By Lai X.
An article in the American Medical Association Newspaper 3/6/95 from the Associated Press reported that the FDA is weighing acupuncture's effectiveness in the treatment of asthma. Kim Jobst, M.D. of Oxford University wrote in an article for the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine that the use of Acupuncture as an aid in respiratory ailments might be safer than the prolonged use of drugs. The article reports that at the request of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Jobst collected all the research on chronic lung diseases treated by acupuncture. From 16 studies, many of which were flawed, he says that acupuncture showed signs of being effective in 62% of cases. This means fewer attacks and fewer doses of drugs.
Acupuncture was used in a control against "Sham" acupuncture which means needling points which are not classical acupuncture points. There is disagreement if this is really non-effectual. When Dr. Jobst re-evaluated the "Sham" treatment he says 80% of the research shows acupuncture may work. The NIH has reportedly began funding $2.5 Million in acupuncture research. The FDA has Dr. Jobst's research and was used in the forum on needle approval this summer.