Secrets of Korean Medicine, Part 10: The Solution to COPD

Treating damaged air sacs in the lungs restores breathing
By Dr. Seo Hyo-seok
Dr. Seo Hyo-seok
Dr. Seo Hyo-seok
January 1, 2016 Updated: January 8, 2016

“Let me take a breath!” When most of us become tired in the midst of a busy day, we can put aside our workload for a moment and inhale and exhale deeply. Deep breaths refresh us, relieving a feeling of suffocation and restoring peace and stability of mind.

However, for those who can’t breathe properly, who constantly wheeze and find themselves short of breath, and who have difficulty walking because of this, there is no relief from the feeling of suffocation. Such is the case for many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who experience such difficulty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Around the world, COPD causes one death every 10 seconds, according to the World Health Organization. When COPD is severe, patients find that their quality of life is greatly impaired.

COPD is not one disease, but an umbrella term for chronic lung conditions, including emphysema, in which the respiratory tract becomes blocked.

Emphysema is a condition in which the air sacs in the lungs are damaged. Imagine the lungs are like a tree: Air enters through roots (the nose or mouth), flows into the trunk (the trachea), then to the branches (the bronchial tubes), the twigs, (the bronchioli), and eventually the leaves, which are the approximately 500 million alveoli, the sacs at the end bronchioli where the air meets our blood.

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When there are many alveoli, breathing is comfortable because the number of alveoli determines breathing capacity. Emphysema destroys the walls between the alveoli, bursting the sacs like bubbles. The number of alveoli decreases rapidly from a healthy 500 million. When there are only 200 million, patients find themselves short of breath.

The lungs also fill with phlegm, causing coughing, and if emphysema becomes severe, the patient may have difficulty blowing out a candle from as little as 5 inches away. The decrease in alveoli also means less oxygen is delivered to the blood, and less carbon dioxide is discharged, which has an adverse effect on the overall health of the body.

Once the lungs are damaged, it is difficult to restore them to their original healthy state. Although healthy lungs can overcome pneumonia quite well, weakened lungs cannot. The five-year survival rate for people with COPD ranges from 30–60 percent, depending on the severity of the disease.

When pulmonary functions are reinforced and immunity is normalized, you will no longer catch colds.

For patients with COPD and a past history of pulmonary diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia, the five-year survival rate is much less. In addition, COPD patients are four to five times more likely to develop pulmonary cancer.

Since modern medicine considers it impossible to restore the alveoli that are damaged when a patient has emphysema, the damage is labeled permanent, and modern medicine views the degradation of pulmonary function due to COPD as having “crossed the river with no way of returning.”

Then, are we really left with no option but to just watch our bodily condition degrade? Isn’t there a way to cure COPD? Do not worry, there is still hope.

Shortness of Breath, Coughing Help Healing

Contrary to popular belief, in order for the condition of the lungs to truly improve, you must experience shortness of breath and coughing. Shortness of breath signifies that damage to the lungs is being reported to the immune system. It is the signal that conveys the critical situation of the lungs to the immune system and is essential to the healing process.

The immune system can then deploy the cells in the alveoli (pneumocytes) to create phlegm that fills up the lungs, and the normal operation of the immune system naturally expels this phlegm and heals the body.

However, modern medicine often blocks this important message altogether by prescribing steroids immediately when shortness of breath occurs. An even more serious problem is that patients think steroids are excellent medicine and continue to use them because they stop shortness of breath.

But what patients don’t realize is that steroids also stop the rescue team of the immune system from being sent to the areas of damage, and thus the damage can become worse.

You will heal if you cough.

Then, how can COPD be fundamentally healed? Through coughing—you will heal if you cough. This is because the only means of discharging waste matter from the lungs of COPD patients is to cough it out.

Healthy people can clean their lungs by means other than coughing, particularly microscopic hairlike oganelles called cilia in the airways move phlegm to the throat to be spat out. While healthy people sleep or are working, the cilia act automatically to discharge phlegm from the body.

However, in COPD patients, the cilia are damaged, and the body has to rely on coughing to discharge phlegm from the lungs. Thus, although coughing is uncomfortable, it is also healing.

Again with coughing, modern medicine takes the opposite approach, and coughing and phlegm are suppressed with cough suppressants (antitussives), and expectorants, which thin phlegm, making it easier to expel.

However in reality, not all the phlegm is removed from the lungs. It is only the moisture that has been taken out. As moisture is drained out, the volume of phlegm decreases, but what’s left over becomes hard.

But, since phlegm is not being coughed out, both doctors and patients may think that the expectorant used is effective and will continue to use it. If patients continue to take this medicine, the lungs will gradually be filled with hardened phlegm, and breathing will become even more difficult, eventually leading to death.

Then, how can COPD be completely cured? The hardened phlegm, must be made softer to induce the body to cough it out. This can be done with pulmonary cleansing that continuously supplies moisture to the lungs. When the phlegm is soft, it can be removed easily by means of coughing.

However, when phlegm is continuously coughed out, patients frequently think that the condition has been aggravated. In reality though, this is a genuine process of healing and is what allows waste matter in the body to be discharged.

When very thick phlegm is continuously discharged through coughing, after about two months, it will become whitish, indicating improvement in the condition. After about one year of continuous cleansing and coughing out accumulated waste, a pulmonary CT will show that the hard clumps of phlegm that previously filled the lungs have now disappeared completely. For many doctors, this is considered a miracle.

Cleanse the Lungs

If the lungs are continuously cleaned for about a year and a half, the tonsils will be strengthened and produce active immune cells that gradually regenerate damaged alveoli. After approximately 50 percent of the damaged alveoli have been restored, this will resolve pulmonary emphysema from the root and cure COPD.

When pulmonary functions are reinforced and immunity is normalized, the first change you will experience is that you will no longer catch colds. If the common cold is eradicated, it is possible to sufficiently prevent not only rhinitis (inflammation of the mucus membrane of the nose) and asthma, but also severe pulmonary diseases that result from the prolongation of common colds.

If the health of the lungs is restored through pulmonary cleansing therapy, even at the age of 70 years, the tonsils will be fortified, the alveoli will be regenerated, and you can acquire 30 years of additional life. This will naturally enable mankind to have a lifespan that exceeds 100 years. I firmly believe that cleansing the lungs will bring about the era of 100-year lifespans.

Dr. Seo Hyo-seok.  (Courtesy of  Dr. Seo)
Dr. Seo Hyo-seok. (Courtesy of Dr. Seo)

Dr. Seo Hyo-seok is the director of the Pyunkang Korean Medicine Hospital, which has seven branches in South Korea, one at Stanton University in California, and one in Atlanta. Dr. Seo entered Kyung Hee University in Korea at the top of his class and after years of research, developed the Pyunkang-Hwan herbal formula, which improves immunity by strengthening lung function. It has helped cure over 155,000 patients of various conditions.

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