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.