Asthma causes a blockage of the breathing tubes – especially on exhaling – which raises the pressure of the air in minute air sac called the alveoli, causing the sufferer to struggle for breath. This symptom (struggling for breath) is the outstanding feature of emphysema. Bronchitis blocks the smaller air passages in the lungs with similar results.
When the main breathing tubes are blocked, air can still get into the alveoli, but it may not be able to get out and the act of coughing puts so much pressure on the air-filled alveoli that it can actually blow them inside out. As more and more alveoli are affected, the lungs gradually lose their capacity to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.
At this stage the sufferer becomes what is known as a ‘respiratory cripple’ and, as a result of breathlessness, can often do little more than sit up and eat. The condition is generally considered to be irreversible because it is widely believed that the effects of emphysema are caused entirely by the blown-out alveoli and that, once this has happened the tide cannot be turned.
However, it is often the blockage of the little ducts leading to the alveoli which is a major cause of symptoms. Once you can unblock the tubes and open up access to the parts of the lung that are still capable of working, you will often find that a so- called ‘respiratory cripple’ can lead quite an active life
Treatment to improve and alleviate this would include Chi Nei Tsang, Abdominal massage, Shiatsu, Interx and Reflexology.