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Can Acupuncture Be Used to Treat COPD?

20 May 2016
| Under COPD, Lifestyle, Lung Disease | Posted by | 17 Comments
Can Acupuncture Be Used to Treat COPD?

Curious about acupuncture? Here’s the rundown.

Despite the recent decline in U.S. smoking rates, more than 600 million people suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease around the world. As respiratory illness has been with us as long as the practice of smoking, there have also been treatments addressing these diseases that have lasted millennia. Understandably, when many think of acupuncture they imagine needles sticking out of a patient’s bare skin. However, what often goes unseen are the restorative benefits that accompany this procedure, amounting to nothing short of physical and spiritual relief.

With your health in mind, the Lung Institute has explored this ancient form of treatment, which continues to benefit those who suffer from COPD to this very day. So, can acupuncture be used to treat COPD?

The History of the East & West

Can Acupuncture Be Used to Treat COPD?Originating in the far east of China as early as 100 BC, acupuncture has been used to treat a variety of ailments with the most common function of relieving pain. As a method of traditional Chinese medicine, eastern acupuncture is deeply spiritual in nature, working to balance the flow of energy or life force–known as chi–thought to flow through the pathways of the body. As acupuncture needles are introduced into specific points within these pathways, the belief is that this energy will be put back into balance.

Expanding quickly, acupuncture spread first to Korea in the 6th century AD, then Japan through medical missionaries, and finally to Europe starting with France. In contrast to eastern philosophies and practice, western acupuncture typically eschews spiritual elements in favor of secular physiology. Whereas western acupuncture focuses on inserting needles into key spots on the body to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue, boosting the body’s natural painkillers and increasing blood flow.

In Practice

Can Acupuncture Be Used to Treat COPD?Through the insertion of extremely thin needles, acupuncture works to release chemicals and stimulate muscle relaxation at strategic points on the body. In preparation for the procedure, the skin is sterilized as the needles are inserted- frequently with a plastic tube as a guide. The practitioner typically uses between five and twenty needles. Patients are instructed to lie still on their back or stomach for ten to twenty minutes as the needles are inserted, rearranged or manipulated.

The Science of Acupuncture and COPD

In a recent study designed to determine the effect of acupuncture on COPD, Japanese researchers examined 68 adults suffering from COPD, splitting them into two groups. Half received acupuncture for 12 weeks, while the other half received a placebo acupuncture, where blunt needles did not actually enter the skin. In this study no other variables were changed or introduced, and all of the participants remained on any medication they had been previously prescribed.

After the initial 12 weeks, the participants were given walking tests and monitored for any breathing trouble. Researchers found that those who had received the real acupuncture were far less breathless than those in the placebo group. According to Masao Suzuki of Kyoto University, “acupuncture causes relaxation of these muscles and consequently the function of the muscles recovers to support better respiration.”

Benefits

Can Acupuncture Be Used to Treat COPD?Although it’s known for its ability to relieve pain, acupuncture has been routinely used to treat a variety of conditions associated with discomfort:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (an umbrella term for lung disease)
  • Chemotherapy-induced and postoperative nausea and vomiting
  • Dental pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches, including tension and migraine headaches
  • Labor pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Menstrual cramps

Despite treatment options for COPD such as acupuncture, oxygen therapy and corticosteroids that can address the diseases’ symptoms, they are unable to affect the progression of the disease itself. However, there is hope in the form of stem cell therapy, the only option to directly affect the disease’s progression and mortality by promoting healing within the body.

If you’re looking to make a profound change in your life or the life of someone you love, the time is now. If you or a loved one suffers from COPD, or other lung diseases, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of stem cell treatment options. Contact us at (800) 729-3065 to find out if you qualify for stem cell therapy today.

Considering acupuncture? Keep us updated on your progress. Share your thoughts and comments on the question of Can Acupuncture Be Used to Treat COPD below.

17 Comments

  1. PB

    5 months ago

    Dear Desire,

    Thank you for your comment. For some people with COPD, acupuncture is helpful when it is used as part of the overall treatment plan. Because COPD affects everyone differently, it’s important to discuss these questions and concerns with your doctor. Your doctor knows you and your health situation well, so he or she will be able to best guide you.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  2. desire cloete

    5 months ago

    I live in South Africa and after years of chronic asthma have been hospitalised with copd with oxygen therapy and cortisone, my lung function test showed a low 34% and I’m on 2%oxygen therapy. what are my chances of increasing my lung capacity in the future and the treatment of acupuncture would it help me. I’m 59yo female. thank you

  3. PB

    6 months ago

    Dear Terri,

    Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, at this time, insurance companies and Medicare don’t cover treatment. However, we’re hopeful that treatment will be covered by insurance companies and Medicare in the near future. Keep in mind that it will take some time before the insurance companies and Medicare see a financial benefit in their favor and then decide to cover it. In the meantime, you can learn more about stem cell treatment options and have your questions answered by one of our patient coordinators. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  4. terri parkin

    6 months ago

    Do you accept Medicare or insurance policies that use medicare and supplemental such as Aetna?

  5. PB

    6 months ago

    Dear Carole,

    We’re sorry to hear that your husband has been going through such a difficult time with COPD and chronic bronchitis. Stem cell treatment can be done in patients at any stage of COPD. To discuss your husband’s situation in more detail and to learn more about stem cell treatment options, please feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  6. Carole Knowles

    6 months ago

    my husband has COPD and chronic bronchitis. Does stem cell treatment work in patients that are in stage 4 COPD?. He is on oxygen 24/7 and even with oxygen, can not walk a few feet without being short of breath.

  7. PB

    6 months ago

    Dear Robert,

    Thanks for your comment and question. Unfortunately, at this time, insurance companies and Medicare don’t cover treatment. However, we’re hopeful that treatment will be covered by insurance companies and Medicare in the near future. Keep in mind that it will take some time before the insurance companies see a financial benefit in their favor and then decide to cover it. Many of our patients have used fundraising to help raise funds to cover treatment costs. To learn more about fundraising ideas, click here. You can also learn more about stem cell treatment options and have your questions answered by one of our patient coordinators. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  8. Robert A. Scully

    6 months ago

    The only way I can afford treatment is through Medicare. Will Medicare pay? I shouldn’t have to make a phone call to get the answer to that question. It’s an extremely basic question of interest to many individuals.

  9. PB

    6 months ago

    Dear Howard,

    First and foremost, we’re sorry to hear that you’re wife has been going through such a difficult time. To best answer your question, it’s important to speak with one of our qualified patient coordinators. They have a wealth of knowledge about stem cell treatments, candidacy and cost, and they’re happy to speak with you and your wife one-on-one to discuss your wife’s personal situation. Fee free to contact us today at (855) 313-1149, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  10. Howard Hammack

    6 months ago

    my wife had the upper left lobe of her lung removed due to cancer. She also has COPD. Can stem cell treatments help her situation?

  11. PB

    6 months ago

    Dear Beverly,

    Thanks for your question. While we have treated patients with stents in the past, it’s important to call us at (855) 313-1149 to review your medical history with us one-on-one to learn about your stem cell treatment options, candidacy and to have your questions answered. We’re happy to answer your questions, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  12. Beverly

    6 months ago

    Can patients who have stents also receive stem cell treatment for COPD?

  13. Cameron Kennerly

    8 months ago

    Good Morning Ron,

    We appreciate your inquiry. Depending on the procedure the treatment process takes about 1-3 hours, over the course of 1-3 days. In regards to our treatment’s efficacy, 84% of our patients have found an improvement in their quality of life within 3 months of treatment. For more information on what treatment could mean for your health and quality of life, please contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak with one of our qualified patient coordinators.

    We look forward to speaking with you Ron,

    -The Lung Institute

  14. ron Collosi

    8 months ago

    I live in California and have COPD if I decided to go to your clinic in Scottsdale Arizona how
    long does the procedure take and the cost,.also how effective is the treatment?

  15. Pingback: Lung Institute | Chiropractic and Lung Disease

  16. PB

    11 months ago

    Hi Arthur,

    Right now, the closest Lung Institute clinic to Seattle or Tacoma is the Lung Institute clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you’re looking for acupuncture clinics near Seattle, then try searching in Google for acupuncture clinics near Seattle. We wish you the best in your search.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  17. Arthur Chambers

    11 months ago

    Is their any place close to Seattle or Tacoma that has this? I would be willing to try.

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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