Acupuncture may improve shortness of breath during activity in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), suggests a small Japanese study.
COPD is one of the most common lung conditions standing for a pair of commonly co-existing diseases in which the airways become narrowed and cause breathing increasingly difficult, Iranian Press TV reported.
Masao Suzuki and colleagues recruited 68 COPD patients to either receive conventional medicines plus 12 weeks of acupuncture treatment or drugs plus sham acupuncture, in which needles didn’t enter the skin to cause stimulation.
After 12 weeks, the six-minute walk test of the real acupuncture group improved from 5.5 to 1.9 scale score while the patients receiving placebo acupuncture showed no definite improvement, wrote researchers of Kyoto University and Meiji University of Integrative Medicine.
“Our results clearly demonstrated that acupuncture is important and effective non-pharmacological modality for COPD management, which should be used [as an] adjunct to the conventional care,” said Suzuki.
“We would like patients and health care providers to be aware of that acupuncture could be a useful modality, not only for painful conditions, but also internal disorders such as COPD,” he added.
However, “randomized trials with larger sample sizes and longer-term interventions with follow-up evaluations are necessary to confirm the usefulness of acupuncture in COPD treatment,” concluded the study authors