Japanese scientists have recently conducted a study on acupuncture and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, or COPD. The disorder is characterized by shortness of breath, especially during exercise. Researchers were interested in the connection between acupuncture and COPD because of acupuncture's ability to improve shortness of breath in cancer patients. The researchers wondered if similar results could be achieved for those suffering from COPD and set up a blind study. Sixty-eight individuals with COPD were randomly assigned to real acupuncture treatments or placebo treatments, which consisted of needles not penetrating the skin. The patients were treated weekly for 12 weeks, and results indicated improvements. On the Borg scale, which measures breathlessness, with zero indicating hardly breathless and 10 indicating severely breathless, most patients in the acupuncture group experienced improvements; patients in the placebo group did not. A gap of 3.58 points existed between the two groups. Participants in the acupuncture group rating an average of 1.9 on the scale and the placebo group rating a 4.6 on the scale, indicates significant improvement of COPD symptoms through the use of acupuncture treatments. These improvements have been deemed "clinically relevant" by the researchers. While the findings need to be replicated in larger studies, the results indicate positive findings for those living with COPD.
Summarized by Lara Jones, Administration / PR 2bwell Group