What is it and how do we
train someone with it?
What do Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy have in common? What do they have in common with Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge – besides all being Presidents of the United States? They all had asthma.
Asthma is a common chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. According to recent estimates, asthma affects 300 million people in the world and more than 22 million in the United States. Although people of all ages suffer from the disease, it most often starts in childhood, currently affecting 6 million children in the US. Asthma kills about 255,000 people worldwide every year.
Asthma should not stop anyone from leading an active, healthy life. In addition to being President of the Unites States asthmatics (those with asthma) can be famous athletes too. Mark Spitz won nine swimming gold medals during the 1972 Olympics and he suffered from asthma. Jerome Bettis won the Super Bowl with the Pittsburg Steelers and he has asthma. Dennis Rodman, who played with Michael Jordan, won the NBA Championship multiple times and he has asthma. Kristi Yamaguchi won Olympic medals in figure skating and she has asthma. The list goes on and on.
Asthma has no cure. The exact cause is unknown as well. Less than seventy-five years ago asthma was seen as a psychosomatic disease. In fact, during the 1930s to 1950s, asthma was known as one of the holy seven psychosomatic illnesses. Asthma was described as psychological, with treatment often involving psychoanalysis and other 'talking cures'. Psychoanalysts thought that patients with asthma should be treated for depression. This psychiatric theory was eventually refuted and asthma became known as a physical condition. Asthma, as an inflammatory disease, was not really recognized until the 1960s.
To understand asthma, you need to know how the airways work. The airways are tubes that carry air into and out of your...