Sunday, November 30, 2008

Acupuncture and asthma in South Carolina

This is another good question. I was asked this last week by a woman who had chronic fatigue syndrome, food allergies, and asthma. I have a particular interest in this because I am Chinese and my relatives, including my parents, are strong proponents of Traditional Medicine. This has been studied, although some of the studies were poorly controlled. The bottom line is no, unfortunately acupuncture thus far has not been shown to benefit asthma. My sources include the World Health Organisation's (W.H.O.) page on Traditional Medicine as of 2008. Note this contradicts earlier reports by the W.H.O. in 1998 and 2003. These reports can be read in their entirety on the W.H.O.'s website [search "acupuncture, asthma"]. Many websites refer to these reports or cite literature from Chinese Medical journals. I have nothing against them, but why can't these results be duplicated elsewhere? The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews similarly concluded that there was not evidence of recommend acupuncture for asthma.

Acupuncture is relatively new option in South Carolina. When I first moved to South Carolina in 2000, there were less than 10 licensed acupuncturists. At the end of 2008, there are about 115 licensed acupuncturists in the state. I think this is because Traditional Medicine is both being examined more carefully and being selected more often by people. The Upstate area has at least 8 by my count. They can be found on the
South Carolina Department of License, Labor & Regulation's website (search by city).

If you have questions about acupuncture, ask your doctor...


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peggy said...

Hi. I have been dealing with severe asthma sinus allergies and Nasal Polyps for decades.Nasal polyps were removed twice and grew right back. I spent from 1992 to 2009 on prednisone, thanks to living in a town of 2000 and a lazy primary care doc.. Yeah, I could breathe but The side effects....yuck. In June of 2009, I started electroacupuncture treatments. My Chinese Dr. also gives me herbs, the formula for asthma has been studied at Mt. Sinai and was found to be 95% effective as prednisone. I have not taken prednisone at all since January 2010 (we did a gradual taper) I have not had any wheezing since Sept 2009. My sinuses are still rather congested, but my polyps are gone.All thanks to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Oh yeah, and I lost 40 pounds after quitting prednisone. I am not cured but my quality of life is 300% better than it was. I just wish that Western docs could work in concert with TCM docs...we might just find the answer. Try it, your patients will thank you.

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