An overview of integrative therapies in asthma treatment

Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2014 Oct;14(10):464. doi: 10.1007/s11882-014-0464-2.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Diet Therapy
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Humans
  • Integrative Medicine / methods*
  • Mind-Body Therapies