17. August 2015 · Comments Off on Overcoming Difficulties Brought About By COPD Through the Use of Chinese Herbal Medicine · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

The lung has about 300 million alveoli. Alveoli are small sacks that extract the oxygen from the air which then is infused into the blood. As oxygen is integrated into a cell, the cell releases carbon dioxide at the same time which then goes to the alveoli to be released out of the body through the process of exhalation.

The alveoli can be damaged by tobacco smoking and when they’re damaged their ability to stretch open becomes limited. The body then will have difficulty to optimally take in oxygen leading to shortness of breath. Apart from the alveoli, smoking can also harm the tiny cells known as cilia. These are the cells that move phlegm up and out of our lungs. Cilia damage can cause toxins, dirt, and germs to accumulate and stagnate in the lungs, causing conditions such as COPD, lung cancer, chest infections, and chronic coughing.

Western Conventional Treatment for COPD

If you have been diagnosed with COPD, the most import thing to do is eliminate the factors that led to the rise of the condition. You need to therefore avoid being exposed to irritants and toxic substances such as fumes and dust,. You also need to stop smoking, and avoid second hand smoke.

Chinese Herbal Treatment for COPD

Having a highly successful history of treating COPD, Chinese herbal medicine can be used to treat shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, and lessen phlegm congestion in the lungs. Some Chinese herbs can increase the lung’s ability to take in more oxygen, boost immunity, and treat inflammation.

Cordyceps sinensis

This herb is derived from a mushroom and has several applications that can improve lung function. Cordyceps traditionally comes in the form of a tonic meant to improve sleep quality, endurance, libido, stamina, appetite, and energy. This herb has attracted a lot of interest after the 1993 Beijing Summer games when marathon runners from China were suspected using drugs due to the incredible fast times they were registering in finishing this grueling race. The drug tests all turned out negative. The coach of the runners confessed that they had been using the Cordyceps Sinensis herb in preparation for the marathon.

Some effective Chinese herbs used by TCM practitioners for the treatment of COPD include:

Gan cao – an herb that lessens inflammation, halts cough, and moistens the lungs
Sang bai pi – relieves wheezing and halts cough
Wu wei zi – calms the body and stops cough
Zhe bei mu- lessens the production of phlegm in the body
Ju hong – clears phlegm
Jie geng – lessens phlegm and opens the airways in the lungs
Luo han guo- reduces inflammation and moistens the lungs
Zhi zi – reduces toxicity and strengthens the immune system
Huang qin – lessens phlegm and beefs up the immune system
Tian men dong – moistens the lungs and reduces lung inflammation
Fu ling – reduces the production of phlegm
Mai men dong – reduces inflammation and moistens the lungs
Dang gui – supplies more oxygen to the blood and minimizes swelling

Studies about Acupuncture Treatment for COPD

The results of a placebo-controlled, randomized study on COPD and acupuncture showed the treatment enhanced the range of motion of the rib cage, strengthened the respiratory muscle, as well as improved respiratory function and arterial blood gas, and treated shortness of breath. The ability to exercise was improved after the subjects were given acupuncture. Acupoints UB 13, 20 and 23, GB12, K3, ST36, CV 4 and 12, LI18, and LU 1 and 9 were treated with needles once a week for three months.

Another acupuncture treatment for COPD study done in 2012 discovered that acupuncture helped COPD patients by enhancing their oxygen saturation, reduced shortness of breath, and improved breathing difficulty during exercise. The subjects were given acupuncture ten weeks once each month.

Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.

04. May 2015 · Comments Off on Acupuncture May Help Relieve the Symptoms of COPD · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

For sufferers of the lung condition known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, for short, the good news is that getting acupuncture can make you breathe a little easier.

An umbrella term for chronic or long-term lung conditions including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, COPD is characterized by shortness of breath and chronic cough. Conventional therapies usually include bronchodilators and inhaled steroids to clear up airways and make breathing a bit easier.

An acupuncture treatment for COPD study was performed involving the participation of 68 people all suffering from COPD. Some of them were administered with acupuncture treatments for three months along with their daily medicines. The rest received fake or sham acupuncture therapy. This is a type of acupuncture wherein the needles did not enter the person’s skin.

After three months, the people who were given acupuncture combined with regular medication had the ability to walk longer without feeling breathless compared to the sham acupuncture treatment group. The online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine posted this study in the internet.

Another study performed in Kyoto, Japan by researchers in the Meiji University of Integrative Medicine and Kyoto University showed that persons with COPD who were treated with real acupuncture experienced marked improvements in their ability to exercise and in their quality of life.

Most COPD sufferers have issues getting optimal nutrition due to their condition. The Kyoto study demonstrated that acupuncture can boost the function of the stomach, making it easier for COPD sufferers to consume a healthy diet and preserve a normal weight.

COPD Symptoms and Acupuncture

No one knows for sure how acupuncture improves COPD symptoms. Scientists theorize that it may be due to the needling of the acupoints on the area of the ribcage. Treating that area with needles may ease the muscles that are responsible for breathing.

Besides that, acupuncture is also able to relieve anxiety. This is important in the treatment of COPD because when a person has breathing difficulty, his/her anxiety level rises. Therefore, relaxation is one other possible explanation why acupuncture benefits COPD patients. Acupuncture also has the ability to stimulate the release of chemicals that open up the airways and relax the lungs.

Acupuncture is a viable alternative treatment for chronic COPD. It has very little side effects and extremely effective in helping relieve the many symptoms of COPD. If you are considering getting acupuncture treatment, be sure to select a licensed acupuncturist in Bellingham who has experience or specializes in treating COPD.

Acupuncture is definitely worth a try if you have lung disease such as COPD. Pulmonary specialist Len Horowitz, state that regular acupuncture treatments can cure long time smokers of their habit. He also added that asthma sufferers who receive acupuncture treatment may lessen their need for steroids.

These days, more and more acupuncturists are treating patients suffering from COPD. However, it should be noted that acupuncture should be considered an adjunctive therapy to be used with other COPD treatments such as medications and not as substitute for them. Most COPD already consult with Western physicians and acupuncturists often recommend to their patients to consult first with their doctors and get the proper medications in order to keep their symptoms under control.

27. November 2014 · Comments Off on Acupuncture Provides Benefits That Help Relieve COPD Symptoms · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags:

People suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can find that acupuncture can help them breathe a lot easier.

Lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis can be categorized in the all-encompassing term of COPD. COPD may be marked by shortness of breath and chronic coughing. Drugs such as bronchodilators and steroids make up the conventional modes of treatment for COPD.

A recent clinical study about COPD involved 68 people suffering from the condition. The subjects were divided into two groups. One group received sham acupuncture therapy which is acupuncture treatment where the needles did not penetrate the skin, and the other group receiving real acupuncture along with their daily dose of meds. These two groups were given their corresponding treatments for three months. At the end of the trial, the group who received sham acupuncture was able to walk less longer before struggling to breathe compared to the people in the other group who received real acupuncture plus daily medications.

Researchers from Meiji University and Kyoto University both in Japan did a clinical study that concluded that real acupuncture can raise the person’s quality of life as well as his/her ability to exercise.

Several COPD sufferers have a difficult time getting the best kind of nutrition they need that can address their condition due to the weak functioning of some of the organ systems of their body. The Japan research revealed that acupuncture can boost the function of the stomach function, which helps a person suffering from COPD to consume a nutritious diet and preserve a normal weight.

Symptoms of COPD and Acupuncture

There is no still no consensus of how acupuncture actually treats COPD symptoms. Scientists theorize that when the right acupuncture points are needled, such as the points on the area on rib cage, the muscles that are associated with breathing relax.

Scientists at the Duke University in Durham, North Carolina have shown that acupuncture can also help lower the anxiety level of a person. They explain that when a person becomes breathless, his/her anxiety rises. Relaxation therefore, can also be a possible reason for acupuncture’s beneficial effect on COPD sufferers.

Acupuncture is also able to stimulate the body to aid in the release of chemicals that expand the airways and relax the lungs.

Some doctors believe that as an alternative modality for COPD, acupuncture is a terrific option. The downside to it is acupuncture is minimal and the upside in the treatment for COPD is huge. However, if you have considered it, you must choose an experienced acupuncturist for your treatment.

If you have lung diseases such as COPD, acupuncturists are well-trained to handle the condition. Acupuncture may even able to help smokers kick permanently their smoking habit.

A lot of people who haven’t tried acupuncture would think this is a painful procedure. Though it involves the insertion of ultra fine needles into the skin, acupuncture is a relatively non-invasive and painless procedure.

Others may think this treatment is only good for the relief of pain. Acupuncture is as equally effective in treating lung diseases such as COPD at it is in treating pain as most acupuncturists would agree.

They also caution potential acupuncture patients that acupuncture should be combined with other COPD treatments like medication. Many acupuncturists would advise patients to see their medical doctors first to receive proper medication before going for acupuncture treatment


Kine Fischler is a licensed acupuncture physician and the clinical director of Willow Tree Wellness Clinic in Portland, OR.