Anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture in allergic asthma.
The anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture in allergic asthma has been demonstrated by a team of Chinese investigators. They have shown that acupuncture has regulatory effects on mucosal and cellular immunity in patients with allergic asthma.
What is interesting in this study is that as well as showing an effect for acupuncture in the treatment of allergic asthma they have shown the mechanisms of how this is mediated in the body.
One hundred patients with allergic asthma and 74 patients with chronic bronchitis received manual acupuncture three times per week, for five weeks at acupuncture points specific for asthma, based on traditional Chinese medicine theory (Dazhui DU-14, Fengmen BL-12 and Feishu BL-13). Clinical results showed that the total efficacy of acupuncture in patients with allergic asthma at the end of one course of treatment was 85 percent.
After acupuncture treatment, concentrations of immunoglobulins (sIgA and total IgA) in the saliva and nasal secretions of patients with allergic asthma were found to be significantly decreased. IgE levels in sera, as well as numbers of activated T-cells and eosinophils in the peripheral blood were also significantly decreased following acupuncture. These are all inflammatory mediators so a reduction shows that inflammation is being reduced.
Although there were no significant changes in patients with chronic bronchitis treated with acupuncture, some trends indicating a benefit of treatment were observed.
(Considerations for Use of Acupuncture as Supplemental Therapy for Patients with Allergic Asthma. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2012 Jun 3. [Epub ahead of print]).