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Is acupuncture suitable for lung problems?

Q:  I am 71 years old man.At present I have two lungs problems, emphysema brochieatasis since five years. Before these problems I got tueberculosis which was cured with one year treatment with allopathic medicines..I want to know if my dieases are treatable with acupuncture.

A: We would have to be honest and say that although anything is treatable with traditional acupuncture, in the sense that we aim to restore balance to the body's energies and maximise the performance of the whole system, the more precise use of the word 'treat' meaning have a confident expectation of positive results would not apply. The combination of the TB and the bronchiectasis have probably permanently affected your ability to gather the oxygen you need, and we have never seen any studies which suggest that using acupuncture treatment could improve this exchange or reverse any physical deterioration which has taken place.

Obviously if you search the internet you may well find case studies where someone will claim that they have used acupuncture to great effect, but in general these are usually in cases where the problem is relatively fresh and has not caused too much permanent damage.

That said, one of the consequences of a part of the system being affected is that the imbalances ripple through the whole system, and people can often feel very much under the weather in areas where the problem does not directly sit. Because we believe that body mind and spirit are all interconnected physical problems can often lead to mental or emotional issues like anxiety or worry, and we do often treat people with problems which aren't going to get better to great effect. Many of us have helped to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinsons or MS, and from that perspective it may well be worth considering treatment.

What we invariably recommend is that you visit a practitioner for an informal assessment of what may be possible. The chances of an improvement in what has been lost are very small, so if anyone makes large claims for what they can do you should be careful. A responsible practitioner will always give you an honest answer so that you can make a properly informed choice about how to proceed.

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