Do you wish there was a natural remedy for your asthma that was as effective as medication but without all of the side effects? This common desire among asthma patients has some of them turning to acupuncture in an attempt to try to achieve perfect health and breathing in the most natural way.  This form of Chinese medicine has been around for many centuries but experts in the United States say that there is no scientific proof that this alternative treatment keeps asthma at bay.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the practice of helping the body to achieve a more balanced state by inserting very fine needles under the skin. Researchers are exploring this option as a way to treat a variety of health concerns. While many theories exist as to how the process actually helps to improve health, some people believe that it stimulates endorphins (chemicals that make you feel good) and also help energy flow through the body in the most effective way. 

Does it Work?

Some patients say they do feel better when they use this method to treat their breathing issues, and several small studies do think acupuncture holds some promise for asthmatics, but the general consensus in the mainstream medical field is that this method really doesn't show any consistent difference in improving asthma symptoms. In fact, a recent study by a non-profit group that reviews various medical treatment approaches for different health conditions concluded that it couldn't recommend this form of treatment for chronic asthma patients. Further, several clinical trials using placebos showed no marked difference in the response of patients to acupuncture and to the placebo approach.

Possible Side Effects

Despite the lack of proven benefits, one reason many people find acupuncture appealing is because they mistakenly believe that it comes without side effects. But the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that while serious side effects are not common, the risk that they could occur with acupuncture does still exist. While these episodes are rare, cases of an injury called pneumothorax that occurs if a needle punctures the lung have occurred in conjunction with this natural treatment form. In addition, the needles can be a source of blood-borne illness, including hepatitis and AIDs.

Play it Safe

If you decide you do want to try acupuncture and see for yourself if it helps control your asthma symptoms, before you use this natural health remedy, be sure to talk to your doctor and get all of the facts up front. Also always make sure to use a practitioner who is highly qualified in using this treatment form. Finally, never discontinue using your medications even if you are trying an alternative approach, unless your doctor gives the okay.