Researchers in the Department of Respiratory Medicine at a Japanese hospital, studying acupuncture for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), have shown treatment is associated with improved exercise performance parameters. In the trial, 16 patients with COPD received acupuncture once a week for 12 weeks, in addition to any usual medication. The effects of treatment were evaluated at baseline and at 12, 16, and 24 weeks.
During the trial period, significant improvements were found. There were increases in peak oxygen uptake and minute ventilation during exercise tests. By 12 weeks, exercise endurance time was significantly increased, and oxygen uptake upon finishing the exercise session was significantly lower compared to baseline. There were also improvements in patients’ perceived exertion scores. The researchers conclude these findings indicate that acupuncture may be a new intervention for COPD, in addition to conventional maintenance therapies.
(Clinical Effects of Acupuncture on the Pathophysiological Mechanism of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease During Exercise. International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 5 December 2019.)