Causes of the breathing disorder
Breathing disorder with shortness of breath can occur for various reasons. Typically these are diseases of the respiratory tract, but the problems can also affect other systems, for example, shortness of breath due to larynghospasms caused by an emotional states such as fright or anger.
Breathing disorder may be caused by affected upper respiratory tract – the nasal cavity, pharynx or larynx. Most common health problems in children are the runny nose and inflammations of the pharynx – either individually or in combination. Concomitant symptoms include itching or burning in the nose, abundant secretion – from watery to slimy or purulent secretion, headache and temperature. Breathing becomes more difficult, as well as wheezing and snoring occur after falling asleep.
The lower respiratory tract can also be affected – trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, alveolar paths whose activity involves certain muscle fibers, the functions of which may be disturbed.
Among the most common respiratory diseases both in children and adults are bronchitis and pneumonia, as well as asthma. In children, the condition can often occur due mechanical entrance of a foreign body in the respiratory tract with food or as an object.
However, the predominant causes of these health problems in children are the respiratory infections. Usually they affect the upper respiratory tract, as children suffer from these diseases approximately 5 times a year. In one third of the cases is affected the lower respiratory tract, which leads to bronchitis and pneumonia, or bronchiolitis.
The causers are viruses and bacteria, with over two-thirds of childhood diseases being respiratory infections caused by viruses. These are flu, pharyngitis, rhinitis, etc. In addition to infectious, the respiratory diseases can be allergic, traumatic and so on. As children’s immunity is not yet formed, the kids can easily get infected and complications may occur.
Apart from diseases of the pulmonary system and the upper respiratory tract, breathing disorders can occur also as a result from psychological conditions /such as fear/, cardiac problems /for example, heart failure/, brain or chest injuries, poisoning, for example, from chemicals or poisonous spiders, etc.
Causes of cough
The cough is a reflex response through which the body tries to free the respiratory tract, and it can occur both in diseases of the pulmonary system and as a result of other health problems that lead to disturbed breathing.
At the same time, it can be suppressed or caused intentionally. Cough’s manifestations are generally two types – with or without secretion, respectively wet and dry cough. The secretion in wet cough can be slimy, bloody or purulent.
The cough can also be acute – lasting up to 3 weeks and associated with a cold, flu or sinus infection. The sub-acute cough continues for up to 8 weeks, and if it lasts for a longer period, then it is chronic. Its course may be in waves – such as asthma and whooping cough; permanent – for example, chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, heart failure, and periodic: with severe attacks during the chronic cough.
The specific causes cover a very wide range – from colds to flu, from sinusitis, asthma, allergies, lung infections and diseases, to drinking cold and fizzy drinks, polluted air and smoking, and so on.
Treatment of cough and breathing disorders should be prescribed by a physician. The specifics of the child’s organism must be taken into account. If the trachea and bronchi, for example, are shorter and wider, even colds can quickly go down and reach the lungs. If the organs are with smaller volume, the inhalations are more frequent and respiratory diseases can quickly cause a dangerous oxygen insufficiency.
Especially important is the diagnosis, as the causes can be numerous and differ significantly. Moreover, unsuitable treatment may lead to allergies /especially in children/ and severe complications. We have to take complex measures with regard to viral diseases. The nasal mucosa must be recovered and strengthened, because it „acclimatizes”over 10 thousand liters of air /up to 170 thousand times higher activity/, by warming it up and moisturizing for its absorption by the body. The western medicine uses antibiotics to treat inflammations. Medicines for liquefaction of the secretion are also applied for its easier elimination, as hot liquid foods also contribute to that, as well as humidification of the air in the room.
Treatment of breathing disorder and cough with the help of Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, breathing disorder and cough can occur due to imbalances in the three energies that are responsible for the vital processes in the body.
Kapha is the energy /the Dosha of the water element in the body/ which accumulates mainly in the lungs and stomach.
In case Kapha dosha is increased and out of balance, mucus from the stomach enters the lungs, and when it accumulates there, it can flow into other body parts, and the build-up can lead to various diseases. The energy deviations in Kapha Dosha usually cause coughs and respiratory infections, asthma, pneumonia and other problems of the respiratory system.
But Vata dosha, which is the energy of movements, can also affect the lungs, as inhalation and exhalation are part of these movements. Through the breathing process the vital energy enters the human body. If the breathing problems are accompanied by dehydration, heavy shortness of breath and blockages, this is an indication that Vata is increased.
The extremely severe disease tuberculosis, for example, is of the Vata type of respiratory diseases. Infectious respiratory diseases are related to the third dosha – Pitta. The disturbances in this energy, which is responsible for transformations, cause weakening of the digestive fire Agni, and this leads to poor digestion and accumulation of excess mucus. This in turn increases Kapha dosha. Therefore, the treatment of respiatory problems includes also the enhancement of Agni to improve digestion and metabolism.
Apart from the impaired degradation of food, respiratory diseases depend also on the seasonal changes, the prolonged exposure to cold, improper breathing practice, immobilization or overloading. Sadness, fear and love are among the mental and emotional causes of these diseases.
The Ayurveda treatment of breathing disorders and cough is focused on bringing back the balance of the doshas. It includes breathing exercises and other yoga practices, proper diet, detoxification form toxins, healing herbs, potions and oils.
The ayurvedic procedures include insertion of potions and oils through the nose, herbal gargle, pouring and massages with wam oils or pastes on the chest, back, as well as of the head.
The tonic recipes include combinations of two parts of elecampane and symphytum officinale, one part ginger, cinnamon and licorice. Clove should be added for Kapha balance, and for Vata balance is required to add ginseng or aswaganda. For Pitta dosha, add some cow-parsnip and a burdock root.
A powerful cleansing effect for Kapha dosha has the body cleansing with the help of healing vomiting. It is not recommended to do it on your own, as it should be performed in specialized clinics where these procedures are carried out according to the Panchakarma method under the supervision of an Ayurveda specialist. People of the Kapha type should perform regular cleanses of the stomach and lungs.
A similar effect also has a special diet combined with herbs for liquefaction of the mucus and expectoration, but the treatment is longer. In the long-term treatment are applied also yogic breathing techniques that are very effective against chronic allergies and asthma, but they also should be performed under the guidance of an Ayurveda doctor.
Proper breathing will increase the level of energy received by nature, as well as it will improve blood circulation, physical strength and tone. There are breathing techniques for Kapha dosha – Solar Pranayama; for Pitta dosha – Lunar Pranayama, and for Vata dosha– application of both practices consecutively.
Special mantras are used in the breathing practices to deepen the inhalation and exhalation, and for elimination of excess energy.