Advantages in Treating Respiratory Diseases with Eastern Medicine

Respiratory diseases are pathological conditions which affects organs and tissues of the respiratory system. They can affect the upper respiratory tract, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli, pleura, pleural cavity, the nerves and the muscles related to the respiratory system. They can range from mild (as common cold) to severe (as lung cancer, pulmonary embolism, bacterial pneumonia).

According to eastern medicine, diseases are caused due to the imbalance (imbalance of yin and yang) / disharmony of the body. Qi is responsible for maintaining this balance and the factors which affects Qi causes the disharmony. External factors (weather changes) and internal factors (emotional changes) affect Qi and causes disharmony resulting in occurrence of diseases.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that the universe is interconnected. Therefore they think that changes in the weather will affect humans. Changes of the weather are characterized by six external energies that causes disharmony to the body. These are called the six pathogenic factors:

1. Wind
2. Heat
3. Fire
4. Dampness
5. Dryness
6. Cold

Some of these pathogens may occur together depending on the seasonal influences or environmental conditions.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Internal factors that affect Qi are emotions (anger, joy, sadness, grief, fear, or fright). Imbalance of emotions (i.e. – too much of one emotion) causes disharmony leading to diseases.

When a disease is present in the body a pattern of disharmony occurs in the body. There are several patterns. And out of them wind heat, wind cold and wind dampness are responsible for respiratory problems. (Wind is a primary pathogenic factor and also a factor which carries other pathogens into the body as it invades. It is a yang therefore it attacks the upper portions of the body first and then it may penetrate inside and cause serious damages if not treated properly.)

Wind Heat Pattern

They are more common in the spring and summer, and in places with a tropical climate.

High body temperature, sore throat, nasal discharge with yellowish phlegm, slight aversion to wind, head ache are the symptoms. These diseases are infectious and caused by bacteria or viruses. The infectious pathogens are particularly strong. Pathogens penetrate from the nose and mouth. Wind heat has a strong probability to become interior heat. And this heat has the ability to dry up body fluids.

Wind Cold Pattern

They are more common in the winter. Aversion to cold, slight increase in body temperature, running nose with clear discharge, sneezing, chest congestion, itching throat, difficulty to sweat are the symptoms. Almost always this is caused by viruses.

Wind Dampness Pattern

Even though the patients who have this pattern feel they have a heated body, the body temperature doesn’t increase noticeably. Instant thirst, mild sweating, lethargy, fatigue, occasional chest tightness are the symptoms.

• Symptoms of diseases occur when the bodies protective Qi fights with the pathogens.

The treatment of a respiratory disease / any disease using TCM is done by removing the excess and replenishing the deficiency, in the aim of regaining the balance between yin and yang. Thereby the Qi or the immunity is strengthened. When the Qi returns to its equilibrium again the body is told to be healthy and free of disease.

In TCM the diagnosis isn’t considered that important. It’s the symptoms that are studied and treated, in the aim of bringing the body back to equilibrium. And also it doesn’t care much to find about the exact pathogen which has invaded the body. TCM doesn’t mind if it’s a bacteria or a virus or any other pathogen, but rather analyses the effect / impact it has on the individual and the symptoms it has created in the body. Experts practicing TCM says that it’s because finding the type of pathogen causing the disease won’t do much of a help. It’s because the same virus /bacteria can cause different symptoms in different people based on their constitution and health. E.g. – let’s say that two people get asthma. One of them may feel cold with shivering and the other hot with fever. The person feeling cold will have wheezing, excess watery phlegm, fatigue, and a thin weak radiant pulse. And the person feeling hot will have wheezing, dry thick phlegm and a big pounding radial pulse. (As you see eastern medicine separates asthma into two as phlegm cold asthma and phlegm heat asthma, and treats them accordingly) TCM medicine treats the person having phlegm cold asthma with herbs which will warm the cold, strengthen the lungs, dry the phlegm off and increase blood flow to the lungs. And it will treat the person having phlegm heat asthma with herbs which will moisten and loosen his phlegm, shrink the swollen membranes of the lungs, reduce inflammation in lungs, and clear the inflammation out of the urinary tract. It will make both these people feel well and healthy after the treatment even though they are treated differently. But western medicine which identifies both these conditions commonly as asthma treats it with steroids which will make the hot person better but the cold one even worse. This can be listed as one important advantage of eastern medicine.

As mentioned above eastern medicine treats the symptoms and doesn’t run after the diagnosis as western medicine does. In western medicine finding the invader / pathogen causing the disease is of vital importance. If a pathogen isn’t identified they brand the disease auto immune, and is treated with immune suppressants. This might or might not work. As eastern medicine treats the symptoms instead of the diagnosis any unidentified disease can be treated well or even cured. This is another advantage.

TCM uses herbs, acupuncture and nutritional advice, breathing exercises, homeopathy etc. to treat respiratory diseases. Mainly herbs are used. When treating with herbs one herb is not used alone. A mixture of them is used. The side effects caused due to one herb is removed by another one. And acupuncture is used to cure untamed diseases. It has very little side effects too. Therefore having no / less side effects is also an advantage in TCM. Western treatment has more side effects. For example patients suffering from asthma when treated with conventional medicine will have side effects like headache, insomnia, anxiety, palpitations, muscle tremors and weakened immunity.

Eastern medicine / TCM has found ways to shorten /reduce symptoms /prevent /stop spreading of respiratory infections. Western medicine doesn’t have effective drugs which will fulfill these functions as efficiently. The herb E. purpurea is said to reduce the duration and the intensity of colds and flu and also to abort them when started. E. purpurea when used with vitamin C and propolis is said to prevent colds. The herb Andrographis is used to prevent diseases like influenza from spreading. And it is said to boost the immunity. Essential oils are used to treat both acute and chronic bronchitis and sinus infections with good results. This is a benefit of eastern medicine too.

As TCM is holistic / natural, it can resolve concurrent symptoms too. For example treatments given for asthma is said to have improved digestion, menstrual health and skin conditions of the patients.

Eastern medicine has effective cures to allergy based respiratory diseases like allergic rhinitis, which is not successfully treated by western medicine. Herbal drugs are used for the treatment. Acupuncture and herbal nose drops are used in severe cases.

Western medicine uses antibiotics to treat some respiratory diseases. (Bacteria caused ones) But even though they might suppress the disease temporally it might occur back severely, and will have to use a stronger antibiotic the next time. That’s because the bacteria gets resistant to the antibiotics with time. But as herbs, which are used for the treatment in TCM are biological, bacteria / any pathogens finds it hard develop resistance to it.

Treatment for the same respiratory disease in TCM varies according to the health, constitution and family history of a patient. (Treatment is customized.) Therefore there is a very high tendency for the treatment to answer.

Unlike western medicine which just suppresses the symptoms temporally, eastern medicine (TCM) decreases air way inflammation, improves lung capacity, diminishes / cures wheezing and cough.

As mentioned eastern medicine has many advantages when used for curing and treating respiratory diseases.