Acupuncture for Cancer Patients

For cancer patients who are considered to be cured after the surgery, acupuncture plays an important role in its adjunctive use in anesthesia, in post-operative pain control, and in aiding and hastening recovery from the side effects of the various therapies. This is because Acupuncture is very effective in

  • Pain control
  • Reduction of local swelling from the surgery
  • Reduction on the medication usage, which leads to minimize the side effects.
  • Reduction of the resolution of hematoma and tissue swelling

Especially with the help of electricity needle, energetic acupuncture makes the cancer patients feel great relief by removing or mitigating the symptom from chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment etc. This accelerates patient's recovery significantly. Combined with the proper nutritional support, acupuncture treatment has been clinically proved to be an effective method in helping the patients to recover. Hence it has been being used as a routine adjudicative approach in some cancer institutes for a while.

For instance, the following symptoms are common for the cancer patients who receive chemotherapy after medical surgery:

  • The dread nausea
  • Vomiting

The symptoms can get worse when certain classes of agents are used. It has been reported that a majority of oncologists have experienced the patients who start vomiting at the thought of their next clinic visit.

At the University of Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, a well-controlled study completed over two Years ago, the authors of the published paper 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. Such treatments are relatively simple and easily executed in an outpatient setting. Its effectiveness helps in minimizing the use of standard, expensive multi-drug anti-nausea regimens with their attendant side effects, given along with the chemotherapeutic agents.

That acupuncture is a powerful tool for general pain control is widely known. Less known is its success use in some cancer-related pain and in reducing narcotic use and thereby minimizing the side effects confusion, disturbed mentation, behavioral changes, nausea and severe constipation.

According to the traditional Chinese medicine theory, any chronic disease process depletes the energy level in the organism. Such depletion can be ameliorated, at least temporarily, by tonification, a process of imparting energy into the system. This is deemed necessary for more durable, successful pain control. It can also add to the patients' sense of well being and decrease the malaise associated with any chronic disease, especially cancer.

Nutritional support as an aid in boosting immune response in cancer patients, along with minimizing the immune and white blood cell suppression that occurs with most chemotherapeutic agents, has been receiving greater attention and funding for research.. Kenneth Conklin, M.D., Ph.D., an anesthesiologist at UCLA working with the Oncology Department, reports gratifying results utilizing nutrition and supplements combined with energetic acupuncture.

Energetic acupuncture repletes energy level to the organism as a whole, reestablishes homeostasis by re-balancing energy distribution and un-blocking energy flow. This systems approach to deal with system wide patho-physiology can be complemented by distinct meridian acupuncture, which directs healing energy to specific organ pathology. Energetic acupuncture has been used as a routine approach in treating diseased organs such as liver, pancreas kidney, including those ravaged by cancers.

The degree of beneficial results from acupuncture treatment is dependent on various clinical factors such as presenting symptoms, clinical staging, timing of the encounter in the course of the illness, areas of involvement. In general, Acupuncture can play an important role in the care of the cancer patient.

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