Bronchitis is a lung disease that is aggravated by industrial pollutants, dust, and smoke. If left untreated, bronchitis can result in the irreparable destruction of lung tissue. Asthma is a respiratory sensitivity to common irritants such as cigarette smoke, pollen, mold, and dust. Asthma is often associated with bronchitis, because a person with asthma has a higher likelihood of developing bronchitis. Asthmatic episodes are marked by the muscular walls of the breathing tubes in the lungs to contract in a sudden, sometimes violent, loss of oxygen, rendering a person unable to catch his or her breath.
In the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) view, qi (the vital energy proposed to regulate a person's spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health) circulates throughout the body on pathways called meridians. Qi can be heavily influenced by emotional, environmental, and elemental forces, and disruptions in the flow of qi are thought to be responsible for disease. TCM views bronchitis as a disruptive invasion of wind, either hot or cold, into the body system. Conversely, Western medicine sees the same symptoms as a standard respiratory infection. Each patient has a unique condition, and acupuncture sessions take into account the individual details of the patient, both physical and emotional. Acupuncture treatments are designed to stimulate specific points on the body by inserting thin metal needles into the skin. The needles work to remove blockages in the flow of qi, allowing the body to return to a state of balance.