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Moving Away from Asthma

According to the New Zealand Asthma foundation, currently in New Zealand there are 1 in 7 children and 1 in 8 adults experiencing asthma. It probably seems futile to explain what asthma is as I am sure many of us have heard, seen or experienced an asthmatic cough. However simply put, asthma is a swelling and narrowing of the airways, making it very difficult to breathe.

There are inhalers, medications, airway dilators and all sorts of modern medicinal developments which aim to increase the quality of life of someone suffering with asthma, however, research (and reality!) also shows us that this traditional outside-in approach to treating asthma, is lending to a somewhat tricky disease to see the end of.

And this got me wondering why…

The outward symptoms of asthma seem pretty horrible, not being able to breathe is a strong driver to reach for anything that is going to help you feel better and make that vital function a little more bearable. I can see why people feel attached to their inhalers.

However, until we get to the bottom of the neurological pattern that is keeping the body in a wound-up state, or less able to regulate itself and experience good health then we know these symptoms will persist. We now toy with the idea of treating the symptom vs addressing any underlying cause.

From a chiropractic lens we truly are interested in our people feeling better, but we are most focused on them HEALING better.

Our nervous system has 2 main functions – one is to keep us alert and aware of danger, in this state we can run, think fast, move rapidly and increase our breathing/heart rates.

In the other, we are more able to rest, digest and essentially pump the breaks to offer our body the proper environment in which it can heal.

We run nervous system scans in the practice, which tell us the pattern you are currently holding and which of these 2 states you may be favouring. This helps us to understand and answer some fundamental questions

patient adjustment on back

How well are you healing?

Are you ‘stuck’ in perpetuating patterns of dysfunction?

What is your capacity for stress, and how far can you go before your body succumbs to symptoms and/or disease?

These scans are a vital step for anyone beginning their chiropractic care, but especially someone who may have had months, years or even decades living with symptoms such as asthma.

You would have heard in our recent podcast with Dr David Fletcher, how by assessing the underlying neurological patterns that govern body function, we are able to work with the system that brings about better health and healing. He comments that people who experience regular care tend to notice better sleep, better immune function and better resilience throughout their daily lives.

So while there are countless hours and billions of dollars being spent (1 billion per year in NZ to be precise), to help people feel better and rid themselves of the burden of asthmatic symptoms, I come back to what can we do that helps our people HEAL better in the long term?

How can we move away from asthma?

Well let’s go back even further.

We have all experienced birth. In one way or another we entered this world and that is no small feat. Our body and nervous system withstood extraordinary pressures and demands in order to experience birth and in fact, our brain and skull structures are designed to mould and flex within the birth canal to allow this.

The way in which we were able to do this goes on to influence our nervous system and health from the start, (you can read about the specifics of prenatal and birth stressors here).

One study examined over 1000 infants following their birth and discovered that over 80% of these otherwise healthy newborns, experienced some form of nerve dysfunction.

Again, in the words of David Fletcher, the way in which the nervous system organises itself will lend towards a varying degree of autonomic function (think organs, respiratory system, immune system and well… asthma!).

Undetected (or unaddressed) nerve dysfunction following birth has been linked with the possible development of breathing difficulties – including weakness, infection or asthma).

Fascinatingly, those born by caesarean section are 3 times more likely to develop asthma at the age of 31 than those who arrived earthside vaginally.

If you are still reading this far, and you are a regular practice member with us then you’re probably feeling awfully uncomfortable with all this disease and statistics talk – it’s not our usual style!

So let’s shift gear entirely and discuss what it is that can really help us.

The nervous system.

However we entered the world, or however, we have lived life up until this point is relevant but not the be all and end all to our health.

How we support our nervous system to

  • Adapt
  • Heal
  • And… Regulate our body with more ease and better function

Will determine our health going forward.

When talking about chronic health challenges such as asthma, our main focus is on supporting your nervous system towards unwinding old patterns and creating more functional ones.

And you get to enjoy the results.

Needing more? Contact our team to book your initial visit and let’s see what your scans have to say about you.

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