Case Study: Acupressure Combined with Breathing Exercises Helps with Bronchitis
By Craig Cormack, BA, LMT
Recently, I received a call from a client who told me that her 89 year-old father was suffering from the after-effects of bronchitis and congestive heart failure. He had been hospitalized for four days and was treated with Prednisone, Avelox (antibiotics), and Lasix (a diuretic). His bronchitis was treated successfully by the hospital but his daughter requested that he be discharged because he was agitated and disoriented. She felt he would be better off convalescing at home.
She called me to see if I could help him clear his lungs because I had successfully treated her daughter’s asthma with acupressure. I accepted the challenge and went to her father’s home to see what I could do. He couldn’t lie down in his bed to sleep so when I met with him he hadn’t slept in his bed for two days. He had a terrible, wheezing cough and his breathing was labored. Also, his legs and feet were swollen (the Lasix had not helped his condition very much so he was having trouble walking).
I started by treating his lungs first. I pressed on LU 1 and had him breathe out and he immediately started to emit phlegm, I repeated this for approximately 10-15 using LU 1 and LU 2 and he continued to cough up mucus. I had his daughter prepare a eucalyptus steam for her father to inhale. She added a few drops of essential oil (eucalyptus) to boiling water in a bowl. We then had her father inhale the steam with a towel draped over his head. This brought up more mucus. We then combined the acupressure treatment with him breathing in the steam.
The result of this combination was coughing up more phlegm from deep in the lungs. His breathing was clearer with less wheezing and whistling. He said that he could breathe easier. I showed his daughter how to apply acupressure and told her to use the following points: LU 1, LU 2, LU 5, LU 11, and LI 11.
The next thing I treated was his swollen legs and feet. I used a light downward massage on the outside of the legs down to the feet and an upward light massage on the inside of the leg –from the ankles upward—toward the kidneys. I also pressed on K1 and K5 (kidney points). The massage was very light lymphatic drainage. I showed all of this to the daughter. Within a very short time after this massage, he was up to the bathroom to urinate.
My client applied these simple techniques over the following three days and her father improved very much. His breathing is now back to normal and he moves about his home easily. His legs are back to a regular size and he is happy.
Combining acupressure with inhalation techniques appears to have a very powerful impact on breathing difficulties and light massage appears effective in moving out fluid retention due to congestive heart failure.