Respiratory Disorder and Acupuncture

Nasal Allergy, Bronchial Asthma, COPD

A recent article in the Archives of Internal Medicine discussed the potential complication from chronic use of steroid inhaler in COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.  The risk of pneumonia for chronic steroid user is increased by 70% compared to non-users.  This finding brings up the question of how we can treat chronic respiratory diseases with complementary and alternative method. 

I want to make my position clear on this issue - I am not against use of medications. But with more and more reports on the subjects of the side effects of chronic use of medications, I am increasingly concerned, like many other physicians, with the practice of "matching the pill to the ill."

What is not well known to physicians and the general public is that acupuncture and acupressure can help the symptoms of bronchial asthma and nasal allergy.  Based on modern research, acupuncture decreases inflammation and balance the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system, which are the goals of prescribing steroid and bronchodilator inhalers.  Clinical studies conducted in Taiwan also indicate that self-applied acupressure to certain points do improve the functional status of patients with chronic asthma and COPD. 

I treated a physician one year ago for bronchial asthma.  The patient had had asthma every spring ever since she moved to Cincinnati fifteen years ago.  This is her testimonial.   "I wanted to thank you for helping me this spring. Now that it is mid-May, my asthma season is essentially over, so I probably won't see you again this spring, I truly feel that your acupuncture made me 100% better this year.  Thanks again.  See you next March."

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