The Holistic Baby Guide: Alternative Care for Common Health Problems
excerpt from The Holistic Baby Guide
Randall Neustaedter OMD
Treating your child’s asthma with holistic methods
Excerpt from The Holistic Baby Guide: Alternative Care for Common Health Problems, New Harbinger Publications, 2010.
The holistic approach to asthma treatment requires multiple steps and multiple disciplines. Treatment involves three components.
Monitor symptoms and treat acute episodes. It is important that you understand and can recognize your child’s asthma symptoms. That way, you can monitor how he’s doing and will know when he’s running into trouble. You can begin treatment at home at the onset of symptoms or consult with your child’s medical provider. Treatment for asthmatic episodes (coughing and wheezing) usually takes the form of herbs, acupuncture, chiropractic, and homeopathic medicines that can be employed during acute episodes of asthma to control symptoms. These methods may be combined with conventional drugs for wheezing if needed.
Manage allergens. Identify, reduce, modify, or eliminate contributing dietary and environmental factors. This preventive approach will reduce exposure to asthma triggers and thereby prevent allergic reactions and wheezing episodes and cough.
Balance and strengthen immune function. The most important and most successful part of the management plan involves deep-acting, constitutional treatment and nutritional support that correct the underlying imbalance that causes asthma in your child. This will result in a stronger immune system and less reactive allergic reactions. Remember that the body has its own system of anti-inflammatory processes and chemicals that can prevent allergic reactions. When these are supported through treatment, your child will experience fewer symptoms. This component of treatment will involve nutritional supplements and herbal medicines. A constitutional homeopathic medicine prescribed by a qualified homeopathic practitioner can be invaluable to stimulate healing.
Parent participation in the holistic treatment plan involves identifying the symptoms of asthma, determining how severe an episode is, beginning appropriate methods in early stages of symptoms to bring them under control, and communicating with your holistic doctor to continue improving your child’s health. You will quickly become expert in using the interventions that work best for your child. The preventive measures include daily supplements to give your child on an ongoing basis as well. Parents can see impressive results with this integrated treatment system, with significantly less severe and less frequent episodes of wheezing and a more resilient immune system.
Asthma is a complex condition with many symptoms and manifestations. It can begin in the first year of life with colds that cause wheezing, then progress to asthma episodes and allergic reactions. Eczema and asthma are closely related and babies with eczema frequently develop asthma in a natural progression.
The holistic treatment of asthma will first identify causative and aggravating influences such as allergens, then balance and strengthen the immune system with a variety of methods.
During the course of long-term treatment it is also important to manage the acute symptoms of asthma (wheezing and cough) with short-acting medicines that will provide relief during asthma episodes, controlling symptoms so that they do not worsen or become dangerous to health.
The goals of a holistic program for asthma include improvement in overall health and quality of life, lessening of the severity and frequency of asthma episodes, confidence in the ability to manage symptoms when they occur, and gradual progression to cure, the complete elimination of asthmatic episodes. Only through a holistic program can there be hope and the expectation for overall improvement in health. Asthma is a chronic illness, but holistic medicine provides the tools and the perspective to return your child to a state of vital resilience and robust health.