There have been many advances in the early detection and treatment of cancer. While the standard medical care for cancer can be effective, the treatments are aggressive and cause numerous unwanted side effects in addition to a lowered immune system. Acupuncture has received much attention as an adjunctive therapy in cancer treatments addressing many of the symptoms and side effects that come up during and after chemotherapy, radiation, biological therapy and surgery.
How Does Acupuncture Help?
According to the National Cancer Institute, acupuncture may cause physical responses in nerve cells, the pituitary gland, and parts of the brain. These responses can cause the body to release proteins, hormones, and brain chemicals that govern a number of body functions. It is proposed that, by stimulating physical responses in these areas, acupuncture positively affects blood pressure and body temperature, boosts immune system activity, and causes the body’s natural painkillers, such as endorphins, to be released.
Acupuncture takes a holistic approach to health care and is particularly useful in providing pain relief, reducing the impact of side effects, accelerating recovery and improving overall quality of life.
Areas where acupuncture has provided the most help include:
Nausea and Vomiting
Dry Mouth, Night Sweats and Hot Flashes
Stress, Anxiety and Fatigue
Increasing White Blood Cell Count
Relieving Nausea and Vomiting
The strongest evidence of the beneficial effect of acupuncture has come from clinical trials on its use for relieving nausea and vomiting. Several types of clinical trials using different acupuncture methods showed acupuncture reduced nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, surgery and morning sickness.
Boosting the Immune System
Human studies on the effect of acupuncture on the immune system of cancer patients showed that it improved immune system response, including increasing the number of white blood cells.
Improving Pain Management
In clinical studies, acupuncture reduced the pain levels for some cancer patients. In one study, most of the patients treated with acupuncture were able to stop taking drugs for pain relief or to reduce their doses.
To learn more about how acupuncture can safely and effectively be incorporated into an oncology treatment plan call for a consultation today.