Treating breathing problems
with Chinese medicine
Case study: Acupressure combined with breathing exercises helps with breathing problems
By Craig Cormack
In some hospitals in China, Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture, herbs, and massage, is offered along with Western Medicine. In my work, I have found that massage, acupressure and breathing exercises are particularly helpful in dealing with breathing problems due to bronchitis, asthma, and congestive heart failure. Hospital administrators should consider incorporating these techniques and training their staff in them to aid their patients in recovery.
I remember receiving a call from a client who told me that her 89-year-old father was suffering from the after-effects of bronchitis and congestive heart failure. He had been hospitalized for four days and was treated with Prednisone, Avelox (antibiotic), and
Lasix (a diuretic). His bronchitis was treated successfully by the hospital but his daughter requested that he be discharged because he was agitated and disoriented. She felt he would be better off convalescing at home.
In my work, I have found that massage, acupressure and breathing exercises are particularly helpful in dealing with breathing problems due to bronchitis, asthma, and congestive heart failure.
She called me to see if I could help him clear his lungs because I had successfully treated her daughter’s asthma with acupressure. I accepted the challenge and went to her father’s home to see what I could do. He could not lie down in his bed to sleep so when I met with him he had not slept in his bed for two days. He had a terrible wheezing cough and his breathing was laboured. Also, his legs and feet were swollen (the Lasix had not helped his condition very much, so he was having trouble walking).
I started by treating his lungs first. I pressed on LU 1 and had him breathe out and he immediately started to emit phlegm. I repeated this for approximately 10-15 minutes using LU 1 and LU 2 and he continued to cough up mucus. I had his daughter prepare eucalyptus steam for her father to inhale. She added a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to boiling water in a bowl. We had her father inhale the steam with a towel draped over his head. This brought up more mucus. We then combined the acupressure treatment with him breathing in the steam.
The result of this combination had him coughing up more phlegm from deep in the lungs. His breathing was clearer with less wheezing and whistling. He said that he could breathe easier. I showed his daughter how to apply acupressure and told her to use the following points: LU 1, LU 2, LU 5, LU 11, and LI 11.
‘Combining acupressure with inhalation techniques appears to have an immensely powerful impact on breathing difficulties and light massage appears effective in moving out fluid retention due to congestive heart failure.’
Next, I treated his swollen legs and feet. I used a light downward massage on the outside of the legs down to the feet and an upward light massage on the inside of the leg, from the ankles upward, toward the kidneys. I also pressed on K1 and K5 (kidney points). The massage was exceptionally light lymphatic drainage. I showed all of this to the daughter. Within a noticeably short time after this massage, he went to the bathroom to urinate.
My client applied these simple techniques over the following three days and her father improved very much. His breathing is now back to normal and he moves about his home with ease. His legs are back to a regular size and he is happy.
Combining acupressure with inhalation techniques appears to have an immensely powerful impact on breathing difficulties and light massage appears effective in moving out fluid retention due to congestive heart failure.
Feature image: Irenna86 – Pixabay
Read also: other articles by Craig Cormack
Craig Cormack, BA, is a Chi Kung and Reiki master, a licensed Chinese massotherapist, and a senior Tai Chi instructor based in Montreal, Canada. He is presently working with seniors to help them stay healthy and keep their balance. He a principal at Rising Tao Integrative – risingtao.ca