While acupuncture is normally used for relieving pain, it has also been studied to manage asthma. This alternative medicinal practice has traditionally been used in China in the treatment of bronchial asthma which is being increasingly applied in Western countries as well. Acupuncture uses needle insertions at appropriate acupoints to restore the balance of energy known as qi that travels through pathways of the body called meridians.
World Asthma Day is celebrated on May 5 every year. According Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every twelve Americans suffers from asthma. It is one of the most common chronic disorders in childhood, currently affecting an estimated 7.1 million children under 18 years; of which 4.1 million suffered from an asthma attack or episode in 2011.
Is Acupuncture Effective In Managing Asthma?
Acupuncture not only treats the physical aspect of asthma, it also improves mental well-being. Most treatments for asthma include needling points on the lung, stomach, kidney and/or bladder meridians. Acupressure on many of these points, performed by the person with asthma or a caregiver, can be very effective. There are different techniques that can be followed. The most common ones are:
- Electroacupuncture: In this the needles pass electric current through the body.
- Blood needles can also be used in some techniques in which the puncture breaks the skin and blood oozes out. This method requires thicker needles.
- The fire needle is a local needling technique in which thick needles are heated by burning a swab immersed in alcohol.
It is advisable to consult a reputed acupuncturist to avoid any side effects or complications. Acupuncture comes under alternative therapies but if your condition worsens consult your medical practitioner.