I’m always looking for new ways to manage your asthma symptoms – here are the best asthma books I’ve found so far.
Some of the books on this list might surprised you. I’ve found that I need to manage my overall health and treat my symptoms holistically, and these all help with that.
So if you’d like to get off your rescue puffer like I did, these books are a great place to start.
The Best Asthma Books
The Oxygen Advantage
For guidance on breathing techniques and overbreathing
I’ve written a lot about breathing methods on my blog. I now understand that how I breathe, and how much I hyperventilate, has a huge impact on my asthma.
Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Unfortunately in over 30 years of going to the doctor for asthma treatment, not one suggested I explore breathing techniques to get a better handle on my symptoms.
Thankfully, there are lots of books now available to learn more about proper breathing techniques for asthmatics. I’ve learned a lot from asthma-expert Patrick McKeown, and I’m sure his latest, The Oxygen Advantage, can really help you too.
Retailing under $20 and cheaper on the Kindle version (which is what I got), this a pretty inexpensive way to start helping your asthma big time.
NOT A BIG READER?
You can also find lots and lots of free Buteyko videos on Youtube – just be sure you’re careful about who you’re following (here’s some of my faves).
Finally, note that this is the last of my ‘best asthma books’ list that specifically deals with asthma. The rest of my list have all helped me get off my rescue medicine, by incorporating healthy lifestyle advice around areas that are especially important to us asthmatics.
Writing Down The Bones
Keeping a journal has proven benefits for asthma management
This important study shows that people with asthma who write about their stressful experiences see improved health and symptoms – specifically a 19% improvement in lung function. Now that’ssomething worth writing about!
There’s a growing body of evidence that writing about our life experiences and emotions can have specific health benefits. And we already know that stress affects asthma. So spending some time getting your thoughts down on paper can really help with your stress and your symptoms.
This book is beloved by writers, and with lots of tips, guidance and prompts on how to explore your inner world through pen and paper, it’s a great for us asthmatics looking to add journalling and free-writing to our repertoire.
Why We Sleep
Since asthma is often worse at night, we need all the help we can get
When I started to get more and better sleep, I quickly saw a profound benefit in my asthma symptoms. This encouraged me to learn more about sleep (and how to get more of it!).
Matthew Walker’s best-selling book Why We Sleep is a great resource that outlines why sleep is so important, along with actionable tips to get better sleep every night. Great to have on your bedside table!
Two Great Books For Your Asthma Diet
Eating better doesn’t have to be a struggle!
Following a healthier diet is one of the best things you can do for your asthma. Learn more about the best diet for asthma (along with three yummy asthma superfoods) here.
Turns out that, according to research, junk food is a no-no for us asthmatics. But as we’ve covered, stress is a no-no, too. And nothing would stress me out more than a life without mac and cheese, or a life without dessert.
That’s why I love these two cookbooks. Comfort Food Makeovers takes your favorite feel-good recipes (175 of ’em) and finds a way to slash the calories without sacrificing taste (truly!).
And we also love the recipes in Honey & Oats, which let you make bread and desserts that are actually delicious using only whole grains and natural sweeteners (pro-tip: add chocolate chips to the oatmeal cookie recipe for a super yummy, super high fiber treat!).
In my opinion, the best diet for asthma is the best one you can follow happily, and it’s best to go slowly as you clean up how you eat. Adding these cookbooks to your arsenal can really help your process.
Live Better to Breathe Better
Taking care of your mental health can have a big impact
We asthmatics all know intuitively that stress triggers and worsens asthma, and the science backs us up on this. The correlation between our mental and physical health is complex, but clear. That’s why I think stress reduction in general should be one of our major goals as we try to manage our asthma symptoms.
Having a medical condition like asthma can (and maybe even should) have an impact on your mental health. If you have frequent asthma attacks, it’s quite possible that they’re triggering depression or anxiety – or being triggered by depression and anxiety.
Unsettling emotions can play into our worst asthma attacks and symptoms. But of course bad feelings are a part of life for all humans. So we all need to learn how to deal with them appropriately, whether we have asthma or not – and the right counsellor can really help with this (google ‘low fee therapy’ in your city if you’re really struggling and on a tight budget).
I’ve also gotten a lot of benefit from Kristin Neff’s ground-breaking Self-Compassion, which offers expert advice on how to limit self-criticism and offset its negative effects, enabling you to achieve your highest potential and a more contented, fulfilled life.
I also found Advice Not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself to be a thoughtful reflection on how to blend meditation and Buddhist thinking into every day life. This book makes the idea of ‘mindfulness’ approachable in a way I haven’t found in others.
Buteyko Kids Meet Dr. Mew:
Because sometimes kiddos need help, too!
I’ve had asthma pretty much all my life – I was a very young child when I had my first asthma attack. I can’t imagine the stress I must have caused my parents. Watching your child struggle must be one of the worst things in the world.
That’s why I’m ending my list of the best asthma books with Buteyko Kids Meet Dr. Mew, which is an accessible guide for children. I personally haven’t read it, but according to Amazon reviews, parents find it very helpful. It’s written by Patrick McKeown, who also wrote The Oxygen Advantage (which is on my Kindle as we speak!). Patrick is an expert on the best breathing techniques and more for helping relieve asthma symptoms, so I’m sure it’s a great read.
So, I hope you’ve found my guide to the best books for asthma helpful, if a little surprising. That’s because the best advice for asthma management can be a little surprising, too – find the 6 steps I took to get off my asthma medicine here, and happy breathing (and reading).