The respiratory system is the network of organs and tissues that work together to move oxygen throughout the body and clean out waste gases like carbon dioxide. It includes your airways, lungs, and blood vessels. The muscles that power your lungs are also part of the respiratory system.
Each part of the respiratory system has many separate components. These include mouth/nose, sinuses, pharynx, trachea, and bronchial tubes. In addition, the diaphragm and ribs move the air in and out of the lungs. Other components that work with the lungs and blood vessels include alveoli, bronchioles, capillaries, lung lobes; pleura, cilia, epiglottis, and larynx.
There are hundreds of different diseases and conditions – acute to chronic – that can affect the respiratory system, ranging from common cold and flu to pneumonia and COPD. Some are asthma, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, tuberculosis, pleural effusion, tonsillitis, whooping cough, and occupational respiratory disease.
Some causes of respiratory conditions are environmental pathogens, air pollution, chemical sprays and fumes, smoke, bacterial and viral infections, autoimmune conditions, and genetics. Those with weak lungs and impaired immune systems are more vulnerable to respiratory infections. Some symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, hoarseness, nasal congestion, runny nose, and itchy or watery eyes.
Ayurveda’s approach is to strengthen the immune system so that the body can combat the toxins and heal naturally. In this way, the body’s life force (prana) is enhanced.
ABOUT SOMESH N. KAUSHIK, ND, BAMS, MPH, MPA, E-RYT 500
With over 35 years of experience as an Ayurvedic physician, Dr. Kaushik’s medical training is extensive. He is one of the most experienced Ayurvedic physicians in North America and is the recipient of the Dhanwantri Award, his profession’s highest honor. Dr. Kaushik recently founded the Institute for the Advancement of Ayurvedic Sciences, a research and teaching institution.
Dr. Kaushik is the owner and chief medical practitioner of Dr. Kaushick’s Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Clinic in Cross River, NY.
This series is sponsored by Brewster Public Library, Butterfield Library, Mahopac Public Library, Putnam Valley Library, Reed Memorial Library, Desmond-Fish Public Library, and Field Library of Westchester.