem to play a role in asthma attacks, but exactly what role is unclear.  Some studies have shown that teaching kids (and adults) to relax and breath slowly and deeply, using their diaphragms, can help them manage asthma attacks more calmly and successfully.  However, relaxation alone can’t resolve the underlying issues and must be used along with prescribed medication to treat attacks.

Does your child have asthma?  Do you feel the attacks are worse when panic sets in?  Have you tried to teach them any relaxation techniques and has it helped?

I recently received a copy of a children’s book that was written to teach kids relaxation techniques to use during asthma attacks, alongside their medication.  It’s called “Alfie’s Attack” and is nicely illustrated with a story about a fish and a shark who both have asthma.  In the back are inhaler stickers with characters from the book to remind kids not to panic.  You can order the book at  Leave a comment here for a chance to win a copy (along with the inhaler stickers.)  I’ll do a random drawing Friday 12/17 to choose a winner.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by Vitality Books for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.

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