Acupuncture for Cancer Support : How It Can Help You
What is Acupuncture?
The centuries-old practice of acupuncture is used by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat many different symptoms and illnesses. It involves using small needles on specific points on the body to balance the flow of Qi. Its aim is to remove any blockages or minimise Qi through the body’s meridians resulting in improved overall wellness.
When used in patients with cancer, acupuncture is not alleging to be a cure. Rather, it is an integrative complementary treatment that should be discussed with an oncologist. This means that it can help patients achieve relief from the negative side effects of cancer treatment and other symptoms that may accompany a cancer diagnosis.
Possible Benefits of Acupuncture for People with Cancer
Cancer often brins with it many negative side effects and symptoms. The good news is that acupuncture for cancer can help with quite a few of them. Some of the benefits of acupuncture for cancer include:
1. Reduction of nausea and vomiting in people who are undergoing chemotherapy.
The National Cancer Institute published a study that demonstrated acupuncture’s ability to reduce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting that are often associated with chemotherapy. Some patients were treated with acupuncture and others with “sham” or placebo acupuncture. The results concluded that those who underwent acupuncture while receiving chemotherapy for breast, testicular, and ovarian cancers reported fewer instances or delayed symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
2. Pain relief.
For cancer patients who struggle with pain management, acupuncture has been shown to provide relief by reducing pain. In addition to other pain management strategies, acupuncture as a complementary therapy can help in the management of cancer-related pain.
A recent study even found that some patients reported needing less pain medication after treatment with acupuncture. Additionally, patients who were not able to achieve relief from pain medication over the course of a couple of years reported improvement in their pain symptoms with no adverse side effects.
Cancer-related fatigue is another unfortunate side effect of this awful disease. Thankfully, acupuncture for cancer is effective in the management of cancer-related fatigue.
Studies have shown that patients receiving acupuncture three times per week over the course of three weeks experienced positive effects on the symptom of fatigue.
Many cancer patients experience poor quality or lack of sleep. It happens to be one of the most common side effects reported by cancer patients. Acupuncture for cancer has been shown to help patients who are experiencing sleep disturbances.
A study out of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center treated 172 patients with acupuncture, and the result was a significant improvement in sleep disturbance. Some patients even fell asleep during their acupuncture treatment.
5. Immune function.
When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it is of great importance to ensure their immune system is functioning as well as possible. This is yet another benefit of acupuncture.
- Treatment with acupuncture helps to improve the ability of the body’s natural killer cells to destroy cancer cells.
- It improves the natural killer cell’s function of causing damage to harmful cancer cells thanks to its ability to enhance communication between the immune system and the neurotransmitter network.
Is Acupuncture Right for You?
Before deciding if acupuncture for cancer is an appropriate treatment option for you, it is important to speak with your oncologist about your options. It is also imperative that you find a skilled TCM practitioner so that you may achieve optimal results.
What to Expect with Acupuncture Treatment
At GinSen, our TCM practitioner will discuss how often and for how long you should receive acupuncture for cancer. The process may last from 20 to 30 minutes per session, and it will involve the insertion of thin needles into various acupoints to induce a biologic response. Some patients may need multiple treatments per week for anywhere from two to four weeks. The frequency and duration of treatment may vary based on your needs and symptoms.
Consider acupuncture for cancer if you are undergoing treatment and experiencing some of the unpleasant symptoms that are commonly associated with cancer and its treatment. It is an ancient practise that has been shown to alleviate symptoms of pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, vomiting, and nausea. It can even help to boost the immune system by increasing the activity of natural killer cells. Speak with our TCM practitioner to learn how acupuncture can help you feel better.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.