Acupuncture can be a powerful friend in the battle with cancer. While acupuncture isn't really used to treat the cancer itself, it can be used to treat the side effects of the traditional treatments as well as the stress, depression, and anxiety that arise from having a war with cancer.
Cancers vary widely with regard to where they originate, how much and how far they have spread throughout the body, and what type they are. When someone is diagnosed with cancer the doctors will first try to find the origination of the cancer, then go through a staging process to decide the severity of the cancer, and then prescribe a treatment plan.
Treatments will usually include one or more of: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and sometimes biologic therapy. Each of these is complete with their own side effects. Chemotherapy can lead to hair loss, fatigue, nausea, etc. Radiation can lead to fatigue, hair loss, etc. Surgeries all have some sort of side effects related to the trauma of the procedure.
Acupuncture can be very useful in treating these side effects. The US National Institutes of Health recommend acupuncture for nausea, vomiting, post surgical pain, and fatigue. Practitioners will aside from treating the symptoms related to the cancer treatment will often try to strengthen and support the body, improve the circulation of the blood and qi around the body, help support the treatment to remove accumulations that are considered to be the tumor in the Chinese medical model, and support whatever else is out of balance.
Aside from acupuncture, practitioners will often use herbal medicine, dietary medicine, massage, and more to try to balance a patient's health. More and more patients are using acupuncture as a supportive therapy and our clinic treats several cancer patients per year. In fact, it has become so helpful that some hospitals are even hiring staff acupuncturists to treat their cancer patients.
We also use Anodyne infrared light therapy as one of our treatment options to help with chemotherapy induced neuropathy. The following video shows it in action. You can also visit the page on infrared light therapy here in our site for more info.