There is a good deal of evidence for the effects of acupuncture on asthma patients (Berger & Nolte 1975, Takishima et al 1982, Virsik et al 1980, Luu et al 1985, Yu & Lee 1976, Jobst et al 1986, Tashkin et all 1977, Fung, Chow & So 1986) though there have been conflicting reports as well (Christensen et al 1984, Tandon & Soh 1989, Dias Subramanian & Lionel 1982). Acupuncture is rarely used as a complete alternative to conventional treatment but more often as an adjunct in both China and the West.
One study showed acupuncture to be beneficial for cancer-induced breathlessness (Filshie et al 1996). Fourteen out of 20 patients reported marked symptomatic benefits and there was statistically significant improvement in breathlessness scores, relaxation, anxiety and respiratory rate. The benefits compared favorably with current treatment.
Berger D, Nolte D 1975 Hat Akupunktur einen nachweisbaren brocho-spasmolytischen Effekt beim
Asthma bronchiale? Medizinische Klinik (Munchen) 70:1827-1830.
Takishima T, Mue S, Tamura G, Ishihara T, Watanabe K 1982 The bronchodilating effect of acupuncture in patients with acute asthma. Annals of Allergy 48:44--49
Virsik K, Kiristutek P, Bangha 0, Urban S 1980. The effect of acupuncture on pulmonary function in bronchial asthma. Progress in Respiratory Research 14:271-275.
Luu M, Maillard D, Pradalier A, Bourcau F 1985 Controle spirometrique clans la maladie asthmatique des effets de la puncture de points douloureux thoraciques. Respiration 48:340-345
Yu D Y C, Lee S P 1976 Effect of acupuncture on bronchial asthma. Clinical Science and Molecular Medicine 51: 503-509.
Jobst K, Chen J 11, McPherson K et al 1986. Controlled trial of acupuncture for disabling breathlessness. Lancet 2:1416-1419.
Tashkin D P, Bresler D F, Kroening R J, Kerschner H, Katz R L, Coulson A H 1977 Comparison of real and simulated acupuncture and isoproterenol in methacholine-induced asthma. Annals of Allergy 39:379-387
Fung K P, Chow 0 K W, So S Y 1986 Attenuation of exercise induced asthma by acupuncture. Lancet 2: 1419-1422.
Christensen P A, Laursen L C, Taudorf E, Sorensen S C, Weeke B 1984 Acupuncture and bronchial asthma. Allergy 39:379-385
Tandon M K, Soh P F T 1989 Comparison of real and placebo acupuncture in histamine-induced asthma. A double-blind crossover study. Chest 96:102-105
Dias P L R, Subramaniam S, Lionel N D W 1982. Effects of acupuncture in bronchial asthma preliminary communication. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 75:245-248
Filshie J, Penn K, Ashley S, Davis C L 1996. Acupuncture for the relief of cancer-related breathlessness. Palliative Medicine 10:145-150. Fourteen out of 20 patients reproted marked symptomatic benefits and there was statistically significant improvement in breathlessness scores, relaxation, anxiety and respiratory rate.
Lewith, G. T., Watkins, A. D., (1996) Unconventional Therapies in Asthma: an Overview. Allergy 51(11):761-9. This review of 12 controlled studies concluded that acupuncture improves airway obstruction acutely, but long-term efficacy has not been established. Acupuncture was found to be more effective with drug-induced and allergic asthma than with exercise-induced asthma.