Aerotherapy – Wellness

Introduction – Aerotherapy

Aerotherapeutics is the treatment of disease in which the healing agent is the atmospheric air. This also includes other method of treatment of diseases by creating artificial atmosphere known as pneumotherapeutics.

The physical and chemical properties of atmospheric air under normal atmospheric pressure or modified pressure are utilized for healing the external surface of the body, on the respiratory surface, or on both surfaces together. Also, general gymnastics or respiratory gymnastics can improve the ventilation of the lungs. The air under ordinary pressure benefits the patients of pthisis by reducing the fever, improving the appetite and sleep in them. The air may be modified in composition, temperature or humidity. Inhalation is the most common and successful method of applying it to the human body.

The methods of use of air therapy

The methods in use are as follows:

  • Inhalation of gases, as oxygen and nitrous oxide- The dyspnoea and cyanosis (bluish discoloration of body surfaces) found in pneumonia, bronchitis, heart failure can be relieved by the inhalation of oxygen. Nitrous oxide is mainly used as an anaesthetic in minor or major operations.
  • Certain specialised liquids are used as anaesthetics, which vaporise at low temperatures such as isoflurane, halothane.
  • Mercury and sulphur which vaporise at high temperature are very largely used. In a mercurial or sulphur bath, the patient is enveloped in a sheet. Then, the patient sits on a chair under which a spirit lamp is placed to vaporize the liquid. The atmosphere is also supplemented with steam at the same time of the therapy. The vapour is absorbed by the skin. This method is used in the treatment of syphilis, and also for scabies and other parasitic infestations of the skin.
  • Moist inhalations are used for therapy but only the larger bronchial tubes are affected in this method. Complicated equipment has been devised for the application. A wide-mouthed jug filled with boiling water, into which the drug is mixed, is almost equally efficacious.
  • Artificial atmosphere can also be made by respirators in which mouth and nose are covered thoroughly and air is drawn from a disinfectant containing tow or sponge. This is most valuable in the intensely offensive breath of some patients of bronchiectasis.
  • The air temperature can be modified. Cold air at 32–33 deg. F. has been used in chronic allergic conditions of the lungs, resulting in reduction of cough, normalisation of tachycardia or increases heart rate, increase in volume of pulse. This treatment may be very valuable in the treatment of haemoptysis.
  • The inspiration of superheated dry air is under research.
  • Hot air applied to the skin has some therapeutic effects. If a current of hot air is directed on the healthy skin, the latter becomes blanched and the small vessels in the skin contract. The hot air is directed on a patch of diseased skin in cases of lupus, an inflammatory reaction ensues and the diseased part undergo necrosis or local death. This can also be used with good results in otorrhoea or ear discharge, rhinitis and other nasal and laryngeal conditions.
  • The air may be either compressed or rarefied. The physiological effects of compressed air can be seen in caissons or deep sea divers. The divers initially feel increased strength, vigour and appetite but after some time, the opposite effect is produced and debility starts developing. In addition, caisson workers suffer from a series of symptoms which are known as Caisson disease or decompression sickness. But, the compressed air can be utilized pneumatic chambers which can hold one or more adults at the time. In this chamber, the pressure of the atmosphere can be exactly regulated. This form of treatment is used in the treatment of emphysema, early pulmonary tuberculosis, pleural effusions, heart disease and anaemia. Contra-indications to the compressed air treatment are advanced tuberculosis, fever, and in diseases of kidneys, liver or intestines.
  • Rarefied air can be utilized for local application by a devise. In this method, the blood can be drawn into any part of body to which it is applied. The vessels of which became engorged with blood diverted from the internal organs. This is known as passive hyperaemic treatment.


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This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.


 

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