Lung Health

Chinese Medicine for Improved Breathing

The importance of lungs and our dependency on respiratory health cannot be overstated as we depend on the lungs for every breath from the moment of birth until our eventual death. In Chinese medicine, the Lung energetic system takes on even more relevance to our physical and emotional health. Additionally, there is a complex set of relationships that show how Lung imbalances can result in disease patterns that reach far beyond breathing problems according to Chinese medical theory.

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Acupressure for Lung Health and Improved Breathingessential oils for acupressure

Learn How to Apply Acupressure Here!

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Common Lung Imbalances in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Lung Qi Deficiencyorganic lung qi herbal tonic

A weakness of the Lung Qi would make one more susceptible to cold and flu infections, asthma, seasonal hay-fever, COPD, pneumonia or any disease related to the Lungs. Additionally, Lung Qi Deficiency can contribute to diseases of organ systems that are inter-connected with the Lungs in Chinese medicine including digestive disorders of the Large Intestine, skin diseases, or sinusitis.

Symptoms of Lung Qi Deficiency:

  • Labored breathing or wheezing with physical exertion 
  • A weak voice that does not project itself
  • A pale face; not just the color of the skin, but the emanating superficial glow

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Acupressure Point Combination Strategy:

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Lung Yin Deficiency

In the body Yin represents substance, moisture, blood, and tissue. In order for the Lungs to remain healthy, the tiny air sacs called alveoli where oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange occurs must stay nourished, moist, and flexible to function. Some people are born with a genetic tenancy towards Lung Yin Deficiency; they are often very thin with anal-retentive personality traits.

Symptoms of Lungs Yin Deficiency (may manifest alone or combined):

Dry cough organic kidney yin herbal tonic

  • with no phlegm 
  • with small amounts of sticky phlegm 
  • with traces of blood in phlegm

Dry sinus issues 

  • with no phlegm 
  • with small amounts of sticky phlegm 
  • with traces of blood in phlegm

Other:

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Acupressure Point Combination Strategy:

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Lung Drynessbreathing-kit-essential oils acupressure

If Lung Yin Deficiency is allowed to persist without treatment, the Lungs will become dry; the spongy sacs called alveoli where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs begin to lose there spongy flexible quality and harden. Smoking cigarettes or marijuana leads to Lung Dryness. COPD is a common disease due to chronic Lung Dryness. Consider our organic White Tiger Return formula along with our organic Yin Valley formula!

Acupressure Point Combination Strategy:

Lung-Heatlung-heat-plaster-v.2.png

If Lung-Dryness persists or if one develops a viral or bacterial lung infections then Lung-Heat may develop. If combined with Dampness, a cough with colored phlegm can develop. This can develop into a serious condition requiring local professional healthcare assistance.

Acupressure Point Combination Strategy:

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Lung-Dampnessherbal-lung-support-plaster-2oz.png

If Lung Dryness persists, the Lungs will compensate by moistening the bronchi with phlegm; those developing COPD or emphysema may notice that they spit up small amounts of thick sputum at the long before the actual disease is diagnosed. The Lung Qi has a descending quality and moves downward in the body; if the Lung Qi is deficient or disrupted, Dampness and Phlegm may accumulate in the chest or sinuses.
Symptoms of Lung-Dampness:

  • Coughing with large amounts of phlegm
  • Difficulty breathing worsened when on lays on their back
  • Asthma with phlegm
  • Edema and swelling of legs and ankles (this typically indicates Kidney Deficiency also)

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Acupressure Point Combination Strategy:essential oils for acupressure

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Lung-Organ Associations in Chinese Medicine

Lung-Kidney

The Lung and Kidney energetic organ systems are very closely related in Chinese medicine and work together closely. The Kidney is responsible for “grasping the Qi” when one takes a breath; therefore, conditions such as asthma or COPD where patients are unable to take a deep breath, the Kidney Deficiency must be addressed. Alternatively, the Lung Qi is responsible for descending actions and helps to regulate waterways; in this way, Lung Qi Deficiency can lead to urinary disorders.

Acupressure Point Combination Strategy:

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Lung-Heart Association in Chinese Medicine

The Lung energetic organ system is in charge of Qi. Where Qi goes Blood goes. Therefore, the Lung contributes to the smooth flow of Blood in the body and healthy Blood and Qi circulation. Certainly the role of pulmonary circulation is well understood in Western medicine and the close relationship of the heart and lungs in blood oxygenation. We often here that Qi is "energy"; it is more accurately translated as the concept of "energy potential". Cellular metabolism requires oxidation so this can easily be seen as part of the Qi function; it boggles that the ancient Chinese so precisely mapped out a system of functional medicine.

Acupressure Point Combination Strategy:

More on Lung Health and Chinese Medicine

The Lungs are part of the Metal Element and are paired with the Large Intestine. The skin and sinuses are implied when treating the Lungs in Chinese medicine. The Lungs are the organ closest to the exterior of the body and are susceptible to external invasions of pathogens such as colds and influenza. Links to other related articles about Lung health here: Metal Element and Grief

Many people struggle with deep breathing; the Liver acupuncture channel traverses the diaphragm and points along that meridian can open up the diaphragm and allows for an expansion of the chest leading to better breathing.
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References

Chen YM, Xie XL, Xiao PY, et al. Acupuncture on treating asthma: A protocol for systematic review and meta analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2020;99(1):e18457. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000018457

Li CX, Li ZX, Wang D, et al. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. Advances in the Clinical Research on Acupuncture in Treatment of Respiratory Diseases. 2020;45(2):169–172. doi:10.13702/j.1000-0607.1804086

Yu M, Gao L, Kong Y, et al. Safety and efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A systematic review protocol. Medicine (Baltimore). 2019;98(37):e17112. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000017112

Chen Y, Li LQ, Wang MH, et al. Elevated D-Dimer Combined with Persistent Acupuncture-like Chest Pain in An Elderly Patient Misdiagnosed as Pulmonary Embolism Finally Proved as Lung Hamartoma with Secondary Lung Infection by Bronchoscopy Biopsy: a Case Report and Literature Review. Clin Lab. 2019;65(9):10.7754/Clin.Lab.2019.190306. doi:10.7754/Clin.Lab.2019.190306

Liu P, Li C, Lu Y, Liu Q. A Case Report of Acupuncture at Neiguan Point (P6) for Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia [published online ahead of print, 2020 Mar 30]. Akupunktur des Neiguan-Akupunkturpunkts (P6) bei paroxysmaler supraventrikulärer Tachykardie [published online ahead of print, 2020 Mar 30]. Complement Med Res. 2020;1–5. doi:10.1159/000506360

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Dr. Browne's Shared Insights and Experiences

This is the exercise that I teach patients in clinic suffering with lung problems; it even works well for those with COPD!

I put together this little PDF downloadable booklet that I would like to share with you that has more acupressure point ideas for lung support linked here!