In result of chronic exposure to detrimental factors and probably inflammatory processes in bronchi and bronchioles may occur changes that that lower the air flow in respiratory system. This condition is called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It is estimated that in 2020 it will become third cause of deaths In the world. Medicine, as in case of asthma, recommends use of drugs expanding the bronchi, mucolitycs, antiinflamatory drugs, including corticosteroids. Patients mindfull of hazards linked with usage of drugs look for alternative therapies and also other means of treatment. Accupunctute is one of them.

Strength of evidence

In number of  „Archives of InternalMedicine” issued in June of 2013 an article was published about results of randomized controlled placebo  acupuncture treatment in COPD. During the course of therapy (one treatment per week for 12 weeks) in group receiving real acupuncture recovery measured in modified Borg scale was significant. Additionaly in that group improvement in respiratory functions(FVC, FEV1, DLCO)  and strength of respiratory muscles was noticed. Moreover, nourishment (BMI and prealbumins level) was better. In discussion that was sparked by this publication blindness of tests was undermined. Authors responded by explaining all of the procedures in detail.

Unusual results of survey can be partially explained by experiment conducted by Chinese scientists. It’s subject was influence of acupuncture on lung function and level of inflammatory cytokines in case of rats with induced COPD(source)1. Only one point was needled- St-36. Nonetheless, lung resistence was lowered and lung compliance was increased. Acupuncture also decreased level of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α i IL-1β in bronchial washings. Influence of oxidation stress measured in level of MDA in bronchial washings was also measured. Level of MDA in case of rats with COPD was significantly higher. Result of treatment was lowering of MDA level to the point where it was acceptable. It is another survey where researchers underline complex effects of acupuncture. 

Points used in survey:

  • P-1 (ZhongFu)

  • P-9 (TaiYuan)

  • LI-18 (FuTu)

  • Ren-4 (GuanYuan)

  • Ren-12 (ZhongWan)

  • St-36 (ZuSanLi)

  • Kid-3 (TaiXi)

  • GB-12 (WanGu)

  • Bl-13 (FeiShu)

  • Bl-20 (PiShu)

  • Bl-23 (ShenShu)


1 Geng WY, Liu ZB, Song NN, Geng WY, Zhang GH, Jin WZ, Li L, Cao YX, Zhu DN, Shen LL “Effects of electroacupuncture at Zusanli (ST36) on inflammatory cytokines in a rat model of smoke-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.” J Integr Med. 2013 May;11(3):213-9.