Acupuncture can be used to improve the condition of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). According to a MAY 2012 Japanese study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, acupuncture is claimed to help manage the disease by alleviating laboured breathing. This was a randomised controlled trial involving 68 patients. Half the participants had acupuncture for 12 weeks while taking their usual medications. The other half had placebo acupuncture with blunt needles which did not pierce the skin, and medications. The trial lasted for 3 years. The researchers found that patients who had undergone real acupuncture demonstrated significant improvement in breathlessness, exercise capacity, and health-related quality of life. No improvement was shown in the placebo group. More and bigger studies need to be made to support these findings.