Research: Acupuncture Treating COPD (Lung Disease)

A new research article, shared by the Boston Globe earlier today offers new insight into Acupuncture and how it will be applied in the future of treating patients with COPD. COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is the occurrence of chronic bronchitis or emphysema, a pair of commonly co-existing diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed. This created a decrease in the air flow to and from the lungs, creating shortness of breath (dyspnea). Unfortunately, compared to asthma, COPD is much more difficult to treat generally getting progressively worse over time.

The study, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, was small in numbers (only 68 patients), but big in results. The 68 patients were split in half randomly and assigned to have either real acupuncture or "sham acupuncture," where the needle is blunt and does not pierce the skin.

After 12 weeks, those patients who received real acupuncture were able to breathe and walk more easily based on a 6-minute walk test, while those receiving sham acupuncture saw no changes.

With this new study, and so many more gaining attention (please read blog posts), acupuncture is gaining notoriety and will hopefully become more available to the public with publicly shared information and insurance reimbursements.

Alex Goldberg