Acupuncture in Cancer Care
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture may enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
Acupuncture given 1-2 hours prior to each chemotherapy cycle may improve the body’s immune system, helping the patient get through the treatment.
Acupuncture given 24 hours after chemo treatment may help to prevent or alleviate toxic side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, vertigo, constipation and diarrhea, hair loss, mucositis, stomatitis, dry mouth, peripheral neuropathy, nervous system changes, hormone imbalance, hot flashes, and sexual dysfunction.
Acupuncture helps to prevent infection by building up the White Blood Count and lessen the chance for bleeding.
Acupuncture helps the immune system by increasing antibodies, T-cell count, neutrophils (White Blood Cells), and improving platelet counts.
Acupuncture has been shown to modulate pain receptors in the brain, to release endorphins and enkephalins (the body’s own pain killers), and release neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine) thought to be important in pain transmission.
Acupuncture can help to treat the common side effects of radiation therapy: pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, dermatitis, xerostomia (dry mouth), GI symptoms, bladder problems, bone marrow suppression, hair loss, delayed wound healing, weight loss, decreased appetite and decreased strength
Bone Marrow Transplants:
Acupuncture given a few weeks prior to bone marrow transplant can help prepare the body for transplant
Acupuncture given 1-4 weeks after bone marrow transplant can help with infection, liver problems, jaundice and other symptoms
Pre and Post-surgery to remove tumor:
Acupuncture can help to prepare the patient for surgery by improving well-being and the healing process, alleviating surgical site pain and scar pain, preventing side effects and such symptoms such as abdominal bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and malaise.
Acupuncture after the surgery (2 days to 2 weeks) can help decrease swelling, improve intestinal motility and bladder function, increase surgical incisional healing, and decrease pain.
This article and video shows the benefits of using acupuncture to treat the side effect of neuropathy from chemotherapy: