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Breathe Deep: Asthma, COPD, and Acupuncture

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COPD asthma breathing allergies

Warm weather is finally here! Time to breathe in all that fresh, healthy air and get some exercise in the great outdoors. Maybe this is the year you’ll take up horseback riding or jogging. Remember to stop and smell the roses, as they say. Maybe get out in the forest and do some hiking. That mountain air will smell GOOD. And after all that wonderful physical exertion, eight hours of sleep should come pretty easy.

Only, your lungs have something to say about all that.

From asthma to hay fever, COPD to emphysema, it seems that everyone these days has some issues with their lungs. And if your lungs aren’t working properly, you’re going to feel miserable no matter what you had planned.

It’s no coincidence that traditional Chinese medicine considers the lung meridian one of the most important pathways for energy and health. Areas along this path are responsible for some of the most recognizable symptoms of allergy and asthma, such as chest tightness, diaphragm issues, and irritation with the throat, nose, and airways.  Sometimes a few rounds of acupuncture or cupping is all you need to take the edge off those symptoms, but an herbal supplement or custom herb formula taken in conjunction with treatment will always make those results last longer.


For allergies, the first stop on the herbal supplement train is one of our favorite products, Allerplex. Allerplex contains hefty doses of vitamin A and C to help your body defend itself against all manner of irritants blown in with seasonal changes, along with magnesium to regulate healthy mucus movement.

Another popular way to keep the lungs tidy is Echinacea, which has been used for general immune system health for centuries, and not just by the Chinese. Native Americans knew about it long before the first Europeans set foot in the New World.

Both of these options are very good if you don’t need anything specific, but if you have other health concerns or preexisting conditions, a custom formula made exclusively for you will yield the best results.

When Western Medicine and Eastern Medicine Agree

We mentioned before that Eastern Medicine considers the lung one of the most important organs for general health, and surprisingly, Western medicine doesn’t stray far from this idea either. In fact, there are several instances the two philosophies go hand in hand beautifully.

In a 2012 study of COPD, one group received acupuncture along with their daily medication, while another group got “treatment” with placebo needles that specifically did not break the skin. After three months, the group getting the real acupuncture treatment reported better quality of life, with the ability to exercise for longer periods of time.

A similar study found that acupuncture for treatment of asthma yielded better results than treating the symptoms of asthma with western medicine alone. All patients were allowed the usual care, but acupuncture was an additional treatment modality for patients in a second group, and a third group was treated with only acupuncture. The researchers note, “study results reveal that the use of acupuncture as adjunct to the routine care of allergic bronchial asthma was superior to routine care alone in improving both specific symptoms and general quality of life.” Secondary outcome measures document that patients in the acupuncture-only group were satisfied with their treatment results.

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