Bronchitis is a common lung disease, aggravated by cigarette smoke, industrial pollutants, and dust. It involves the irreparable destruction of lung tissue. There is often an asthmatic element in bronchitis as irritants such as smoke and dust cause the muscular walls of the breathing tubes to contract.
Acupuncture cannot rebuild lung tissue, but by opening up the breathing tubes it can allow the remaining lung tissue to function efficiently. The mechanism of acupuncture in bronchitis is probably much the same as in asthma, allowing more air to enter the lungs. Recent Chinese work has shown that about 50 per cent of bronchitics ‘benefit’ from acupuncture. The treatment must be repeated regularly if the effect is to be maintained.