A new Japanese study has demonstrated that acupuncture can help patients with the chronic lung disease called COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
Another study shows that alternative therapies could help smokers quit. And a video game could help stroke victims regain motor control say scientists at Newcastle University.
Alternative treatment for COPD
According to a Japanese study, the effects of alternative treatment were as good as conventional drugs used for treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Three months of acupuncture treatment were able to relieve symptoms such as breathing problems among the patients with the chronic lung disease.
The study divided the participants into two groups; one group receiving ‘fake’ acupuncture and the other group who got real acupuncture treatment.
The group receiving real acupuncture had better breathing parameters at the end of the study period.
In the opinion of Dr. George Lewith, from the University of Southampton in England, the quality of life is seen to improve with this therapy, though it isn’t clear whether life is extended too.
This treatment probably works by relaxing the muscles around the chest wall. It seems to also help patients relax and hence improves breathing.
Alternative therapies to help quit smoking
In a study published by the American Journal of Medicine, there is some evidence to suggest that alternative methods may be helpful for people wanting to quit smoking.
Use of trance and hypnosis was seen to improve chances of people who wanted to quit smoking.
These treatments were seen to help smokers quit within a period of 6 to 12 months. The success rates when alternative therapies were used were seen to be better than when smokers attempted to quit on their own.
Video games for stroke victims
A computer-based video game may be an alternative therapy for stroke victims, say researchers from Newcastle University. It is a game called the Circus Challenge that could help stroke patients recover faster, some of their motor functions.
Plate spinning and lion taming are some of the activities in the game that the players have to perform virtually. This could be one way to help meet the shortfall of trained therapists for stroke patients; an engrossing and interesting way to obtain therapy.
It can be particularly useful for continuing rehabilitation at home. The game can help patient make progress by getting more difficult as the player gains strength and experiences improvement in their motor skills.