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What is Causing the Asthma Epidemic?

In the United States, asthma cases have increased by more than 60 percent since the early 1980ís, and asthma-related deaths have doubled to 5,000 a year. What is causing the asthma epidemic and what can we do to stem the tide? A recent series of articles in the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association (JACA) delves into this question and offers advice from doctors of chiropractic and allergists who have helped control asthma symptoms in many patients.

People in their 30s and older can remember that when they were young, it was very unusual for even one child in school to have asthma. School children now often know several kids with asthma in a single class. The rapid increase in the number of young people with asthma was brought home to Dr. Scott Bautch, past president of the American Chiropractic Associationís (ACA) Council on Occupational Health, when he went to a football game with his 13-year old son: "Someone on the field had a breathing problem. It was hard to see whose son it was, and 15 parents ran to the field with inhalers."

So far, researchers donít know why cases of asthma are increasing at such an alarming rate. They hypothesize that a combination of genetics and some non-hereditary factors-such as increased environmental exposure to potential allergens play a role. "Thirty years ago, Windex was the only cleaning solvent used by a few people. Now, we have a special cleaning solvent for every object," says Dr. Bautch. "In addition, furniture and carpets are produced with formaldehyde as a preservative, and people breathe it," he says.

Food has become another source of exposure to allergens. Food manufacturers put more preservatives in foods now to store them longer. Researchers hypothesize that an increase in vaccinations and antibiotic intake may be playing a role, too.

Allergens arenít the only culprit. Stress factors-such as moving to a new home, or changing jobs-may induce or aggravate asthma attacks. Even emotional expressions such as fear, anger, frustration, hard crying, or laughing can cause an attack as well. To reduce the patientís stress level and improve the patientís quality of life, alternative treatments should be incorporated into the treatment program. Various relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and stress management as well as regular chiropractic adjustments will be helpful.

Doctors of Chiropractic can give a full-scale evaluation to asthma patients; assess their physical and neurological status, their lifestyle, diet, and stressors; and help the patients increase motor coordination, and improve the work of respiratory and gut muscles to increase the quality of life."

Asthma and Chiropractic

Patients with asthma typically have neck and upper back subluxations (spinal restrictions). Specific chiropractic adjustments (precise spinal movements) to the neck and upper back restore the proper balance to your nervous system that is required for lung function.

Spinal adjustments to the neck and upper back also reduces muscle tightness and joint stiffness that occurs from the wheezing and laboured breathing. Once your muscles, joints and nervous system are working properly, you will be able to function and breathe better.

Interesting Studies

Children under chiropractic care showed a 96.5% non-occurrence rate of asthma. The authors concluded that the immune systems of children under chiropractic care are better able to cope with allergens which may cause asthmatic conditions. (1)

76.5% of patients with bronchial asthma said they benefited from chiropractic treatment. Peak flow rate and vital capacity increased after the third treatment. (2)

Dr. Maloof has been able to help hundreds of asthma sufferers over the last 15 years with her specific Chiropractic techniques, nutritional analysis and body rebalancing. If you know anyone suffering from asthma please allow Dr. Maloof to help. Asthma is the #1 reason children visit the emergency room. Letís stop this epidemic and start changing the health of ourselves and those around us. Please call the office to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Maloof to see how she could help you relieve your asthma and other health concerns.


"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face." Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dr. Catherine Maloof
(949) 581-6543

You may view Dr. Maloofís website by clicking www.drmaloof.com

Dr. Maloof Online, ã 2003 

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(1) van Breda WM;van Breda JM. A comparative study of the health status of children raised under the health care models of chiopractic and allopathic medicine. J Chiro Res 1989; 5:101-3.

(2) Hviid C; A comparison of the effects of chiropractic treatment on respiratory function in patients with respiratory distress symptoms and patients without. Bull eur chiro union 1978;26;17-34