Many years ago asthma was a rare lung disease only affecting a small percentage of the population. The incidence of asthma has drastically increased especially over the last 25 years, now considered a common disease, affecting as many as 20 million people. Although the cause of this lung disorder is unknown, science has found a direct link to asthma and allergies hinting that the disorder might be in fact an allergic reaction to parts of our environment and/or our own internal body chemicals. When a person suffers an episode from this disorder, called an “attack”, the bronchial tubes that transport air to and from the lungs constrict making breathing difficult or sometimes impossible depending on the severity of the attack. These attacks or episodes can be caused by outside allergens, pets, tobacco and even stress! The fact that certain types of stress can cause an asthma attack tells us that certain chemicals in the body can cause this reaction with no outside influence. In Cartersville Martial Art (CMA) training asthma symptoms can be greatly reduced or sometimes made dormant. One of the main components in CMA that can reduce asthmatic systems is aerobic activity. When engaged in these activities the heart rate is increased and oxygen is transported to the extremities of the body at a faster rate. The body’s capillaries and vessels also swell to accommodate this extra blood flow. This forces the lungs to work harder and helps increase lung capacity. Lung capacity is very important to an asthmatic because the higher the lung capacity is the more oxygen can be taken in to fuel the body with the fewest number of breaths. Because the lungs are made of muscle tissue it is also very important to exercise them using proper methods as with CMA exercises and drills. The second factor in the fighting of asthma in CMA is the deep abdominal breathing preformed while executing movements. This again gives exercise to the lungs, builds strength in the respiratory system and helps expel harmful debris from the lung cavities. The last aspect of effective asthma treatment in CMA training is the release of stress hormones. Stress hormones can do many types of damage to the body. The body creates these hormones when faced with challenging situations and these hormones will remain in the body until they can be released in a positive manner. Negative releases of stress hormones can only lead to the production of additional stress hormones to take their place. In CMA there is a safe and effective method of releasing these hormones. The body not only physically releases them by kicking and punching resistant targets but through the overall training program which teaches a better way to cope with negative hormones through brain stimulation. When the body contains less stress hormones and is better equipped to deal with these negative hormones there is a much smaller risk of a stress or internal chemically induced asthma attack.
Although there is no cure for asthma training can significantly reduce symptoms, frequency of attacks and overall respiratory and lung health. Keep in mind this is not magic but instead just another example of the science of our program!
About the author:
My name is Michael Wilson I am thirty years old and I have suffered from severe asthma since the age of two. The discovery of having asthma came when I had my first attack as a toddler; I was rushed to the hospital after my mother found I could not breathe. During my childhood I was on an average of four medications per day to try and control the frequent attacks. I also frequently suffered from pneumonia and bronchitis. After becoming active in this form of martial art my respiratory health is better than ever! I now only carry a rescue inhaler and am off all other asthma related medications. Asthma attacks are now very rare with only an occasional shortness of breath. I have not had pneumonia or bronchitis in several years in addition to my more efficient respiratory system. I am living proof that not only can asthmatics participate in athletic activities but that training with us will help increase overall breathing function. I would like to personally thank Grandmaster Kwang Jo Choi for all the years of research and development he poured into the art we now teach to give the us such a great backbone in a martial art that is friendly towards all people (even asthmatics).
UPDATE: As of 2021 I no longer need to carry any asthma medication or inhalers with me! No more warn spots in my pockets from my rescue inhaler!
Article piblished in the TaeKwonDo Times Magazine
Supporting facts for this article were found on the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute online at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Asthma/Asthma_WhatIs.html.