An exciting new study supports another long used therapy in Anthroposophic (humanized) medicine. Therapeutic speech formation was studied in a randomized controlled trial and found to be effective in controlling asthma and increasing patient quality of life. There were 49 participants and statistically significant results were demonstrated.
Therapeutic Speech Formation involves use of rhythm combined with elements of speech. Old hexameter verse was popular in ancient Greece. It is used in a few English poems, such as "Evangeline" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
Now had the season returned, when the nights grow colder and longer,
And the retreating sun the sign of the Scorpion enters.
Birds of passage sailed through the leaden air, from the ice-bound,
Desolate northern bays to the shores of tropical islands.
The speech therapists worked with patients individually for 11 sessions, once per week. Each patient had their own individually crafted exercise with the goals of:
-extending and deepening respiration- making it more rhythmical
-reducing the feeling of stiffness and congestion in the chest and diaphragm area
-opening airways by using speech- vowel "A" plus a consonent "B, D, or C"
Anthroposophic Speech Therapists undergo a 4 year training and work in hospital settings in Europe as well as independently. This study found that validated asthma scores and scores for quality of life were improved in the speech therapy group. It has not yet been shown if lung physiology is permanently changed with speech formation.
I feel very fortunate to have encountered a great speech formation professional, Serge Maintier. Any doubt I had of the power of speech to also work into the human body, soul and spirit evaporated when I met him. Here is a link to an excellent introduction on speech formation.
Of course, speech formation is not the only therapy we have to work on asthma in Anthroposophic medicine. Another remedy with scientific validation is citrus cydonia (lemon and quince extract). This article details the beneficial effect of citrus cydonia on the respiratory membranes. I have personally witnessed patients with difficult asthma achieve benefit with lemon quince treatment. It is possible to use as an injection or as a nebulized addition to asthma therapy.