Known as “wheezing” in TCM, asthma is characterized as a tightness, congestion, breathlessness or constriction of the chest making it difficult to breathe. Note that one does not necessarily need to be diagnosed with asthma to have these symptoms.
There are many TCM diagnoses of why wheezing may occur. For an individual assessment, it is best to consult with a TCM practitioner as a treatment plan is specifically designed for you. Different from Western Medicine, two people can have asthma or wheezing for different reasons in TCM. Some factors include genetic factors involving lung weakness, cardiovascular irregularities, gastrointestinal problems such as reflux, stress & anxiety, obesity, anaemia, lack of fitness, environmental factors, high altitude or hypoparathyroidism. When the immune system is weak, the propensity for asthma to occur is great.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs, which comprise TCM, are known for boosting the immune system by improving circulation, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, addressing diet & lifestyle, managing stress levels and through detoxification. They can also help with mitigating the side effects of medications such as Ventolin and corticosteriods.
Here are some Acupuncture points that can be used for acupressure to help with alleviating the symptoms of asthma.
This point is 2 finger-breadths from the wrist’s transverse crease between the brachioradial muscle & tendon of long abductor muscle.
Use the thumb of the opposite hand and gently apply pressure in small rotations while supporting the wrist. Continue to apply pressure for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
This point is also a command point for the head and neck good for treating headaches, migraines, neck rigidity, cough, asthma, sore throat, toothache, wrist pain and any Lung-related problems such as asthma and wheezing.
Located on the back, half a thumb-width from the bottom of the spinous process of the seventh cervical vertebra bilaterally (level with the shoulders).
You can use your thumbs or fingers to rub or press / release on these points or even tap the points since it may be difficult to reach as they are located on the back.
This point is a specific asthma point considered an extra point not located on any meridians.
This point is located on the cubital crease (easier to see the crease when elbow is flexed) in the depression on the radial side of the m. biceps brachii tendon.
Using your thumb, you can press and release this point for approximately 1 minute.
This point is especially indicated for phlegm accumulation in the lungs (such as rattling of mucous in the chest with impaired breathing that may be difficult to expectorate).
Also located on the back, this point lies 1.5 inches from the lower border of the spinous process of the third thoracic vertebra.
Similar to Ding Chuan, this point may be difficult to reach by yourself. Having someone massage this point for 1-2 minutes will not only help with helping laboured breathing but it can also help with strengthening the lung function.
To locate this point, bend the knee 90° and measure 3 finger-breadths from the lower tip of the knee cap downwards. You will be able to feel a pointed bone at this level on the lateral side of the tibia (1 finger-breadth from the anterior crest of the tibia).
Apply firm deep strokes of pressure in a downward direction for 1 minute.
This is a great point for the overall boosting of the immune system helping with gastric pain, vomiting, hiccup, abdominal distention, diarrhea, constipation, and fatigue.
|Conception Vessel-17 (Ren-17)
This point is located on the chest bone, specifically level with the 4thintercostal space, midway between the nipples.
Locate this point with the middle or index finger and apply gently pressure for 30-60 seconds.
This point can also be tapped (like in the EFT technique). Not only does it help with opening up the chest, it can also calm and regulate breathing so as to control the panic that comes while losing one’s breath.
Located in the depression between the tip of the medial malleolus and the Achilles tendon.
Gently massage or press / knead this point for 30-60 seconds.
This point helps with strengthening the immune system and reinforcing the adrenal gland.