The National Cancer Institute’s latest research says the following: Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of illnesses and ailments. Cancer patients use it for pain management, control of nausea and vomiting, fatigue, hot flashes, xerostomia(dryness in the mouth), neuropathy, anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbance.
Acupuncture is routinely employed in many large-scale cancer institutions in the U.S., including Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) in Boston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. An increasing number of hospitals with special cancer centers have adopted acupuncture as their adjunct services.
Nausea and Vomiting
The dreaded nausea and vomiting which commonly occurs in some patients undergoing chemotherapy can often be worse than the disease itself. At the University of Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, a well-controlled study reported significant reduction of nausea and vomiting when pre-treated with acupuncture. It is now routinely administered before, after and in between chemotherapy treatment sessions for control or nausea and emesis. The effectiveness of acupuncture in minimizing nausea and vomiting is often far superior to the standard, expensive multi-drug anti-nausea regimens.
Post-surgery Pain Control
It is widely known that acupuncture is a powerful tool for general pain control. Acupuncture is effective for control of pain, of local swelling post-operatively, for shortening the resolution of hematoma and tissue swelling. Acupuncture can also aid in minimizing use of medications and their attendant side effects.
There’s no difference in treating cancer patients vs. non-cancer patients in reducing the pain syndromes. Since every patient demonstrates different etiologies, constitutional characteristics, and medical histories, acupuncture treatments can vary significantly across patients. Reduction of pain sensations after acupuncture treatments is quite remarkable.
Re-balancing Energy and Unblocking Energy Flow
Instead of focusing only on pain syndromes, Chinese medicine and Acupuncture adopts a wider patho-physiology approach by directing healing energy of the entire body. Most acupuncturists approach cancer patients to restore overall-balance of a patient’s energy patterns, while trying to augment depleted organs’ energy. Since acupuncture aims at restoring energy level to the organism as a whole, and reestablishes homeostasis by re-balancing energy distribution, not only pain/nausea will be reduced, an overall sense of well-being increases significantly.