Acupuncture is mostly known to be used to alleviate pain. But it can also be beneficial in providing relief in those suffering from various health conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, and nausea. There is also ongoing research on its potential benefits as a complementary therapy for cancer patients.
It's important to note that acupuncture is considered a complementary therapy, which means it is used alongside conventional medical treatments, rather than as a replacement for them. Cancer treatment should always be coordinated with healthcare professionals, and any complementary therapies should be discussed and approved by the medical team. However, Deb is an experienced specialist in integrative oncology and would love to be part of your cancer support team!
Here are some potential ways acupuncture may be beneficial for cancer patients:
1. Pain relief:
Acupuncture has been shown to help reduce pain associated with cancer and its treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the release of endorphins and other neurotransmitters in the body, which can help alleviate pain. These natural chemicals act as painkillers and may help reduce the intensity of cancer treatment-related pain.
2. Nausea and vomiting:
Many cancer treatments can cause nausea and vomiting as side effects. Some studies suggest that acupuncture may help reduce these symptoms and improve the overall well-being of cancer patients. Nausea can be exacerbated by stress and anxiety. Acupuncture sessions often promote relaxation and help reduce stress levels, which can indirectly alleviate nausea and vomiting.
Cancer-related fatigue is a common and distressing symptom experienced by many patients. According to traditional Chinese medicine, fatigue is often attributed to a disruption or imbalance in the body's energy flow. Acupuncture aims to restore the balance by stimulating specific acupoints along energy pathways known as meridians. By promoting the smooth flow of energy, acupuncture may help alleviate fatigue and restore vitality.
4. Anxiety and depression:
Cancer diagnosis and treatment can cause significant emotional distress. Cancer treatment can be physically and emotionally taxing, leading to increased stress and emotional distress. Acupuncture sessions often create a relaxing environment and promote deep breathing and relaxation techniques.
5. Peripheral Neuropathy:
Some cancer treatments, particularly certain chemotherapy drugs, can lead to peripheral neuropathy (numbness, tingling, and pain in the extremities). Some studies suggest that acupuncture can enhance peripheral nerve function and stimulate the regrowth of damaged nerves. This regenerative effect could potentially improve symptoms and function in individuals with peripheral neuropathy.
It's worth mentioning that while some studies have reported positive effects of acupuncture for cancer patients, the overall evidence is still limited, and more high-quality research is needed. Additionally, individual responses to acupuncture can vary, and it may not work the same way for everyone.
Always remember that it's crucial to have open and honest communication with your medical team about any complementary therapies you're considering, as they can provide guidance based on your specific condition and treatment plan. At Earley Wellness, we work with many doctors in tandem to support you. Earley Wellness Group has done thousands of treatments on cancer patients, and we truly believe acupuncture can offer tremendous relief and a unique form of support to people struggling with cancer.
Contact Earley Wellness today to find out more about how acupuncture can be helpful paired with your cancer treatments.