Dear Anon, I am so sorry to hear you and your husband are going through this difficult time. COPD is a tough one to manage with tools and drugs modern medicine has to offer. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term used to categorize a number of lung diseases like emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthma. You did not say which one your hubby has been diagnosed with but I hope if he smokes, he stops doing it very soon and makes important modification to his diet by increasing raw fruits and vegetables, increasing anti-oxidants and fatty acids (omega 3 oils) to help repair damage done to lungs and other organs including the kidneys. This will NOT reverse the condition but may help improve symptoms and quality of life.
Living with lung disease is not easy, and there is no cure for COPD. However, there are affective ways to manage and improve COPD symptoms using other treatment modalities like Acupressure /Acupuncture, Guided Imagery, Massage therapy, Yoga, and Biofeedback which have been found to be very effective in improving the quality of life of people suffering the symptoms of COPD.
Acupressure and Shiatsu-- are both finger pressure massage systems based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), A hands on medicine that has been around for a few thousand years. This gentle approach help people with COPD start breathing easier. The idea is to treat special points along meridians, invisible channels of energy flow within the body. The pressure unblocks the energy and restores comfort. Acupuncture also achieves the same goal by using simulating needles to the same points on the body and improve the function of different organs. You may want to consider any of these options for your husband.
Studies also show that increasing relaxation in people with COPD using Guided Imagery Techniques will minimize anxiety and nervousness, which often accompanies COPD. Guided imagery is a meditative relaxation technique sometimes used with biofeedback. Audiotapes, books, are available as well as interactive guided imagery, classes, workshops and seminars to help your husband.
Massage has come to be regarded as a complement to conventional medicine. Many of its positive effects seem to be mediated by increasing relaxation and decreasing stress hormones such as cortisol. For chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a massage can strengthen respiratory muscles, reduced heart rate, increase oxygen saturation in blood, decrease shortness of breath, and improved pulmonary functions.
The controlled breathing in yoga can ease anxiety, provides relaxation, and more oxygen to the blood stream. The exercises help open blocked airways caused by bronchitis or emphysema, which are linked to COPD, and improve the function of circulation. Simple yoga moves can even aid those with advanced COPD.
Many people who suffer from COPD may believe exercise will make their condition worse, but studies have showed that simple exercises helps improve endurance, reduces anxiety levels, which in turn helps those with COPD to breathe more easily and improve their ability to perform normal activities.
If he presents with hacking cough, below are some natural home remedies suggestions:
For hacking cough, try placing a few drops of essential oil of frankincense on a handkerchief (or tissue) and have him inhale ever hour or so as needed.
Also for hacking cough, try this acupressure treatment on him. Find the bump in the spine where the neck and shoulders meet. Apply pressure to points directly on either side of the bump, the amount of times depend on the severity of the cough. This treatment can be repeated throughout the day.
Vitamin C and magnesium supplementation improve lung function in the cases of those suffering from COPD.
Try black tea, many COPD sufferers turn to tea for relief from tightening in the chest. Black tea contains chemicals related to the stimulant theophylline, which is also the basis of many modern medical remedies. Three or four cups of black tea can open airway passages and ease breathing.
Ginkgo has helped COPD sufferers cut down on prescribed medication. Taken three times a day for a week or a month at a time. Ginkgo helps relax the lungs and keeps the breathing passage clear. Check with his doctor before taking this herb as it has blood thinning effects.
Chewing on comfrey leaves: Comfrey leaf helps because it stimulates new cell growth and support quick healing. This makes it an excellent natural remedy for the lungs. It inhibits the cough reflex, softens and soothes damaged and inflamed bronchial mucus membranes. It helps to loosen mucus from the bronchial tubes so that it does not accumulate. You can buy comfrey leaf or root in various forms. There was a report of a man who had chronic asthma for 30 years. One night his sleep was better than most nights. Not realizing why, he thought back to what he did the day before and remembered eating comfrey leaves. Now he eats them everyday because of the notable improvement with his asthma. Check with the doctor before using this herb also.
Anyone with COPD should consult his or her physician before undergoing any Alternative therapy. Also, speak with your health care provider if you are considering herbal, homeopathic or other natural approaches. If you want to learn more about other natural approaches to managing COPD, visit this website, it has reports on many studies done with supplements, diet, etc to improve COPD symptoms. http://www.swedish.org/111704.cfm and http://copdisease.ning.com/profiles/blogs/copd-natural-remedies-for
Wish you both well.