Acupuncture, the ancient form of Chinese medical treatment, is best known as a method to treat pain. But now, a local allergist is using it as a new tool in her arsenal to help patients who suffer from asthma.

Dr. Susan Raschal with Covenant Allergy says, "This is now just another tool in our tool belt that we can offer to people. Most people are looking for drug free alternatives."

Channel 3 visited Dr. Susan Raschal's office where Dr. Sherie Chow explained more about how she uses this ancient and alternative form of medicine to help treat asthma patients.

Studies have shown acupuncture increases the flow of oxygen to the lungs and reduces asthma symptoms. It also stimulates endorphins, which can help calm the overactive immune system to lessen or relieve asthma attacks.

Dr. Sherie Chow says, "When you use the points, it leads to energy of the body. This is all blocked in the lungs. Energy is released."

Research has shown that acupuncture is an effective form of treatment for some patients.

Dr. Chow says, "Some have immediate results and sometimes we use a cup on top of the needle. The wheezing stops."

Christina Dotson says she has suffered at least 15 years with allergies and breathing problems. She says she would consider acupuncture as a treatment option.

Christina Dotson says, "I'm very open to different options. If Dr. Raschal felt it was a viable option and it would help me out, I would certainly try it."

While studies showed acupuncture was beneficial for some patients, not everyone will benefit from the treatment.

Dr. Raschal says, "This is something that would be more global for anybody who has asthma and especially if we don't have a good alternative for them, medications aren't working for them or they are terrified of allergy shots."

For more information, call Covenant Allergy and Asthma Care at (423) 468-3267 or visit its website.