What changes take place in asthma patients who undergo acupuncture treatment aimed at moving qi and blood stasis in the lungs

By Yun Zhi Cao

Abstract

Asthma is one of the most prevalent diseases in the world affecting millions of people, and it can result in fatality both during an attack, and from the side effects of drug treatment. Western medicine focuses on drug related treatments while TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) focuses on rebalancing the energetic system of the body. Some TCM acupuncture treatments for asthma have proved effective, but despite this, opinion is still divided as to its success.

It is proposed that the more common TCM theories and treatments miss two vital functions of the Lungs, which are: the clearing the pathways of the Lung downwards and that of cleaning and clearing turbid Qi upwards. In addition there is evidence that an alternative treatment strategy whereby Qi and Blood stasis are treated can be successful. Together these provide the basis for a hypothesis for the treatment of asthma that promotes the dissipation of Qi through pathways in all directions. Based on this hypothesis a treatment strategy was developed using traditional acupuncture points that would move Qi and Blood-stasis in the Lungs. The points were divided into two groups and were applied in alternate treatments to a patient. The same treatment was used for all patients.

The research set out to treat 7 (n=1) asthma patients aged 20-65 years old, with 5 patients completing the course of treatment. The research measures changes in each patient using a variety of objective and subjective measures. The results are analysed and presented graphically, firstly as individuals and then as a collated set of results.

The results, whilst not conclusive, do show that the changes that took place in the patients were generally positive, with some measurements having statistical significance. They also show that the treatment strategy used could provide an alternative to the more traditional TCM strategies.