If you suffer from asthma, you might be willing to try anything to get relief, including acupuncture. Does acupuncture really help asthma? Acupuncture may be a viable treatment for some people, for its placebo effect. Just like a placebo, it is believed that acupuncture stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself. The body manufactures endorphins, which mimic the effects of analgesics to relieve pain.
No one actually knows what causes asthma in people, but there does seem to be a genetic factor involved with some people. There are many different things that can trigger asthma to manifest in a person. Sometimes, a person can breathe through the mouth and take in more oxygen than the body needs. When we get too much oxygen, an imbalance of carbon dioxide and oxygen occurs. When oxygen gets too high, and carbon dioxide gets too low, the brain tells the air passages to constrict to decrease the flow of oxygen to the lungs.
Other triggers for asthma include environmental factors, such as pollen, dust, and dust mites. Pet dander is another trigger, and so is cigarette smoke. Allergies to certain substances can cause asthma to manifest in a person. For instance, if you are allergic to peanuts, and you ingested some peanut dust, peanut oil or some food was contaminated with peanuts, you could have an allergic asthma attack.
There isn’t much knowledge about how or why acupuncture works. There is no scientific proof that acupuncture is a medical treatment for asthma. All you have is word of mouth, or anecdotal evidence. A person may receive one or two acupuncture treatments a week and report having fewer asthma attacks. Over time, the same person may report they no longer have asthma attacks at all. No one has a real explanation for the effects of acupuncture on asthma, except that it works for some people. What could be an explanation of why acupuncture works?
It is believed by many in the scientific community that acupuncture has a placebo effect on people that make them feel better. Acupuncture is used by many individuals to relieve stress. A frequent phrase used by many who receive acupuncture treatments is that acupuncture puts their chi (energy) back into balance. This chi, or energy, may have something to do with the stress that people feel. Stress is brought on by the stress hormone. It could be that the placebo effect has reduced the chemistry of stress in the body which is cause and effect for the relief of asthma in some people. There are many speculations of why acupuncture works to relieve asthma symptoms in some people, but there is no real scientific evidence to support it. In science, experiments or tests can be done on therapeutic treatments, and one can expect similar results every time. Acupuncture will not produce similar results in all people all the time; however, if an individual believes acupuncture will help them, it usually will.
Because there is no scientific proof acupuncture works to treat asthma, does that mean there is no place for it in medicine? As an alternative approach to healing, acupuncture can be as beneficial as other methods. For instance, prayer is an effective healing method for those who believe in it. No one really cares that there is no scientific evidence to support acupuncture as a viable treatment for asthma, if it works for them. Just as there is no scientific evidence to support that prayer is a viable treatment for asthma, it helps those who believe in it. Thus, acupuncture can be a viable treatment for asthma if the individual has faith in the treatment. If the cause and effect of healing through acupuncture works for you, then it is a viable treatment for you.