Australia has one of the highest incidences of allergic and non allergic asthma in the world. One in four primary school children and one in ten adults in Australia can suffer from this sometimes debilitating respiratory disorder, second only in the world to the U.K. So where does your osteopath come in? Whilst medication may be necessary to ease the effects of asthma, your osteopath is there to work in conjunction with conventional medical treatment to help your body to breathe easier.
Osteopathy offers assistance to sufferers by working on all aspects of the respiratory mechanism, including:
- diaphragm and other respiratory muscles
- nerve control of the chest
- blood and fluid supply to the bronchi and lungs.
Your osteopath will work gently with your body to improve and enhance the mechanics of breathing by:
- freeing restrictions of the ribs, chest and spine
- relaxing the respiratory muscles
- improving lymphatic drainage from the lungs and airways
- enhancing the blood supply to the chest region.
The President of the World Osteopathic Health Organisation and past President of the Australian Osteopathic Association, Michael Mulholland-Licht explains why a ‘tune up’ of the joints, muscles and other soft tissues by an osteopath, using gentle manual procedures, can balance the body, improve the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems, and bring relief to asthma sufferers:
“With asthma, osteopaths often work in cooperation with GPs or natural therapists who are overseeing medications and environmental factors. The role of the osteopath is to mobilise the ribs and joints of the thorax, free the constricted diaphragm and intercostal muscles between the ribs…By freeing the rigidity of the chest and assisting the blood, nerves and lymphatics in the area, the patient is able to breathe easier.”
Osteopathy can also play an important preventative role in the management and care of someone who is suffering from asthma as it looks to minimise the patient’s long-term dependency on medication. That is why it is especially important for young asthma sufferers to learn the skills to manage their asthma and consequently to limit their drug dependency.
So if you, your child, or someone you know is suffering from asthma, come in and speak with one of our osteopaths, who will be only too willing to discuss the condition with you and show you the best breathing exercises to do, when to do them, and help you take control of your health.