Explore the health and wellbeing issues concerning acupuncture, aspirin, and asthma.
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Host: We've all had the odd case of pins and needles, but have you ever considered using the real thing to get yourself back on track? According to recent archeological evidence, acupuncture has been used by human beings to heal each other for over 5000 years. And even though it’s now clear that this ancient art originated in Eurasia. It’s the Chinese we can thank for keeping the tradition alive through the vestiges of time. And thankfully, thing have improved a little our stone age cousins were using fine stone needles to stick into tattooed acupuncture points on their bodies. Modern practitioners use ultra fine filament needles that are needles as thin as a thread. It still hurts a little but only for a second. Detailed point charts eliminate any guessed work. Western medicine claims that acupuncture relieves pain by encouraging the release of endorphins from the brain creating a general sense of calm and well-being. And indeed this actually happens. After that 15 minutes with the needles in you’ll feel dozy and may even fall into a pleasant, dreamless sleep. Traditional Chinese medicine claims that the healing is a little more specific. Acupuncture points are found along meridians or energy lines in the body that nourish certain organs. Acupuncture removes any blocks in this energy flow leaving organs to regenerate themselves with the added boast. Used as a complimentary medicine as part of a larger plan, it can be most effective. Most people would think to take an aspirin on occasion for mild headaches or fever. Heart attacks, strokes and deep vein thrombosis may all be put on hold with regular aspirin intake. Dr. Andrew Sindone: My message would be for women who are over the age of 55, who have risk factors for heart disease or would like to prevent their risk of developing heart disease in the future that low-dose aspirin would prevent the episodes in the future and maybe help them avoid a hear attack or a stroke and possibly even reduce their risk of developing some cancers. Host: Aspirin may even have applications in keeping cardiac tissue alive immediately after a heart attack. Children need to avoid aspirin if they are suffering from a viral infection and adults with stomach ulcers may want to limit their intake. Have you ever experience difficulty in breathing, tight chess pains, a catching throat, a repetitive coughing and wheezing you could be one of the tens of millions of people who suffer from asthma worldwide. Its best not to leave your asthma untreated. In this case prevention is definitely better than a cure. Apparently 90% of all fatal asthma attacks could have been prevented. As your GP about the many relievers, preventors and symptom control is available. There’s also a range of devices to ensure inhalation is a less than tricky task. This elongated plastic container is called a spacer. It ensures all of the medication makes it in to your body with minimal breathing effort on your part. Stephen Holgate: We desperately need new drugs to manage this disease. We need them to influence the long-term outcome of asthma because at present all we have are sticky plasters, but at least help functionally but don’t reverse it. Host: And you might consider some complementary therapy as a backup to your orthodox medicine. Body and breath awareness techniques such as some good old fashion meditation maybe your saving grace if you were stuck somewhere without your meds. Asthma is manageable and definitely shouldn’t stop you from enjoying life to the full, but you must have an asthma plan. Get into action today. So that you don’t forget to take your asthma meds with you while you're exercising keep a spare inhaler in your sports bag or locker and have an asthma action plan.