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Asthma UK community forum
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alternative drugs.what do you think?

i am so fed up of steroid dose after steroid does.it just makes me fat and depressed. i have tried so many different types of tablets and inhalers, non of which have helped. so i have decided to try something different. i will be trying the salt pipe. if you have heard anything or have tried this or and other alternative then let me know i getting desperately miserable with my asthma and its really holding me back.please help xxx

11 Replies

Qi gong, pilates, meditation,yoga, buteyko method, breathing techniques i'm considering everything

I've been exploring everything. i found tai chi the best but i am intrigued by the claims made by the buteyko method that i have ordered the guide today. As an addition not alternative though. don't risk flare up.


I tried the salt pipe last year and found it made no difference to my asthma but ended up with a sore throat but some good results have been shown for those who use salt caves.

RE:Buteyko, do read the instructions and make sure you don't fall into one of the categories of people who shouldn't use it. I tried it and really did give it a good go but fear it just made my asthma worse, or at least aggravated a reflux type symptoms that I now have. I first notice it while running and breathing as per the instructions but felt a weird sensation like something being pushed up the esophagus and thinking about it that would make sense in hind site, the diaphragm acts like a pump close to the stomach. I've now reverted back to my thoracic breathing while running and no longer have that sensation.

Just my personal observations, but the instructor at my new pilates class last night, Old original tutor from 5 years ago has done some new courses and is going to look up some notes on diet as she knows people with asthma who've changed their diets and had dramatic improvements in symptoms.

Some things that I have found help me are a good swedish/sports massage on the back, or rolling on a foam roller seems to have similar effects and research papers back this up by seeing a small 1-3% improvement in PF's after treatment. Another personal one his using a humidifier in the winter months, maybe I was a toad or slug in another life but the humidity certainly helps. Pilates,Yoga, Tai Chi, Alexander Technique all have a part to play as well as they help relax the body but also control the breathing. Other things that seem to work are vitamin supplements C and D. The biggie though seems to be keeping active as much as possible.

Edit, was looking for pilates breathing vid on youtube, but this one at 40 seconds in raises a very good and important point. Maybe why I tend to breath like it all the time.


I used htose salt pipes and sadly it didn't suit me. It made no difference at all. I would love to use alternative theraphy and my alternative therapist has refused to help me with this at present because he feels it would do me more harm than good. He will however start alternative treatment as an addition to my inhlars once I have it back under control more. Braethign techniques are amazing, I do these with my son as part of his action plan at home, he also has to have 1 peppermint and calamine tea everyday once we get home from school. Not sure how it works but it makes him relax and the amount of gunk we can get off hsi chest dueing the bed-time breathing treatment is amazing. With-out the peppermint the calamine tea, (yes we troied it for 1 month last year) he keeped getting infection after infection but this year we have only had 1 chest infection so far at we almost going into the 4th month. He also does Yoga on a daily basics and twice a week has singing classes. But then we are on day 9 of no green inhaler and we having asperation epidsodes so we need to get him back on the green inhaler


I've starting Pilates at home, it was supposedly invented by a man who was severely asthmatic and had rickets. It was designed to help with posture and breathing. I shall be sticking to this after my 30 lengths in the pool at 7am yesterday nearly killed me. Back on the yucky red unhappy pills which will make me fat and I'm trying to lose weight. I wish there was something alternative when it's gone pear shaped, just filling myself with meds at mo. Doc thinks the steroids will magically make me instantly better and I wont need my blue inhaler, I just laughed silly s*d.



I've found yoga has really helped and I'm able to do it if I'm not feeling 100%. I've learnt at classes with qualified teachers, I'd say that's the best way to start as they can give you proper advice to suit your condition.

It's not a miracle cure but has helped me to get control of some filthy attacks, reckon I'd be using inhaler more if I wasn't doing it. It also calms me down and makes me feel better if I'm having a grumpy day.

There's also been some positive research about benefits of vit D and I also make sure I get plenty of vit C, I've been recently taking some decent multi vits called 'Immunace' not cheap but there's usually an offer at Boots and I've felt better on them.

Hope it helps



some useful links and reading here glclk.about.com/?zi=8/9Ezb


Confused - an excellent point, there. These things need to be used alongside your current medications (and it's probably best to discuss them with your GP/asthma nurse too).


Bumped for Snowygirl as it has some info about salt pipes


thanks feejay :)



I understand the desperation to want to fix your asthma as i've been there, but i am a medical student and an important thing to remember is that any result produced by alternative medicine is generally placebo. A famous quote i once heard was ""Of course alternative medicine doesn't work, because surely if it did work wouldn't it just be called medicine?"" just some food for thought there.


You probably believe that asthma cannot be cured because drug research has failed so far. Asthma is not curable! But this leaves out the lip reflex See gv26.gach on the Internet. As I posted elsewhere the yoga routine "alternate nostril,breathing" (anb).works for asthma by reflex. Loud sniffing works as well. See "strelnikova reduce asthma" on the Net.You seem to be non-suited.


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