Jul 14 2015

Acupuncture and Cancer

Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with cancer? A cancer diagnosis can be frustrating, depressing, and upsetting. Although acupuncture cannot cure cancer, many studies sanctioned by the National Institute of Health have shown that acupuncture can help alleviate some of the common side effects of chemotherapy.

  • In fact, “there is clear evidence that needle acupuncture is [effective] for . . . postoperative and chemotherapy [induced] nausea and vomiting.” Instead of ingesting chemicals to address nausea, acupuncture helps the body heal itself. There is an acupuncture point on the wrist called PC6 that helps control nausea in any situation. Between acupuncture treatments, people can help reduce nausea and vomiting by pressing the acupressure point.
  • Chemotherapy causes people to become immune-compromised and puts them at a higher risk of developing infections or contracting some other form of illness, such as a cold or bronchitis. Many studies have also shown that acupuncture can help boost the immune system by tonifing the body’s qi points. Stomach 36 and Large Intestine 11 are both good points to give the body energy to protect itself from potential pathogens.
  • Acupuncture can help cancer patients deal with the anxiety and depression that often arise when someone is diagnosed with cancer. The same acupuncture point that can reduce nausea can also be used to help reduce anxiety. Ear shen men (aka “spirit gate”) points can also be accessed during acupuncture treatments. Ear seeds can be applied after treatment so that patients can press the beads when they  are between treatment sessions.
  • Some forms of chemotherapy  can cause constipation. Acupuncture used in conjunction with Chinese herbs can help alleviate these symptoms. Chemotherapy depletes the fluids in your body. Acupuncture can help replenish the body’s fluids to moisten the intestines and facilitate bowel movements.
  • Chemo an also cause diarrhea. Chemotherapy can weaken the digestive system, injuring the Chinese spleen. Acupuncture and warm, nourishing foods can help repair the digestive system. This helps your body firm up your stools and decrease diarrhea.

So how does this all work? Acupuncture needles are inserted into acupressure points on the wrist to help tame the tummy and reduce anxiety.

In Chinese medicine, it is believed that vital energy, called “qi” (pronounced “chee”) . . . [flows through the meridians] which are connected by acupuncture points. According to TCM, if qi is blocked, the body can’t function at its peak. The goal of acupuncture is to open certain points on these pathways and release blocked qi.” (Click here to read more.)

Although cancer can be disheartening, it isn’t a death sentence. Acupuncture will not cure cancer, but it can alleviate some of the physical and emotional problems associated with cancer. Call us to make an appointment and talk to Michele one-on-one about the challenges you’re facing.

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