Researchers in China have shown that acupuncture has regulatory effects on mucosal and cellular immunity in patients with allergic asthma, and it may be a suitable adjunctive therapy for such patients.
One hundred patients with allergic asthma and seventy-four with chronic bronchitis, received acupuncture three times per week for five weeks, using acupuncture points specific to asthma. After treatment, concentrations of immunoglobulins (antibodies) in the saliva and nasal secretions of the allergic asthma patients, were found to have decreased significantly; also lower were the numbers of activated T-cells (lymphocyte cells involved in specific immune responses) and eosinophils (cells whose numbers increase in allergic hypersensitivity conditions like allergic asthma or hayfever) in the peripheral blood circulation. Although there were no significant changes in the bronchitis patients, some trends indicating a benefit of treatment, were observed.
(Considerations for use of Acupuncture as Supplemental Therapy for Patients with Allergic Asthma. Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology, on-line 3 June 2012.)