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Dr. Erin Elster    
New Treatment Provides Freedom From Chronic Asthma, Allergies

Women' Magazine , June 1999
Boulder, Colorado.
by Erin Elster, DC.

A new health care technique known as IUCCA Upper Cervical Chiropractic has proven to be remarkably effective in the treatment of chronic asthma and allergies. Stefanie, a 27-year-old Denver resident, struggled with asthma and allergies for many years before finding IUCCA Upper Cervical Chiropractic. "After living with asthma, allergies, and congestion for more than 20 years, I was ready to try anything. Carrying kleenex, allergy pills, two inhalers and constantly worrying about an attack was wearing me down," she said.

Stefanie's asthma and allergies were later corrected by IUCCA Upper Cervical Care. "I admit I was a bit of a skeptic in the beginning," Stefanie said, "…but no more! Dr. Elster's first adjustment not only cleared my sinuses but had an impact on my chronic asthma as well. Several months later I no longer carry kleenex and I can't remember the last time I took an allergy pill or used an inhaler. I must thank Dr. Elster for improving the quality of my life. I wish I had known about this when I was much younger!" Currently Stefanie has been free from asthma and allergies for a year.

Asthma / Allergy Facts

More than fifteen million people have asthma. Asthma is the number one reason for hospitalization in children and causes 4,000 deaths per year in the U.S. It is estimated that asthma-related health care costs for the nation exceed six billion dollars (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 1998.) The overall prevalence of allergies is 50 million with an estimated loss of nearly four billion dollars on workplace productivity (American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology, 1998.)

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a disease of the airways, the tubes through which air passes between the nose and mouth to the lungs. During an attack, the airways become obstructed due to muscle contraction, inflammation, and excess mucus production, resulting in wheezing and/or coughing symptoms. What Is Allergy? The job of the immune system is to identify foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria and remove them. Normally, this response protects us from dangerous diseases. In an allergic person, the immune system reacts to harmless substances such as plant pollen or animal dander and creates allergy symptoms.

How Are Asthma and Allergies Related?

Asthma and allergies are closely associated because of the common systems involved: the immune system and the respiratory system. Of the children under sixteen years old who have asthma, 90 percent are allergic. Of the people over 30, 50 percent have allergies. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 1998) Often, an asthma attack can result from an allergic reaction. Asthma sufferers are also more susceptible to having colds develop into bronchitis, which can trigger an asthma attack.

Medical Treatment

Typical medical treatment for allergies and asthma includes antihistamines, decongestants and allergy shots and inhaled and oral medications to relax and decrease inflammation in the airways. While these medications have varying degrees of success for symptomatic relief, they do not prevent attacks and are required on a daily basis for as long as the conditions exist. Melinda, age 29, used all of the medications available but still had symptoms. "I was severely affected with allergies for the past five years. During those years, I depended on strong, irritating allergy pills to control my wheezing, constant runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing- especially awful during the spring and fall." Her allergies and asthma were later corrected by Upper Cervical Chiropractic care. "Since seeing Dr. Elster for only one month during prime allergy season, my allergies have disappeared. I haven't taken any allergy medication since my treatment began with her," Melinda said. She has been free from asthma and allergies for over a year.

How IUCCA Upper Cervical Chiropractic Works

IUCCA Upper Cervical Chiropractic works by correcting irritation to the nervous and immune systems, the original cause of asthma and allergies. Misalignments in the vertebrae of the upper cervical spine (upper neck), cause irritation to the nerves traveling between the brain and spinal cord that are supplying the respiratory and the immune systems. By correcting the vertebrae in the upper neck, chronic asthma and allergies can be corrected and prevented without the need for drugs. Typical IUCCA Upper Cervical Care involves an initial spinal exam, specific x-rays of the upper neck, computerized spinal scans known as Computerized Infrared Thermography to measure nervous system irritation, and specific adjustments by hand to correct the misaligned vertebrae in the upper neck.

Causes of misalignments to the spinal vertebrae include traumas to the head, neck or spine, auto accidents, whiplash, sports injuries, bike and ski falls, and poor posture. Even the birth process can put stress on a newborn baby's neck, possibly causing upper cervical misalignments, which can result in health problems early on in a child's life. Sara, age 23, never had any trouble with allergies until a fall in which she landed on the side of her face on concrete. After the fall eight years ago, she began having a dry, hacking allergic cough. "The cough was very hard and forceful at times," Sara said, "and I tried over the counter cough medicines, nasal and oral inhalers, and prescription cough medicines but nothing worked. Eventually I was referred to an allergist who found me to be an allergic person, but did not know what was causing the cough or how to get rid of it." After Upper Cervical Chiropractic care, Sara's cough was corrected. "Dr. Elster took x-rays and found a vertebrae in my cervical spine to be out of place and made her adjustment. After only a few adjustments, my cough disappeared and has stayed away for an entire year with check-ups. This is the most anyone has been able to do for my chronic allergic cough in eight years," she said.

Dr. Erin Elster is an IUCCA Upper Cervical Specialist and treats many chronic ailments in children and adults including migraine headaches, asthma, allergies, dizziness, vertigo, chronic pain, and many more. She is currently the only IUCCA Upper Cervical Specialist in Colorado and practices in Boulder. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and Palmer College of Chiropractic, Iowa. For further information, please call (303) 442-5911 or browse her web site: www.erinelster.com