On Pins and Needles – How Acupuncture Can Help Treat COPD

When people are diagnosed with a chronic illness or other malady, they will most likely be open to different methods of treatment. Alternative forms of medicine, such as acupuncture and acupressure aren't considered to be along the same lines as modern medicine, but in addition to things like surgery and medication, to help treat diseases. Recently, experts have discovered how the ancient practice of acupuncture can help treat the symptoms of COPD, and be beneficial to the body overall.

What is acupuncture and how does it work?

A series of very thin, long needles are pierced through the skin by an acupuncture specialist, and where the needles are put into the skin depends on what they are trying to treat. Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system and endocrine systems of the body, releases hormones and activates neurotransmitters that stimulate the immune system and relieve pain, among other things.

There are 365 acupuncture points on the body, and they work by going along the nerve meridiens of the body. For example, if you have a heart attack, the pain goes along your left arm up to your left shoulder – the heart meridian.

Acupuncture has been used as a complimentary treatment, alongside medication and therapy, for things caused by hormonal imbalances and inflammation, such as arthritis. Acupuncture is truly an ancient form of medicine, with the oldest official recording of it being from the 3rd century B.C. In the ancient days, before things like hormones and neurotransmitters were discovered, people believed that we have energy centers in our bodies, and disease was a sign that this energy had become blocked. Many people believe in this theory, and put it into practice along with the facts and theories of modern medicine.

How can acupuncture help COPD?

The recent study, the results of which were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, showed how acupuncture can help improve the quality of life for those living with COPD, and even relieve some of the breathing problems. The participants were split up into two groups. The first group was given the real acupuncture treatment that would help with COPD, while the other group received a fake acupuncture treatment, where the needles didn't pierce the skin. Those who received the fake treatment weren't aware that it was fake, making this the control group.

It was found that the participants who received the real acupuncture could breathe better than they could before. They didn't get out of breath as quickly as they did before, when doing normal things like taking a walk, and some could even start exercising. They started to have much more energy than they did previously, and their appetites improved. The control group did not experience any of these benefits, and both groups were still using their medications and oxygen therapy as directed by their doctors.

If you'd like to try acupuncture to help treat your COPD, make sure you go to a certified acupuncture specialist. Even if you find yourself feeling better, you shouldn't stop taking your medication prescribed by your doctor. Talk to your doctor if you'd like to make any changes with your treatment.

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