Woman receives acupuncture for her breathing problem.

Can Acupuncture Improve Your Respiratory System?

Acupuncture offers many benefits for your health. Treatments ease pain, reduce nausea, improve sleep, and reduce headaches. In addition to the more well-known advantages, visiting your acupuncturist may also boost your respiratory system and ease the symptoms of respiratory diseases and conditions.

How Acupuncture Helps Your Respiratory System

Visiting the acupuncturist when you're well may help strengthen your immune system and improve your ability to fight off respiratory illnesses. Acupuncture treatments also reduce inflammation, a process that worsens respiratory symptoms.

Oxygen circulates throughout your body through your bloodstream. Acupuncture increases circulation, ensuring a steady flow of oxygen to your cells, tissues, and organs. Treatments also reduce congestion and relax the muscles around the lungs, making it easier to breathe.

Got a Cold or the Flu? Acupuncture Treats Your Symptoms Naturally

Visiting the acupuncturist could reduce the amount of time you feel sick, particularly if you visit the acupuncture office as soon as you notice symptoms. In a South Korean case study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 95% of people who visited the acupuncturist within 36 hours of developing a cold felt better three days later. Ninety-five percent of patients who started treatment after 36 hours took six days to recover. Researchers reported that acupuncture not only decreased cold duration, but also reduced cold symptoms by 50% after the first treatment.

Acupuncture Reduces Allergy and Asthma Symptoms

If your seasonal allergies make you dread the spring and summer months, acupuncture could improve your life. In addition to easing sneezing, wheezing, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, and other symptoms, treatments may reduce inflammation and change the way your body responds to allergens.

Decreasing inflammation could also help your asthma symptoms. During an asthma flareup, small airways in the lungs narrow due to inflammation and produce excess mucus. When researchers performed a meta-analysis of asthma research studies, they discovered that acupuncture treatments reduced coughing and mucus and improved lung function and inflammation. The researchers, who published their meta-analysis in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, noted that additional high-quality research is needed to verify the value of acupuncture.

Treatments Could Decrease Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) Symptoms

COPD encompasses several lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. These respiratory diseases inflame the lungs and reduces the amount of air that reaches the lungs. COPD causes shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and excess mucus. Patients who participated in a study published in Medicine saw a significant improvement in six-minute walking distance and quality of life after eight weeks of acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture May Ease Symptoms of COVID-Related Respiratory Symptoms

An interesting case study published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine illustrates the way acupuncture could help people struggling with breathing issues after a COVID-19 diagnosis. The case study followed an older woman in Wuhan, China, who experienced shortness of breath and decreased oxygen saturation in her blood after developing COVID-19. After treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medications, the woman's oxygen saturation and breathing function improved.

Would you like to strengthen your respiratory system or treat the symptoms of a respiratory condition naturally? Contact our office to schedule an appointment with the acupuncturist.


Science Direct: Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Manual Acupuncture Treatment Attentuates Common Cold and Its Symptoms: A Case Series Reports from South Korea, 12/15/2016


NCBI: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Acupuncture Treatment for Cough-Variant Asthma: A Meta Analysis, 4/2/2021


Medicine: Acupuncture for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), 10/7/2016


Journal of Integrative Medicine: Recovery of a Patient with Severe COVID-19 by Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine Adjuvant to Standard Care, 9/2021


National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome



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