Asthma – Basics

Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterized by the inflammation and constricting of the airways. Several different factors trigger asthmatic episodes, including stress, infectious agents, pollutants and allergens. When one of these “triggers” irritates the airways, the muscles surrounding them tighten, restricting the flow of air to the lungs. Symptoms of asthma are tightness in the chest, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.

Asthma – Diagnostic Patterns

The Chinese Medicine treatment of asthma generally involves arriving at the appropriate TCM diagnosis or pattern. This pattern within the individual is what treatment is based on not the general condition. The following patterns may represent the underlying contributing factors for the development of asthma: Kidney Qi Deficiency, Lung Dampness-Phlegm Cold, Lung Dampness-Phlegm Heat, Lung Wind Invasion-Wind Cold, Lung Wind Invasion-Wind Heat and Spleen Qi Deficiency.

Commonly  used points: KD3 Taxi , LU9 Taiyuan, ST36 Zusanli, ST40 Fenglong

Commonly used formula: Bai He Gu Jin Wan, Bu Fei Er Jiao Wan, Er Chen Wan, Qing Qi Hua Tan Wan, Sha Shen Mai Dong Wan, Xiao Qing Long Wan, Ding Chuan Wan, Gui Zhi Tang Wan.

Research

Acupuncture may improve peak expiratory flow or peak expiratory flow variability in children; low quality evidence (Liu 2015 – SR of 7 RCTs)(1)

Acupoint herbal patches superior to sham in improving FEV1 and asthma symptoms; low quality evidence (Lee 2016 – SR & MA of 16 RCTs)(2)

Acupuncture improved FEV1, FEV1/FVC, IL and IgE (moderate quality evidence), but not ECP (Su 2016 – SR & MA of 8 RCTs)(3)

Research of Asthma in Paediatric

Liu 2015 [Childhood asthma] (SR of 7 RCTs)(4): Acupuncture may improve peak expiratory flow or peak expiratory flow variability; weak positive evidence

Lee 2016 [Acupoint herbal patches] (SR & MA of 16 RCTs)(5): Superior to sham in improving FEV1 and asthma symptoms; weak positive evidence

Su 2016 [Acupoint application in adults] (SR & MA of 8 RCTs)(6): Acupuncture improved FEV1, FEV1/FVC, IL and IgE (moderate quality evidence) but not ECP

References

1. Liu CF, Chien LW. Efficacy of acupuncture in children with asthma: a systematic review. Ital J Pediatr. 2015;41:48.

2. Lee SH, Chang GT, Zhang X, Lee H. Acupoint Herbal Patching for Asthma: A Systematic Review and Meta analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Jan;95(2):e2439.

3. Su L, Meng L, Chen R, Wu W, Peng B, Man L. Acupoint Application for Asthma Therapy in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Forsch Komplementmed. 2016;23(1):16-21.

4. Liu CF, Chien LW. Efficacy of acupuncture in children with asthma: a systematic review. Ital J Pediatr. 2015;41:48.

5. Lee SH, Chang GT, Zhang X, Lee H. Acupoint Herbal Patching for Asthma: A Systematic Review and Meta analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Jan;95(2):e2439.

6. Su L, Meng L, Chen R, Wu W, Peng B, Man L. Acupoint Application for Asthma Therapy in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Forsch Komplementmed. 2016;23(1):16-21.