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Photo: Amy Treasure

Acupuncture for the Treatment of COPD

What an honor for me to be interviewed by sports and health writer, Elaine K. Howley for the US News and World Report! It was a pleasure to be able to share some of Chinese medicine’s strengths in treating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in, “Can Acupuncture Help with COPD?” (published online 8/4/17).

People are starting to realize they have more options

I came into Chinese medicine because I had run out of options with Western medicine. 20 years later, I am practicing and teaching complementary and alternative medicine because I feel passionately about helping others see what I’ve found: Hope, choice, and perseverance.

I don’t believe in only one answer. I’m interested in what’s most helpful for you, right now.

My goal has never been to convince everyone that Chinese medicine is the answer to their issue. I don’t believe in one answer. I believe in the most helpful thing for a particular person at that particular time. Sometimes that will be Western medicine, and sometimes it may be Chinese medicine, a walk in the woods or dancing. I make a concerted effort to keep learning myself and to keep an ongoing dialogue with practitioners of different healing modalities, so as to constantly expand my view of what’s possible.

The more I know what’s possible, the more I can speak to it. The more I can speak to it, the greater chances someone who needs it will find it. What a gift to let my voice reach an even greater audience with this invitation. Thank you, Elaine!

How does acupuncture help treat COPD?

According to the British Acupuncture Council, acupuncture may help treat COPD by:

  • reducing bronchial immune-mediated inflammation (Carneiro 2005)
  • reducing inflammation in general by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003).
  • improving both airway mucociliary clearance and the airway surface liquid (Tai 2006).
  • regulating cytokine production (Jeong 2002, Joos 2000).

How can acupuncture help you?

While normally one might say, “The only way to know is to try!” I might argue, try and try again! There are so many different types of acupuncture — TCM, Korean, Japanese, Classical, 5-Element, etc. They each have their unique approach to differential diagnosis and treatment. So, if you’ve tried, but it wasn’t a good match – I encourage you to consider another. And if you haven’t tried any, I encourage you to start by connecting with a practitioner who leaves you feeling encouraged and inspired.

May you have much success!

 


References

Carneiro ER et al. Effect of electroacupuncture on bronchial asthma induced by ovalbumin in rats. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine2005; 11(1): 127-34.

Jeong HJ et al. Regulatory effect of cytokine production in asthma patients by SOOJI CHIM (Koryo Hand Acupuncture Therapy). Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 2002; 24(2): 265-4.

Joos S et al. Immunomodulatory effects of acupuncture in the treatment of allergic asthma: a randomized controlled study. J Altern Compliment Med 2000; 6(6): 519-25.

Kavoussi B, Ross BE. The neuroimmune basis of anti-inflammatory acupuncture. Integr Cancer Ther 2007; 6(3): 251-7.

Tai S et al. Effect of needle puncture and electro-acupuncture on mucociliary clearance in anesthetized quails. BMC Complement Altern Med 2006; 6: 4.

Zijlstra FJ et al. Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture. Mediators Inflamm 2003; 12(2):59-69.

 

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