Impact of having an Asthmatic Child in the Family

Psychological stress versus Asthma

Family dynamics can also play a major role in the etiology (mechanism and style) of chronic illnesses such as asthma. It has been found that stress factors can trigger the onset of asthma in genetically susceptible children. In a significant research, it has been found that 10 out of 15 most stressful events occur within the family. Family stress factors also can maintain the disease and or precipitate attacks in established asthmatic children and may even increase the risk of early death. Not only family stress aggravate asthma but the onset of asthma in a child also induces stress in the family. Childhood asthma puts major stress on the family. The unpredictability of asthma attacks and the “well again /sick again” cycle is particularly stressful, if your child is suffering from asthma or any other allergies, medical acupuncture is a great way of reducing asthma attacks and the family stress, bringing more safety and less stress for your day.

Stress Factors in Family of Asthmatic Child

  • Rigidity in thoughts.
  • Poor family communication and problem-solving.
  • Repression of feeling.
  • Overt hostility.
  • Frequent criticism from parents.
  • Less agreement between mother and father in decision making.

Stress consequences of Asthma on a Child

  • More likely to get into fights.
  • Non-cooperative.
  • Stubborn.
  • Depressed.
  • Scary. 
  • Timid.
  • Withdrawn.

Stress consequences of Asthma on Mother

  • Depression.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Insomnia.
  • Loss of appetite.

Stress consequences of Asthma on Sibling

  • Strong emotional feelings.
  • Feeling guilty for causing the illness.
  • Jealously and anger over special attention their ill sibling receives.
  • Fear of contracting the illness.
  • Feel embarrassed at the uncontrolled symptoms of their ill sibling.

Consequences and Solution of Stress of Asthma in a Family

When a child suffers from asthma not only he experiences the agony of the disease but practically the whole family suffers from it. Nevertheless, many children and their families cope with the illness with little psychological damage. Family support can buffer the agony of asthma. Early-onset of the disease means a better adjustment later on, for both child and family, because they are used to dealing with the condition. Therefore, a 12 years old who has been asthmatic since infancy may be coping better with the Illness than a peer who has recently been diagnosed. In addition sure knowledge of a serious disease often is easier to cope with than troubling uncertainty. It is helpful for the parents to distinguish between acute and chronic phases of the disease in setting limits and insisting on discipline and structure. Behavior that is tolerated during acute phases need not necessarily become the norm during the day-to-day, chronic phase of the disease.

Joint-family and multi-family with common problems therapy groups appear to be an especially effective means of introducing psychotherapy to the families. Often these groups provide all that is needed. In these groups, parents and siblings share the challenges they are in common. Participants hear other people’s perceptions and problems. It helps them get a more objective view of their situation. The families begin to see the universal stress of dealing with asthma and many families are able to break the guilt/blame cycle and proceed to realistic problem-solving.

It is virtually impossible to separate the physiological and psychological health of a chronically ill asthmatic child from the family he lives with. Likewise, the health of that family as a unit and as an individual often is significantly affected by a sick child. Despite challenges, with proper guidance, an ill asthmatic child and his family can cope, overcome, and defeat the problem of the asthma monster to live and thrive a happy life.

Asthmatic Style of coping Asthma in Family

  • Realize that,
    • Asthma is a chronic disease.
    • The tendency may persist throughout life.
    • Asthma may become silent but may reoccur again after years or sometimes after decades.
    • Asthma can easily be controlled with minimal medication on regular basis.
  • Communicate with the asthmatic child regularly.
  • Discuss and solve the problem of asthmatic children.
  • Set tolerance limits of the acute and chronic phases.
  • Therapy by joint or multi-family meetings.

Feverfew: An Herbal Treatment for Migraine Headaches

Migraines. While I’ve never had one, I can tell they’re nasty. Any patient I’ve ever seen in the middle of a migraine headache looks truly miserable – a victim of the blinding pain, nausea, and aversion to bright lights they are experiencing. Such a painful event is rarely a one-time thing. Migraine sufferers can have several episodes a week or only a few in their lifetime. Migraines can be very unpredictable that way.

And debilitating. Sufferers of frequent migraines can find it difficult to keep a job that will tolerate numerous absences due to the severe headaches that often leave them unable to function.

Modern medicine has recently provided enormous relief for migraine sufferers in the form of medications that can be taken once an attack has begun. Drugs like Imitrex and Amerge act quickly to dissipate a migraine headache by altering the muscle tone of the arteries in the brain which are the cause of this type of headache.

Migraines are one of a class of vascular headaches, meaning that the ultimate source of the headache is a change in the tone of the blood vessels inside the brain. Effective treatments for migraines are not generally painkillers. Instead, they work on the blood vessels which secondarily relieves the pain.

There are two ways to tackle migraine headaches with medical and/or herbal treatment. We’ve talked about the first way. Basically, you wait until you get the headache and then take something to relieve it. The second way is to use a daily medication to prevent migraines from occurring or at least reduce their frequency and severity.

Modern medicine doesn’t have anything particularly great to choose from in the area of migraine prevention. Many of the medications we use for this purpose are also used for blood pressure reduction, so if you don’t have high blood pressure to begin with, the side effects can be difficult to tolerate. Eastern medicine, however, has a few traditional remedies that have proven to effectively treat migraines. One example is acupuncture treatment, which you can book an appointment for at AB Acupuncture

Enter feverfew, an herbal remedy that holds promise in the prevention of migraines with relatively few side effects, (You were wondering when I’d ever get around to talking about herbs, weren’t you?) Feverfew carries the scientific name of Tanacetum parthenium and is a perennial bush that grows throughout Europe. As the name suggests, it was originally used for fever reduction but I didn’t find any information to suggest it has modern value in that area. It is primarily the dried leaves that are used for medicinal purposes.

I’ve read anecdotal reports of feverfew being effective in the treatment of active migraine headaches but there isn’t any scientific evidence to back these reports. Migraine prevention, on the other hand, is where feverfew shows the most promise. Several good studies have shown its effectiveness in reducing the frequency and severity of migraine headaches when taken orally on a daily basis.

Biochemical studies indicate that feverfew inhibits the clumping of platelets as well as the release of serotonin from the blood vessels which contributes to fluctuations in blood vessel tone. When these fluctuations diminish, migraine sufferers get fewer attacks.

Feverfew preparations must be taken daily in order for them to be effective. Encapsulated forms of the dried leaf are preferred because the raw herb can otherwise cause mouth or stomach irritation.

The daily dose should be 1000 milligrams of the dried herb as long as the bottle says it contains at least 0.2% parthenolide, the active ingredient in feverfew. Higher concentrations are okay. As I’ve said before, taking a calculator to the store is sometimes necessary (and a degree in the metric system wouldn’t hurt either). Basically, you’ll want to take a dose of parthenolide which is 200 micrograms (or 0.2 milligrams) daily.

Some people should not take feverfew preparations. It is not recommended in pregnancy because it can cause uterine contractions; those allergic to chrysanthemums, daisies, marigolds, or ragweed might also be allergic to feverfew.

Remember to take the herb for at least a month before deciding whether or not it will work for you. If it works, you can take it for a long period of time without risk.

As always, talk to your healthcare provider to receive the best combination of conventional and herbal remedies for whatever condition you have.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a type of therapy that involves inserting fine needles into your skin at specific points, to help treat health problems and conditions. Acupuncture is classed as a complementary therapy – it may be used alongside conventional medical treatment that you might be receiving.

How does acupuncture work?

Practitioners of acupuncture are known as acupuncturists. They use acupuncture to help prevent or treat a wide range of conditions.

Acupuncture has existed as part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. But it’s only become part of modern medicine in the West in the past 30 years or so. The traditional belief is that acupuncture helps to restore the flow of energy or ‘Qi’ (pronounced ‘chee’) through your body. Practitioners of TCM believe that Qi flows through your body in channels called meridians and that disruption of this flow leads to ill health. Traditional acupuncture is believed to restore the proper flow of Qi.

Modern practice is based on the theory that acupuncture stimulates nerves under your skin, which can lead to the release of pain-relieving endorphins.

What is acupuncture used for?

The only circumstances for which there is enough good evidence to recommend acupuncture, are the prevention of tension-type headaches and migraines.

People often try acupuncture for a range of other problems though, particularly conditions that affect muscles, bones, and joints. These include neck and back pain, knee pain associated with osteoarthritis, and overactive bladder. But there isn’t as much evidence of how effective acupuncture is for these conditions. For more information, see our section on Benefits.

Where can I find an acupuncturist?.

AB Acupuncture offers professional acupuncture services designed to cater to a variety of ailments such as fibromyalgia and Lyme disease. Click here to learn more.

If your acupuncturist isn’t medically trained, it’s important to see a doctor before you seek treatment. Your doctor can confirm a diagnosis and check that acupuncture is a safe option.

What happens during acupuncture?

Initial consultation

At your first visit, your acupuncturist will want to get a detailed understanding of your health problem, as well as your lifestyle in general. They are likely to ask you lots of questions about your medical history, diet, and lifestyle. It’s important to tell your acupuncturist the following information:

  • if you’re pregnant or could be pregnant
  • if you have a pacemaker
  • if you have epilepsy
  • if you have a condition that may affect your blood

Your acupuncturist will probably take your pulse and may ask to examine your tongue. They may also feel for areas of muscular pain or tension in the tissues under your skin.

From this consultation, your acupuncturist will put together a treatment plan.

The treatment 

Your acupuncturist will insert a number of very fine, sterilized needles into your skin at specific points on your body. The number of needles your acupuncturist will use varies – but it may be only two or three. The places where the needles are inserted may not necessarily be close to where you’re experiencing symptoms. For instance, your acupuncturist may insert needles into your foot or hand to treat headaches. Many acupuncture points are on your lower arms and legs, so try to wear something where these areas can be easily accessed. Acupuncture is generally not painful, but many people describe feeling a mild tingling sensation.

Sometimes, other methods are used to stimulate acupuncture points, including pressure, lasers, and very low voltage electrical current. Traditional acupuncturists may also use other techniques such as heat, massage, and rubbing your skin, alongside inserting needles.

Your treatment plan will be tailored to you, but typically, a course of treatment lasts for between five and eight weekly sessions. You’ll normally know whether it’s working for you within three to four sessions.

Is acupuncture effective?

The scientific evidence for how well acupuncture works is often of quite poor quality, which makes it hard to be certain about how effective it really is.

The only two circumstances for which acupuncture is recommended, are the prevention of migraines and tension-type headaches. The available evidence suggests acupuncture can be effective for these conditions.

Clinical trials have also shown acupuncture to have some benefits in the treatment of osteoarthritis. However, these benefits were only small and not enough to be noticeable to patients with this condition.

There have been many studies looking at how effective acupuncture is for a range of other conditions, including ankle sprain, shoulder pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia. But the available evidence either hasn’t shown or hasn’t been of good enough quality to show that acupuncture can help any of these things.

Research is being carried out all the time. For many of the ways acupuncture might be used, more research needs to be done to find out how effective it is.

What are the risks of acupuncture?

All treatments carry some level of risk, and acupuncture is no different. If you have acupuncture, you may have some side-effects, which are usually only mild and temporary. Complications are unexpected problems that may happen during or after your treatment. These are described below.

Side-effects

Side-effects of acupuncture may include:

  • feeling dizzy
  • fainting
  • discomfort where the needle was inserted – including bruising or soreness
  • feeling sick or vomiting
  • finding it hard to breathe
  • headache
  • a temporary worsening of your symptoms

 

You may feel tired and drowsy after your treatment, so it’s worth bearing this in mind if you plan to drive home.

Complications

Very rarely, there’s a risk of getting an infection in the area where a needle has been inserted. Your acupuncturist should always use sterile needles to reduce the risk of infections.

How much does acupuncture cost?

There is no fixed price for acupuncture and the cost will vary depending on where you live.
Explanation
Your first consultation will usually cost between $50 and $70 and follow-up appointments will be about $40 to $50 per session.
Some GP practices and hospitals offer integrated healthcare with complementary therapies including acupuncture. Ask your GP if it’s available in your local area.