Research in China suggests acupuncture improves exercise capacity in patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). A total of 102 patients with stable COPD were randomly allocated to receive either routine treatment plus acupuncture, or routine treatment alone. Acupuncture was given three times a week for six weeks.
After six weeks, perceived exertion for the acupuncture group, felt significantly better than that for the control group. The acupuncture group also exhibited improved exercise tolerance, suggested by improvements in their post-treatment six minute walk distance, lung function and oxygen saturation.
The researchers conclude that acupuncture is a safe and effective adjuvant therapy which effectively improves the exercise capacity of patients with stable COPD.
(Acupuncture treatment of lung-spleen Qi deficiency in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a randomized, open-label, controlled trial. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, December 2019.)
‘Does acupuncture help with COPD?’ was the question asked by authors of a collaborative systematic review by universities in Barcelona and Beijing. Their analysis of data from 28 randomised trials showed that acupuncture added into patients’ usual treatment, improved difficulty breathing, quality of life, lung function and capacity for exercise, all when compared to sham treatment. The authors conclude that acupuncture might be beneficial for COPD, although the quality of trials was low and they would like to see further, well-designed studies undertaken.
(Filiform needle acupuncture for copd: A systematic review & meta-analysis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, December 2019.)
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.)
A French pilot study suggests that preoperative acupuncture administered to the ear, reduces the dose of drugs needed to achieve subsequent general anaesthesia. A total of 32 patients aged 18 to 65 awaiting elective digestive or gynaecological surgery, were allocated to receive either acupuncture or no acupuncture as a control group. Needles were retained for 20 minutes before administering conventional anaesthetics. The required dose was 18% lower in the acupuncture group. The study authors believe acupuncture may exert its effects in this case via the vagus nerve and parasympathetic nervous system.
(Effect of Auricular Acupuncture on Propofol Induction Dose: Could Vagus Nerve and Parasympathetic Stimulation Replace Intravenous Co-Induction Agents? Medical Acupuncture, 15 April 2019.)
Acupuncture combined with amiodarone, a standard anti-arrhythmic drug, seems more effective at preventing the recurrence of atrial fibrillation after ablation, than does the drug alone. A Chinese team randomised 85 patients into acupuncture and control groups. Both groups used the drug from day one after the ablation, but additionally the acupuncture group received daily needling for seven days afterwards.
After three months, the rate of atrial fibrillation recurrence in the acupuncture group was 12%, compared with 33% in the control group. Serum inflammatory markers were elevated in both groups after ablation but the acupuncture group displayed significantly lower levels.
(Effect of acupuncture at Neiguan point combined with amiodarone therapy on early recurrence after pulmonary vein electrical isolation in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation. Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, 24 March 2019.)