An Overview of Integrative Therapies in Asthma Treatment

  • Hilary McClafferty
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Asthma


Treatment of asthma lends itself to an integrative medicine approach due to the multifactorial nature of the disease. It is well established that asthma has a neuromuscular component (bronchospasm), an immunological component (inflammation), and a psychological component. This encourages the use of diverse approaches to address all avenues of pathophysiology, aiming for the most effective blend of treatment approaches possible. Integrative medicine is defined by NIH NCCAM ( as medicine that blends the use of evidence-based complementary therapies with conventional medicine. Statistics from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), showed that approximately four out of 10 adults and approximately one in nine children and more than 50 % of children living with chronic illness, including asthma, used complementary therapies in the USA in 2007. Asthma and allergies rank among the top 15 most common medical conditions in which integrative therapies are used in both children and adults. To date, integrative treatment approaches with some evidence for benefit in asthma treatment include the following: nutrition modification, mind-body medicine, physical activity, and certain dietary supplement interventions.


Integrative medicine Complementary medicine Asthma Nutrition Mediterranean diet Mind-body medicine Environment and health 



Thanks to Kathleen Kennedy for administrative support.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Hilary McClafferty declares no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Integrative MedicineUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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