Acupuncture May Help Ease Symptoms Of COPD

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Acupuncture May Help Ease Symptoms Of COPD

Acupuncture has previously been shown to reduce breathlessness in patients with cancer, and now we can add COPD to the list!  In a very exciting development in the world of research on acupuncture, a small-but-promising study published last week in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that acupuncture holds benefit for people with Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common disease that is predicted to be the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020.  It includes the diseases of Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis.   In both types of COPD, shortness of breath leads to low oxygen levels and is the most fundamental and debilitating symptom, affecting many aspects of everyday life. The severity of breathing difficulty generally progresses over time in patients with COPD the speed of progression has been found to be predictive of survival in COPD.  Therefore, the management of breathing dysfunction is one of the most important targets in the treatment of COPD.

The acupuncture points they used were selected according to traditional Chinese medicine theory: (1) LU1 (Zhongfu) and (2) LU9 (Taiyuan) in the lung meridian; (3) LI18 (Futu) in the large intestine meridian; (4) CV4 (Guanyuan) and (5) CV12 (Zhongwan) in the conception vessel; (6) ST36 (Zusanli) in the stomach meridian; (7) KI3 (Taixi) in the kidney meridian; (8) GB12 (Wangu) in the gallbladder meridian; and (9) BL13 (Feishu), (10) BL20 (Pishu), and (11) BL23 (Shenshu) in the bladder meridian, which tonify the Lungs, Spleen, and Kidney, respectively.

In Chinese medicine, the Lung and the Spleen work together to create Qi for the body.  When the Lungs are impaired, the patient experiences more fatigue and their immune system is compromised.  When the Spleen is impaired, there is often a build-up of phlegm in the Lung – both in the organ itself and along the Lung channel of the arm.  The Kidneys are also an important part of the breathing mechanism – ‘grasping the Qi’ like an anchor when we breathe in.   The points used in this study all combine to open the chest and breathing pathways, and to boost the Lung, Spleen, and Kidney organ systems that deal with breathing and Qi production.

The main cause of COPD is smoke inhalation, and the majority of sufferers are cigarette smokers.  While acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help with the symptoms of COPD, it can also help people to stop smoking earlier, so they can prevent this debilitating disease.   For more information on quitting smoking with TCM, follow this link!

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  • Hector Armstong

    i love acupunture because it really helps me to relax. i am a person who is always having a lot of tress. acupuncture really helped me when dealing with too much stress. ;`*,: Kind thanks supplements blog

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