Acupuncture for Asthma and Upper Respiratory Tract Infections – An Overview

The holistic approach of acupuncture and Chinese herbs help people get rid of asthma and upper respiratory tract infections because acupuncture and herbs can help clear up the phlegm in the upper respiratory tract and balance the immune function to restore the normal function of the airway. If you can breath better, your whole body is more relaxed and your immune function will be stronger. You can prevent asthma and upper respiratory tract infections.

Respiratory tract of the human body includes the nose, throat (pharynx), windpipe (trachea), bronchi, and lungs. Two common illnesses that affect the respiratory system are asthma and upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects airways. The lining cells of airways become inflamed and overproduce thick secretions, which makes breathing difficult. Symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, and coughing. Medication cannot cure asthma—it only relieves the symptoms. Chronic asthma increases the risk of exacerbations, which in turn affect the quality of life of patients. Moreover, the continuous use of medications and inhalers may result in side effects.

What Triggers Asthma?

Most cases of asthma are caused by a combination of environmental factors, allergies, and upper respiratory infection. Exposure to various substances and irritants can trigger asthma, which can compromise the lung function if asthma becomes chronic. The triggers may include airborne substances such as pollen and air pollution, and may also include certain medications, sulfites, preservatives added to food and beverages, cold air, and stress. When histamine release increases, our airway can become swollen and narrowed. Insomnia, high stress, allergies, too much stimulation and certain kind of food can lead to an increased level of histamine.

Upper Respiratory Tract Infection – an Overview

Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTI) affects the nose and throat and is usually caused by viruses and bacteria. Symptoms of URTI usually appear within one to three days of exposure to the virus. Symptoms may include nasal discharge, congestion, cough, sneezing, fever, sore throat, and body aches. Most people will recover in between one week to ten days. If your immune function is weak, the infection will linger, which causes chronic inflammation in your airway.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a holistic medical practice in traditional Chinese medicine that involves the insertion of thin needles into a person’s body at specific points. It is a technique that balances the flow of energy, known as qi, through meridians (pathways) in the body. Insertion of needles helps to rebalance the energy flow. Acupuncturists decide the course of treatment, which may range from six weeks to twelve weeks based on the severity of disease condition and age. Typically, acupuncture points are selected along with the lung, kidney, stomach, and bladder meridians.

Studies have indicated that acupuncture is effective in treating asthma and upper respiratory tract infections. A publication in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York)—which is carried by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)—concluded that acupuncture treatment in patients with allergic asthma is associated with an increased health-related quality of life compared to routine care alone. Another study published in the Journal of Medicine (Baltimore), suggesting significant benefits in treating common cold symptoms with acupuncture. Acupuncture can help reduce inflammation by strengthening the adrenal gland function. Acupuncture can also relieve the spasm of the trachea to stop acute asthma, especially when the medication cannot stop long-lasting asthma.