Smash Asthma: the wisdom of wheezing
by Peter Parkinson
PB. 224 pp. 217x150. Illus. Mono.
More about the book
Dr Peter Parkinson, a specialist physician, outlines his experiences with clients who have had asthma, and looks at its why's and how's, and the role of adrenaline in this widespread 'disease'.
Smash Asthma is his journey of discovery in this area, looking at the origins of asthma, its myths, and new healing outcomes that encompass the physical, the emotional, and the influence of medications.
At each step he shares the relevant medical knowledge of how the body works, together with lots of common sense, shedding new light on the relationship of traumatic stress to asthma, and the role of asthmatic drugs.
Along the way, you will also encounter insights into day-to-day relationships and effective parenting.
For the enthusiastic medical researcher a set of tools for assessing health and well being is introduced in order to better understand asthma and plot its recovery.
Whether you are an asthmatic, a friend or family member of one, treating an asthmatic, Smash Asthma opens a vital new perspective in the understanding of asthma and the way to potential thriving health.
It's a very easy and informative read.
What others say about the book
Jonathan Booth. Art Teacher, Auckland
"I hope that the title, ‘Smash Asthma’ and it’s subtitle, ‘…the Wisdom of Wheezing’ doesn’t limit the readership of this book as it is about much more than asthma. It is as if asthma is the vehicle used to deliver ideas and information useful to many conditions.
The book is very engaging and one does not need specialist knowledge to understand the ideas and evidence that are presented in it."
Cecilia Lindsay. Auckland
“I have just read SMASH ASTHMA, with the apt subtitle THE WISDOM OF WHEEZING. I have been treated for sinusitis, post nasal drip and asthma from 12 years of age, in emergency hospital with undiagnosed asthma in my 50s, and sudden anaphylaxis a number of times in later life. My first child was diagnosed with asthma at 3 months old. Another child in hospital with pneumonia at the same age, and later with bronchial pneumonia. Yet another child in hospital with pneumonia before walking age.
By the time I had my fifth child as a parent I had cottoned onto the natural wisdom of the body to heal itself by discharging phlegm.
I chose to treat another of my newborn’s breathing difficulties by avoiding the hospital equipment and naturally sucking out her nose. The birth of my sixth child had both the experienced midwife and the attending doctor amazed at the miracle of life. Many of my siblings (as was our mum), nephews and nieces are drug treated for asthma. You could say breathing difficulties are part of my life. With 6 children I have dealt with countless doctors both at the family clinic and in emergency hospital.
Peter’s description of the wisdom of wheezing would have helped not only me, but also all the professionals in the hospital/medical dramas of my life.
His description of communicating clearly using the process of doubling, mirroring and rapprochement, looking back, would have facilitated the doctor/patient dialogue. Although I have come this via different routes than psychodrama, the effect is the same. Peter’s insight into relevant communication dynamics allows me to see how the upbringing of my father in an abusive orphanage disabled my negotiating effective boundaries - so the ability to be appropriately assertive with the doctors who wanted to help, and articulate as a patient, the care that was urgent, was something very difficult to achieve, even though I was formally educated.
I hope many can learn from his book so we can change the inherent waste in the system that Peter and his colleagues so desperately want to change”
Caril Cowan, Lecturer AUT, Auckland
"This is an exciting book. It provides the holistic link for psychodramatist: how psychodrama can take people into reactivating their adrenal complex in threatening situations, thus protect themselves well. Such mind-body awareness is not otherwise emphasized in psychodrama practice and writings. Peter has written in an accessible manner: it is an easy read. Plus interesting with personal anecdotes from his extensive practice. I found the historical medical history fascinating. The progression from “Asthma is terrifying for the patient but they will not die” to asthma being treated with adrenalin substitutes and being a life threatening illness is traced. The physiology is explained clearly, challenging the current practice of ‘bronco-dilators’ (adrenalin). The sections explaining the necessity of role development of the attractor and protector should be essential study for every psychodrama trainee. The social atom scorer is the evidence psychodramatists need to demonstrate the effectiveness of their interventions. This is a vital addition to the psychodrama literature."
Dr Peter Hatfield. Renal Physician (retired), Wellington
"This story so captured me from page one I was unable to put the book down.
Smash Asthma dispels the universally accepted notion that asthma is a disease and reminds us that there were no asthma deaths until the condition was treated with drugs. Dr. Peter Parkinson’s groundbreaking adrenalin research in London in the early 1970’s enabled him to see the adrenalin turnoff effect in asthma. But it is not just medical science, it is his patients telling their hidden stories that best illuminate his ideas. His psychodrama training gives him and us insights into the social and familial causes of their condition. A book that will reassure patients and alarm then educate some of their doctors."
Alan Jowitt. computer programmer, potter
‘"I was a patient of Peter’s when he was working as a GP in Thames. Whilst I didn’t suffer from asthma, I did attend a number of psychodrama sessions, which were helpful to many others and me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Smash Asthma’ – it was wonderful to be reminded of Peter’s warm humanity and learn more about the depth of his vision, and the breadth of his experience."
Lydia Buxeda, Counselor
"The voice of the author is humorous, warm and engaging. There is a feeling of relief as the potency of his message is distilled so simply. 'The wisdom of wheezing' is a great work that simply heals."
Sam. Client from Chapter 12 p82 (print edition)
"It is 23 years since you helped change my life as a 16-year-old girl at Thames Hospital and gave me hope for a brighter future. You are the doctor who helped me look at life differently and you have been a big part of who I am today-a well grounded young woman, who loves life and who is happy and content."
"There are many out there who will respond to the narrative. The references to Paraiti and myself are correct."
Isabelle Sherrard. Retired head of Nursing, Unitec, Auckland
"In fact I could not put this book down. It’s given me heaps to think about. There is no doubt in my mind that Peter Parkinson’s statements about what asthma is, are correct."
Dr Ripley Jones. GP
"The admirable Dr Peter Parkinson in this exposé of the nature of asthma points the way to the more rational treatment and happier outcomes for asthmatic patients and their families and society at large. The revelation unfolds as Peter’s actions and achievement-rich journey through life proceeds and numerous philosophical gems shine for the reader to contemplate. He gives credit to the many people from whom he has gleaned his wisdom.
This book is a MUST READ not only for people involved in asthma but for all thinking adults as it has wider implications for the way health care is currently provided. This book beats Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science."
Noel Borst. Sealey House client
"Smash Asthma. What a fascinating read. What is described in the book falls in line with the asthmatic in my family.
Without psychodrama and your help you saved my life and my sanity. There are a lot of people who would have been rudderless and lost without you."
Betty Williams. Kuia, Coromandel
"I admire the way he blends Maori Spiritual concepts into the healing force."