Chronic bronchitis and bronchial asthma are considered to be caused by injections, allergic reaction, and related physical or chemical factors. The clinical manifestations include cough, shortness of breath, and repeated attacks. At present, there is no way to affect a radical cure for the disease. From 1983 to 1993, at Yongchun country TCM Hospital in China, 250 cases of chronic bronchitis and asthma were treated by integrating electric needling and point injection. The clinical observation showed that this integrated method was rather satisfactory.
All 250 cases were patients from the outpatient department, out of whom 172 cases were males and 78 females. There were 17 cases below 15 years of age, 173 cases between 16 to 60, 53 cases between 61 to 80, and seven cases over 81. The disease courses of the patients varied from one year to more than 10 years; 170 cases were believed to be caused by infections and 25 cases by allergic reaction. Asthma was found in most of the patients who were below 15 years of age and few of them. Chronic bronchitis was found in most of the patients over 60 years and all of them were complicated by pulmonary emphysema or pulmonary heart disease of various degrees.
CRITERIA OF THE THERAPEUTIC EFFECT
Excellent: The symptoms basically disappear without any abnormal findings in the physicochemical tests and there is no relapse within half a year after one therapeutic course; even if there is a mild attack due to weather change or other factors, symptoms can be controlled by taking a small amount of medicine.
Improved: Symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath become milder or the attacks become less frequent. The symptoms can be controlled by taking a small amount of medicine.
Failed: No improvement in the condition is noticed after one therapeutic course, or the patient withdraws from the treatment in less than one therapeutic course.
ANALYSIS OF THE THERAPEUTIC EFFECT
Of the total 250 cases, 68 cases were cured, 174 cases showed improvement, and eight cases failed. The total effective rate was 96 per cent.
A typical case was a 70-years-old male worker, who had a 40-years-old history of chronic cough with sputum. In the winter or spring every year, he would be attacked by cough with dyspnea. Each onset would last for two to three months. Diagnosed as pulmonary emphysema, in recent years he would need hospitalisation due to increasingly frequent attacks. In the examination, the patient was found with a typical sign of emphysema, such as a grey and dull face, shortness of breath, a slight cyanosis in the lips and a barrel chest. He was also diagnosed as having a respiratory harshness in both lungs and a low heart sound.
The disease of the patient was greatly improved after only one therapeutic course by electric needling and point injection, and the drug intake was lessened to the maintenance dose. A follow-up period of two years found that his disease was stable.
Acupuncture treatment is free from any side effect and is therefore very positively received by the patients. It is definite that this is a very good therapeutic method and worth popularizing.