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 Integrative Medicine: Childhood Asthma 

Chamomilla 30x or 9c is helpful for children whose asthma is triggered or accompanied by anger and irritability. Give your child one dose, three times a day, for several days or until symptoms subside.

Pulsatilla 30x or 9c is for asthma that is often triggered by an upper respiratory tract infection. There is little or no mucus. This child has more difficulty breathing in a closed, stuffy room, and feels more comfortable outside. Give her one dose, three times a day, for several days or until symptoms subside.

You can massage the points listed below on a daily basis to help balance an asthmatic child's system. In the event of an acute asthma attack, seek immediate medical care for your child. (You can work these points as you are on your way to the hospital.) For the locations of acupressure points on a child's body, see Administering an Acupressure Treatment.

Liver 3 helps to quiet the nervous system.

Lung 7 clears the lungs.

Pericardium 6 relaxes the chest.

General Recommendations
Follow the regimen prescribed by your child's physician. Be sure you understand when and how to give the medicines he or she prescribes. Taking your child off medication without careful supervision can result in a severe asthma attack and hospitalization, and should not be attempted.

Yoga, relaxation, and deep breathing techniques are invaluable for people with asthma, including children. In addition to building physical strength and flexibility, yoga teaches steady, controlled slow deep breathing, which helps to strengthen the respiratory system. Using relaxation and visualization exercises at the beginning of an asthma attack can help calm your child and ease her breathing.

Encourage your child to get regular exercise to improve lung function. Swimming is particularly good, and the humidify helps to keep the mouth and air passages from drying out. (Make sure, however, that your child does not swim in an excessively chlorinated pool, since high levels of chlorine can produce allergic reactions in some people.) Depending on the severity and type of your child's asthma, she may need to take medication before an activity to prevent respiratory distress.

Certain food additives, especially metabisulfite, can be dangerous for the child with asthma. Sulfites are commonly found in commercially prepared foods such as dried fruits. They are also used by many restaurants to keep fruits and vegetables at salad bars looking fresh and attractive. If your child has asthma, it's best to avoid salad bars and to buy only unsulfured dried fruits. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) can also cause problems for some asthmatics, so avoid food products prepared with this additive. You should also be aware of "hidden" sources of MSG. These often show up on food labels as "hydrolyzed protein," "autolyzed yeast," "sodium caseinate," and "calcium caseinate."

(Excerpted from Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child ISBN: 1583331395)
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 About The Author
Janet Zand LAc, OMDJANET ZAND, O.M.D., L.Ac. is a nationally respected author, lecturer, practitioner and herbal products formulator whose work has helped thousands of people achieve better health....more
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