Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been used successfully for centuries in the treatment of lung diseases and problems with lungs such as COPD. However, for the first time in the Western scientific world, a study has been done on the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of Chronic Obstructive-Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
The research found that with as few as 12 weekly acupuncture treatments using commonly used acupuncture points, symptoms such as shortness of breath had improved significantly and that it could actually increase survival rates.
In addition, the body mass index improved, pre-albumin levels improved as well arterial blood gas and rib cage range of motion all benefited.
Another interesting note recorded by the researchers was that respiratory muscle strength and exercise capacity also increased. This is great news for athletes as it demonstrates that acupuncture for sports medicine is a valid modality in this field. More and more sports people are using acupuncture and Chinese herbs to improve their fitness and training abilities.
The acupuncture point Lung 9 known as tai yuan has historically been used to tonify and improve the lungs. This was one of the acupuncture points selected in the research program.
The results of the study were published in May 2012 and concluded that acupuncture is a useful adjunctive therapy in reducing breathlessness in patients with COPD.
A study dating back to 2007 found that a drug used for COPD, called Theophylline, had more adverse effects than actual benefit. Side effects included anxiety, gastro intestinal disturbance, muscle cramps, insomnia, dizziness, constipation and colicky pain in the abdomen. The drug is still commonly used today.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that 5 % of hospital admissions are due to adverse drug reactions.