Acupuncture to Treat Asthma: Does it Work?

Acupuncture has been used to treat a number of chronic illnesses over the years, but recently it has been studied in relation to a chronic illness that effects millions of children and adults every day-asthma. Many traditional doctors are critical of this approach to treatment of asthma, but a number of studies show promising outcomes when those who suffer asthma use acupuncture to relieve its symptoms. Acupuncture treats asthma patients by approaching the disease in a whole new way, and, while some of this may be based purely in ancient folklore, the results are evident. Whatever your belief, acupuncture for asthma is having some very real scientific results.

In China, the term for asthma literally means wheezing and dyspnea (shortness of breath). In acupuncture, these two conditions are treated as separate disorders, rather than together under one name, asthma. The Chinese (and those who study acupuncture and Chinese tradition), also see asthma as a condition in which the lung overcomes the energy of the body, which is commonly called “qi.” The lung dominates and its energy settles on the skin, so outside factors (heat, cold, pollen, smoke, dust, etc) that effect the skin or touch the skin can trigger asthma attacks. Diet is also said to have an effect on asthma attacks, which is proven in Western medicine as well.

Traditionally, water in the body is also seen as one of the main causes of asthma, since this produces phlegm. The lungs control the water in the upper part of the body, again making them the treatable organ in acupuncture. The spleen and the kidneys also regulate water in the body, so their energies are also considered. When the water in the body is not regulated correctly, it settles in the lungs. This means that the spleen and kidneys are not receiving as much air as they should, making this condition known as a “deficiency” in acupuncture terms.

Acupuncturists treat asthma depending on what kind of attacks you have-those caused by cold, heat, pollutants, diet, or deficiency. The treatment sessions go much in the same way that any other acupuncture session would go, but the professional stimulates specific spots in a specific order to deal with your asthma. Patients have reported a decrease in the number of asthma attacks they have after receiving acupuncture, as well as a decrease in the severity of the attacks they do have.

Acupuncture is not a cure. However, it can help asthma patients cope with their lives. If you suffer from this or other breathing problems, acupuncture may help you live a more fulfilling life. Talk with a medical professional to find out more.


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